GFG Sao Paolo Conference…
CONFERENCE NEWS – SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL – 21 – 24 OCTOBER 2012
“The GFG takes its own party to Sao Paolo…
GFG Group Administrator, Rachel Marchant, reports on the conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 21 – 24 October 2012
Thank you to all those who joined us in São Paulo in October! Despite some last minute ‘no shows’, the São Paulo conference enjoyed a strong attendance of member companies. It was possibly due to the reputation of Brazil as a location offering a lively, vibrant lifestyle, which we could enjoy for a few days. Certainly the closing dinner gave a great example of this energy, but more about that later…
New Members meet the BOD…
During the Directors’ meeting on Sunday 21st October, the Directors were pleased to meet and welcome representatives from our new members in Finland, Panama and Sweden. Representatives from the new Colombian and Peruvian companies would also be attending their first main conference.
Time to meet friends…
The cocktail party is always alive with chat and laughter and this was certainly the case in São Paulo. The hum of people socialising was very audible from outside the main room – a great example of friends meeting each other. Our new members were very pleased to receive such a warm welcome into the GFG family – a strong reflection of the GFG’s reputation of being a friendly close-knit group!
General Assembly and Sales Meetings…
Monday’s General Assembly enabled members to meet within a work forum and find out about developments within the group. Some of these subjects included the GFG Member Contract, location discussions regarding future conferences and advancements within the membership. Full minutes will be typed up and sent out.
The GFG welcomes new members…
The Directors and I were delighted to welcome five new members to their first main conference.
The new members received their membership certificates from the GFG President, Ilan Fidler.
|CAP Cargo, Peru – Wilser Aliaga Garcia
||C Land Logistics, Sweden – Jonas Olofsson
||Scan Global Logistics, Finland – Kari Cairenius
|MAP Cargo, Colombia – Carlos Parra
||DAC Transport Inc, Panama – Sabine Priess de Villareal
Voting results in many membership advancements …
Congratulations to the following members who advanced from Aspirant Status to Full Member Status:
Phoenix ECTS Limited
Super Middle East Freight & Logistics Co.
Honduamerican Cargo & Logistics and Waterlink Pakistan (PVT) Ltd were not voted upon due to absence.
Congratulations to the following members who advanced from Observer To Aspirant Status:
MAP Cargo S.A.S.
Meachers Global Logistics
Polar International Forwarding Co., Ltd
Posey International Inc.
Scan Global Logistics (Finland) OY
Logistics Movers were not voted upon due to absence.
“Adios y gracias” to one of the Board of Directors…
After 3 terms as a GFG Director, offering his experience to each discussion, Emili Ventura decided he was no longer able to offer the necessary time to continue the role. Therefore, we thank him for his long service and input over the last six years.
Future Conference Discussions…
The locations for future GFG conferences are as follows:
1.Spring 2013: Embassy Suites, Perimeter / Dunwoody, Atlanta, USA
Dates: 13 – 16 April 2013
2.Fall 2013: Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver, Canada
Dates: 13 – 16 October 2013
Some details are already on the GFG website under the Future Conferences section and more will be added as they become available.
Conference locations for 2014 and 2015…
Since the recent conferences have been held in Asia and South America, with North America being the 2013 location, the logical continent for the 2014 conference, will be Europe. Therefore, the following locations were put up for consideration for 2014: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland and Turkey. The locations considered for 2015 are: Hong Kong, Ningbo (both China) and Korea.
The Directors agreed that the conference locations for 2014 and 2015 would be voted upon via email. This was in order to obtain some primary pricing information before a vote was taken.
Rachel has sent out a worksheet to prospective hosts, providing them with guidance for submitting hotel pricing information. The deadline for submissions is 4th January 2013, after which time a summary of the information will be sent out to members, enabling them to make an informed choice about locations. All Full Members will be asked to vote by a set deadline. If members do not submit their vote by this date, they will be considered to be uninterested in registering their vote.
More Sales Meetings than ever before…
The new conference format provided an extra day of sales meetings. This enabled members to also take advantage of the double slot option, a 40 minute meeting. Many members appreciated this longer meeting as it meant they were able to have more detailed discussions with any companies they required. The result was that the meeting room was busy with discussions for the whole of Tuesday and Wednesday. There were at least 15 member companies still busy with meetings on Wednesday – a good turnout indeed!
|Kari Cairenius of ScanGlobal Finland, complete with Father Christmas, exchanges information with Midas Fernandes of Super Middle East Freight in Kuwait.
||Sharon Ki and Joe Cheng of Helka Group in China meet with Jonas Olofsson and Magnus Ejdervall of C Land Logistics in Sweden.
Tuesday was GFG T-Shirt day, with a glow of white shirts throughout the meeting room.
|White GFG shirts dominate the room…
||Joe Cheng of Helka Group in China meets with Jonas Olofsson and Magnus Ejdervall of C Land Logistics in Sweden.
It was good to hear lots of discussion as well as laughter in the room, proving that you can mix business with pleasure.
