Ms. Kelly Bunyan, Managing Director
When was WFN established? Who owns and operates the network today?
WFN was established in 2004. I own WFN, with a great team assisting me.
There are many networks out there and I hear from forwarders that they receive network invitations almost daily. What makes your network one to join?
Everybody says it’s the sense of family. Many members refer to our group as the World FAMILY Network. In 14 years, 99% of payments have been honoured, without a payment protection plan in place. That’s very special in this day and age. It’s also the efficiency of our head office. We endeavour to respond within the hour when we’re online. When required, we arbitrate fairly and without bias if ever there’s a dispute (very rare as member dealings are so harmonious). Plus if a member becomes slow to pay or respond, I’m not afraid to terminate memberships. For me it’s about quality and not quantity; the size of the network doesn’t matter to me. That’s why we only have 3 members per country; capping the number of members limits my revenue, but fulfills my goal of trying to maximise our members’ profits.
Do you have different divisions within your network?
Not within WFN, that’s within SFN, Specialist Freight Networks. SFN is made up of exclusive specialist networks, as well as having one umbrella non-exclusive network. That said, within WFN, members’ specialities are listed.
How many members do you allow in each country and do you have any criteria by which you are choosing your potential members?
We permit 3 members per country throughout the world, except for China and USA where we have more. We look at company strengths when a forwarder applies, but most importantly, we assess their current standing in the industry through the eyes of forwarder recommendations outside of their country. If they don’t come highly recommended, we can’t accept them into the fold.
It is a well-established fact that freight forwarders working together around the world are often worried about financial security. Does being part of your network mean that members can be sure of payment when dealing with other agents in the group?
WFN hasn’t had a payment protection scheme since its inception. On three separate occasions, the members were offered different variants, but each time the vast majority decided against taking it up as they get paid. Plus we have a payment monitoring system, which highlights any slow payments. As soon as WFN Head Office spots the payment is overdue, we get involved and our influence is usually enough to get the bill paid – all our members want an untarnished reputation and don’t want to be reported to the network as a slow payer. There is no certainty and therefore there is always a risk of non-payment, however, 99% of the time payment is made.
How do you meet each other do you have global conferences or meetings on a regular basis? When is the next one?
We meet annually in April. It’ll be our 13th event this year, in Pattaya, Thailand. That’s what makes our network special, our annual gatherings. There is the right mix of warmth, fun and productivity. Everybody works hard, but they play hard too. Everybody heads home with a warm glow, new friends and usually some new business too.
View more videos on the WFN YouTube Channel.
What is the cost of becoming a member currently?
The current fee is £899, plus a one-off Joining Fee of £299. Total = £1198. A small investment for a potentially huge gain.
If any of our readers would be interested in joining your network what is the procedure and whom to approach?
If interested in joining, mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We can then take you through the application process.
What made you establish this network in the first place and how did you enter the shipping & freight forwarding industry originally?
A friend introduced me to the industry. My background was marketing and of all things, running a martial arts school in Central London, which I still do. That’s actually how we commence and end our meetings, with an ancient martial arts bow. It’s a great way to mark the respect between members.
World Freight Network