In early October the UAE’s National Association of Forwarding and Logistics (NAFL) hosted a workshop for its members as part of its AGM proceedings. The group invited freight transport insurance specialist TT Club to present an overview of the risk profile that freight forwarders and logistics operators in the region are experiencing and the insurance cover available to mitigate such risk.
Held at Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and attended by some 140 representatives of the UAE’s freight transport community, the comprehensive workshop was run by TT executives Andrew Kemp, Regional Director Europe, Middle East & Africa; Julien Horn, Senior Underwriter with special responsibility for the Middle East and Brian Reckerman, Senior Claims Handler of TTMS Gulf based in Dubai.
The Club, which celebrated its 45th anniversary this year, insures over 900 transport operators throughout the world. Drawing on this wealth of experience, the three presenters outlined how the demands on freight forwarders from their customers are changing rapidly from the traditional organization of international movement of goods. Increasingly forwarders are providing involved logistics services such as warehousing and distribution, procurement of additional product for sub-assembly and packaging and even software uploading; opening them up to the extended liability that exists as a consequence. In addition, forwarders are increasingly accepting contractual responsible for the full value of goods throughout lengthy and involved supply chains.
TT warned that these demands often put an onerous risk on the forwarder, who is under considerable competitive pressure to accept such liability as a carrier.
Such risk can be further compounded when employing subcontractors, as obtaining their acceptance of the same risk is difficult. Indeed the workshop also underlined the difficulty forwarders in the Middle East have in sourcing reliable trucking companies that are fully insured for liability risk. TT Club applauded the initiative put in place by the NAFL to improve this situation by establishing insurance compliance standards for designated ‘safe operators.’ Until compliance is fully adopted by the region’s haulage industry adequate insurance cover for many transport operators will remain a problem.
David Phillips, Chairman of the NAFL and CEO of Freight Systems LLC thanked the TT Club representatives for the informative workshop and presented them with an award in recognition of their expertise.