The GFG – Making Global Opportunities

Some people say they don’t ‘get opportunities’, we say let’s ‘make opportunities’.  Opportunities to network, share expertise, grow business, develop leads and learn from each other.

The GFG takes every opportunity to do this.  In fact, if you see our ‘Logistics Discussions & Freight Advisory’ page, we willingly share the country and industry expertise offered by our members: the latest regulations, packaging rules, documentation updates, etc.

On this occasion, we heard about an exhibition and turned it into our own learning and development opportunity.  Read on to find out more about developments in Brazil…

The GFG – Making the Most of Opportunity, the World Over

Daniela Garcia, Commercial Executive at Vogel Transport in Brazil, attended Intermodal SA during March 2018. Not only did Daniela attend as a standard exhibition visitor but she was also specifically invited to take part in the specialist conference which runs alongside the Intermodal exhibition.
As Daniela said “The Exhibition holds this conference every year with experts in our industry. Any company can buy their tickets to get access  but this year the company that organize the event invited me to participate, after I discussed with their manager some issues in the market in Brazil. They always have interest to understand our market to open discussion at their forum and they offered me the VIP to get access to the conference. “
Intermodal’s specialist conference this year addressed the industry’s latest topics, which were:
– Global Supply Chain
– Integrated Supply Chain Industry, Retail, Ecommerce
– Challenges, Trends and Future of Transportation
Sharing Opportunities
In advance of the conference, Daniela kindly agreed to share the opportunity with the GFG members.  Therefore, we sent out an invitation to members offering them almost ‘virtual attendance’.  In fact, giving them the opportunity to get involved, ask questions, suggest companies with which to meet on their behalf and find out about any developments of particular interest to them. 

This is a perfect example of how the GFG members work together to share their knowledge, build their expertise and offer mutual benefits from all and any opportunity.  It is more than just moving cargo, the GFG is a network of friends who actively help each other.

GFG Collaborations

Furthermore, in Daniela’s capacity as a voluntary Director for the Global Freight Group, I couldn’t resist asking Daniela to do a little research for the network and its members! 

The GFG’s ethos is ~a network run by the members for the members~.  Illustrating this is the voluntary Board of Directors, always ready to use their experiences to help other members.

Since the GFG operates a protected territory rights system, we can afford to be particular about which companies to invite to become a member.  As a long-term member and now GFG Director, Daniela is well placed to know which type of freight forwarding company will benefit the GFG, and vice versa.

Daniela went armed with our specially designed IMSA18 promotional flier as below:


Upon Daniela’s return from the conference, Rachel, the GFG Group Administrator, got in touch to find out about Daniela’s experiences during the event.

Daniela reported that, while the attendees at the event were not companies suited to GFG membership, most exhibitors being from ports, carriers, shipping lines and IT companies, the event itself had been hugely interesting and beneficial.

While Daniela was unable to bring new members directly, she perfectly represented the GFG, giving wider exposure of the brand to the South American market and raising the overall profile of the GFG amongst the industry.

Business is underway at Intermodal SA 2018
(photo by Daniela Garcia, Vogel Transport)
International Developments and Future Opportunities for Growth

Daniela reported that the talks by the guest speakers, experts in their field, were fascinating.  One such talk discussed how the logistics market was moving nowadays – a topic that was also addressed by the GFG Board of Directors during their monthly Skype call.

Daniela reported that, regarding the Brazilian market, the Port of Santos is estimated to move about 150 million tons in 2020.  In order to meet this increase in flow, Companhia Docas do Estado de São Paulo (Codesp) has been designing alternatives for a multimodal system.  One of these alternatives is the modal waterway, which is going to be implemented soon.

Daniela said that she noticed in all the lectures: “the great interest of the country and in investments in infrastructure and logistic development and also promoting intermodality, which is the biggest challenge facing Brazil to be able to handle all the expected volume.”

Mr Yossi Sheffi presents at the specialist conference
(photo by Daniela Garcia, Vogel Transport)
Investment in Industry IT

Daniela’s report continued as follows:

“As for the market in general we have been introduced to innovative technologies such as intensive automation, cyberphysical systems, big analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and especially BLOCKCHAIN (agile and secure sharing of documents using technologies allowing smarter governance in the processes) that are already generating impact in the processes of international trade, requiring a new posture of the companies that work in the sector.  Companies like Google and IBM are interested and investing in the logistics segment. There was the information that IBM and Maersk are working in a joint venture to implement Blockchain in global logistics process that they are already testing with Tetra Pack, Dupont and customs agencies in Netherlands.

