Interview with Stephen McDermott, Director of Education and Marketing of CIFFA

Over the past decade, CIFFA’s freight forwarding courses have attracted over 15,000 individuals and are now taught in 16 post-secondary colleges within international business and supply chain programs”

CIFFA- freight forwarding courses
Stephen McDermott

This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Stephen McDermott, the Director of Education and Marketing of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA). Conqueror Freight Network started its cooperation with CIFFA last year, in order to offer members very special and competitive prices for some of the best forwarding courses.

Conqueror Freight Network has just opened registration for the highly sought-after International Transportation and Trade course. Members can already enrol for the course that will start on 2nd October 2023. During our interview, Mr. McDermott provided us with a comprehensive overview of the purpose and significance of CIFFA’s freight forwarding courses. He emphasized how these courses have been instrumental in enhancing the professional skills, expertise, and abilities of those employed in the logistics sector. Mr. McDermott also highlighted CIFFA’s exceptional reputation as a first-rate educational institution within the industry. Moreover, he delved into various aspects such as the course content, their collaboration with Conqueror, and much more.

Q. When did you start offering logistics courses?

A. The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association was founded in September 1948 in Montreal. It was started by a small group of freight forwarders who recognized the necessity for an industry association that could cater to the professional needs of its members. We have been offering freight forwarding courses for more than 40 years.

Q. How many students have you had up to now?

A. Over the past decade, these courses have attracted an impressive membership base, with over 15,000 individuals benefiting from the comprehensive knowledge and expertise provided. The International Transportation and Trade and the Essentials of Freight Forwarding are the two CIFFA freight forwarding courses offered by Conqueror Freight Network’s Online Academy.

Q. How did you come up with the idea of launching logistics courses?

A. CIFFA’s logistics courses were deemed essential for training our 300+ members who are freight forwarding companies in Canada. The courses are used by members in Canada as initial training for new recruits. The courses are also advantageous for people seeking to further their careers. Additionally, the same courses are now taught in 16 post-secondary colleges within international business and supply chain programs.

“Our freight forwarding courses are created to provide knowledge, but also to test the learners understanding, and apply what they have learned to real world freight forwarding scenarios… Overall, our courses enjoy very high approval rates from students

Q. What benefits do your courses have for freight forwarders?

A. CIFFA’s freight forwarding courses are created to provide knowledge, but also to test the learners understanding, and apply what they have learned to real-world freight forwarding scenarios. Moreover, in a rapidly evolving industry driven by constant technological advancements, continual learning is imperative. Our logistics training courses keep the learners updated with the needs of logistics 4.0 and help them secure their position in the industry.

Q. Who formulated the logistics courses?

A. The course content is written by a conglomerate of subject matter experts working and teaching within the profession.  Their expertise is sought regularly to ensure the course is up-to-date and relevant.

Q. How did CIFFA acquire this high reputation?

A. CIFFA will celebrate 75 years in 2023, dedicated to offering membership and advocacy services to the logistics industry. Since our inception, we have created strong roots and partnerships within the industry that we can call upon.  This includes our education programs that our members rely on to teach the vital skills and competencies required of their employees. Moreover, CIFFA continually builds on this experience and listens to feedback from students and the industry to create the highest quality education programs. Overall, our courses enjoy very high approval rates from students.

Q. Who would you recommend the courses to?

A. Our courses are for learners looking to start a career in freight forwarding, new employees at a freight forwarding organization, and those who wish to further their careers in a variety of ways. Therefore, one of the primary benefits of these freight forwarding courses is that they can be taken by newcomers in the industry to acquire skills and knowledge. They can also be taken by experienced forwarders who want to stay updated with industry trends.

Q. What do you think about your cooperation with Conqueror?

A. Conqueror Freight Network is an excellent partner who has a commitment to bringing education to its members globally. We started our cooperation with them last year for them to offer the International Transportation and Trade Course and Essentials of freight Forwarding Course and we are very happy with this productive partnership!


Interview with Maria Serrano the PR and Event Coordinator of Conqueror Freight Network

“The most exciting part of the Annual Meeting is seeing how the relationships among members become friendships with years, it is really moving to watch them hug and get so excited to meet each other again”

This week you will be reading an interview with Maria Serrano, who is in charge of PR and Event Coordination of Conqueror Network. Maria plays a major role in the planning and organization of Conqueror’s Annual Meetings. Additionally, she is also responsible for the network’s communication as well as the coordination and development of Conqueror’s online publicizing strategy for members. Before joining Conqueror, Maria worked with different international companies managing projects in trade shows worldwide, developing marketing campaigns and organizing events.

