The 8th annual conference of World Cargo Alliance, held in Bangkok, Thailand, attracted a record turnout of 542 independent freight forwarders from 90 countries.

The three-day event, held at the five-Star Plaza Athenee hotel, had as its theme ‘Partnering for the Future’ and featured presentations highlighting the direction of technological advance in the logistics industry over the next few years including RFID and container security.

The conference also heard about All World Shipping, the WCA Family of Logistic Networks’ NVOCC, which had obtained a China Bill of Lading from the Ministry of Communications in Beijing just days before the event, to add to its US FMC Bill of Lading. Both are available to all members of the network, the most powerful grouping of independent freight forwarders in the world.

A new cargo insurance programme, Sky Blue, was also unveiled. This easy-to-use online system has been developed for and is available exclusively to WCA Family member companies and is exceptionally competitive in price as a result of WCA Family’s enormous group buying power.

WCA’s founder and president David L Yokeum reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the group, saying: ‘It’s not work, it’s something I absolutely enjoy doing. It’s the achievement of my dream!’ He stressed the importance of the opportunity for delegates at the conference to discuss business and potential partnerships. ‘According to many of our members, our meetings are the biggest single benefit of being in the World Cargo Alliance. That’s why our conferences are structured to minimise the general sessions and maximise the time spent by delegates in productive face-to-face meetings.’

Via the WCA Family’s trademark One-on-One Meetings SchedulerTM delegates pre-scheduled some 18,000 individual discussions over three days, a record for any WCA Family event. Many attendees found the exercise tiring. ‘I’m exhausted,’ said one member, emerging from what he said was his 26th such meeting, ‘but this is the most fantastic opportunity to get business I have ever had.’

‘Great value for money,’ enthused another. ‘It would cost me a million dollars to fly round the world to talk to so many potential partners.’

The WCA conference formed the first part of an exciting ‘double-header’ in the Thai capital ’ a popular venue for WCA Family events ’ as the inaugural India Global Logistics Network annual conference was scheduled to start one day later. This event, held for members of IGLN which was established less than one year ago, has attracted some 240 delegates and was described by David Yokeum as ‘an extremely encouraging debut and a clear indication of the fact there was huge demand for a network which addresses the needs and conditions of logistics in the Indian Subcontinent.’