By its very definition, logistics is an industry of location and information. Anyone can easily ship a package to another person in the world, but what we actually sell is information, access, and accountability. There are obvious financial benefits of being part of a strong freight network, or of partnering with a stable base of operations in market, including the mitigation of risk, free flow of information, and support. Being involved with a solid and strategic network gives added control and visibility to the shipper, providing access to tracking and network services and, occasionally most importantly, a far more competitive price, when the network can use its volume to negotiate on behalf of their many customers. There are innumerable benefits to the logistics customer when smaller companies join freight networks.
Global Affinity Alliance provides members with protection, cohesion, and networking. Global networks have strength in numbers, providing members with buying power, flexibility, exposure, and connecting members to partners across the globe. GAA helps starting forwarders grow by allowing them access to a vast network of other forwarders, grants the support of our financial protection guarantee, and membership dispute resolution programs from the World Cargo Alliance. Also, pioneering the Consol2Xchange program, we aim to bring members together across LCL shipments, preserving service and solutions in a strongly cost-saving partnership that is not limited to only truck and ocean cargo as we plan to expand the product into air cargo consolidations as well.
As we watch 2015 become the year of Mergers and Acquisitions with more than a 10% increase in logistics M&A over 2014, networks will be crucial to stay competitive. As smaller houses are bought out, brought under larger umbrellas and incorporated into these partnerships, the networks they remain part of allows them flexibility and power as they take domestic businesses to the global market and increase the smaller firms’ competitiveness.