Independent freight forwarders find network links with other logistics groups pays off: Handy Shipping Guide

THAILAND – SRI LANKA – WORLDWIDE – Considering our recent piece regarding the way shipping and logistics conferences are returning to fashion with many in the freight community thoughts turn to the growth of industry networks which many freight forwarders in particular use to commence and develop trusted partnerships with counterparts overseas.

Most independent agents cannot possibly consider having offices anywhere but in the countries which form their principal markets and, as those are dependent upon the needs of each individual customer and can, quite literally, extend right across the globe, the need for an agent with at least a degree of recommendation is essential.

The network system, if properly supervised, can grant credibility to an agent who must adhere to sound principals or find themselves forsaken by their peers and effectively blacklisted. The same management can also act as arbiters in the case of a dispute and effectively act as a crucial hub for all its members. This month saw the second annual meeting for an embryonic network which claims to be the only one of its type as it is ‘city exclusive’.

One hundred and fifteen members of the Conqueror Network gathered in Bangkok between May 8-10 to hold hundreds of one to one meetings and see a new marketing strategy launched. With representatives hailing from over fifty countries the target for the group is to work co-operatively to serve customers globally and overcome client perceptions that independent forwarders are not equipped to provide a truly worldwide service. The latest campaign aims to assist members to self-promote using tools such as a brochure personalised for each member company.

As one delegate explained, ‘With the multinationals gaining ground daily, I can’t afford for my company to become stagnant. This brochure will aid our team in our promotion to potential clients.’ Conqueror’s Managing Director, Antonio Torres commented:

“Co-operation is one important element in our strategy for boosting the business volume of our members; another is our city-exclusivity, like the multinationals, and the third and most important is our annual meeting. Our second meeting has seen an increase of 33% in attendance, 25% in countries represented and 40% in one-to-one meetings available. The numbers speak for themselves.”

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