Maria Serrano, PR & Event Coordinator of Conqueror Freight Network

Q. Let’s begin with your experience at Conqueror Freight Network

A. I joined Conqueror’s team 6 years ago and saw how it has been growing since then. I really appreciate working with my colleagues and we get along really well. Since joining Conqueror, my task has been to figure out several promotional strategies for our members. My prior experience in journalism has sharpened my writing/communication skills and research ability all of which are important in my line of work. Working with Conqueror has taught me many new things and the perfect work ambience here allows me to do my job with utmost care and precision.

Q. What does your job consist of? Do you find your everyday tasks exciting?

A. The most important aspects of my job include organizational work for Conqueror’s Annual Meetings and managing the communication and marketing of the company. I really enjoy doing my job, specially the creative part. I learn everyday from my colleagues and also from members, it is really exciting to hear their work stories and how they manage to develop them. Additionally, arranging all the preparations for the Meeting is challenging, but at the same time, really comforting. Especially, when we see how the relationships among members become friendships with years, it is really moving watching them hug and so excited to meet each other again. You realize that Conqueror is a big family that has been embracing new members from the very beginning. Then, the Meeting is over and the whole team is thrilled every time a member congratulates us for our work. This appreciation from our members cannot be compared with any other feeling.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

A. Choosing the best hotel, restaurant, band, photographers, and making other necessary arrangements for the meeting is perhaps my most challenging task. I have to do this task scrupulously so that all our members are happy and get to connect in the best possible environment. Also, organizing the whole event is a complicated job since there are many details to take into account. Furthermore, as we are far away this task involves a whole lot of phone calls, emails and videochats. When it comes to our members’ experience during the meeting we can’t make any mistakes!

Q. What is the most important objective of the Marketing and PR team?

A. The primary objective of our PR and Marketing team is to promote our members’ companies in every possible way. Moreover, it is also our task to arrange for a seamless Annual Meeting experience and make sure that the members are making the most of it.

Q. What do you like most about your work?

A. The commendable office environment allows me to be creative and innovative about every aspect of my job. As an American writer and PR specialist Ronn Torossian puts it, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” It goes without saying that in spite of all its challenges my work is highly engaging and I thoroughly enjoy brain wracking to find the best solutions for our members.

Q. What can attending to Annual Meeting do for members?

A. The meetings help to foster a collaborative spirit by bringing together all the members. Moreover, the formal meetings and the informal chitchats, day tours and parties help to strengthen the bonding among the network members. Because of the Coronavirus we couldn’t arrange an in-person meeting in the last two years. Therefore, we are very excited since after two long years we are eagerly waiting to meet our members in person. We received loads of good comments about the organization and good connections made by Conqueror members, which is by far our best reward.

Honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty, and fairness are some of the values that drive me… I believe that the success of our team lies with the success of our members.

Q. How does Conqueror help to publicize the members’ activities?

A. We always encourage members to send us the latest news from their end. This allows us to create a promotional news piece about our members achievement that we publish on our news section every Friday. The members are also interviewed from time to time so that they get a chance to give their option about the industry defining issues and get a chance to talk about their services, experiences and specialties. We also make sure to promote this news on our social media pages where we encourage all our followers to read that news. Additionally, Conqueror’s SEO optimization endeavours further increase the visibility of the news which translates to greater popularity of our members.

Q. What are the latest marketing endeavours of Conqueror in 2022?

A. In 2022, we have implemented several different marketing actions. This includes the upgrading of our members area, addition of many new features to our website, the launch of logistics courses, the creation of web apps for the meetings and the implementation of an SEO strategy. We are presently working on the implementation of many more useful marketing strategies. However, the details will be revealed at the right time!

Q. What are the values that motivate you?

A. Honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty, and fairness are some of the values that drive me. I try to incorporate these values in every aspect of my task and I make sure to abide by these work ethics. I believe that the success of our team lies with the success of our members.

Interview with Jane Lan, the Overseas Manager of Conqueror Chengdu

“In the last 16 years CIMC Andashun has grown up from an infant to a youth, handling projects for international companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Gree, Walmart, ZTE etc, we also undertake server transportation, sea freight, rail freight, intermodal transportation, etc.”

This week we interviewed Jane Lan, the Overseas Manager of CIMC Andashun, Conqueror Chengdu, who has recently completed 16 years in business. In this interview, Ms Lan tells us about the early years of the company, how it started growing, their 16th anniversary, the things they have achieved over the years and much more.

Q. When and how did you get into the freight forwarding industry?

A. I have been very interested in international trade and logistics since my college days. This is why I decided to work with a freight forwarding company. I joined CIMC Andashun because it has an enthusiastic team and provides a good platform for the employees. I have been with CIMC Andashun for 6 years and I plan to keep working here for many more years to come.

Q. Today you are celebrating the 16th anniversary of your company. Congratulations! What does this anniversary mean for your team?

