The Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) is all set to organise its 24th Biennial Convention from August 12 to 14, 2022 at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai with the theme: “Logistics-Reshape, Embrace & Surge, in the Digital Era”. This will be the first post-Covid pandemic physical conglomeration of the Customs Brokers/Freight Forwarders as well as the entire logistics industry in India.

Already more than 550 delegates from across India and overseas countries have been registered to attend the three days Convention. The delegates include logistics industry stakeholders, representatives from different ministries of the Government of India, and various State Government participation and industry experts. In this much awaited Convention, delegates will have opportunities to interact with domain experts at six business sessions on current topics aiming to coping up the market trends/demands and expansion of the business horizon to surge. In addition, there will be B2B Sessions and evening entertainment /networking functions.

“I take this as an opportunity to approach each of you to enquire about your safety considering the challenges that we have gone through and are going through for the past few years – a situation that no generation would ever have witnessed. With all the challenges, difficulties, restrictions, lockdowns one profession that defied all constraints and stood out was our logistics industry – to have consistently performed and delivered when the country was locked down. World now realizes the importance and potential of our presence, our performance, and our profession,” said Shankar Shinde, Chairman, FFFAI highlighting the importance of this Convention while keeping in mind the challenging situation the industry went through during last two years.

The FFFAI Chairman further pointed out that the logistics industryis currently witnessing rapid, significant and visible changes especially in the recent years. With India becoming a signatory to the Trade Facilitation Agreement there is an accelerated approach by the Indian Government – more so of the Ministry of Finance – to create a seamless, smooth and swift environment for global cross border trade. “The pace of trade facilitation is so dominant that adapting to such changes is becoming a challenge. Logistics industry is the core center for the success of the trade facilitations and a comprehensive rethink is required in our business environment and business model,” he added emphasizing on the importance of the Convention theme.

In his opinion, while India is taking strong strides and is emerging as one of the fastest developing economies with huge expectations to be in the first few top slots in the years to come aiming to become the USD 5 trillion economy by 2025, there is a need match this growth in all support activities. Galloping global trade requires support services to move to top gear, which is possible only with recast business model, digital enablement, innovative solutions and exploitation of technology to be a dominant global success story.

“We have all these capabilities and more though our only hurdle is to break the shackles of conventional mind set. With all the uncertainties around us, the only certainty is change and our willingness to accept and adapt to such change so as to remain relevant in every time zone. It is in this challenging backdrop that FFFAI will be holding our 24th Biennial Convention after a pause of a year due to the pandemic,” the Chairman added.

AV Vijayakumar, Convention Convenor and Immediate Past Chairman of FFFAI maintained that the mega event i.e the 24th Biennial Convention of FFFAI will be very exciting event as it is being organised after a long gap due to FIATA World Congress hosted by FFFAI in New Delhi in 2018 and the prolonged pandemic situation. The 23rd Biennial Convention of FFFAI was held in 2016 at Kochi.

Vijayakumar informed that delegates would be tremendously benefited from this Convention thanks to thought provoking and well-structured six Business Sessions by the business session convenor and Chairman Elect  Dushyant Mulani which include the following topics: Customs-Regulator to Facilitator; Industry Perspective & Expectation of Customs; WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement; International Best Practices; Digital Global Customs; Digital Transformation for Business Enhancement; Indian Customs Initiatives on Digital Changes; Importance and FFFAI Initiatives for Skill Development; PM Gati Shakti  & Multimodal Logistics Operations; Asset Based Models-New Perspective; New Age Financial Model; Resilient Supply Chains; Global Supply Chains; Overcoming Disruption; Railways Connectivity & Integration; Aviation Industry for the Future and Next Generation & Youth in the Industry , etc.

