On behalf of CIFFA, and upon publication of our 2019 Membership Directory, let me take the opportunity to introduce myself and to thank all CIFFA members for the opportunity to represent you as the new President of CIFFA’s Board of Directors.
While I’ve been a member of the CIFFA Board of Directors since 2012, first as Treasurer for two years and most recently in the position of Vice President I, I am pleased to now step into the President’s role following the excellent celebrations at the 70th Anniversary Conference last October.
I have spent over 30 years in the industry and bring valuable experience and knowledge to this role.
The 70th anniversary conference seminars were a wealth of information on issues of great relevance to our industry.
Whether the issues relate to technology, trade, regulatory or social change, we as logistics service providers need to embrace their relevance and implications now and in the future.
My leadership will continue to focus on three foundation pillars: Education, Advocacy and Membership.
Expanding CIFFA’s education portfolio will be key. The PFF (Professional Freight Forwarder) designation is a differentiator in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The PFF designation carries a lot of weight: a PFF has the background knowledge and training that are indispensable to the industry, and CIFFA PFFs elevate the professionalism and image of both the individual designation holder and the industry as a whole.
We will also continue to promote and to enhance the CIFFA Management program, International Freight Forwarding Courses, Air Cargo Security Training, Dangerous Goods, and various Webinars and workshops, including our member to member webinars featuring valuable material presented by members.
CIFFA must also continue the important advocacy work we perform, representing the industry before government.
Our role as ‘trusted advisor’ is strengthened through our ongoing participation and consultation with the CBSA, Transport Canada, international agencies, and with “friends of the family”, other associations with whom we share insight and information.
While 2019 will continue to be a year in which trade volumes remain high, volatility continues to influence how decisions are made.
We should embrace volatility as opportunity, not obstacle.
It’s exciting that trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which entered into force On December 30, 2018, will provide Canada with preferential access to key markets in Asia and Latin America.
The CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), meanwhile, has eliminated 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU and is already resulting in increased trade volumes into Canada.
Aside from CIFFA’s outreach on the education and advocacy fronts, the association will continue to deliver value to you as members.
And we count on your support and engagement as well.
Take advantage of our tremendous course offerings, toolkit, e-bulletin, webinars, regional and national events and networking opportunities. We hope to see you out and about at as many CIFFA events as possible this year.
As always, it’s our goal to raise the profile of CIFFA as a trusted advisor, and to make sure that logistics service providers are a recognized and respected as that “vital link” in Canada’s global supply chains.
Last but not least-2019 will be a “year in transition” for CIFFA’s Secretariat.
The year ahead brings a gradual changing of the guard as Ruth Snowden winds down her over-a-decade-long tenure as the Executive Director, and as Bruce Rodgers takes on that well-respected role.
I look forward to working with both of these respected colleagues, as well as the CIFFA Secretariat as a whole in the year ahead to raise the CIFFA profile and to represent our valued members.