The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and the Asian Shippers’ Meeting (ASM) said they have “agreed to take their cooperation to the next level,” according to a statement.
The two shipper groups met last week in Chiang Rai, Thailand, and “agreed to work closer together on a selected number of truly international issues that have a big impact on shippers in particular and, therefore, on the economy and consumers in general.”
According to the two organizations, the intensified cooperation will further decrease trade barriers.
The two groups said they “agreed that their member companies, in order to cooperate more on a global scale, should make use of already existing structures and organizations, bind them together, and invite individual representatives that are not yet part of an international organization.
“The cooperating organizations will assist each other on education and capacity building to augment the quality of the international logistics community. They will make existing training modules available internationally, set up a cross-cultural exchange program, and develop new international training courses.”
Their first collaborative meeting follows disagreements between the ESC and the Asian Shippers Council (ASC) with other shipper groups such as the U.S. National Industrial Transportation League, U.K Freight Transport Association and the Global Shippers Forum reported in the article “Shipper Schism” in the December issue of American Shipper
. Both the ESC and the ASC opposed a proposal by the U.N’s International Maritime Organization requiring verification of container weights. The proposal was supported by the Global Shippers’ Forum and its members, including the NIT League.
“All organizations present at the joint meeting in Asia agreed to step up their actions in convincing the IMO that the present proposals are wrong," the ESC said.
“The current proposals don’t take into account the full array of causes for potential unsafe situations in the maritime transport of containers,” it continued. “They do not comprise an effective set of measures to improve marine safety. The ESC and ASM will propose amendments and suggestions to improve the draft position in the IMO.”
John Lu, the chairman of the Asia Shippers Council, explained that the "Asian Shippers Meeting is a group evolved from the Asian Tripartite Meeting, which consists of Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, some 10 years ago. Their members were also members of ASC and still are. ASC membership consists of 19 shippers' councils in 17 countries, and our membership has grown over the years, and we have never lost a member."