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The China Cargo Alliance completed its 2nd annual conference in Shanghai in mid-January on a successful note with some 130 delegates in attendance.
For three days, 47 ¡®International¡¯ forwarders operating in 45 countries and 32 Chinese Class-A or NVOCC forwarders operating in all parts of China met and set plans for generating business with partners for the new year.

The Group Picture (please click the picture to enlarge)

At the gala ¡®get-to-know-you¡¯ dinner opening in the Shanghai Hilton Hotel, Frank Naeve, the Lufthansa Cargo General Sales Manager handed out the number one top prize of the lucky draw, a sponsored business class ticket to Europe.

The Lucky Draw-Grand Prize from
Mr. Frank Naeve of Lufthansa

The morning session of Day One featured the CCA executives describing progress since the previous conference (held at Shenzhen in autumn 2002), and outlining future directions. The afternoon of Day One was set aside for new delegates to make a five-minute presentation of their firm¡¯s activities to the assembled members.

The Opening Ceremony

Participants could then sign up for half- hour, face-to-face meetings over Days Two and Three as the conference hall was reconfigured with a series of meeting tables. In essence, everyone got a chance to size up everyone else, exchange contact details and - most importantly - to set plans for generating business with new partners. Social events each evening allowed delegates to further explore potential business relationships.

The Bilateral Meeting

So what did participants think of our conference? Please see the following report prepared by Mr. Rick Erickson, specialised freight journalist of Cargovision- one of the world's premier air cargo journals published by KLM CARGO

Mischa de Boer from Amsterdam was bullish, noting ¡°I like the professionalism of the Chinese agents . . . they are very proactive, approachable, and keen to do business¡±. Dutch colleague Joost Dortwegt said, ¡°it is a unique opportunity to find an agent in each region of China. This makes our company better able to compete with the large multinational forwarders¡±.

Craig Abbott of Auckland-based Tri-Star International was frank: ¡°we need to get our act together in New Zealand if we want to be taken seriously as knowledgeable and experienced China traders - that is why I am here.¡± Ashwin Didwania from Bombay recognized that ¡°even in India, we are swamped with Chinese products. We want to join in this trade¡±.

Vitor Sanches of Pinto Basto Gest based in Lisbon had an interesting rationale for attending. ¡°We have many Portuguese shippers, who through my country¡¯s colonial interests in Macau, are keen to do business in China. This conference will permit our company to gain that entry¡±. Siddique Khan from Kazahkstan also had a broader goal, ¡°we are just as keen to develop links with other international delegates here, as we are at making inroads into China¡±.

Chinese forwarders were also positive about the conference. Wang Yi Sheng from Inner Mongolia Diamond Combined Transport in Neimenggu noted, ¡°it is very difficult to find good business partners outside of China . . . travelling to meet new colleagues is not easy, very expensive, and takes time . . . this conference lets me spend one weekend and find many new partners¡±. Sherry Huang of Ningbo Huanji International Forwarding observed, ¡°I can see that we surprised many of our international friends with our extensive internal accounting, communications and service practices. That is how you must do business in the new China, if you want to succeed¡±.

The next CCA business development event will be held in Beijing, likely in November. Further details can be found on the CCA website ¨C www.chinacargoalliance.com once the dates have been finalized.

The Group is open to welcome new members.

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