A. This is absolutely a very special day for us and we are delighted to share this joy with all the members. For the last 16 years, our company has focused on 4 primary pillars- integrity, innovation, pragmatism and efficiency. Providing unparalleled logistics services regardless of the circumstances every day for the last 16 years has been quite a feat! No matter the situation, the one thing which we never did was give up.
On the occasion of our 16th anniversary, we want to thank all our partners and customers for the years of support to CIMC Anda Shun, which inspires us to continue fulfilling our mission as a leading logistics company.
By celebrating this 16th anniversary, we are also celebrating the success of the entire team. This is a very special day which is like a reservoir of energy for the coming days so that our victory does not stop but goes on for years. I am confident that many more anniversaries, success stories and achievements will come our way!
CIMC Anda Shun
16th Anniversary Celebrations of Conqueror Chengdu

Q. How were the beginnings of your company?

A. Internally, CIMC Andashun has been led by an excellent management team which guides us whenever there is any potential challenge. We are also facilitated by an active sales team and an operation team, that makes our internal atmosphere innovative and open. Externally, CIMC Andashun has been actively keeping close contact with airlines, shipping lines and network partners for all these years. Our good performance also attracted the attention of CIMC Group company. Last year we finished the strategic investment from them. We have been committed to the goal of becoming a leading international logistics company.

Q. How did CIMC change in all these years?

A. CIMC Andashun was founded in 2006 iby our CEO Mr Gerry Yang, who has many years of logistics experience – He worked at Air China for years. From that year, CIMC has been growing and growing and our team formed by over 500 employees is becoming stronger with the time.

Q. What are the biggest challenges you have faced during these 16 years?

A. As a logistics company, we meet the challenges everyday because the market is not so stable and competition was always there from the very  beginning. Although it is hard to indicate what are the biggest challenges so far, still we have to admit that the COVID-19 had a specially unpredictable impact on every company. Luckily we did a good job so far, and we are ready to face the upcoming challenges.

 “By celebrating this 16th anniversary, we are also celebrating the success of the entire team. On its way to the next 16 years, we will certainly experience more setbacks and challenges, but we also will overcome them and make many more achievements.


Q. What have you achieved along these years?

A. We received hundreds of honours, cups, awards and certificates over the years. Last year, we ranked 12 in terms of China’s International Freight Forwarding & Logistics Airport Business Incomes and in 2020 we ranked as one of the top 20 companies in the Chinese private freight forwarding and logistics business.

CIMC Anda Shun
The CIMC Anda Shun Team

Q. What distinguishes CIMC from other freight forwarders?

A. CIMC Andashun always pays a lot of attention to the market trends and the expectations of our partners and customers.  We can flexibly adjust the transportation strategy in time according to the market conditions in order to provide the best solutions for our partners and customers.

Q. What has been the most significant shipment your team has handled?

A. CIMC Andashun makes a yearly summary at the end of each year. However, it’s hard to tell which one is the most significant shipment we have handled as all partner/customers are equally important for us. Apart from handling projects for international companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Gree, Walmart, ZTE etc, we also handle server transportation, sea freight, rail freight, intermodal transportation in the China-South America route and elsewhere, etc. The services that we can offer are diverse and professional, we can do what many other logistics company can’t do, and we value every shipment no matter if it is big or small. Maybe the most significant shipment is always in the near future.

Q. Where do you see CIMC in the next 16 years?

A. In the last 16 years CIMC Andashun has grown up from an infant to a youth. People in their youth always have unlimited possibilities. So has our company.

On its way to the next 16 years, CIMC Andashun will certainly experience more setbacks and challenges, but also it will overcome those challenges and make many more achievements. We believe that CIMC Andashun will be more brilliant and powerful on the international stage 16 years from now.

Interview with Ricardo Orchansky, Manager of Conqueror Cordoba

“There is a saying which very much applies to our company- Think globally act locally- and this is what our motto is. Transportation and logistics is a niche sector, which enables us to be connected with the world on a daily basis, learn from what other agents do, and apply it at a local level later.”

This week we interviewed Mr. Ricardo Orchansky, the Manager of Cordoba Internacional SRL, Conqueror member in Cordoba, Argentina. In this interview, Mr Orchansky talks about his early years in the logistics industry, his company’s 43rd Anniversary, its recent achievements and much more.

Q. Why did you choose a career in the freight forwarding industry?

A. While studying for a degree in public accounting at the Department of Economic Sciences, I entered the institute’s Business Administration Department after a competitive exam. While studying there I attended a course on the Exports of Cordoba which I found very interesting. Once I graduated from the university with the title of Public Accountant in 1977, I started working at a travel agency. This was when I began thinking about how I could combine foreign trade with the knowledge I acquired in the travel agency. At this time, I came up with the idea of setting up an air cargo agency.

