Release Date:
Release ID: 5854

Global Institute of Logistics (GIL) names WFA “Best in class”

The World Freight Alliance (WFA) – one of the first freight forwarding networks in the world – has been recognised by The Global Institute of Logistics (GIL) as “Best in class independent freight forwarding network.”

WFA will now be used as the case-study for deeper research by GIL into the fast-growing independent forwarding network phenomenon.

The title “Best in class independent freight forwarding network” was granted by GIL following thorough analysis of various network operations, undertaken as part of its wider research project: “Independent Freight Forwarding in Global Logistics”.

This research is exploring the shift from shippers buying capacity direct from ocean carriers, to buying through forwarders. It will also examine the prediction that independent forwarders will be the major beneficiaries of this trend.

GIL says that, in 1996, 75% of all sea freight volumes were booked directly with carriers. Today that figure has dropped to 59%, and is expected to fall below 50% by 2020. With forwarders by then collectively controlling over 50% of the market, GIL estimates that independents will have overtaken multinationals, with 30% market share.

WFA was presented with its title at a meeting of its Steering Committee in Stockholm, by the Institute’s CEO Kieran Ring. He commented: “I am delighted to present the World Freight Alliance with the Institute’s accreditation ‘Global Best in Class Independent Freight Forwarding Network’. The Institute has been aware of the Alliance since its foundation in 2003 and has been impressed with how the network has developed.

“WFA members demonstrate an exceptional level of commitment to network relationships. This has led over time to the development of interdependent activities, increasing the level of mutual productivity and resulting in excellent service for BCO’s (beneficial cargo owners).”

Responding, WFA Chairman Tommy Kelly said: “I would like to thank the Institute on behalf of the entire network for bestowing “Best in Class” status on the WFA.

“Our goal is to provide a seamless service across the world, by always partnering with the most experienced and capable companies. Our group includes some of the best and longest-established organizations in the business; every member has a reputation for local knowledge and expertise, offers a full suite of services and conforms to standardized levels of excellence.

“The vast majority of our members have worked together for over 20 years, and we remain totally committed to our founding principles. The WFA looks forward to collaborating with GIL in the next stage of its research.”

GIL’s preliminary research quickly revealed the significance of network membership in shippers’ choice of independent forwarders; yet, to date, there has been very little research on how successful freight forwarding networks operate. As a result, says GIL, BCOs and freight forwarders have limited information to assist in evaluating the market place. The Institute will address this knowledge deficit in its final report, using WFA as a case study.

GIL will explore WFA’s development and members’ perspectives; the resolution of competition among some members, and the relevance of relationships and network theory to the behaviour of freight forwarders in such business networks; the WFA’s role in developing relationships that pool member resources to provide reciprocal representation and services; and how members have expanded their service offerings and geographic reach, by connecting with freight forwarders in other countries via the WFA.

Adds Kieran Ring: “Collaboration is the hallmark of Best in Class, and the Institute is excited to be afforded the opportunity by the WFA to now go deeper in its research and provide readers with a unique insight into the development of an international network of regional, independent freight forwarders.

“Our final report will enable both BCO and freight forwarder to determine the criteria of an efficient global independent freight forwarding network. I look forward to working with the WFA.”
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