Networking is particularly important within the freight industry as it connects the world. Did you know PCN has representation in 115+ countries? Our global reach far exceeds many multinational companies (see Membership List).
It is important to always look to expand your network, even in countries you don’t currently have business with, as many leads can be unplanned! Through networking with PCN Members, you can discover new opportunities and secure new business.
PCN networking events, including both face-to-face Annual Summits and Virtual Meetings, enables Members to interact effectively and engage for mutual benefit. They also help Members keep up to date with changes in the industry. Another aspect that makes belonging to PCN so powerful is its referral potential, which is another way in which to expand your network and secure new business.
Our established organisation of 260+ companies provides many benefits for a low Annual Fee of GB £1100.
Joining PCN will give you a chance to meet people from a wide range of small to medium-sized businesses who handle the transportation of oversized and heavy items or shipments that consist of complex components. Successful networking within PCN can make an immediate and long lasting impact on your company.
NEW VIRTUAL MEETING HUB
Good communication is vital in business which is why PCN have launched a new bespoke Meeting Hub where Members can connect virtually.
A project has come up and you don’t have time for a long back and forth email trail? Our powerful new interface enables you to quickly schedule a virtual meeting with your PCN partners at a mutually convenient time (with time-zones automatically considered) via WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Meet or Skype directly from your mobile device.
Please watch our short video for more details.
ONLINE NEWS/PR SERVICE
We offer our Members a dedicated news service. Upon request, we prepare an online article which is then published in our Network News section. Each article appears automatically on our Smartphone Service and published in our Blog, Digital Newsletter, LinkedIn and Twitter. News articles related to each company are also linked on their profile page in our Members Area and their PCN Marketing Website as well as distributed to our Press List. This PR service provides fantastic promotion and is included in our Annual Fee. And it works!
As a direct result of the exposure provided by our News Service, Members have been interviewed by mainstream media including CNN, Reuters, BBC, Bloomberg and ITV, providing great free promotion.
WEEKLY MEET SCHEME
Belonging to PCN provides huge potential for a noticeable increase in your volume of business but this requires active participation. Using our Meeting Hub, a representative from each company is encouraged to hold a virtual meeting with a PCN partner once a week that they have not yet worked with. Similar to the 1-2-1 sessions at our events, it is an excellent opportunity to introduce your company and highlight specialist areas. We find that making time for a quick 1-2-1 video call and ‘seeing’ PCN partners makes all the difference.
You will be much better remembered, even if no business is ready just yet, it might be in a week or a month – it helps to be in the forefront of people’s minds.
All Members in each country are allocated a dedicated PCN email address to encourage faster communication and help develop a common identity. All email sent to the designated address is automatically forwarded to all PCN Members in that given country to answer. The advantage of this system is the ability to obtain rates from several overseas offices in order to select the most well-matched and compatible company to work with for each individual shipment.
“We had been looking for a network with a different attitude and approach. After several talks with the management of PCN, we realized that the organization perfectly matched our vision of what a network needs to offer its members; a dedicated team of professionals that simply help to bring together the best experts in shipping project cargo." Abraham Van Olphen, Managing Director, Central Oceans
Connection speeds can be frustrating and having to navigate through websites to get to the required webpage can be irritating! We want PCN Members to have a great experience with our website, even on the road. So, we provide a Smartphone Service so that the contact details of fellow partners, details of our next meeting and news feed can be found quickly on mobile devices. The service is for use by Members only and version 3.0 is now available at m.projectcargonetwork.com.
We also supply our Members with PCN Pop Sockets at our events. A very useful stand, earbud holder and grip, reducing the risk of the dreaded screen smash!
MEMBERSHIP RULES COMPLIANCE
Abidance of our Membership Rules is essential for the professional and efficient operation of PCN and its Members. Any official complaints are reviewed by PCN Management in accordance with our official ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 approved procedures. All final decisions are reached fairly and consistently, without bias or prejudice, in representing the interests of PCN and its Members.
"We are very aware of the fact that a project shipment can only be successfully completed if the people working on it show enough confidence and experience and are passionate about what they do. In order to achieve this, it is more than important to be part of a strong, worldwide network of freight forwarders who are professional and reliable at the same time. We are convinced that being a member of PCN allows us to achieve these goals together with our fellow members." Ramona Duckstein, Manager, GRUBER Logistics (PAO) GmbH, Germany
ADVERTISING & QUOTE REQUESTS
Due to our continued efforts with search engine optimisation and our regular full page advert in HLPFI, we aim to drive new business and customers to our Members.
