CIFFA’s Rich History

The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association was founded September 1948 in Montreal by a small group of freight forwarders who saw a need to create an industry association to meet the professional demands of its members.

Read the newsclips which appeared in various trade publications at that time.

The conditions of the original charter read:

– To unite into a cohesive organization, as bona fide freight forwarders, those engaged in the business of foreign freight forwarding.

– To support and protect the character, status, and interest of foreign freight forwarders by establishing uniform trade practice and regulations and eliminating trade evils and abuses.

– To adjust disputes and difficulties between members and others and to establish and promulgate generally proper rules and regulations for arbitrating same.

– To deal with all questions affecting the interests of foreign freight forwarders at large, and to initiate and watch over, and if necessary to petition Parliament in relation to legislation or measure affecting foreign freight forwarders to procure changes of law or practice or routine or regulations, or to promote improvement in the principles or trade in its relation to the business of the members of this Association.

While these principles remain unchanged to this day, the association and its members have come a long way since those early beginnings.

Today, the association is managed by employees located at the Secretariat office in Toronto. Volunteer regional committees in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, each headed by a director on the national board, plan and host networking events that build the community.

The volunteer national board of directors, elected each year at the association’s annual general meeting, oversees the activities of the association on a national level, dealing with subjects of both national and international importance to its members.

Greater recognition of CIFFA and its members has been achieved through significant and on-going efforts to professionalize the activities of the freight forwarding industry in Canada. The association’s members, as required by the by-laws, adhere to recognized standard trading conditions, have forwarder’s liability insurance including errors and omissions, and have access to a training program through the CIFFA education system to ensure the professional quality of their staff.

Whatever your role in the movements of goods, the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association is important to you. As a freight forwarder, the association provides you with the opportunity to share the stature of the CIFFA brand, recognized as a symbol of excellence by Canadian importers and exporters.  To a shipper or importer, the association provides a source of freight forwarding companies all of whom are registered in our directory and all of whom participate from a level playing field of Standard Trading Conditions.  To the providers of goods and services and to carriers in all modes, the association facilitates access to some 250 freight forwarding companies.