Monday, May 28, 2012

Independent Freight and Logistics Operators Meet at First 'Virtual Forwarders' Conference

Conqueror Network Aims at 200 Member Cities
Shipping News Feature

THAILAND – WORLDWIDE – Freight and logistics is of course by definition the ultimate multinational business and as technology advances executives globally are becoming aware of the potential of international cooperation without the need for thousands of miles of air travel to formulate trade agreements. It was with this thought in mind that Antonio Torres first came up with the idea of what he calls a ‘Virtual Multinational’ paving the way for what he considers a new generation of networks which want to mobilize independent freight forwarders to work together as global ‘mega-forwarders.’

Last week however the members of this brainchild travelled to Thailand to meet their mutual partners in the flesh at the inaugural conference of Conqueror which Mr Torres says is the world’s first virtual freight network. Ninety members from forty different countries met in Phuket from the 23rd to 25th May as part of Conqueror’s target of setting up an exclusive ‘virtual branch’ in each of the 472 major cities in the 175 countries it has identified. Torres explained:

“At the heart of Conqueror is mutual cooperation, without it, the network simply would not function. “Finding reliable agents takes time; unfortunately we were forced to postpone the initial conference as we weren’t prepared for the 1,950+ applications received requesting membership. We weren’t willing to sacrifice the quality of our agents for an earlier conference. This first meeting gave our members the opportunity to meet in one place, at one time, with the cost of only one trip. In my opinion, it’s a low cost investment when compared to the potential business created.”

Conqueror says it now has agents representing 182 cities in 88 countries and claims it will reach its goal of covering the world’s 200 most important cities with quality agents within the coming weeks. One agent present was quoted as saying:

“One perk of Conqueror’s focus on cooperation, is that all the members do business with a give and take attitude. This cooperation is made even easier by each of us being the only agent in our city which, of course, cuts out all competition. What’s left is a desire to work together.”

Torres said the desire to join forces was evident as members vied for each other’s time across every aspect of the conference. The 3-day conference provided over 1,600+ one-to-one meetings to enable members to strengthen this cooperation.

Photo: There are worse places in the world to hold your inaugural conference!