Q. Tell us about the early years of Cordoba International.

A. More than forty years back, there were hardly any air cargo agencies in Argentina, except for a few in Buenos Aires. So I decided to travel 700 Km to Buenos Aires as it was not possible for me to gain knowledge of this industry in Cordoba. In Buenos Aires, I started talking with several airline managers who guided me on how I could set up an air freight company in Cordoba. I established Cordoba Internacional SRL when I was just 27 years old. My only asset was a counter that I rented.

Moreover, I paid the rent of the office with ‘promises’ that soon we would have enough income to pay the rent! This is how I started this company which was legally founded in 1979. Since then, we have become an agent authorized in IATA and we have been offering a wide range of services: air cargo, national and international moving services, live animals shipping, artwork shipping and packaging, warehouse and distribution and logistical services for companies in the petroleum, medical or food industries.

Cordoba Internacional- logistics company
The Cordoba Internacional team

Q. Your company is now 43 years old. How do you feel about this? Did you celebrate your 43rd Anniversary?

A. I am extremely delighted to celebrate 43 years in the industry! Being able to withstand all the ups and downs of the country and keep serving our customers was quite a challenge. Moreover, my son Marcello, who started working with us when he was just 15 years old, has greatly helped us confront the challenges of the sector. He graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and Customs Broker, bringing a new vision to the company, in addition to the incorporation of new services. We have not been able to carry out the celebration that we had planned, because some members of our staff, as well as some of our clients, have recently had Covid. We have therefore decided to do it later.

Q. What has been your greatest success during these years?

A. It is difficult to define the success of our company with a single event. I would rather like to define our success as a combination of several events that together have allowed us to grow and continue providing our services. To begin with, we have a team who have been trained over the years and who work like an orchestra since each one perfectly knows how to carry out their activity. By listening to our clients and our collaborators we have been able to come this far. Additionally, the implementation of ISO 9001/2000 quality standards in 1999 was very beneficial for our company. Over the years, we have developed a strong network of partners around the world who allows us to increase the scope of our operations.

Furthermore, we have made massive investments in technology and in the development of new services by closely observing our competitors. We make sure to abide by the vision and mission of our company. Success is measured when you receive a new order from the same client, which implies that they are satisfied with the previous one.

Lastly, we have received several awards and distinctions some of which were granted to us by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. In 2008, we made it to a short list of three candidates for a prize being awarded by the newspaper La Nacion together with TCA (Airport Tax Authorities). There is a saying which very much applies to our company- Think globally act locally- and this is what our motto is. Transportation and logistics is a niche sector, which enables us to be connected with the world on a daily basis, learn from what other agents do, and apply it at a local level later.

Q. What has been the most difficult shipment you have had to carry out?

A. One of the most noteworthy shipments we have handled was moving a circus to Moscow. Another challenging shipment was moving a cargo for a laboratory of blood products with dry ice exchange at each airport. We also had the opportunity to handle a shipment for the Embalse Nuclear Power Plant, in Argentina. Additionally, we coordinated shipments to Mexico from various European and American Suppliers with the purpose of moving a machinery to an Argentine factory under construction in Mexico.

“We have had the opportunity to handle very challenging shipping, like moving a circus to Moscow, or a cargo for a laboratory of blood products with dry ice exchange at each airport or shipment for the Embalse Nuclear Power Plant, in Argentina, etc

Q. What distinguishes your company from your competitors?

A. The trajectory of our company in the last 4 decades surely attests to our experience in this sector. Moreover, our highly qualified staff, our competitiveness and the list of services we offer are some of the factors that distinguishes our company from the rest.

Q. What are the challenges faced by the industry at the moment?

A. The pandemic created a change of scenarios in the freight forwarding industry that to this day the industry has not been able to resolve. Some of the changes include high costs for ocean and air freight, delays, space shortage in both air and sea freight, and higher cost of imports. Additionally, coping with the digital transformation of the shipping lines and the airlines is challenging for the traditional freight forwarders.

Q. How the Cordoba Internacional team is dealing with these challenges?

A. The important thing is to be able to adapt and manage to be responsible agents for the clients. We are providing our clients with everything we can so that they do not feel isolated or don’t know how to proceed in the face of all the challenges that I have mentioned in the previous point.

Q. Where do you see your company in the next ten years?

A. I see us offering even more services. We are currently developing Self Storage, a complementary service to the ones we have today. This service will enable us to reach new clients of sole proprietorships and SMEs that require additional spaces for their inventories, those who sell online and need to be able to have the merchandise in a suitable place, or people who must move and have not yet defined the place where they will reside. Additionally, we will continue enhancing efficiency in the existing services we provide to our clients. The world has changed a lot since the pandemic and then we had the Russian invasion of Ukraine. All of these changed the scenarios of world trade, for which we must be increasingly closer to customers in order to accompany them in the implications of these changes in freight forwarding scenarios.