The new Ocean Network Express joint venture (which includes Asian companies Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui O.K. Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line)) was also present at the fair showing interest in the region.”

Making it personal – the Industry re the GFG

Daniela and Rachel also discussed how these latest developments might relate to, and be adopted by, Vogel Transport or the GFG to enhance their future business.  The discussion went like this:

Rachel:       what is Vogel’s main reason for attending the Intermodal event?

Daniela:     To meet with carriers, NVOCC’s, airlines in order to network and also it’s important to learn of new developments within the industry

Rachel:       What is Vogel’s view on the forecasted increase in freight with regard to the overall infrastructure and developments for Brazil?

Daniela:     It is something urgent in Brazil.  We have many challenges in logistics here that lead our country to being one of the most expensive countries for shipments and duties.  These developments are very important and we believe this can also increase our exports, considering we are still mainly a big importing country.

Rachel:       which developments at the Intermodal event might Vogel react to and adopt, such as interconnected systems, Santos port developments, etc.

Daniela:     Certainly, interconnected services will give us the power to offer the same service as companies with offices all over the country.  We are working to develop more internet interaction with our customs and we are working on other developments which will benefit our customers in the future – more news soon!

Rachel:       As a GFG member, and a GFG Director, how useful are events like Intermodal?

Daniela:     Networking is the main benefit.  For example, last year I met a Director Manager of Tap from Lisbon who nowadays helps me check space problems with our connecting cargo over there.  He is always helping us get an earlier space and to keep our customers informed.  This is an example of why networking is so important.

Rachel:       As a GFG Director will the increase in Brazilian developments bring opportunities to the GFG and its members?

Daniela:     For sure, we are always working to get more business and now we can see that the country may help us in this task 🙂

Rachel:       Again, as a GFG Director, do you think block chain technology can easily be adopted by smaller companies and networks or only larger ones?  Is the cost prohibitive?

Daniela:     I can’t say easily but I believe that many people still have cultural problems to believe totally in technology databases.  An MIT Director mentioned an interesting example: ‘would you trust flying in an airplane without a pilot, even knowing that a computer works a lot better and faster than a human?’

                     It’s a long debate, certainly, but  it is still something we need to keep an eye on and discuss and see the next chapters, especially in logistics.  I believe it’s still too new to have ideas about costs.

Rachel:       As a younger professional in the in logistics industry, used to interconnectivity in general, do you feel the industry has been slower to employ technology and online services, compared to other industries?  Is this something you are implementing at Vogel?

Daniela:     I personally don’t see this slow movement.  I think industry in general is looking to employ technology more and more.  However, talking about our country, Brazil, companies are not investing in it now.  I see now a movement of testing and research, with many introductions at Intermodal.  Also, because this is very new to our country, that is not famous for creating technology.  Unfortunately education is a higher challenge than logistics.  This is because it is a time of doubt regarding political movements this year, due to the election.  So it is something Brazilian companies are looking to implement but it is a future theme, still too much doubt in the country to take big steps towards this now.

Thank you to Daniela for sharing her insights about Intermodal and the developments in both the industry and in Brazil in general.

Global friendship – the GFG effect

The benefit of a network such as the GFG – aside from the obvious increased business opportunities – is the strong global friendship.  All over the world, our members make the most of the opportunity to meet up with their GFG friends.  In doing so, the obvious and genuine pleasure and welcome is undeniable.  The GFG is undeniably one of the friendliest networks.  We work, play and even holiday together!

Intermodal provided just such an opportunity for Daniela from Vogel Transport, the GFG member in Brazil, to meet up with Samson from Helka Global, the GFG member in China.  

As Daniela said “I was able to meet Helka there (got a picture with Samson attached). ????”

Pictured above are Daniela Garcia from Vogel Transport, Brazil and Samson Chan of Helka Group, China.
(photo by Daniela Garcia, Vogel Transport)
After spending time participating in the GFG annual conference in Greece in October 2017, Daniela and Samson were delighted to take the opportunity to meet again at Intermodal SA in Brazil.
The Way Forward

Technology is streamlining all industries, logistics being no exception.

The GFG itself is benefitting from various developments in the development of IT in logistics.  Soon we will be reporting on the latest online payment services, offered exclusively to GFG member, six months’ prior to general release.  Follow the GFG’s progress on this as we report in due course.

Intermodal too has focused on, amongst other subjects, the use of technology to facilitate greater fluidity of global transportation. 

Overall, it seemed that everyone is looking to new markets, new modes of transport and new methods of unifying and systemizing as much of the process as possible.

“Where IT meets logistics, there lies opportunity..”

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