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!


Conqueror to offer online freight forwarding courses in partnership with CIFFA and Container xChange

Conqueror members can now join freight forwarding courses along with a SOC Container Masterclass

Conqueror has established a partnership with the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association and Container xChange. Due to this agreement, these two internationally recognized associations are now offering members two freight forwarding courses and a SOC Container Masterclass. The objective of this online e-learning platform is to allow agents to upgrade their skills and knowledge base by training their employees. The courses are ideal for both newcomers in the sector and professional forwarders who want to upgrade their know-how and expertise.

freight forwarding courses- Conqueror Freight Network
freight forwarding courses


Antonio Torres, the President and Founder of Conqueror Freight Network, is proud to present the courses. According to him, “In an industry that is constantly evolving, independent freight forwarders must permanently renovate their knowledge. Additionally, the emerging demands in logistics require further specialization and value-added services in freight forwarding operations. This is why we have created Conqueror’s online academy to help members up-skill their team right from their home or office.”

The Academic providers

The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association is a certified training provider. They have over 60 years of experience in education. CIFFA education programs are designed by industry experts. Moreover, their courses seek to provide students with the highest level of quality and professional services.

Container xChange is a neutral online platform used by 600+ small to mid-size as well as large companies. Their main aim is to make these companies gain market transparency, avoid detention charges and find trusted partners. They offer a wide range of training material enabling forwarders to better comprehend the topic of the leasing container industry.

The Courses

The CIFFA course on International Transportation and Trade will educate the agents about several aspects of this sector. This includes the fundamentals of international logistics, risk management by selecting the appropriate Incoterm, freight rate, and load shipment calculation. It also covers other vital topics like the types of equipment and paperwork used in the transportation and logistics industry. The registration of this course is already opened. It will start on 1st April and will end on 30th March.

The second course, Essentials of Freight Forwarding, offers lessons on a wide variety of freight topics. Some of the subjects covered are international payment methods, cargo insurance, commercial documents, export packaging, cargo security, alternative transport solutions, etc. Registration for this course will open on 14th June.

The SOC Container Masterclass provided by Container xChange is a comprehensive freight forwarding course about handling Shipper Owned Containers. Agents who register for one of the CIFFA courses will get free access to this Masterclass.

Course participants can complete the course at their desired speed within 3 months. Moreover, the fully interactive courses with video and audio lessons and practical exercises create a productive online learning experience. CIFFA provides students with a downloadable e-textbook, that is fully searchable and has text-to-speech capability. Additionally, they provide online lessons and exercises to complement their learning. Once the training is accomplished, students will receive a certificate.