For shipment requirements to/from Cordoba, Argentina, do not hesitate to contact the experts

Interview with Anibal del Diego, Conqueror’s Membership Development Coordinator

“My job is to make sure that the number of Conqueror agents keeps growing steadily so as to provide our members with coverage in all the major cities/ports around the world.”

This week we interviewed Anibal del Diego, Conqueror’s Membership Development Coordinator. Anibal is responsible for conducting extensive research about the applicants before recruiting the most reliable and capable independent freight forwarders.

Conqueror Freight Network for independent freight forwarders
Anibal del Diego, Conqueror’s Membership Development Coordinator                                       

Moreover, his other task consists of finding new sales leads and selecting reliable forwarders as Conqueror members. Before joining Conqueror, Anibal gained years of experience in the Sales and Customer Service department. His experience with multinationals gave him a thorough idea of objective-driven performance to ensure ultimate customer satisfaction. Additionally, Anibal’s social interaction skills allow him to offer an affirmative and determined approach to Conqueror’s customer relationship management.

Q. We would like to know a bit about your experience at Conqueror Freight Network.

A. The time I have spent with my wonderful team at Conqueror has been extremely satisfying. We have a small team with a close bonding and working with them is a productive and pleasant experience. Over the years we have been working together to resolve our customer’s problems and think up the most innovative solutions. Most importantly, Conqueror has taught me a great deal about client communication, client research, and enrolling new agents for even greater network coverage.

Q. Tell us about your job. Do you find your everyday tasks interesting?

A. My daily tasks are both engaging and demanding at the same time. My primary job is to conduct thorough research about the companies of the applicants to determine their reliability. As you know, we only accept dependable and financially secure members to ensure a safe work environment for all our members.

Additionally, being the Membership Development Coordinator, I am the first person our members contact before making it to the network. Lastly, I also need to contact potential members and tell them about how Conqueror can help them with business expansion. I make sure that the number of Conqueror members keeps growing so as to cover all the major cities/ports around the world.

Q. What is the best part about working at Conqueror?

A. The warm and friendly work environment allows us to be creative and experiment with new approaches in every aspect of my job. Moreover, my teammates as well as the management are very encouraging and supportive. I can say that over the years, our team has become like a family. In spite of all the challenges I face in the course of my work, I enjoy solving problems and testing new tactics to further the interests of both members and our network. The dynamic office ambience greatly enhances my productivity. Together with my colleagues, we form part of a very close-knit group that works toward helping our agents and enabling them to globalize their business and augment their ROI.

Q. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

A. Communication with members from so many linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be a very exacting task. Nevertheless, my experience in client servicing allows me to carry out this task proficiently.

Q. What were the starting years of Conqueror like?

A. Conqueror Freight Network was formed 10 years back in January 2011. Since then we have been helping independent freight forwarders from around the world to effectively compete against the largest multinationals of this sector. The sole objective of our network was to give the small and mid-sized logistics companies a platform to increase their share of businesses.

To begin with, we had 50 members from 33 countries. However, with time we have established ourselves as the largest exclusive freight forwarding network in the globe with over 260 members from 136 countries. Regardless of the multiple challenges this sector has been facing since our pandemic, we were able to maintain our network standards, expand our member base, and offer them all the means to grow their businesses.

“Transparency, creativity, and the know-how to deal with difficult situations – these are some of the qualities I have inculcated during my career. I strongly believe that clear communication, honesty, and the means we provide to help freight forwarders compete with the largest players are the three things that are helping our network to grow.


Q. How did you celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Conqueror?

A. We put together a very touching video for members to watch during the Virtual Meeting. Here we compiled the best moments of the network along these years. It was really exciting, since all of us gave ideas to make it and the final video where the entire Conqueror team congratulates the members was not only affecting but also was very funny. It was a special moment when we felt a strong sense of team spirit. We all were very proud of the network! After the Meeting, we had a small party with some snacks to celebrate this occasion.

Q. What do you think are the biggest benefits of Conqueror in terms of sales?

A. The greatest financial advantage for our agents is undoubtedly Conqueror’s Referral Programme. The members need to suggest to us the names of a reliable forwarder in cities that are vacant at the moment. In case the recommended company becomes a network member, the referring agents get a 25% discount on their upcoming membership fee. They can avail of a maximum of 4 discounts of 25% every year. This implies the chance of paying zero membership fee in the next year! Moreover, members wanting territorial exclusivity in more than one city are required to pay just 50% of the membership fee for every additional branch.

Q. What is the most important objective of the sales team?

A. The principal task of the sales team is to increase the coverage of our network. To achieve this, Conqueror’s PR and Marketing team conduct several promotional campaigns. They contact the leading freight forwarders in every city who have the professionalism to make it to our network. Moreover, we are not searching for the largest forwarder with the largest business volume. What we want are trustworthy, well-managed, and financially solvent forwarders with considerable business volume and sound credit history. This way all our members can rest assured that they are dealing only with the most reputed and dependable partners.

