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INDUSTRY FOCUSPROJECT FORWARDER NETWORKS


The multiple-choice question


One often-raised issue is the desirability – or otherwise – of companies joining multiple project freight forwarder networks. Chris Lewis considers some of the pros and cons.


network could have more focus on one region than another, he explained. However, he believes that one member


I


per country is broadly the best policy. “One does not want to compete with other members in the same country. Some will say this is good for competition, but price is not what this industry is about; it is about bringing a project or project shipment to a successful conclusion within budget.” Kevin Stephens, chairman and founder


of Project Professionals Group (PPG), said that he has members that are also part of multiple networks and has no restrictions on them joining other groups.


Exclusive membership PPG’s policy is to offer exclusive membership in most countries, to give certainty that they will receive business, but with exceptions in very large countries such as India, China and Australia. Both the Worldwide Project Consortium


(WWPC) and Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) operate on a country/area exclusivity basis. Wolfgang Karau, director of the two networks, said this avoids unwanted competition, adding: “We are dedicated to a strong network brand and free-of-charge marketing services to our members, instead of counting country multi-membership income.” Rachel Humphrey, president and ceo of


Project Cargo Network (PCN), warned: “We understand that PCN is not the answer to all things. However, we do monitor the situation and reserve the right to remove and replace a member if we feel that the company is not reciprocating business with


114 January/February 2019


PCN members or working within the spirit of PCN.” The network’s policy is to allow no more


than three companies in each country except for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Turkey, UAE and the USA where five are allowed. “Non-exclusive membership produces a


higher level of business for the whole network and members have a better chance of finding a compatible company to work with for each individual project,” Humphrey explained. “However, it is important not to become


such a large organisation that any familiarity is lost. Members are not required to annul established agency relationships; we simply ask that all new business is first offered to fellow PCN members for quoting.” Atlas Breakbulk Alliance (ABA) favours a


one-member-per-country approach, except perhaps in the largest territories, but is not dogmatic. There may be good reason for choosing a different partner – for example, where a very specialised type of cargo is involved, such as yachts. Luzius Haffter, executive director of


Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN) www.heavyliftpfi.com


n certain cases there could be good reasons for joining more than one project freight forwarder network, said Peter Bouwhuis, managing director of Project Freight Network (PFN). One


PCN follows a non-exclusive membership model


More than 200 delegates attended GPLN’s 15th AGM, held in Bremen last year.


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