Global Shippers Forum (GSF) is the global business organisation speaking up for exporters and importers as the owners of goods and cargo in international trade.
Global shippers’ contract with shipping lines, airlines, road hauliers and rail freight operators to have their goods across continents and around the world.
GSF’s members are national and regional shippers’ associations who in turn represent manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing businesses in over 25 countries across five continents.
GSF works for safe, competitively efficient and environmentally sustainable global trade and logistics by advancing the interests of shippers. Priority topics currently include:
costs of shipping and container shortages in global shipping markets
surcharges and quality of service provision by shipping lines
attainment of greenhouse gas emission reductions targets in all transport modes
safe packing of containers and avoidance of contamination by invasive pest species
trade facilitation and improvements to Customs and border procedures
digitalisation of maritime and air cargo shipments, use of blockchain technologies
cyber security assurance and protection of data
security of cargo in transit – anti compliance with anti-theft and anti-terrorism controls
professional development of shippers and recruitment of the next generation
supply chain resilience and crisis management, especially of global health emergencies
The GSF Secretariat is based in the UK but is connected globally and focussed on delivering high quality, tangible outcomes and outputs that are informed by evidence and the objectives of member organisations. We aim to inform, inspire and stand behind shippers in the conduct of global trade by:
briefing, influencing and interpreting the decisions of international regulatory bodies on key policy issues, including IMO, ICAO, WCO, FAO, IPPC, WTO.
networking with the international business community in pursuit of safer, fairer and more sustainable trade and logistics, including: World Bank, OECD, UNCTAD, WSC, IATA, FIATA, ICHCA, ICC, insurers, legal profession and others.
briefing journalists and media organisations on the vital role shippers play in international trade, including: Financial Times, Journal of Commerce, Bloomberg.
producing original, informed, high-quality, briefing material and advice for shippers in the performance of their role, including Newsletters, Briefing Notes, White Papers, Compliance Guides.
We develop other services with trusted partners to provide unique or exclusive support to shippers, including webinars, training, audits, research programmes and consultancy services.
GSF is a trade organisation, owned and governed by its members, through a Board of non-Executive Directors. It is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in England, number 7667177.
GSF membership is open to all businesses acting as a shipper or cargo owner in international trade.
Since 1994 when the Tripartite Shippers’ Group (TSG) consisting of the US National Industrial League, ASC and European shippers first got together in Brussels, shippers’ views have been represented at an international level. By 1996 this informal grouping had expanded to shippers organisations from over 50 countries - GSF was born.
Today, GSF represents shippers in all the world’s major trading regions, including Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australasia.
On a day-to-day basis GSF is lobbying, educating and influencing government and inter-government organisations on an expanding range of regulatory and trade issues affecting shippers, and in doing so raising the profile of shippers and their interests.
The formal incorporation of GSF and the establishment of a permanent secretariat based in the UK was agreed in June 2011 now positions GSF to more professionally represent shippers’ views at the highest level of global government. GSF was formally launched on 1 July 2011.
What results has GSF achieved for shippers?
Here are some recent examples of successes GSF has secured for shippers:
The abolition of liner conferences and price fixing and capacity agreements in all trades to and from Europe
Persuaded the ILO/IMO not to introduce new regulations increasing shippers' responsibilities for the safe stowage of containers throughout the whole supply chain in favour of enhanced guidelines in the promotion of training and best practice
Influenced the outcome of the recent INCOTERMS revision by the International Chamber of Commerce
What is GSF campaigning for?
GSF is campaigning on the issues that most affect shippers, including competitive and efficient shipping markets by all modes to improve the performance of shippers’ logistics and supply chains. We are therefore campaigning for:
Regulatory reform in ocean transportation in Asia and North America
Board and Secretariat of the Global Shippers' Forum
Global Shippers' Forum is governned by a Board of Directors drawn form the membership and confirmed at Annual General Meeting The Board is responsible for supervision of the management of GSF, including its finances and corporate governance and overall mission and pupose.
GSF Board of Directors
Sean Van Dort
Chairman, Sri Lankan Shippers' Council Chairman of the GSF Board of Directors
If you are a shipper (importer or exporter) organising the movement of goods around the world you can join the Global Shippers' Forum (GSF) by becoming a member of one of the national organisations in membership of GSF listed below.