Q. What are the values that motivate you?

A. Transparency, creativity, and the know-how to deal with difficult situations and make the right decision- these are some of the qualities I have inculcated during my career. I strongly believe that clear communication, honesty, and the means we provide to help independent freight forwarders compete with the largest players are the three things that are helping our network to grow.

I feel that in the last 10 years we have been able to convince our members that we care for them and our main objective is to help them grow. Being customer-focused rather than competitor-focussed, allows us to be more pioneering and has greatly contributed to our expansion. A satisfied customer means a lot for our business. My objective is to keep ensuring that the agents get what they are looking for.


Conqueror’s interview with BlueX Trade- one of the most innovative logistics tech companies

Andrea Martin, from Conqueror’s FreightViewer department, talks to Wilson Huang, BlueX’s Senior Sales Manager, about the latest digitization trends in the transportation and logistics industry

Conqueror Freight Network has been encouraging its members to embrace digitization ever since day one. To this end, they have made available a wide range of online tools and platforms within FreightViewer, their free and exclusive transport management software. Conqueror members can avail these platforms to digitize several aspects of their businesses. The transportation and logistics industry is going through a transition phase. Ever since the pandemic, this industry is witnessing a transformation that is somewhat disruptive. For this reason, independent freight forwarders and carriers are now trying to make use of digital solutions provided by companies like BlueX.

→ Click on the image below to listen to the full interview

Conqueror's Interview with BlueX
Conqueror’s Interview with BlueX

BlueX is coming up with innovative logistics tech platforms that make ocean cargo service easier and more accessible for the shippers, forwarders and carriers. Simply put, they are doing this by connecting the service providers and the customers on one single platform.

BlueX interacts directly with the carriers to create a fresh business model aimed at maximizing the revenue of the shippers. In this interview Wilson Huang and Andrea Martin discusses the way in which this industry is transforming to become more focused on efficiency and customer service. In addition, they also touch upon the way in which the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation.

Mr. Huang thinks that this sector has started embracing technology since the last three years. However, the process soon became imperative to survive the stiff industry competition. In the last two years this industry has seen a major change in terms of new technologies. For example, eight out of the top ten carriers have created their own freight rate quotation platform. Maersk started this over a decade ago by launching their online booking platform Maersk Spot Booking. Presently, 52% of their cargo are being booked on this online platform.

Wilson Huang who has experience both as a carrier and as a forwarder is in a perfect position to analyze the current scenario and present a valuable opinion. According to him, digitization is not longer the future of this industry…it is happening at the very moment. So long, it were the carriers who pioneered the process of digitization. However, the scenario is fast changing as several freight forwarders are using technologies to optimize their workflow. Flexport- a freight forwarding and customs brokerage company has clearly demonstrated how digitization is meeting the modern needs of forwarders. Lastly, the pandemic has provided a further push to the digital endeavours of the transportation and logistics industry. The digital trend is finally being transformed from a vision to the reality.


Interview with Conqueror Colombo

international logistics service provider
international logistics service provider

Manik Pereira: “We are one of the top 10 freight and logistics companies in Sri Lanka. Additionally, we are first in investing in the latest technologies and ventures -we have a progressive outlook and are always willing to explore new opportunities and embrace change.”

Today we are publishing an interview with Manik Pereira, Chairman of Pership Synergy Pvt Ltd, CQR member in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this interview Mr. Pereira talks about his company history, their area of operation, their strong points and the problems facing this industry.

Q. Please tell us a few words about the origins of Pership.

A. Pership was established in 1889 and Pership Group is a fourth generation business engaged in logistics and domestics services. We started as an import business in the 19th century catering to the British aristocratic society such as Governor Sir West, Lady Ridgeway in Ceylon. From 1905 we started expanding our operations with the introduction of the departmental store concept in Sri Lanka. To date, the Pereiras foster the same spirit of innovation and noble characteristics that is truly humbling.

Q. Which services do you offer?

A. We offer a wide range of services, from air transportation passenger services to cargo, ship, and freight services. We also manage exhibition logistics, relocation services, industrial household relocations, LPG discharging and oil bunkering, customs compliance, haulage solutions, fleet management, etc.

Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders regarding the pandemic at the moment?

A. At the moment the only challenge I can think of is the Coronavirus. However, even during the pandemic, we worked around 24 hrs from home on a roster basis and handled a considerable volume of shipments with the spirit of teamwork.

Q. Which sectors in the freight forwarding industry are growing, and which are not? What is the outlook of Pership?

A. In Sri Lanka, currently, the sea volume is increasing instead of air. Regarding the outlook of Pership, with 130 years of partnerships and relationships, we have gained the trust and admiration of all our partners as an ethical and robust ally in the South Asian region. So all we ask for is to hold our position as one of the top 10 freight forwarders in the country.

