It is a sincere pleasure to have the opportunity to write this column every month. Despite having left the transactional side of the business now six year ago, the degree to which I remain involved in the day-to-day issues that affect the industry is amazing and wonderful. I stand by my firm belief that there are fewer industries where we rely on each other more - both asset and non-asset owning companies - and where individual friendships and relationships are forged and remain in place for decades. People that fall in love with logistics don't necessarily go to school for it. Maybe they answer an ad, have a friend who ropes them in or have a family member who is already "in it". However people come to it and for whatever reasons they remain, makes me more proud of our industry with each passing day.
London & Brussels calling.
In September, I traveled to the UK and Brussels and had the pleasure to meet and network with people like the publisher of The Loadstar, Alex Lennane and the head of BIFA, Robert Keene. We talked congestion, Brexit and the issues that forwarders deal with on a daily basis and rest assured, they are the same things, just on the other side of the pond.
In Brussels, I spent a day and a half with the amazing Steven Polmans, head of cargo and logistics for Brussels Airport. With a staff of seven, Brucargo has taken a number of steps to alleviate congestion and to work more closely. It took them a number of years, but Air Cargo Belgium is now the group to which everyone belongs and has a paid staff that manages technology, working groups and collaboration and problem / conflict resolution. It is my personal belief that for airport communities to have the success of Brussels, the airports must take the lead as the facilitators. Dedicated staff who act as the mediators, facilitators and advocates are best positioned to represent these groups.
Brussels also operates Brucloud, a technology platform which companies connect to and is growing through the use of things like slot booking and information sharing. I took a video with Sara van Gelder from Steven's team and it's here on Facebook.
It took Brussels seven years and while I hope that here in Chicago and elsewhere it doesn't take that long for us, they've given me a blueprint in my mind for how we can work better together.
Two more events - Elections and our holiday party.
As we move into November and December, we only have two major events remaining on the calendar - our elections which are on Tuesday, November 13th, and our holiday party on Tuesday, December 11th. Please mark your calendars to attend both. Watch for the emails reminding you and providing a chance to register. If you are interested in running for the IACAC board - and I believe we have at least four, possibly five declared candidates as of this writing, we welcome your engagement and participation.
Membership renewals coming for 2019 - and get the rest of 2018 if you join now!
In November you will start to see an earnest push for membership - whether getting our 2018 members to renew, getting former members back or finding companies and individuals to join us for the first time next year. The IACAC is making internal improvements to increase the value of membership in our organization. I personally promise that while you may have seen benefits of membership to date, it will ramp up even further next year.