Freight Forwarders: The silent movers of the economy
Just as we need health professionals, lawyers, teachers, and manufacturers in our daily lives, the industries these individuals lead rely on the movement of goods – orchestrated by Freight Forwarders like All Transport Network (ATN).
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ATN, felt the tremendous decrease in business transactions. When there were no airlines flying in and out of Manila, there were also no airfreight business to orchestrate. The Philippines implemented strict quarantine measures, with majority of companies’ staff locked down in their cities or province. Operations were restricted to a limited number of staff to run the business.
Truly, these unprecedented circumstances forced families, governments, and businesses alike to adapt quickly. The Bureau of Customs completely shifted its processes online in a short span of time – a welcome change with its own growing pains. Even for an established business like ATN, there were vital changes to be made to continue business operations while maintaining the physical and mental health standards for all stakeholders. All possible means were done to sustain employees’ livelihoods and to meet clients’ demands in completing the delivery of goods.
Since its founding in 1986, ATN’s vision is to enhance Philippine trade, as a valuable contribution to the country’s economy and the overall global trade. This started with international freight forwarding but it catered mostly to importers’ business. Once international businesses set up their manufacturing plants in various PEZA locations, ATN got a chance to enhance the export industry as well.
As more core services were developed, globalization was also peaking. Joining the different chambers of commerce like the European, Italian, and German chambers helped in the promotion of the Philippines to foreign investors. This is where ATN capitalized on its network of agents and started to participate in global tenders.
Along with this globalization came the promotion of culture and the arts. ATN developed a separate arm focusing on fine arts logistics, Alta Fairs & Exhibits. These efforts gave ATN the chance to bring Mark Justiniani’s art to the Venice Biennale exhibition in 2019 and some artworks from the Pinto Art Museum which were exhibited in Japan and New York in previous years.
While ATN’s international freight services began to thrive, it also ensured to have a hand at domestic logistics to offer a fuller scope of work. Finally, there were more opportunities to serve the Filipinos by joining the public bids to service government agencies such as:
- Department of Social Welfare & Development for their relief items
- Department of Education for the domestic distribution of text books to all public schools
- Armed Forces of the Philippines & Department of Defense for the streamlining of military logistics
Freight forwarders have an immense role in keeping the supply chain running. As economic movers, they are forced to adapt when the going gets tough. During peak season, forwarders face issues like port congestion, limited space in airplanes or ships, and meeting strict deadlines. During calamities, relief items need to be mobilized at an even faster pace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has vastly transformed all things from daily regimens to business practices within a matter of months. How quickly one adjusts and adapts in crises brings out the character and values that are essential to survival and success. This is also where the value of a certified quality management system comes into play as a company strives to efficiently operate to meet customer requirements through validated processes, organizational knowledge and a mindset of continual improvement, amidst an uncertain business environment.
All Transport Network (ATN) is an ISO 9001:2015 certified organization by SGS Philippines, Inc.
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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.