The International Freight Logistics Network (IFLN), a global organization of freight forwarders and logistics companies headquartered in Houston, Texas, has launched a new IFLN Global Projects network. Only cargo agents with experience and a high degree of capability in the field of project forwarding will form part of the rapidly expanding group, explains IFLN president Michel Vanlerberghe, who adds: “We want to be the new force in the world of project logistics management.”
Vanlerberghe explains the thinking behind the decision to establish a new network dedicated to project forwarding. “First, the decision was driven by IFLN’s desire to develop and to grow; and one way of doing this is to offer different specializations that the market requires.”
“Second, we knew from talking to our members that a large number of them specialize in project forwarding –far more so than just handling an occasional outsize or heavy load. Then, we discussed the option of launching a network dedicated to this market and assessed what the members would like to see from such a grouping. We got a lot of positive feedback from them and discovered just how we should structure and operate the network to best effect,” Vanlerberghe recalls.
“Third, we saw a need from project freight customers that are looking for an alternative to multinational forwarders, who may not always have adequate coverage and equipment in every part of the world and don’t offer the desired strategic flexibility and one on one customer care. IFLN offers global project logistic services with a dedicated team and experts in every local market – we have the expertise and equipment in place to handle project shipping, wherever it may be required,” Vanlerberghe says.
“There are other project cargo networks out there, but this one is different,” confirms Randy Durham, IFLN’s general manager and a long-time project cargo specialist. “IFLN Global Projects network only accepts as members those who are highly proficient project forwarders,” he says.
“This is not about having as many members as possible. It’s about having project freight forwarder experts who are also specialists in their local markets,” Durham confirms. Indeed, no member is able to act as the network’s representative in any more than three countries, and no country can be covered by more than three IFLN Global Projects network members with a maximum of two offices.
“It’s about quality not quantity,” Durham declares, and to this end, IFLN thoroughly vets all prospective network members. Then again, IFLN does much more than that for the network, he continues. It offers a full range of cohesive support.
It can put together a team of highly specialized global project members to support any bid or any project cargo shipping task. Plus, “As IFLN, we make the necessary introductions, coordinate member efforts and liaise with the customer if needed,” Durham notes. “We also really go out and sell our members’ expertise and services.”
The nascent network already has more than 40 members and is expanding quickly. “We are very happy with the response from our own IFLN members, and we are now growing the IFLN Global Projects membership with other cargo agents who are dedicated to project forwarding,” Vanlerberghe says.