How paying it forward will create more cargo and profit for you!

How paying it forward will create more cargo and profit for you!

Over the past weekend a friend of mine brought up the movie Pay It Forward to me, basically listing it as one of his favorite all time movies. He told me that it wasn’t the acting, directing or screen writing that made this movie a classic. It was the entire premise of the story. I had to smile to myself because several months back I had been already thinking about how this works in the logistics networking world. So I will take the opportunity to discuss it here.

We all know that our markets are different. Some are inbound and some are outbound and some have a good balance. And because of this international logistics companies, unless they are working in a very strict niche, will almost invariably be working with agents around the world whose local target markets won’t resemble their own target markets. This sometimes makes it difficult to return cargo in kind to cargo that you’ve been nominated on. But for freight relationships to work out the business can’t come all from one side. This is, however, one way that being a member of a network helps you to get business you normally wouldn’t see.

As long as members of a network are operating within the network on good faith then the cargo you received will be paid forward by companies who are using their preferred network agents. And this same thing happens when you give cargo to another member of the network. Reciprocity can sometimes be hard to achieve on the micro bilateral level but if you see the macro view, not the view from the ground the the view from the eagle’s eye, then you will see a large circulation of cargo to which the majority of members are benefiting. Networks aren’t static systems. They are more frenetic but what goes around does come around.

And by the same token, the vast majority of all who say that they received nothing from the network cannot answer positively to the following questions:

  • Have you been giving business to network members on a regular basis?
  • Have you been sending qualified sales leads to network members on a regular basis?
  • Have you made it to the network meeting(s)?

Think about your own situation in the network and how it is going for you now. Have you been paying it forward? If not, then you have a big clue as to why you aren’t receiving anything.


Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON)XLProjects Network (XLP), and AiO Logistics Netowork (AiO). Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over.

Gary Dale welcomes all sorts of interactions. If you have questions or comments about anything Gary Dale has written here you may contact him directly by e-mail.