17 January 2018 | International

As we begin the New Year, I would like to thank you all for your hard work and commitment during 2017, and wish you well for the coming year. Our Institute continues to go from strength to strength, giving members of the industry at all levels, from students to veteran professionals, access to the knowledge that helps us develop, and the tools and contacts that enable us to succeed.  We continue to be the first choice membership organisation for the supply chain, transport and logistics industries globally.

Many countries within our family will have a tradition of making a resolution for the coming year, a promise to oneself to do something better, to change and improve. In this spirit, I reiterate my call to all members to engage fully with our Young Professionals. Make this the year you open up a dialogue, volunteer as a mentor or offer an internship. Please make this the year in which you incorporate our talented Young Professionals into the management structures of your branches and territories, the year you give them a seat at the table, and a voice.

I am pleased to report 2017 has been a strong year internationally for CILT. Many members have been involved in transport and logistics events around the world with countries and the Secretariat team being involved in numerous government and industry conferences. Importantly these have enabled us to influence policy and shape professionalism and we have seen high profile activity in Malaysia, Ireland, Zambia, Ghana, Pakistan, India & Sri Lanka in recent weeks.

Our own International Convention, held this year in Macao under the theme of ‘Smart Journey Belt and Road’, was a great success. A wide array of speakers provided fascinating insights into our industry. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Macao, meeting many of you, hearing news from around the world, and learning about the ideas shaping our future. I am very grateful to Michael Lam, CILT Macao and everyone involved for all their hard work.

It was a particular honour to preside over the first CILT International Convention to welcome a delegation from Kazakhstan. The newest branch of our family tree, CILT Kazakhstan is our 34th country office and well placed to play a great part in our future together.

It was excellent to see many familiar faces at the 4th China International Logistics Development Conference in Xuzhou. A CILT delegation of 35 members representing 25 countries attended this impressive, high profile and highly relevant event. On a personal note, I was deeply honoured to be asked to speak at the opening ceremony, adding my voice to a roster of distinguished industry specialists. I congratulate Professor Derong and the team at CILT China on their success, and look forward to next year’s event in Changsha, Hunan province.

Through a series of considered discussions during International Convention in Macao, the foundations were laid for Africa Forum to blossom in 2018, and I look forward to seeing the benefit of everyone’s hard work and co-operation this coming March in Abuja. Discussions are to be held under the theme ‘Building capacity for efficient logistics and transport services in Africa’, and I am certain the Forum will be yet another successful and impactful CILT event.

I am sure this will also be true of International Convention 2018 in Wroclaw. The theme of ‘Linking CEE to the World and the Impact of the Electric Car Revolution on Logistics’ is an interesting and pertinent  one, and will I am sure foster excellent discussion. I understand preparations are well underway in Poland, and wish Dr Marcin Pawęska and the team at CILT Poland every success.

We as an Institute can be proud of our achievements over the past year. In the year ahead, let us stay true to our ideals, and continue to work toward a safer, fairer and smarter industry the world over. I wish every success for 2018.