Q. From your own experience, which are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?

A.Teamwork, good communication skill, seeking new business opportunities, and a strong bond with customers are some of the main areas which freight forwarders should focus on.

These are precisely the main skills that makes Pership stand out in the market. We are a highly respected Sri Lankan group of companies, with a strong reputation for the highest level of integrity adhering to fair trading policies, that is to say, that we are one of the top 10 freight and logistics companies in Sri Lanka. Additionally, we are first in investing in the latest technologies and ventures -we have a progressive outlook and are always willing to explore new opportunities and embrace change. We also count on a highly competent and empowered workforce across all disciplines in the maritime and logistics industries, and have immense goodwill and excellent rapport with all stakeholders & suppliers.

Q. In your opinion, what does the freight forwarders industry lack? How would you think it should improve?

A. Governmental aid to boost the transportation industry is absolutely imperative for the success of the freight forwarders. The government should invite / support / give them the maximum benefits, encourage the investors to visit and invest in the power, shipping and airline industries.

Q. What are the main technological challenges facing freight forwarders at the moment? How important is FreightViewer for the industry?

A. Technology is of vital importance to any industry in the present times and freight forwarding is no exception. However, it has to be remembered that not all stakeholders are tech savvy. Clients are keen on knowing the location of their shipments at any given time which is why live navigation and sophisticated tracking systems of multimodal shipments are now a standard requirement and not a luxury. Freight forwarders need to implement the various technological innovations such as FreightViewer – to make their services more attractive for the customers.

Q. From your experience, what are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?

A. In Asia, people still expect a personal touch from the service providers. I have to admit that freight forwarders bridge the gap between carriers and customers world over who come from different cultures and operate at different times. We need to create the right balance between olden day practices and futuristic processes.

Interview with Dustin Brown, the Agent Coordinator of Conqueror Freight Network

“I have had the feeling that Conqueror is like a family, there is a very positive work environment both within the office and the network.”

best freight forwarder network
best freight forwarder network

Today we talk to Dustin Brown, who is the Agent Coordinator of Conqueror Freight Network. He is the person with whom members connect on a daily basis for all their queries and problems within the network. His work consists of helping our agents with any questions and issues relating to the network and ensuring that the work processes of our Agent Coordination Team are at the highest level.

Before joining Conqueror, Dustin worked for 4 years teaching English as a second language. He also spent many years working at the international administration department of a top US university. Through all this, he has developed a talent for public relations and communications.

Q. How has been your experience with the Conqueror team so far?

A. Working with my teammates at Conqueror has indeed been a good experience. I enjoy my work and I am learning many new things about our industry thanks to them. My task consists of helping all our members with any problem they might be facing, and I do my best to complete these tasks with the utmost care and precision. In all this time, I have had the feeling that Conqueror is like a family, there is a very positive work environment both within the office and the network.

Q. Which do you think are the best benefits of belonging Conqueror?

A. Firstly, Conqueror is the largest exclusive network in the world, covering more than 260 cities and 140 countries. Additionally, Conqueror accepts only one agent per city, so this agent is the only one responsible for the traffic from/to that territory. Secondly, Conqueror operates an extremely rigorous selection process, paying for each member’s financial analysis by the external auditor DUN & BRADSTREET, in order to guarantee that all our members are financially solvent. Thirdly, Conqueror’s Agent Finder Tool ensures that members operate within clearly defined areas with no overlap and no competition. Finally, our highly professional team is on hand to assist members in the best way possible both quickly and efficiently, whatever the issue.

Q. How can Conqueror’s referral programme help members save?

A. Conqueror members who refer another agent who in due course becomes a member of our network can benefit a lot from the CQR Referral Programme. Our members are always encouraged to refer their reliable peers in the industry to get a discount on their membership fees. In the first place, the member as the referring agent will be given a 25% discount on their upcoming membership fee. Additionally, when members refer more than one agent then they stand to receive up to 4 discounts (each of 25%) on their next annual membership fees which implies that they have the prospect of paying zero membership fees for the next year!

Q. Which are the most common points of disagreement between members and how do you resolve that?

A. The most common point of dispute between agents is more often than not linked to ‘who is supposed to pay the bank fees’. This has even resulted in heated discussions among members which could have been avoided. This is because the Conqueror’s Rules and Procedures which all the members are required to comply with clearly states that “All invoice payments will be made by bank transfer. All bank fees will be paid by the member ordering the transfer.” Keeping this in mind will help the members eschew such unpleasant arguments.

Q. Do you get complaints from agents regarding scam emails? How are you dealing with this problem?

A. Scam emails have become a pestering issue these days since we rely more and more on technology-enabled communications. I often get calls from members who tell me how they have received payment related emails from another so-called member where they were requested to make the payment to the new bank details provided. However, these emails are sent by scammers and not by Conqueror members. This is why members always need to double-check the bank details of their network partner who owe them payment by carrying on a direct phone conversation with them.

