Mass extinction is anything but a new phenomenon, taking place since the beginning of time. In today’s modern logistics world many players are facing the dino fate of disappearing from the landscape – small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The good news for this still large and very vivid group is that there is an organization out there protecting them from going down the drain and offering them new business opportunities.
Something has to be done to prevent the SMEs from being wiped off by the impacts caused by today’s modern asteroids, the multinationals, thought industry veteran Roy Stapleton. So he came up with the idea of creating Elite Global Logistics Network (EGLN) to provide SMEs shelter from being pushed off the edge of a cliff and better their business perspectives. Indeed an interesting project, supported by EGLN Ambassador Des Vertannes, IATA’s former Cargo helmsman. Des is neither a full time or part time employee but simply there in an advisory capacity to Roy.
Fast growing club
Formed only this year, 130 companies have meanwhile become EGLN members. At the network’s first annual meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand from 4th – 7th October, their delegates reviewed and discussed a kaleidoscope of past, potential and future business opportunities.
According to Roy Stapleton, EGLN’s President and Founder, his network’s business model is unique since new members are not solicited but will be added from a strict referral program instigated by existing members only.
He goes on to say that “EGLN’s growth will be organic through the referrals of our members. Our member’s key executives are people with whom I have worked with or known during my lifetime in the industry and have migrated to EGLN as part of the important ongoing ‘relationship building’ process.”
By the end of 2016 “we project to have 250+ members in 100+ countries with aggregated annual revenue exceeding US$4.0 billion.” By then his EGLN can be compared to a top ten multinational logistics player, by acting far more flexibly and customer-focused, Roy predicts.
Quite an ambitious aim in view of the many networks enabling SMEs to ‘cherry pick’ their individual networking needs.
So the key question is if an additional alliance is needed to better defend than others the interests of SMEs and offer them a platform for driving their business forward on a global scale, thus enhancing their market position. Roy’s clear-cut answer: “There are in excess of 200+ freight networks out there today and competition is fierce.” He expects many of those actors to fall by the wayside because they lack quality, consistency and the right leadership. “It takes the right person with the right background to establish credibility with SMEs.” He adds to this: “The aspiration of EGLN is to have a broad global membership base of industry ELITE companies that share our commitment to quality and service driven to be a part of the most respected freight and logistics network that exists today – a unique 6 Star ‘Best-in-Class’ freight and logistics network.”
A start has been made with some top shelf SMEs having joined his club such as Radiant Global Logistics USA, Pan Jupiter Global Asia, Estes Global USA, Interfracht Group, Mairon, Dart Global Group, IFS Group Belfast UK, to name just a few.
Fees based on geographical origin
Companies interested in joining EGLN have to pay a city membership fee of $2,400.00 a year. Roy illustrates: “We will maintain for the most part a maximum of 3 members per city but will allow 5-7 in large markets like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, and London etc.” Lower fees are considered for cities in smaller commercial markets i.e. Malta, Israel, Ireland and Central America.
Simultaneously, an Accounts Receivable fund will be established with each company contributing $500.00 per year as their annual premium payment. This fund will be built upwards of $300,000.00 and it will be available to assist if one or another member goes bankrupt.
Roy’s conclusion: “Because of our strict selection process we do not expect too much problems in that area but as in life, one never can tell.”
Heiner Siegmund / John Mc Donagh