Wednesday Closing Assembly
There was a review of issues raised during the General Assembly, with members being invited to comment.
One such item was the extended duration of the conference. Since Dave Cerasi had suggested the extension, he was invited to comment upon it. He felt that the extra day had been worthwhile as it allowed more time to meet members. He felt it would be even more beneficial as the group increased its membership and so agreed to continue with this format.
Since ACSA had not been in favour of the extension, they were also invited to comment. Alejandro spoke on their behalf stating that, although they had finished their scheduled meetings within two days, they had stayed in the meeting room throughout the duration of the conference, enabling them to have more time to meet with more members.
A show of hands was taken to assess whether the extended duration should be continued or not. The results were as follows:
Votes for a 2 day meeting: 14
Votes for a 3 day meeting: 20
Therefore, the next mandatory meeting will also include sales meetings on Wednesday.
At the request of the GFG golfers, we shall investigate the possibility of a golf tournament on Wednesday. However, those members who have meetings must prioritise them!
Marina asked members if they were prepared for the change to E-Cargo, since some airlines would soon be imposing the system. For example, Cathay Pacific’s deadline for electronic only AWBs is 1st December. Subsequent to the meeting, Marina has offered to communicate with members about E-Cargo and its requirements. Marina will do this after 9th December, when she returns from her extended business trip.
Marina also raised the issue of a Special Cargo Division. For example, Esse Emme are specialists in the transportation of live animals. She asked if any members were interested in discussing this business and arranged a subgroup meeting for them to learn more. There was also the suggestion to incorporate a section on the new GFG for members to list their cargo specialisations. Rachel has since asked for a section to be included so that members can list all their services and specialities.
|Closing Dinner – a duet starter with a main course of Samba…
The venue for the closing dinner, Avila, could not have been more convenient – right in front of the hotel!
As members arrived, they were welcomed with music and drinks – always a good combination.
With members taking a seat, the meal service followed, with lots of chat and socialising amongst the tables.
||The Return of the ‘Rev’…
Following the singing duo, came a solo ‘act’ – the GFG’s very own Reverend – Jimmy Montgomery.
It was a pleasure to see a return of Jimmy’s address to the members, after some years’ absence. On this occasion highlighting that the GFG ‘does good’. Indeed it does!
Following Jimmy’s accolade to all members for the good they do, it was time to commend some individuals…
|Annual Awards …
The PK Ki Operator of the Year 2012:
Rachel started off the awards’ presentation with the Operator of the Year Award, as it had been a guarded secret from Ilan. The reason being that the winner was one of Ilan’s employees – Allison Schneider.
Again, Helka’s employees, and Helka overall, received many individual nominations, one vote. However, with three votes, Allison Schneider was this year’s clear winner.
Right: Rachel awards Allison Schneider of ARI Shipping in New York
||The President’s Award 2012:
After assessing the GFG surveys, the winner of the President’s Award became very clear – Globe Cargo in Germany. Clearly not expecting the award, Horst was busy enjoying his food as his company name was called out.
Horst and Globe are a well-deserving winner – congratulations!
Right: Horst Jungbluth of Globe Cargo receives the President’s Award from Ilan Fidler, GFG President before running back to finish his meal
Main Course of Samba…
Suddenly, the chatter was interrupted by the arrival of the main entertainment event – a Samba band and feather-crowned dancer.
As the band played the mesmeric Samba beat, the dancer encouraged the GFG members to join her on the dance floor.
While some took more persuading than others, most were only too happy to join in the dancing and we witnessed some very fancy footwork around the dancefloor.
Recognise these two people?! Luigi and Angela enjoying the beat…
After an excellent show and plenty of dancing, the samba beat died down and members returned to their tables to continue their meal. I think most people had built up their appetite and were ready for their food…
The socialising continued well after the official event ended as members enjoyed each other’s company. Some even went on to enjoy more Samba and dancing as they set off to a local club for more live music. Another great foray into São Paulo’s lively lifestyle though perhaps some of us should have got to bed earlier…!
Crafts, colourful cottages and a cosy café…
There were some sleepy people who set off for a day trip to the picturesque town of Embu das Artes.
Originally known as simply Embu, it was renamed Embu das Artes as it became famous for its many craft and artesan workshops.
The many colourfully painted houses provided many photo opportunities so, even if you weren’t shopping, the town was a beautiful venue for a sightseeing trip.
To re-energise members, we had lunch at Emporio São Pedro – an antique shop and restaurant with a cosy and interesting interior.
Thus fortified, members enjoyed another hour or so walking around the town before it was time to return to São Paulo.
Everyone agreed it was a very enjoyable day trip, offering a chance to see rural views, a contrast to the big city of São Paulo and enjoy great company in a pretty location.
As members headed back to the hotel, the conference events drew to a close – thus ending this year’s meeting.
We look forward to welcoming members to Atlanta in April 2013 and then Vancouver for the main conference in October 2013.
Stay alert for more news about the GFG’s 2013 events and start planning your trip…