Q. Why do you think it is important for members to be active on social media?

A. In 2020 entrepreneurs cannot do without becoming a part of social media. It is social media that ensures that your services gain traction among the customers and therefore being active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram is an absolute must. Moreover liking, commenting and sharing the posts of the network or your partners will increase your visibility and encourage others to do the same with your posts. Apart from that, being active on social media also helps you stay up to date with all the latest news from your peers within the industry.

Q. How is Conqueror’s new tool FreightViewer helping the members?

A. With FreightViewer, our agents will be able to deliver a professional and accurate quotation for their clients within less than a minute. This is one thing which is greatly going to enhance the customer service of our members. Since this software is compatible with all sorts of devices, our agents will now be able to send an instant online quotation to their clients no matter where they are working from. Customers from every corner of the world will be able to accept the quotation, book a shipment, or leave feedback.

CQR agent in Hangzhou encourages all members to use FreightViewer in order to develop good and quality business between agents

After the launch of Conqueror’s exclusive Transport Management Software, FreightViewer Department has been receiving plenty of applications from our members to test the software and suggest its improvements. Bruce Li, General Manager of Domax Logistics, our CQR member in Hangzhou, has recently visited our office in order to get an in-depth knowledge of FreightViewer and contribute to its improvement.

Bruce states: “FreightViewer is different from other online rates tools, as it is a member-exclusive privilege […] members are able to share their costs with each other, we are able to have rates and local information, working as a global forwarder” In addition, Bruce Li, offered different suggestions to be implemented within the tool such as specific policy regulation for FreightViewer

Following our member’s statements, we are sure FreightViewer will enable all members of Conqueror to work in a different and more efficient way. The more users, the more useful  the Software will become.

FreightViewer Department will be happy to assist you if you may need any assistance with the use of FreightViewer or would like to know more about the system, contact, we will be happy to assist you.

Conqueror takes a major step towards the digitization of the freight forwarding sector by creating FreightViewer

Madrid, Spain October 2019: After two years of hard work and substantial private investments, Conqueror with agents in 265 cities and 142 countries is all set to start working with its member-exclusive Transport Management Software, FreightViewer. This software will provide the members of Conqueror the technological capability to compare competitive online freight rates, share shipping documents,and quote instantly in real-time all in one neatly organized platform.

Freight forwarding sector is aware about the need of digitization in the industry. The best example to show this fact, is the great investment of technological companies such as Flexport, Freightos or other pioneer freight forwarding multinationals, e.g. Twill and KN Freightnet, have done during the last few years. But even, after all these investments and efforts, a considerable percentage of freight forwarders continue to miss out on the digitalization race in the freight industry.

Even though it is not an easy task to become digitalize within this industry, highly demanding and inpatient customers, multinationals and globalization, are some of the factors which are forcing an important transformation in logistics sector. Inside this environment, Conqueror has developed FreightViewer, revolutionizing the old ways of working. As a member-exclusive and free Transport Management Software, FreightViewer allows members of the network to automatize the uploading of their contract rates (Air, FCL, LCL and Cargo Insurance) through the online platform and share them with agents or customers instantly. Moreover, FreightViewer on the dashboard allows customers and agents to manage bookings for any carrier online, collaborate and share the shipping documents, and offer real-time status updates for shipments.

As stated by Antonio Torres, the CEO and President of Conqueror, “The new tool is going to help freight forwarders within our network cope with the problem of ever-changing freight rates due to complex tariffs, various time zones and unresponsive overseas agents, which eventually leads to a delay in quoting a door-to-door service.”

FreightViewer will ensure that all members will become truly digital freight forwarders. Mr. Torres further added that “Digitization of the freight forwarding sector is starting but very slowly. For example, only three of the top twenty global freight forwarders can provide an instant quotes online. We feel very proud to be part of the digitization process in our industry. Conqueror is the first international freight forwarding network to launch instant quoting ability for its members. We have come up with FreightViewer after the launch of the operating system by the industry leader Flexport, who has received one billion $ investment, has eleven offices in four countries and is currently receiving all the attention world-wide from media related to the industry as it is growing incredibly. We haven’t a received a billion-dollar investment, but we have developed a state-of-art software and we have a huge worldwide infrastructure formed by our members. This makes us one of the biggest players running in the digital race of the logistics sector. Our main aim is to contribute towards actualizing the process of digitization in this sector and thereby create value for the shippers.”

FreightViewer will definitely alter the way independent freight forwarders conduct their businesses. It will not just reduce the quotation processing time from a number of days to a couple of seconds, but also help to enhance the productivity, client engagement, and profitability of the member companies.