Nine global logistics networks have banded together as the founding members of ELITE, a global freight forwarding association comprising more than 3,550 companies with revenues in excess of $60 billion.
The founding networks include the Global Logistics Network, Lognet Global, the WCA Family of Logistics Networks and the WCA Projects Network, the Worldwide Partners Alliance, and the Universal Freight Organization.
The association's focus, according to a press release, is to represent independent freight forwarders during discussions among global cargo organizations, such as the International Air Transport Association.
In fact, Des Vertannes, IATA's head of cargo, said that bringing independent forwarders together will help the industry function more efficiently.
"The size and quality of the networks within ELITE ensures that their views will be heard and taken seriously by associations, regulators and carriers," he said in a statement. "We look forward to forming a close strategic relationship with ELITE and working together to drive new efficiencies for the benefit of us all.”
According to the founding members, there are forwarding organizations emerging daily around the world that lack the leadership and high-level membership of ELITE.
"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," ELITE said in a statement. "This not only damages the reputation of logistic networks as a whole, but also creates much confusion among freight forwarders, shippers and the logistics supply chain."
ELITE said its goal is to only approve members that operate to "high standards," according to a joint statement from the founding members. - Jon Ross