IFLN’s 26th Worldwide Membership Conference took place at the Hilton Vienna Hotel in the Austrian capital recently, with Vienna providing the perfect backdrop to IFLN’s annual forum for building relationships amongst its members and for spreading the word of its achievements and plans for the coming year.
Thanks in part to its accessibility and convenient geographical location in the heart of Europe, the historic and beautiful city of Vienna played host to a record number of IFLN members for this year’s conference: more than 300 attendees.
Those members, who came from both the IFLN Network and its specialist IFLN Global Projects Network, benefited from an invaluable opportunity for networking and relationship building, and took full advantage by involving themselves in a record-breaking total of more than 6,000 One-2-One meetings.
Michel Vanlerberghe, IFLN’s president, considers the Network’s focus for 2019 and emphasis at this year’s conference – Partnership, Integration and Specialization – elements that remain key to the group’s ongoing success. “If we look at the most successful businesses nowadays, we will see that they have recognized and excel in having the most efficient supply chain management for their company, not only in order to be ahead of the competition, but also for their long-term sustainability,” he says.
“Their success is also due to innovation, specialization and strategic partnership to challenge and overtake their competitors. “
IFLN offers its membership the opportunity to partner, integrate and specialize, as a means to add to their competitive edge as they meet their customers’ shipping needs.
IFLN itself is the perfect partner for its member forwarders, and the fact that the Network has been in business for 19 years is testimony to that. It has delivered on its mission to act as a premium global logistics network, offering enhanced value to its members and their customers.
Acting as an integral part of its forwarder members’ daily operations, IFLN facilitates their growth by fostering long-term partnerships, encouraging greater integration and specialization within a financially secure environment.
Moreover, as Vanlerberghe observes: “Individual members’ success is also success for the Network as a whole, as it means more business development and growth opportunities amongst other members.”
This year’s Conference celebrated almost two decades of success and looked forward to many more years of similar achievement. IFLN is working to ensure that it continues to grow organically by attracting potential members that are primary players in their field of operations, and that it remains an innovative alliance providing global coverage through its carefully managed selection of new members.
The IFLN Global Projects network will continue to expand alongside its parent IFLN Network, enabling its specialized project cargo forwarding members to work closely together to pursue global turnkey projects. The former now has twice as many members as it did at last year’s IFLN annual conference in Montreal, Canada, and the good news for the project cargo sector is that there are now positive signs of growth, particularly in the mining, power generation, and oil & gas sectors.
Moreover, IFLN has big plans to expand into wholly new specialized areas of activity. Thus, IFLN is to establish a new Healthcare and Pharma network to support its current members who are active in this market, as well as to attract other forwarders who work in this challenging segment.
In addition to expanding its membership, IFLN has continued to develop its partnership base. A new collaboration with Air Canada Cargo has just been agreed upon, adding to the various airlines and IT solutions providers with which IFLN has allied to support its members’ operations.
Chain.io, IFLN‘s newest partner, provides IT solutions that are complementary to the offerings WiseTech Global, another of the network’s current partners. It allows Network members using WiseTech’s Cargowise system, as well as other IT systems, to connect to and integrate with other IFLN cargo agents, as well as with trading partners and customers.
The partnership with Chain.io represents another important step for IFLN as it further strengthens integration and collaboration amongst its Networks’ members, and ultimately, fosters the ability to offer customers, in conjunction with other IFLN partners, a common interface for better visibility and management while improving members’ operational efficiency and reducing their costs.