More than 1,500 delegates have taken part in what is believed to be the largest ever meeting of independent freight forwarders from all over the world at the 5th Sino International Conference at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong.

Organized jointly by the China International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFA) and the China Global Logistics Network (CGLN), the conference attracted unprecedented numbers of top executives of logistics companies from 140 countries as well as a contingent of more than 700 of China’s most experienced forwarders.

The object of the Sino-International conference is to put forwarders from China in touch with more partners in other countries to enable both sides to better deal with the skyrocketing demand for transportation of goods to and from the PRC, which is set to become the world’s largest economy in 2008 (source: WTO). The Sino-International conference took the form of thousands of individual meetings arranged in advance using WCA Family’s trademark One-on-One SchedulerTM which enables delegates to specify in advance who, where and what they are looking for and arrange their timetable for the conference before they leave for the event.

With its newly enhanced Advanced Search facility, the One-on-One Scheduler has been adopted by leading trade bodies FIATA and TIACA for use at their own events. Some 30,000 ‘one-on-one’ meetings were held during the event as attendees met with potential partners in other ports and countries to establish and cement firm business relationships.

Also playing an important role in the record-breaking event were the Port of Barcelona (Official Conference Sponsor) and Sinotrans Eastern (Official Conference Gala Dinner Sponsor). Top executives of the progressive Spanish port were on hand and announced they will host a Sino-European Forwarders Conference in Barcelona next year (October 25-28, 2009) ’ again co-organized by CIFA and CGLN. Both Barcelona and Sinotrans were among nearly 100 exhibitors at the trade show held alongside the conference.

David Yokeum, president of CGLN’s parent organization WCA Family of Logistic Networks, commented: ‘This extraordinary event keeps growing because of the crucial importance of face-to-face networking in the logistics industry. Even the best independent forwarders want and need to build relationships of trust with their agents and business partners across the world and there is no substitute for direct talks.

‘So many attendees have already said to me that they have done serious business at the conference and many, many more have identified new partners to do future business with. Forwarders from all over the world have located top agents in China ’ the world’s most dynamic economy ’ and Chinese forwarders have set up partnerships with fellow agents in all the markets they are interested in.

‘The presence of so many of the cream of China’s own international freight forwarders here also underlines the importance of this event in helping them to identify their most appropriate partners for expansion of inbound and outbound trade.’