The logistics industry is key to connecting the world’s resources and innovations, using modes from rail, sea, air, and beyond. The companies and professionals behind this connection encompass the many players involved in supply chain and logistics management.
Being involved in freight forwarding-focused associations and organizations can give logistics companies the chance to benefit from fellow members, while also making an impact on others in the industry. Knowledge sharing, negotiation power, new sales enablement methods, education, sharing of innovative technology, and more can lead to a resulting competitive edge by joining up with fellow forwarders. Although this is not an exhaustive list, we have created an outline of potential associations/organizations (with contact information) to consider based on where they are regionally located.
“The increasing demand for the foreign goods in the emerging economies, such as Indonesia, Thailand and India specifically imported from the North American countries, acts as one of the major forces which is catalyzing the growth of the logistics market in the region,” stated a recent market review by IMARC.
National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA):
The NCBFAA was established in New York in 1897. With multiple committees, counsel and representatives, the association overlooks legislative and regulatory issues that affect members of the logistics industry. It keeps members informed of relevant issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefing, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year.
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
The Airforwarders Association directly serves the air forwarding industry as an alliance of indirect air carriers, cargo airlines and related businesses operating across the global transportation community. The members represent companies dedicated to moving air cargo through the supply chain – including not only airforwarders, but truckers, airlines, warehouse operators and businesses delivering a range of supporting services.
Location: Washington DC
Intermodal Association of North America (IANA)
IANA’s mission is “to promote the growth of efficient intermodal freight transportation through innovation, education and dialogue.” They provide a mode neutral forum for discussion, influence legislative/regulatory areas, and promote efficient business processes/innovation.
Location: Calverton, Maryland
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA)
CIFFA was founded in Montreal in September of 1948 in Montreal. Started by a small group of freight forwarders who saw a need for an industry association to help meet their professional needs, CIFFA offers support and advocacy. They provide a connection for shippers/importers with trusted providers of goods/services and carriers of all modes.
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Association of Logistics and Forwarding Agents (ALFA)
ALFA was founded in January 1997 as a sister organization of the Association of Customs Agents of Nuevo Laredo group – consolidating members who have freight forwarding and logistics companies in the United States to represent their interests. They channel foreign trade between Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
Location: Laredo, Texas
Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA)
TIA aims to advance professional standards and business practices, by providing leadership and direction for the 3PL industry. They also strive to promote credibility of the profession and its ultimate contribution to society. TIA serves more than 1,700 third-party logistics members and helps them better manage their companies for growth and profitability.
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
CSCMP has been providing networking, career development, and educational opportunities to the logistics and supply chain management community since 1963.
Location: Lombard, Illinois
Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
ISM was founded in 1915 and is the first and largest not-for-profit professional supply management organization worldwide. ISM impacts supply management and the purchasing profession through education, certification, leadership development and research. They continuously evolve as the profession evolves to help lead and advance the profession of supply management.
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA)
TMSA is dedicated to advancing the success of marketing and sales professionals in all modes of the commercial freight transportation market. They enable sales and marketing professionals through education, connections, and resources – ultimately strengthening their individual development and their businesses.
Location: North Olmsted, Ohio
WCAworld was founded in 1998 by Chairman David Yokeum as the world’s first worldwide non-exclusive network. They are neutrally managed and operated to benefit all member companies. WCAworld strives to add new, innovative, and high-value membership benefits.
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
“Factors such as poor infrastructure, along with high inventory prices and insufficient warehousing space, are expected to hamper the Latin America logistics market growth,” stated a recent report by Allied Market Research.
Federation of National Associations of Cargo Agents and International Logistics Operators of Latin America and the Caribbean (ALACAT)
ALACAT represents multiple entities of the logistics, transport and trade sector in the region, in the world, and in international events.Their members are are from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Location: Mexico City
“The Europe Freight and Logistics market is anticipated to register a growth rate of more than 3% during the period (2021-2026)” stated a recent report by Mordor Intelligence.
Global Logistics Associates (GLA)
GLA is the oldest non-profit Freight Forwarding/Customs Broker Associations in existence, having been formed in 1989. It was formed allow independent freight companies to compete with the larger international operators by providing an “instant, trusted network of freight professionals worldwide.”
Location: Barendrecht, Netherlands
European Logistics Association (ELA)
About: “ELA, the European Logistics Association, is a federation of 30 national organizations, covering almost every country in Central and Western Europe, as well as the European Union’s outermost regions, in the Caribbean (Martinique French West Indies). ELA aims to provide an international forum for networking, promotion, and development of the logistics and supply chain profession.”
Location: Brussels, Belgium
European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Service (CLELAT)
CLECAT represents the interests of more than 19K companies employing in excess of 1M staff in logistics, freight forwarding and customs services. Multinational, medium and small freight forwarders and Customs agents are all within its membership.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
The International Air & Shipping Association (IASA)
IASA was founded by a group of freight forwarders in 1971 who saw the need for an international network of independent forwarding agents. Their members commit to cooperate in the handling of each other’s traffic to assure high quality standards, and to ensure immediate two-way communication of shipment status and details. IASA members are independent freight forwarders in over 40 countries.
