Shippers’ representatives from Asia, Africa and Europe will meet in Sri Lanka this week to discuss key issues affecting shipping globally.
The Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) holds its annual meeting on 28 and 29 July in Colombo, where a packed agenda will cover pressing topics including mega ships and alliances, container weight verification, carrier surcharges and trade facilitation, shipping and air transport emissions and air cargo issues.
The event is hosted by the Sri Lankan Shippers’ Council, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and features prominent contributors such as Edmund Hughes from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and Djibo Boubacar, Director of the Air Transport Bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
GSF Secretary General Chris Welsh said: “we are also honoured that Mr. Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Hon. Mr. Ranatunga will be attending the Sri Lanka 50th Anniversary and GSF Gala Dinner”.
Chris Welsh added: “There are some really crucial issues that we’ll be exploring in detail, not only for those who ship by sea but also concerning air cargo. The restrictions on transporting lithium batteries on passenger planes and the ban on direct flights from Bangladesh to the UK will be high on the agenda as will be the new emerging market structure for liner shipping and its impacts on shippers.
“IMO’s new container weighing rules which came into force on 1 July and the impact on competition of mega ships and alliances will also be hot topics of discussion – it promises to be a busy couple of days!”
Those represented at the event include household names such as Marks and Spencer who source goods from around the world and other prominent global shippers, participating in key sessions via tele-conferencing facilities.
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In June 2015 Chris Welsh’s work on behalf of shippers and the shipping industry was recognised in the UK by Her Majesty The Queen in The Birthday Honours List with the award of Membership of the Order of the British Empire, MBE.
The Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) is the global voice for shippers, created in 2006 as the successor to the Tripartite Shippers’ Group, first organised in 1994. Like the Tripartite Shippers’ Group, the GSF represents the interests of various national and regional shippers’ organisations in Asia, Europe, North and South America and Africa. The GSF is focused on the impact of commercial developments in the international freight transportation industry and the policy decisions of governments and international organisations that affect shippers and receivers of freight. The GSF was formally incorporated and registered as a non-governmental organisation in the United Kingdom in June 2011.