GFG Colombo Conference…



Sri Lanka LogoSm


“The Global Freight Group introduces a new President and five new members…

GFG Group Administrator, Rachel Marchant, reports on the conference in Colombo, 23 – 25 October 2011


GFG goes Lakeside…

The Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel was the luxurious setting for the Global Freight Group’s October 2011 conference. Nestled alongside the lake it was possible to witness local fishermen setting and drawing in nets, that is if you weren’t too busy with all the conference events on offer…

The Directors started their schedule with a social occasion, a meal on Saturday evening at the wonderful Long Feng restaurant within the hotel. Suitably strengthened, they followed this on Sunday with their day long meeting, reviewing group matters such as membership status. However, the main topic was about building the membership, efforts for which now resulted in welcoming five new member companies, who met with the Directors during their meeting.


Rain did not stop play…

The first event for all members is the much enjoyed Welcome Cocktail Party on Sunday evening. This time, as a personal favour, Niral Kadawatharatchie of Freight Links, the GFG’s local host company, hosted the party at his club house. Despite a tropical downpour dampening the ground, our members’ spirits were not dampened at all as they took part in the multi-coloured umbrella parade across the garden to Niral’s club house. Once inside members enjoyed great hospitality, a wonderful array of food and drinks, live music and great company. Rain did certainly not stop play!











Glitter balls, innumerable cocktail selections, endless food options and superb live music all served to give the GFG conference a great start.

The very late departure time of the last bus was testament to the enjoyment being had by members. It was a late night for many by the time we reached the hotel – tired but happy.

Thank you to our local host Niral of Freight Links and his family for their superb hospitality.



General Assembly kickstarts the working week…

 Monday’s General Assembly enabled members to meet within a work forum and find out about developments within the group.



GFG introduces five new members…

The five new members presented themselves and their companies to the membership.

They were:




  Above: Logistics Movers, Ghana – Teete Owusu-Nortey and Wilfred Obeng-Sackley Above: Meachers Global Logistics, UK – Clive Broadley and Gary Whitt  




Above: Polar International Forwarding Co. – Jeff Sun

Above: Posey International Inc. – Luis Garza and Luis Garza Jr





Right: Transworld Transportation, Vietnam – Angela Chang






The GFG’s loyal sponsors Logiware attend their first main conference…


Logiware have attended numerous casual spring conferences in the USA, supporting the GFG and offering their software products and services to members. This year, they attended their first full conference, meeting all the GFG in Colombo.

Logiware’s Gokulnath Vennkataraman reported back “Yes we did have many useful discussions and we hope some of the contacts we established during the Colombo conference will mature into concrete deals for us….As always it was fantastic conference and we enjoyed every bit of it and looking forward to seeing you in LA in spring 2012.”

Alan Palmore and Gokulnath Venkataraman represented Logiware, updating members about their developments and services and inviting members to come and discuss their needs.



Left: Gokul addresses the membership.


Right: Heneways learn about Logiware’s services



Voting produces many changes within the GFG…


After much delibaration by the Directors, they nominated the expulsion of 3 under-performing members. The full members present at the conference numbered 40 and voted, almost unanimously, to expel the following members:

Cargo Express, Venezuela
Continental Global Cargo, Peru
Login Cargo, Colombia

On a more positive note, the voting also resulted in the following membership advancements:

1. Aspirant Status to Full Member Status
a. Freight Management Ltd – Bangladesh
b. Raben Sea & Air Sp. Z.o.o. – Poland

Honduamerican Cargo & Logistics and Phoenix ECTS Limited were not be voted upon due to absence.

2. Observer To Aspirant Status
a. Super Middle East Freight & Logistics Co. – Kuwait
b. Waterlink Pakistan (PVT) Ltd – Pakistan


All change on the Board of Directors…


After 4 terms as GFG President, Marina Marzani decided it was time to step down and so we welcome Ilan Fidler as the new President of the Global Freight Group.

We thank Marina for her many years of dedication and now look forward to supporting Ilan in his new role.

We are also happy to announce Ole Skaaning as the new Vice President but also thank Nita Palhota for putting forward her services for the same.

Furthermore, we welcome back to the Board of Directors Romas Krilavicius who we know will provide sound input during BOD discussions.

