First Namibian FIATA Graduates

Posted: 13 Apr 2018

Some 30 logistics professionals attended a FIATA graduation ceremony in Walvis Bay yesterday. This is the first time that the internationally recognized FIATA course, which focuses on freight logistics standards and management, was presented in Namibia. The training was organised by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and more than 50 people completed the grueling course last year in November. The course covered topics ranging from INCO terms, international trade, freight forwarding, to supply chain management among others.

Congratulating the students the CEO of Namport and Chairman of the WBCG, Bisey Uirab said the graduation ticked off another box in the drive to enhance the country’s skills and competency. “We are proud to witness the graduation of the first group of FIATA students. This training is a step in the right direction for the local freight forwarders as human capacity building forms part of the development of the country’s logistics industry. We have invested considerable effort and funds to improve our port and logistics infrastructure, but this would be a skewed development, if we did not focus on training people.”

Uirab said it is imperative that Namibia keeps up with advancements and developments in the global logistics industry. “Foreign trade plays a crucial role in our economy, and it is essential that we continuously improve and build on our efficiencies, skills and infrastructure.”

In his address the Chairman of the Walvis Bay Port Users Association, Riaan Lottering, said FIATA training creates diligence and efficiency. “The training refocuses the importance of compliance to regulations in the freight industry. This addresses issues such as corruption, incompetence and delays in the industry. In turn with skilled and knowledgeable logistics professionals, efficiency within the corridors are greatly improved. However, like a formula one racing team, the logistics industry needs to work together to ensure that we maintain the diligence and efficiencies. If one team member breaks the chain, then all is broken.”

More than 257,000 people work in the Namibian logistics industry, accounting for about 10% of the country’s population. The logistics industry contributes about 4.7% of the national GDP. One of the graduates, Ben Louw of Customs said the long hours of study had paid off and urged his fellow graduates to continue building capacity. “Now that you understand the processes and freight standards, Customs will not tolerate exceptions and delays”, he jibed, joking that with the graduates’ new-found knowledge, their employers should in turn consider improvements to their remuneration.

A number of Woker Freight Services, part of Bidvest Namibia, staff also completed the training course.

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