“How can the industry move forward and streamline contracts” was the topic of one of Breakbulk Europe 2019 panel discussions on day 2 in Bremen, Germany.
Panelists, Mrs. Beata Bac (Global Category Manager Projects, Inbound and International Logistics , Shell), Mrs. Kate Andrews (Underwriter , TT Club), Mr. Michael Giling (Global Business Development Manager Industrial Projects , GEODIS), Mr. Paolo Minetti (Logistics, Transport & Customer Service Director , Alstom), and Mr. Philipp Luehrs (Sr. Vice President, Global Head of Projects , Kuehne + Nagel) all agreed that Project Freight Forwarder contracts are not always fair and definitely not simple in any way.
In the Q & A session Mr. Petrus Bouwhuis (President & CEO of XELLZ B.V.) asked the panel members whether it would be a good idea to start working on an industry standard for Project Freight Forwarders and cargo owners so that 80% of the work can be standardized. If possible, and why not, then only 20% of project specific terms would remain which will make the whole process much more simpler and better understandable. There is too much time every time wasted with every project logistics contract on articles and clauses that could be standardized.
We have spoken to a number of people after the panel discussion and asked them whether there would be an opportunity here for the shippers and project forwarders and all agree that this would be the case.
The panel also agreed that such standardized contract would need to be put together with an independent organization that is represented by an equal number of shippers and project forwarders as well as insurance companies and legal representation to get to a workable contract. An organization like BIMCO who has standardized the contracts for charter parties etc.
This topic is definitely food for thoughts and should be picked up by the industry with open arms.