The Business Sessions will be conducted and addresses by the  expert speakers: P.K.Agarwal, Pr Chief Commissioner, Mumbai Customs Zone 1; Gaurav Masaldan, JS, Customs; Piyush Kumar Shah, Sr Vice President, Reliance Industries Ltd; Uday Pimprikar, Expert on Indirect Tax; Carol West, Secretary IFCBA; Vittal Raj, CA, Kumar & Raj;  André Simha, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company; R Ananth, Deputy Secretary (Customs), CBIC; Vineet Melhrotra, Kale Logistics; Samir Shah, Past Chairman & Advisor, FFFAI; Dr. Malini V Shankar, IAS (Retd), Vice Chancellor, Indian Maritime University; R. Giridharan, Managing Director, TN Apex Skill Development Centre for Logistics; Tej Contractor, President, IIFF; Nirav Thakker, Secretary, IIFF; Capt. Deepak Tewari, MD, MSC (India) Pvt. Ltd; Amrit Lal Meena, IAS, Special Secretary (Logistics); Abhishek Choudhary, Vice President – Corporate Affairs, HR & Company Secretary, National Industrial Corridor Development; Vandana Aggarwal, former Eco Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Amit Maheshwari, CMD, Soft Link;  Shantanu Bhadkamkar, Past Chairman & Advisor, FFFAI; George Abrao, Chairman, Abrao Group;  Harish Shashidhar, DBS Bank; Niraj Ambani, Group President – Supply Chain Reliance Industries Ltd; Pramod Sant, Industry Expert; Dr. Sharmila Amin, Managing Director – South Asia India Bertling Logistics India Pvt. Ltd; Ennarsau Karunesan, IAPH Regional Director to India;  Sanjay Swarup, Director (International Marketing & Operations), CONCOR; Keku Bomi Gazder, MD & CEO, AVIAPRO Logistic Services Pvt. Ltd.; Juma al Maskari, Executive Director – Khazaen Dry Port; B Govindrajan, COO, Tirwin Management Services (P) Ltd;  Vaishnav Shetty, Executive Director, ECU Worldwide; Vaibhav Vora, Managing Director, Continental Carriers Pvt. Ltd; Avishkar Srivastava, Chief Innovation Officer, The PDP Group; Chaitaly Mehta, Director, EKF GLOBAL Logistics Pvt Ltd and other dignitaries.

The inauguration ceremony, which will be held on August 12, will be addressed by Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Govt of India , Cabinet Minister of Ayush; Shashi Kiran Shetty, CMD, All Cargo Logistics and Chairman, NITIE;  Vivek Johri, IRS, Chairman, CBIC;  Amrit Lal Meena, IAS. The valedictory Session, to be held on August 14, will be addressed by Shripad Y. Naik, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

“We convey our gratitude to all who supported FFFAI to make this mega event happened very successfully. Our sincere gratitude is especially to all delegates, dignitaries, speakers, sponsors and media partners,” expressed the FFFAI Chairman Shankar Shinde.

We thank our sponsors for supporting the 24th Biennial Convention of FFFAI are as follow:

Lead-Allcargo Logistics; Platnium-Abrao Group; Gold-Freightify, KSR Freight Forwardes Pvt. Ltd., NTC Logistics India Pvt. Ltd, ASYAD Group, Reliance Industies Ltd.; Silver-MSC Agency (India) Privated Limited, Total Transport Systems Ltd.,Softlink Global Pvt. Ltd., JWR Logistics Private Limited, Cargo Services Center Private Limited, EMU Lines Private Limited, DBS Bank; Inaugural Dinner-Sattva Hi-Tech and Conware Pvt. Ltd.; Dinner-Triway Forwarder Private Limited; Gala Dinner-World Flight Service; Cocktail-ODeX India Solutions Pvt.Ltd, Goodrich Maritime Pvt. Ltd., Hind Terminals Private Limited; Lunch-Kale Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Container Corporation of India, SPJ Cargo Pvt. Ltd.; Business Sessions-Continental Carriers Pvt. Ltd, Teamglobal Logistics Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore International Airport Ltd., Inaugural Tea-The Port of Antwerp-Bruges; Tea-Adarsh Shipping & Services, Mytrux e-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, Navio Shipping Pvt. Ltd., Master Marine Services Ltd., Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal Pvt.Ltd, Dhara Logistics; Lanyard-Hans Informatic Pvt. Ltd.;Entertainment-Flyjac Logistics Pvt. Ltd., Skyways Group, Orchid Shipping Pvt. Ltd.; Hospitality-Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd; B2B-Menzies Aviation Bobba (Bengaluru) Pvt. Ltd; Raffle-KSH Distriparks Ltd., Sanco Trans Ltd., Cordelia Container Shipping Line, La Freightlift Pvt. Ltd. and Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd.