FTA ‘goes global’ with joint seminar for shippers in Canada Mon May 25 16:28:00 BST 2009

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) today shared its expertise on a global scale when it joined the Canadian Industrial Transport Association (CITA) in Toronto for their inaugural joint seminar for shippers.

Recent legal changes to liner and bulk shipping markets in Europe – spearheaded by FTA, its members and other members of the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) – have abolished anti-competitive liner conferences (putting an end to cartels setting rates for trade routes). The seminar addressed how Canadian shippers, forwarders and cargo operators, either importing to or exporting from Europe, can take full advantage of the end of liner conferences to benefit from a previously unattainable level of freedom and bargaining power.

Chris Welsh, FTA’s General Manager for Policy Campaigns, said:

“The ‘old regime’ was a deeply entrenched, 150-years-old part of European business practice. But its abolishment doesn’t just affect European shippers as Canadian shippers operating in the trade between Canada and Europe can now reap some major bottom line rewards if they know how to manage their supply chain partners in this new market environment.

“Shippers can now take advantage of an environment where ocean carriers can no longer fix costs and enter into joint carrier discussions. This presents huge potential competitive advantage as these new arrangements represent opportunities to leverage the shipper’s enhanced bargaining position by renegotiating how shippers do business with carriers.

“This joint seminar with CITA, our Canadian equivalent, will shed new light on what was, up until now, widely perceived by many as a European issue.”

The seminar will be of interest to those involved in other deep sea trades between Canada and the rest of the world as best practice spreads and influences the way business is conducted in wider global shipping markets. Indeed, as the Asia Pacific Economic Council and the Canadian government are now looking closely at non-rate fixing collaborative consortia agreements between ocean carriers the joint seminar provides a timely review of current arrangements under the Canadian Conference Exemption Act 1987.

Welsh concluded:

“Cartels still exist in other Canadian markets, and we hope that as knowledge grows so to will pressure to take Europe’s lead and remove cartels across the world.

“Given the global recession, this seminar will be both timely and useful for businesses looking to improve their supply-chain performance.”

For further information please contact FTA’s media team on 01892 552255/01892 552253 or, out of hours on 07818 450425.



Notes for editors

1. How to take advantage of the abolition of shipping conferences and the wider implications for
bulk shipping services, took place today (25 May) at the Sheraton Toronto Airport.

2. Speakers included:

• Chris Welsh, UK Freight Transport Association

• Mark Clough, QC, European Competition Law Expert, Addleshaw Goddard,

• Robert H Ballantyne PEng, President, CITA

• Marc J Leblanc, Corporate Logistics Manager – Pulp Group, Tembec

• D Brian McDonald, President, Montship Inc

• Doug O’Keefe, Chief, International Marine, Policy & Liability, Transport Canada


FTA Press Office

01892 552255