The Russian Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistic Organizations
In world practice the Freight Forwarder, otherwise known as the Architect of the Transport, plays a significant role in creation of the transport chain of movement of the goods from producers to consumers. And so it is customary to call the freight forwarder by the above said name. In confirmation of this nickname-slogan we may use the fact that eighty percent of the world trade is carried out with the assistance of freight forwarding companies or thanks to freight forwarders.
The Russian Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistic Organizations was established in September 1990 on the base of the freight forwarding organizations being in existence since the middle of the past century. The last re-registration of the Association caused by some alterations to the statutes and changes in its name was made in March, 2001.
In accordance with its statutes the Association is a noncommercial organization uniting on a voluntary basis freight forwarding companies and firms of different forms of property with the aim of expansion of cooperation among them, coordination of their activities, protection of their rights as well as presentation and promotion of the common freight forwarding interests at the state bodies, public and international organizations.
The Association has not the aim of extraction of profit from its activities. In case of getting any profit such a profit is subject to be used for its statutes purposes.
The Association independently makes out the plans of its activities in accordance with the statutes and on the basis of the resolutions passed by its members.
The Association ensures achievement of its statutes goals by the following ways:
1. Joining up freight forwarding organizations to a single national association.
Such unification is extremely necessary for the freight forwarders themselves as the Association serves them as a certain proof for their high professional quality, financial stability and deserved business reputation.
Membership in the association gives to any freight forwarder the name with a "capital letter" and this fact serves as a good advantage for obtaining orders for rendering freight forwarding services to the customers. Membership in the Association of any freight forwarding company is not less important for customers in general. This membership serves for the customers as a certain guarantee for obtaining qualitative and reliable freight forwarding services.
Amalgamation of the national freight forwarders to a united organization is also for the Association sheer necessity for its normal activities and accomplishment of its tasks.
Economic structures of such country as Russia cannot function successfully without advanced development of transport and freight forwarding complex. Such complex is really the backbone of the country's economics. Striking illustration to this assertion may be 150 thousand kilometers of railways, 950 thousand kilometers of automobile roads, 44 sea and 128 river ports. In the country there are about 600 thousand railway wagons, almost 17,5 thousand of locomotives, 1120 ocean vessels of 12 mln.t of deadweight, 108 thousand truck companies with about 4,3 mln. lorries, 10 thousand of river ships and more than 5 thousand of different aircraft. The above transport infrastructure and means of transport resulted in 2006 with about 2,200 mlrd. t.km (without pipelines) of freight turnover, including transportation of about 1300 mln.t by rail, 415 mln.t were handled at our sea ports, 133 mln.t by river, 6,8 mlrd.t by lorries and 600 thousand tons by air. And it goes without saying that it would be impossible to achieve the abovementioned results without participation of the freight forwarders, the majority of which are members of The Russian Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistic Organizations.
2. Protection of the Association members' interests on the Russian freight forwarding services market, coordination of their efforts in the field of expansion of business activities, rejection and avoiding unlawful and dishonest competition. Presentation and promotion of the freight forwarders interests in state bodies, public and other organizations.
These activities are carried out in two directions: firstly - within the framework of the branches of public committees and councils attached to power structures and public organizations. Within the framework of the said committees and councils the Association renders to its members assistance in providing them with optimum conditions for their professional activities and achievement of high economic efficiency; secondly – in accordance with its statutes' duties and obligations the Association accomplishes the aforesaid tasks directly with the power authorities taking part in discussions of drafts of various legal rules concerning transport and freight forwarding, tax and customs activities, including the Customs Code, Tax Code; different transport codes and laws. In particular, the association had a leading role in preparation and working out of the "Federal law about transport-forwarding activities", the Law was adopted by the Parliament and signed by the President of the country on June 30, 2003. In September 2006 the government adopted National freight forwarding rules.
