2016 SAAFF Congress to Host International Speakers


 Political, economic, financial and regulatory factors are playing an ever-increasing role in today’s international trade. The South African Association of Freight Forwarders will be highlighting these aspects with a high-powered line-up of local and international expert speakers at its 2016 Congress. South African Chapter members are urged to attend this crucial industry gathering which takes place on 6 and 7 September 2016 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

 International Experts in Speaker Line-up

“We are pleased to introduce two international speakers who bring a combined 98 years of experience to this year’s congress: Stephen Morris, Chairman of the Customs Affairs Institute of FIATA, and Issa Baluch, a Director at FIATA,” adds Logan.

Mr Morris brings over 45 years of knowledge and experience in regulatory compliance of customs, bio security, transport security and other trade related matters. As a director of several international non-governmental organisations, he represents the interests of service providers in international trade logistics and supply chain management.

Mr Baluch is Chairman of US-based agricultural development company Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd., and serves as Director of Wentworth Resources Limited, an East African focused oil and natural gas producer. He is also a Board member of the UAE-based airline cargo management company, Air Cargo Trader. Mr Baluch is an active industry consultant to supply chain organisations around the world.

“The South African Revenue Service will be playing an active role in this year’s congress, continuing the highly productive collaboration it enjoys with SAAFF’s SARS Working Group on an almost daily basis,” says David Logan, CEO of SAAFF. “The association’s SARS Working Group is currently busy on several projects, including the provision of documented practical processes to the Customs Control Bill; achieve consensus on SARS policy and accounting procedures; facilitate business processes and IT systems integration with SARS Customs, and ongoing analysis of new SARS Legislation, Policies, and tariff and VDN rulings.”

Freight Forwarding Industry Growth

The freight forwarding industry faces a busy task in maintaining fluid trade flows inside and outside the country. Freight forwarding and contract logistics continues to be a growth industry, although this is expected to slow from 3% over the past five years to about 1.5%. Trade routes are becoming more competitive, with declining freight rates placing more reliance on volume revenue and balance sheet strength, especially in emerging markets.

Some of the risks affecting the industry include flat growth due to declining freight rates, especially air freight, and overcapacity in ocean freight, despite rising volumes.

However, there is growing customer demand for freight forwarders who provide advanced logistics capabilities and industry-focused solutions. Companies are responding by restructuring their logistics networks, consolidating service providers and functions, sharing logistics facilities and centralising management.

Keys to Profitability

“A growing key to profitability for freight forwarders is to develop a capability to analyse customer needs and rapidly provide differentiated and advanced logistics solutions using advanced IT platforms, applications and efficient business processes,” adds Logan. “High earning operators also tend to dominate profitable trade lanes and key emerging markets, and actively develop expertise in their customers’ industries, thus providing better service.”

The entire spectrum of South African society and business is in tremendous flux at the moment; the aim of the 2016 SAAFF Congress is to clarify challenges and issues, and propose possible, plausible solutions.

Confirmed speakers and topics include:


Tom Moyane – SARS Commissioner

Transport Logistics – the Wheels of Commerce: Past, Present and Predictions Issa Baluch – Chairman: Africa Atlantic Holdings

Economic Update

Sizwe Nxedlana - Chief Economist: First National Bank

Beyond the Noise: SA Politics 2016 - 2024

Justice Malala – Political Analyst

International Trade and Regional Developments

Geordin Hill-Lewis – Shadow Minister of Trade & Industry

SARS VAT Legal Session

SARS Modernisation – Restructuring and Customs

The World Customs Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Stephen Morris – Chairman of the Customs Affairs Institute of FIATA

There will be a dedicated industry Exhibition running alongside the Congress. SAAFF gratefully acknowledges support from its congress sponsors: Lombard Insurance (Primary Funder); WiseTech Global, Airlink Cargo, Prestmarine, and ShipShape.

For more information on the Congress, visit or phone Catherine Larkin at CVLC – Tel: 011 789-7327 / 787-9127. For more information on the Exhibition, contact Colin Hudson on 083 628 6406 or email -

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