IFLN News 2015
IFLN's 15 Years of Success
Looking back over a highly successful first 15 years of the IFLN’s work, we have talked with just some of the Network’s founding members, as well as some other IFLN forwarders who were keen to share their views on just what IFLN means to them.
"From a business point of view, IFLN has provided us with a professional network of similarly positioned companies that offer reliability of service and financial protection," explained Frank D'Ambra, president of New York-headquartered Aries Global Logistics.
"Aside from this basic fundamental service, it also allows us to meet with partners annually and exchange ideas, with the objective of promoting and working with other members, thus enabling us to grow our companies. As a founding member, Aries has definitely benefited from our membership and hopefully helped other members also benefit through the mutual routing of business," he explained.
Antwerp, Belgium-headquartered UCOMAR is another one of the founding members of the IFLN Network to have benefited significantly from being a part of the group throughout its lifetime. According to managing director Charles van den Kerckhove, their membership significantly extends UCOMAR’s effective business operating range. It allows them to tender for, and to handle, door-to-door import and export services in nearly every country in the world, something that would otherwise be impossible for a relatively small forwarder lacking a global network of agents.
Moreover, he added, "It is impossible to travel around the world to visit everyone, whereas with the yearly IFLN meetings we have the opportunity to meet and talk with each other face-to-face."
Being a founding member, UCOMAR has seen what van den Kerckhove describes as "the evolution and growth" of the Network, which started 15 years ago in Miami. "This represents a total of 21 meetings, and some faces are still the same," he pointed out. “Of course, the number of companies has increased quite a lot and other networks have been created, seeing the success of IFLN worldwide."
The geographical reach and potential opportunities thrown up by IFLN membership is a theme reiterated by another forwarder who was part of the initial composition of the Network. According to Israel-based Fridenson Air & Ocean's marketing manager Lira Rotter, "IFLN is an essential lead platform to Fridenson… it is one that can extend our reach to new partners and clients."
Speaking from Latin America, Captain Jorge Miranda, director at IFLN member Clippers Argentina, explained, "IFLN is for us and our business a perfect conjunction, in which the Network provides the 'hardware' and Clippers the 'software' – an excellent, credible and serious alliance of local market experts working together in order to be a step ahead of the multinationals."
He continued, "IFLN represents not just a strategic partner but a strategic network of partners, a trustworthy international family on which we can rely to accomplish any task entrusted to us by our customers. It is also a source of new business, new opportunities and a great way to expand one's capabilities."
Collaboration or 'conjunction' – member forwarders working together and sharing business – is a common theme. "We are proud to be in the IFLN Network," enthused Khalid Mir, CEO of Karachi, Pakistan-headquartered Target Logistics. "There is no doubt that IFLN gives every opportunity to all its members to enhance their partnerships amongst others in the Network, as well as providing an opportunity to enjoy smooth business operations around the world.
"Target Logistics and its partners can operate under the safe and secure umbrella of IFLN," he observed.
Manager of Thomsun Mercantile & Marine (TMM), Mathew Chacko believes that IFLN is a dependable, strong and customer-focused international network providing personal and reliable contacts that help TMM to assist its clients with their growing demands for worldwide shipments.
TMM joined IFLN in 2003 and has been an active member of the Network. It has enjoyed a dozen years of what Chacko says have been characterized by "togetherness, commitment, leadership, guidance and dedication."
The insurance that being a part of the Network and working with pre-screened and trusted partners is also important. "In these difficult days, where crises can touch each of us, it is thanks to strong control and good choice of members that IFLN has been successful for 15 years; we are proud to be a part of it," UCOMAR's van den Kerckhove said.
Members such as Aries are contributing to the Network just as much as they are benefiting from it. "One of the basic things, and our most important contribution, is that we try to offer competitive pricing to our agent partners and back that up with exceptional service; this is what we all are here for," D'Ambra explained.
With IFLN's 22nd membership conference in Panama City just around the corner, anticipation and excitement is growing, for D'Ambra and others. Khalid Mir, for example, remarked, "Target Logistics has maintained close contacts with IFLN members worldwide, and has also been present at the IFLN membership conferences. These annual events offer a great opportunity for all members to come together, giving them the chance to meet old friends as well as new members.
"They also help to further strengthen member's commercial relations through the learning and sharing of industry best practices amongst IFLN forwarders operating all over the world. We are pleased to share our ample business with them. All credit to IFLN!" Mir insisted.
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