Friday, December 14, 2012

Freight Forwarding and Logistics Groups Form a New Elite Alliance

Nine Networks Now Speak with One Voice
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Nine major global logistics networks have clubbed together to become founding members of Elite Association of Logistic Networks which officially launched earlier this week. Elite says it will act as a body to represent the independent freight forwarding community by engaging with and participating alongside major global industry associations, regulators and government agencies. A second key objective for Elite is to provide the global logistics industry with visibility and clarity by differentiating bona-fide, high-quality logistics networks from a growing number of ‘rogue’ networks around the world.

Concerned at a possible lowering of standards Elite says for the first time, the independent sector will have a powerful and unified voice to ensure the interests of small and medium enterprise (SME) freight forwarders are considered. The size of the associations involved means that whereas individually each member company might be considered inconsequential, their combined turnover, purchasing power etc. as a component of one of the nine strong founding groups, presents a powerful voice within the industry. In a statement, the Elite founding members said:

“There are new networks appearing almost daily that do not have the same ideals and standards that ELITE member networks embrace. Many of these networks operate using dubious practices, provide poor quality services, offer unsubstantiated benefits, lack proper financial backing, fail to implement membership vetting procedures and are generally unable to fulfil their stated obligations to their membership. This not only damages the reputation of logistic networks as a whole, but also creates such confusion among freight forwarders, shippers and the logistics supply chain. By applying strict membership criteria we are able to provide the industry with a ‘seal of quality’ ensuring that each network only operates to the highest standards.”

The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Head of Global Cargo, Des Vertannes, has welcomed the formation of Elite, stating that with the industry currently undergoing major changes it is essential that all sectors work together. Vertannes added:

“Elite has the potential to become a powerful and potent voice for freight forwarders around the world. The size and quality of the networks within Elite ensures that their views will be heard and taken seriously by associations, regulators and carriers. We look forward to forming a close strategic relationship with Elite and working together to drive new efficiencies for the benefit of us all.”

The nine global networks to have met the qualifying criteria for Elite comprise of Global Logistics Network (GLN), Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN), Lognet Global, Project Cargo Network (PCN), Time Critical Logistics Alliance (TCLA), Universal Freight Organisation (UFO), WCA Family of Logistics Networks (WCAF), WCA Projects Network (WCAPN), and Worldwide Partners Alliance (WPA).

The combined membership networks comprise over 3,550 freight forwarding companies around the world, with annual revenues in excess of US$60 Billion and over 140,000 staff operating from 7,000 plus offices in 188 countries worldwide. The size of the Elite member groups range from PCN, with 7,500 individual staff members within its ranks handling 450,000+ shipments per year and turning over in excess of $2 billion, to the GLN totals of 21,000+ staff moving 5 million consignments in 123 countries and with a combined turnover approaching $9 billion.