GSF annual report focuses on challenging past year

The Global Shipper Forum’s annual report has highlighted key industry issues, which include the challenges of new container weighing rules, formulating plans for reducing maritime emissions and extending influence over key UN agencies. 

During the past 12 months, GSF has worked in partnership with the World Shipping Council (WSC), TT Club of insurers and the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA) to give advice and assist with implementation of the new container weighing rules.  

Chris Welsh, secretary general for GSF, said: “It’s certainly been a busy year, as reflected by our annual report. The IMO container weighing rules are a good compromise for GSF and illustrate the important role the forum plays in influencing decision-making.”

The GSF has also expanded its membership in the last year, with the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council joining in June 2015, who hosted this year’s meeting in Colombo. “GSF has gone from strength-to-strength since it was incorporated in 2011 and now has 32 members from across the globe. The Brexit vote makes GSF’s role all the more important for UK members as we will soon have to trade internationally as a country and not rest on Europe any longer,” added Welsh.

GSF identified one of its key priorities as extending its influence with the main UN agencies, such as The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN Committee for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Customs Organization. 

Welsh said: “We have made considerable progress in that regard. Our influence is growing within these organisations and it is encouraging that the new Secretary General of ICAO, Dr Fang Liu, has invited GSF to become directly involved in developing its air cargo initiatives.”

Combatting shipping and aviation emissions has also been on the agenda this year. GSF is working with the IMO to develop a carbon dioxide data collection system and has been pressing for additional data elements to include transport work. This will enable shippers to accurately measure their maritime emissions and determine the energy efficiency of vessels.