Location: Berkshire, England
Logistics UK is a business group in the UK supporting, shaping, and standing up for efficient logistics. They’re members range from the road, rail, sea, and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services.
Location: Kent, England
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA)
FIATA is a membership-based organization representing freight forwarders around 150 countries. With 113 Association Members and over 5,500 Individual Members, FIATA is a reference source on international policies and regulations governing the freight forwarding and logistics industry. They work at the international level to represent service providers who operate in trade logistics and supply chain management.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Since 2008, Multimodal has been building a supply chain and logistics community of shippers, retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, and exporters– as well as the suppliers who support them. They represent all logistics sectors, including manufacturing, retail, agribusiness, chemical, automotive, electronics, FMCG, food & drink, fashion, pharmaceuticals, construction, aerospace, energy, real estate, recycling, paper/print and perishables, sea transportation, road transportation, rail transportation, air transportation, and inland waterway transportation.
Location: London. England
“With regard to growth, Asia will contribute about half of the world’s trade growth by 2030,” stated a recent report by McKinsey & Company.
The ASEAN Federation of Forwarders Associations (AFFA)
AFFA’s mission is to unify all freight forwarders in the ASEAN region through national forwarders associations. To foster, promote, develop and maintain close cooperation between and among freight forwarders in the ASEAN region. To represent members in their collective interests in relation to freight forwarding matters peculiar to the ASEAN region.
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Japan International Freight Forwarders Association (JIFFA)
JIFFA originally was established as a voluntary organization to address common issues facing the logistics industry in the region. In October 1985, JIFFA was approved as an incorporated association by the Minister of Transport.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Asia-Pacific Logistics Federation (APLF)
APLF was established in November 1995 by leading logistics organizations and associations from each of the member countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The APLF aids logistics professionals, companies, and governments to network – improving efficiency and improving their competitive advantage.
“The Australia 4PL logistics solutions are gaining popularity in an increasingly large number of industries in Australia, including the automotive, retail, food & beverages, healthcare, and consumer electronics sectors,” said Business Wire in a recent article citing a ResearchAndMarkets.com report.
Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand (CBAFF)
CBAFF represents the interests of members within the customs broking and freight forwarding industry, aids in the maintenance and development of key relationships and supports the wider logistics environment in New Zealand. They also offer an information training portal to ensure members’ knowledge is both current and future-focused with high-quality industry-specific training.
Shipping Australia Limited (SAL)
SAL is a peak industry body and promotes the interests of ship owners and shipping agents in all matters of shipping policy and safe environmentally sustainable ship operations. Their members cover many of the major Australian and international ship owners, operators, and agency companies involved in bulk, tanker, general cargo shipping, container, passenger, and heavy lift trades as well as towage.
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA)
FTA is a leading representative body in Australia for the international supply chain sector bringing together importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight forwarders, logistics service providers, and industry groups.
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
International Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia Ltd. (IFCBAA)
The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) and Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF) joined forces to form the International Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia Ltd. (IFCBAA) to be in 2020. They are a voice for customs brokers, international freight forwarders, and other associated groups involved in international trade. IFCBAA is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 30772), and they promote the professional development of members through training and increased regulatory compliance.
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA)
SCLAA provides industry-leading professional development and education programs, networking events, corporate partnerships, and support for its members and partners with their decades of experience.
Location: Loganholme, Queensland
Federation of Asia Pacific Aircargo Associations (FAPAA)
FAPAA is an Air cargo body bringing together Air cargo Associations in 19 member countries and Asia-Pacific regions. They provide a forum for sharing and developing knowledge, innovation, and experience amongst leaders in the international logistics chain.
Location: Rockdale, New South Wales
“Digitization of logistics and compliance with sustainability policies will shape the future of logistics in African markets. These trends will continue to drive innovation in the logistics sector as logistics companies find ways to cut out intermediaries, remove burdensome operational processes, and optimize supply chains,” stated a recent article by TradeMark East Africa.
Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations
This federation aims to promote the freight logistics industry, address the challenges experienced by its members through training opportunities, and advocate for the removal of barriers that impede the full implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Customs Union.
Location: Westlands, Nairobi
The South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF)
SAAFF is a national association with members throughout the Republic of South Africa, established in 1921. Members are dedicated to facilitating freight forwarding through their involvement in the management of transportation, customs clearing, documentation, third party payments, and many other elements of international supply chains. They attend to matters of national interest but also have chapters of the association to deal with localized issues.
Location: Edenvale, South Africa
Why join a forwarding association or organization?
Being a part of a freight forwarding association can give you a beneficial edge in the industry. Not only are there direct perks of educational events, industry updates, and strategy discussions around current problems facing the industry. In addition, you get the added bonus of assured networking and connections to different facets of the industry. Relationships are a critical piece to being a successful forwarder, and finding the right organizations/associations for your company can help foster these naturally.