There are more than 250 freight forwarding networks out there. Some of them with thousands of members, some rather small. Most small and medium-sized forwarders are part of a freight forwarding network and engage with their communities in WhatsApp groups or at their annual network conference. Read the article to learn about what services forwarding networks offer and how you can compare different networks out there.

Freight forwarder networks serve as a worldwide umbrella network of vetted members who work with each other under established standards, actively promote and support each other in logistics, customs brokerage and related services by pooling of sales, operational and financial resources.

The rationale behind this is to enable SME independent freight forwarder to compete with international players. Using their knowledge and working skills as local operators (freight forwarders, customs brokers, transportation companies, warehouse operators), freight forwarding networks help SME forwarders remain competitive.

Networks are almost like big logistics families! Before joining one, forwarders undergo a screening process to check financial stability, specifics of the organization and partner review process to make sure to maintain that high level of trust between the members. After approval of your application, and payment of the membership fee, your company details will be submitted to the network database profile and will be accessible for all members.

Most networks are exclusive and only allow a limited number of companies from the same country to get access. This puts freight forwarders into a unique position because there is no competition in situations where members ask for support in Germany. If there is only one member per country it will be you who gets the deal! Costs to enter a network usually range between $1500 and $3000 per year.

Group calls, shared services and access to software

The benefits different freight forwarder networks offer vary to some extent but can be categorized by three groups- community, shared services and access to external partners. The annual conference is usually the highlight event for every network which contains keynotes but mainly 1-on-1 networking sessions to increase each member’s partner network. During the year most networks offer virtual cocktail hours or monthly content sessions, basically online events to discuss the latest developments.

In addition to events, most freight forwarder networks use WhatsApp groups to make finding agents or other services as easy as possible. The biggest community asset is trust, created through the extensive vetting process most networks run before accepting an application.

Network owners do their best to grant easy access to relevant services to their members. Services range from legal support to alignment with international debt recovery services to cheaper access to cargo insurance. However, such services mostly focus on facilitating payments between members. Most networks have payment protection plans or their payment platforms to enable their members to pay and receive funds. Doing so, network members avoid high international bank transfers and protect themselves in case of unforeseen circumstances such as bankruptcy.

Through economies of scale, it is much easier for big conglomerates to sign contracts with software providers. This is another benefit freight forwarding networks offer their members. They sign partnership agreements with logistics technology companies and sublicense products or negotiate discounts and special deals for their members. Such services range from freight rate benchmarking services to easy access to SOC containers and supply chain visibility providers.

Our take on freight forwarding networks

At xChange, we’re a technology partner of a few, hand-selected, forwarding networks ourselves. We support their members to get access to our global equipment pool and increase their flexibility. Members of our partner networks enjoy special benefits on our neutral online platform for container logistics and avoid demurrage & detention charges through the usage of SOC containers. If you’re looking for a network to join, why not consider one of our partners:

MarcoPoloLine AG

Our goal is taking care of our partners, listening to their needs and act! We are a very active Group, always looking for new solutions to increase the business of our Members; we also look for new reliable and professional Partners in the countries where we are not yet.

Our Policy is to remain a medium size Network, in order to give the possibility to our Partners to work between each other without too much competition.

The key of our success: The Passion for our job, our availability twenty four hours a day, 7/7, and we always listen and answer to our Partners needs!

Security Cargo Network

Security Cargo Network is a global alliance of international freight forwarders currently composed of 210 member companies operating 385 enrolled offices in 89 countries. Membership is restricted according to market size, and members are pre-screened and verified to be operationally competent and financially responsible.

If you are a quality independent forwarder, a supplier to forwarders or of course a shipper, we invite you to connect with us to improve your global connections with us.

Globalink Network

Witnessing our member’s success over the last 18 years, we continue to prove that if you follow our approach, you will significantly grow your worldwide agency business, and see great results.

From the beginning, we have built our networks on this key truth; GOOD RELATIONSHIPS with GREAT PARTNERS, builds GOOD BUSINESS. Every tool, every program, every initiative we offer supports this truth. We bring quality ranking tools, along with CRM capabilities built right into our Directories, a mobile app, and a whole range of tools to enhance relationship building. We limit our membership to two slots for most countries to focus on quality and to foster growing relationships more effectively. And, we bring world class support in partnering with our members, to assist their efforts and success.

Conqueror Freight Network

Conqueror brings together carefully-selected freight forwarders in each major city which cooperate reciprocally and securely to expand their businesses, reduce costs and risks, and compete on more equal terms against the largest international companies.

Conqueror Freight Network has been recognised and certified for its quality by the industry’s only recognised body of quality independent freight forwarder networks, ELITE Association of Logistic Networks (ELITE).

Freight Lounge Network

The Freight Lounge is a forward-thinking and innovative network that embraces technology and uses that technology to empower its members. With new freight networks appearing weekly it is easy to be overwhelmed by the options but ask yourself one question: “What freight network brings more to the table than just several forwarders?”. The answer is The Freight Lounge. The Freight Lounge is created and built with the knowledge and experience of more than 40 years of forwarding and procurement experience. This is not just another once a year gathering of agents attempting to gain business together over a few days in Asia.

F Cube Networks

We are a young and newly formed community designed for Dynamic
Logistic Professionals from across the globe. The world’s first professional non-exclusive logistic network that builds up itself on the most trusted form of human association called “Friendship”.

F Cube endeavours to make a one-of-its kind network where members meet & interact on a friendly level rather than traditional professional protocols. Adding further on to this idea, we empower our members with this unique concept of being Flexi and Friendly in their networking approach to achieve their goals.

7ConNetwork

Much more than your average forwarding network, the 7ConNetwork is a wholly integrated marketplace combining a forwarder network with a state-of-the-art booking and quotation system. We operate the 7ConNetwork as though it’s a forwarding company. Whereby, each of our members are connected to the marketplace, acting as booking and receiving agents. We also actively promote the booking platform to worldwide shippers, driving in new sales on your behalf.

7ConNetwork provides its members with a network of global coverage, global marketing support, innovative e-forwarding tech tools, payment protection and financially secure members and partners working together with like-mindedness in a highly professional manner. Our core principles are expertise and exclusivity- one expert agent per port, per modality. This guarantees there is no competition amongst members- only co-operation and increasing business for everyone.

Globalia Logistics Network

Globalia is an exclusive network of the highest calibre freight forwarders in each key air/seaport worldwide who operate in an environment of disciplined cooperation under a single brand name.

Globalia awards each agent its own local market where it enjoys all the multinational benefits; a global brand, reliable partners everywhere, delimited territories, wide coverage, an Annual Meeting and much more. Globalia Logistics Network is at the cutting edge of technology by offering its members its own freight rate management software: FreightViewer, which allows them to provide instant online door-to-door quotations for their clients and partners

The Cooperative Logistics Network

The Coop is a collaborative alliance of over 300 hand-picked freight forwarders represented in more than 130 countries who work together to grow their businesses and serve their clients worldwide.

The Cooperative vision is to link together like-minded independent forwarders from all over the world in a network that will allow them to on a global scale with a global presence, trustworthy partners, a well-attended Meeting, etc. The Cooperative Logistics Network also offers its members the opportunity of being pioneers in digitalizing their freight services and working as Digital Forwarders through its exclusive TMS: FreightViewer.