Last but not least, we thank the existing Directors below for agreeing to renew their Directorship:

Richard Cope, Treasurer (in absentia)
Luiz Garcia
Niral Kadawatharatchie
Nita Palhota


Future conference plans…

 The locations for future GFG conferences took place and the calendar of events looks like this:

1. Spring 2012: Sheraton Downtown Hotel, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Dates: 15 – 17 April 2012

2. Fall 2012: São Paolo, Brazil.

3. Spring 2013: Atlanta, U.S.A.

4. Fall 2013: Vancouver, Canada


News from GFG members…

 Sebastian Szlegel and Anna Szymanowicz attended the conference representing Raben Sea & Air Sp. z.o.o. They informed the members about the company?s recent take over of Wincanton, a German and Eastern Europe road freight company. They confirmed that this would not cause any problems but instead would open up opportunities, with air and sea freight offices in Ukraine.

David Kratt attended representing Universal Logistics Solutions International (formerly D Kratt International). After D Krattt International and its export department, Transcontinental Exports Ltd, had been bought by Universal, they had decided to amalgamate the companies under this new name. Dave assured members that business and services would continue as normal.



Closing Dinner with a side helping of dancing…

 The closing dinner offered members the chance to unwind and enjoy each other’s company after all the work discussions over the previous two days.

The live band impressed with their skills and repertoire of songs, as members enjoyed champagne followed by plentiful food.


Awards Aplenty…

 Marina gathered members’ attention for the all important awards, this year even more than normal.


President’s Award…

 It was with pleasure that Marina announced the President’s Award would go to Airfarm in recognition of their long standing commitment to the GFG, introduction of reliable members in both Hungary and Uruguay and Emili’s time as a Director.


Right: Marina Marzani presents Emili Ventura, on behalf of Airfarm, with the President’s Award.



The PK Ki Operator of the Year Award…

 The PK Ki Operator of the Year Award is the GFG’s way of acknowledging the personnel behind the scenes within member companies who provide excellent service to other members during the year. The award was renamed in 2010 in honour of our friend and colleague, PK Ki of Helka Express International, who passed away that year.

For the first time, the award was split between three people, each having received equal votes from the GFG members.

The winners were:

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Douglas Garcia of Vogel Transport, Brazil

(Accepted by Luiz Garcia above)

Michael Jungbluth of Globe Transport, Germany

(Accepted by Horst Jungbluth above)

Wing Lau of Helka Express International, Hong Kong & China

(Accepted by Coron Yu above)



And the final award goes to…


…Marina Marzani.

 We presented Marina with a engraved silver tray in gratitude for her 8 years as the GFG President, statingthe following:


‘Presented to Ms Marina Marzani
In grateful recognition of your four terms as Global Freight Group President
April 2003 – October 2011
Thank you for your dedicated leadership.’


Marina has been the longest serving President of the GFG so it was an era comng to an end.


However, we look forward to leadership from the incoming President, Ilan Fidler, and a new outlook for the GFG.



After the awards, the entertainment continued with dancing to the live music, with our enthusiasm rewarded by extra time. Despite an early start the next day, there were many who stayed until the lights went up, the proof of a good night!



Elephants and spice and all things nice…

 Twenty-five members jumped on the coach at 8.30am on Wednesday to set off into the mountains of Sri Lanka. As is tradition for the GFG main conference, hard work is tempered by a day out for those who wish to explore the host country. This time it was to be a mixture of culture, countryside and wildlife.



Kelaniya for culture…


First stop was Kelaniya Temple, a Buddhist temple with glorious murals and architecture. The worshippers and their offerings of beautiful flowers and burning oils brought the temple to life as we looked on.

Left: murals inside the temple.

Right: deity flower offerings


Elephant rides: shower optional…


On the way to Pinnawela, there was an opportunity to stop and take an elephant ride into the river. Several members jumped on for the experience, some are pictured here.

Left: Alejandro and Jorge choose the shower option

Right: Bill and Ray stay dry




Elephants galore…

 Once at the orphanage, there were large herds of the awe inspiring elephants of all sizes to watch and admire.

Unfortunately, there had been so much rain that the river was too high and rough for the elephants to bathe in, so our lunch did not offer the views of elephants bathing that had been promised.

However, the surroundings were very picturesque and guests were happy to enjoy a relaxed sit down lunch in the shade!

  Right: some of the day trip gang (those who weren’t shopping at the time!) CMBDayTrip38  

Time to spice up your life…

 As an added stop off, we visited the spice gardens where members had face, neck and even back massages with natural products grown in the gardens. After the lessons and massages came the race to the shop for the magical lotions and potions.



It was a weary group who climbed back on to the coach for the long and very rainy drive home.

Again, great thanks to Niral, his family, Dilrani and Janaka who extended such a warm welcome and hosted such a memorable event.

Next stop LAX …