On behalf of its members the Association applies to various state and government bodies with the problems to be solved, including those cases when the member of the association for one or other reason does not want to make a show of itself. It is explained rather simply: there are many possibilities to exert influence on a commercial organization and to take some economic measures against such organization. And on the contrary it is impossible to exert influence on the Association as a non-commercial entity and to take economic measures against it. Under these circumstances the Association using its independent statutes may exert influence on the state and government bodies of various fields of activities by applying to the authorities and clearing up actions of one or another official authority or its representative.
3. Representation of the Russian freight forwarders in the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and protection of their interests on the world market of freight forwarding services.
Since 1992 the Association has been representing the interests of the Russian freight forwarders at FIATA as a major national freight forwarders association. About 90 Russian freight forwarders are accepted to FIATA membership on individual basis. This fact serves as a positive demonstration of incoming of Russian freight forwarders to the world freight forwarding society.
The Association actively conducts its business on introduction of FIATA forms and documents into Russian freight forwarding practice.
In August 2018 about 74 members of the Association had the right to issue to their customers FIATA forms and documents.
Possession by a freight forwarder of the right to issue FIATA's Multimodal transport bill of lading, Multimodal transport waybill, Forwarders certificate of transport, Warehouse receipt etc. is a striking illustration of high professionalism of freight forwarders and a guarantee of high quality of freight forwarding services.
4. Providing the Association members with information and consultative services.
It is well known that in modern market conditions it is quite impossible to reach any significant result without sufficient information. From the very beginning of the activities of the Association, which is from 1990, members of the Association have been supplied with the documents and materials clarifying and regulating freight forwarding activities and the branches of economy connected with these activities. In summary, the Association has managed to avoid information vacuum in its relations with the members.
Participation in exhibitions and conferences of transportation and freight forwarding themes plays a very important role in the Association activities. The Association is a permanent participant"of "Trans-Russia" exhibition.
5. Vocational training of freight forwarding personnel and rendering assistance in improvement of freight forwarders professional skill.
Achievement of this goal is fulfilled with the help of the Center of vocational training set up by the Association. Every year five special courses of two weeks program and several one-three days seminars on actual freight forwarding problems are conducted. A good part of the training is carried out with so called "visiting on the places" that is with conducting of the training in the premises of the companies. Graduating from these trade-improvement courses is acknowledged by the official certificate. In October 1999 during the FIATA World Congress in Dubai the Association defended 180-hour syllabus of vocational training in accordance with the FIATA international standards and obtained the right of issuing to the audience the FIATA Diplomas. Since then up to now several hundred students were awarded these Diplomas.
6. System of voluntary certification The Russian Association of Forwarding and Logistic Organizations
The system is developed: by The Russian Association of Forwarding and Logistic Organizations together with All-Russia research institute of certification.
It is registered in the uniform register of the registered systems of voluntary certification of Federal agency on technical regulation and metrology, registration № РОСС RU.М305.04РФ00 from March, 22, 2006.
It is commissioned since March, 22, 2006.
The system of voluntary certification of The Russian Association of Forwarding and Logistic Organizations is unique system in Russia. The voluntary certification in the field of the transport-forwarding services is based on National standards GOST Р 52297-2004 and GOST Р 52298-2004.
It pursues the basic purpose - to confirm to cargo owners reliability of the forwarding and logistic companies rendering forwarding services. The Certificate of conformity, issued on completion of certification, is the document confirming the conformity of transport-forwarding services rendered by the forwarder to the National standards regulating transport-forwarding activity. Carrying out the certification of the transport-forwarding companies is one of the factors of the rise of a status and competitiveness of these companies on the domestic and international markets of transport-forwarding services.
In several cases the certificates of conformity, given to the company helped to win the tenders for transportation of the goods both in the country and abroad. The certificates improved the relations of the transport-forwarding companies with the state and local authorities since such forwarder could confirm his professional status by the document. The certificate of conformity allows the forwarding company to position itself before power structures of all levels as the diligent participant of civil relations.
In accordance with tne agreement between the association and FIATA Secretariat the information about FAR members which were certified is being kept in FIATA special files for the most reliable and respectable Russian freight forwarding companies.