Our meetings finished just a few weeks ago and already it seems like years ago. Quite frankly, for those of you who joined us in Portugal last year, I was wondering how we would ever compete with how well that meeting went. Am I ever happy to report that our 2017 Meeting was ranked as high or higher by our members, in their meeting surveys. This was a great meeting all around.
Congratulations goes to our meeting co-sponsor, VINAFREIGHT, of Vietnam, for their help throughout the meeting and in assisting us in choosing the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Da Nang, Vietnam. We also want to extend our thanks to ATOLL LOGISTICS, our welcome sponsor, and SUNOBLE LOGISTICS, our Silver Gala Dinner sponsor.
Our members ranked the hotel with an average 8.6 (out of 10), which is an excellent ranking. All the members I spoke to said the rooms were excellent, the property was great, and the service was outstanding. Being one of the very few resorts actually on the beach in Da Nang, certainly added a nice touch. This year we really stretched the entertainment budget and hired an outside events company to put on a remarkable show for the Gala Dinner. I’ve seen loads of dragon dances in my day, but nothing like this one! The entire show was very professional, and worth the extra money.
We opened our meeting by continuing our tradition of contributing $1,000.00 to a local charity, this year being the KIANH FOUNDATION. This is a remarkable school for local kids with disabilities, and is expanding its work due to the pressing demand.
After introducing all the members present, we kicked off the conference with a presentation by ETIHAD AIRLINES, who are looking to partner with the network on a combined incentive based plan. Mr. Ali Al-Shibli remarked that while ETIHAD had talked to several other networks and are working with a few, GLOBALINK is the only network that was not looking for something out of the program. He emphasized that this was unique, and that it said a lot about Globalink being unique. ETIHAD has confirmed that they will be proceeding with setting up the incentive program and is working on setting a baseline. If you missed this, and may want to participate or if you have any questions about this program please contact Bill Siemens, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day two opened with a great presentation by Dennis Rowles and Anthony D’Ambrosia of DJR Logistics, focusing on the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission as well as some security nightmares. This presentation is available should you wish to review it. To sum it up, The FMC is actively enforcing their regulations, including heavy fines and penalties. Forwarders have can’t be too careful to be sure they are in compliance and manage their bills of lading very strictly. On day three, Bill Siemens offered the group some thoughts as to the long term consequences of Amazon’s direct move into Logistics. THIS IS A WARNING. The larger forwarders will eventually look to move more aggressively into some of the niche’s our group occupies, and that could spell trouble for a number of us. The one thing smaller forwarders have and can exploit, that the larger forwarders have a hard time countering, is the speed and flexibility of responding based on the quality of our relationships with our clients and with each other. It’s time to rethink the strategic value of creating and growing relationships as a way of protecting our business. And it’s time to get far more proactive in this effort.
The essence of this meeting was the time we got to spend together, in a wonderful setting. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, while focusing on building business was the real summary of this meeting. It can’t be said more strongly, our time together, with each other is gold on a number of levels. Those who miss out on this, are leaving gold on the table, what a shame for them, and our members in attendance.
We thank all of you who were in Da Nang, Vietnam, for a truly remarkable meeting.