Our website is not only visited by forwarders looking for project cargo specialists, but also for customers looking for quotes.
All leads received from our Quote Request facility are forwarded directly to our Members.
PAYMENT MONITORING SYSTEM
It is important to encourage healthy cash flow within our network and to prevent late payments. The PCN Head Office consulted both specialist lawyers and insurance companies to investigate the best options in which to financially protect our Members, including bond systems and group liability insurance programs. The outcome is that they can in fact be highly illegal, have complicated tax implications but more importantly, be open to fraud. Therefore, we provide an online Payment Monitoring System. Once logged in each Member can add, view and edit details of open invoices. The system automatically sends a fortnightly statement to every Member detailing any open invoices and highlighting their due date. Read more online or watch our short video.
MARKETING BROCHURE & INTRODUCTION SERVICE
The customised brochure is a cost effective marketing aid, designed to give customers the confidence to rely on PCN Members for their heavy lift and project cargo shipments. We also work closely with Members to identify new clients in their respective countries, assisting in setting up meetings and providing relevant information in order to secure new contracts by providing an official Tender Letter, highlighting relevant services. This service enables Members to be formally introduced to potential customers in a professional manner.
"The PCN group, specially the management,are always more than willing to address all concerns and highlights of members, keep up the great work." Jimmy Chung, AAI + Peers inc
TESTIMONIAL FROM MEMBER
”Since becoming a member of PCN in 2013, Canaan Group has enjoyed building up strong relationships with like-minded, competent, and experienced project partners around the globe. Technology, various marketing tools, and a strong backroom office at the PCN headquarters have given us a strong competitive advantage. Port to port business is no longer the viable business model. Customers are looking for end to end solutions. Through PCN, this has allowed us to achieve this goal for our global clients.” Patrick Lo, President & CEO, Canaan Group (Canada)
CAPPED NON-EXCLUSIVITY POLICY
Many project forwarder networks are non-exclusive which means they will allow unlimited companies in each country. At PCN we feel that whilst a non-exclusive membership produces a higher level of business for the whole network, it is important not to become over-populated so that any familiarity is lost. That is why PCN offers a good compromise … Capped Non-Exclusivity.
PCN does not allow more than 5 companies in each country. Our membership enjoys the flexibility of a non-exclusive network whilst at the same time maintaining the unity and friendship of an exclusive network. In addition, our Members are not required to annul established agency relationships. We simply ask that all new business is first offered to fellow PCN Members for quoting.
ANNUAL QUALITY CONTROL
We continually monitor the quality of service of our Members to ensure that we have recruited the right companies, who perform in a conscientious, diligent and professional manner.
Our Quality Control Survey asks for our Members’ opinion on the level of service that their fellow PCN overseas offices are providing (see latest results). Consistently poor performance records will not be tolerated within the network. Additionally, as PCN membership is only open to companies who have proven that they have the capacity and experience to handle full scale project cargo and heavy lift shipments so we also carry out an Evidence Audit every 12 months.
INDIVIDUAL BROCHURE WEBSITE
PCN offers unique brochure websites, customised for each of our 260+ Members and based on a company specific URL. The brochure websites showcase online the huge capacity that PCN and its Members have for handling project cargo and heavy lift shipments, as well as their company news. The sites are designed in a collapsing responsive design so that they scale automatically on smartphone and mobile devices.
The websites support our Member's marketing efforts and have been used to secure new contracts. All Members are issued with their unique URL and the full list can be viewed online.
HOW TO APPLY
Full completion of our Application Form together with 2 references from forwarders or break bulk specialists who have acted as agents within the past year specifically on heavy lift/project cargo.
As PCN is only open to companies who have the capacity and experience to handle these specialist shipments, each applicant is required to submit a case study which should include photos and a description including the commodity; an outline of the steps taken and the mode of transport; challenges and how they were overcome; and a sentence on the final results. We also require a copy of the Bill of Lading and/or Notice of Arrival and other supporting documents (names and addresses redacted if preferred) but showing your company name and your role in the movement along with dates.
If your application is successful, you will be invoiced the Annual Membership Fee of GBP £1100 with a one-off Joining Fee of GBP £200.