2023 Meeting Recap

April 6, 2023

2023 Meeting Recap

2023 Annual Meeting Photo Gallery

Can you feel the love?  The network is buzzing after an incredible 2023 Annual Meeting in Panama.  Very special thanks to our incredible Gold Sponsor, a Founding Member of Globalink Network, Cargo Services Group from Spain, Panama, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Chile.  For those of you who were not able to attend, I wanted to share a recap to give you an idea of the value of the Annual Meeting Experience, and also to simply commemorate a gathering that I believe will stay in the minds of those present for many years to come.

Mar 27, 2023

All attendees of our event receive a bag of giveaways from us and our sponsors, and this year the bag was sponsored by Logiworld LLC USA.  The bag included the 2023 Annual Meeting book, sponsored by Averitt Express USA & Puerto Rico.  These books are an excellent resource for your meeting experience, with information on all presenters and events, but also a note page for every single company in attendance including contact information and photos.  This way you don’t have to worry about keeping track of all those loose business cards!  As a reminder, you are able to purchase the page next to your company’s note page in the book which is a great opportunity to convey a specific message about your company that every attendee takes home with them. Special thanks to Averitt USA & Puerto Rico, WECAN International China, Supply Chain Solutions USA and China, Guy Tombs Ltd. Canada, and Customs Brokers Australia for taking advantage of the one page ads this year! Also in the bag was a Meeting Hat & Badge Lanyard sponsored by Seabridge Logistics Australia & New Zealand, and a Meeting Pen sponsored by VILCA Venezuela.

In addition to the printed book, we also offer an Annual Meeting App experience, sponsored this year by LLS Team from Germany & China.  The app also offers profiles on every presentation, company and attendee, with the ability to take notes on every company and agenda topic that you can share via email to yourself or anyone on your team. The meeting app also stores your personal One On One Meeting Schedule for your convenience as well as the event agenda.  The app was highly rated this year, and we are looking forward to implementing many member suggestions to keep elevating the in-app experience!

Advisory Board Meeting

We began as always by gathering together the network Advisory Board.  Present this year was Rick Harty from Transportation Services International USA, Anthony D’Ambrosio from Supply Chain Solutions USA & China, Torsten Stoppel from Am-Zehnhoff & Sons Germany, Justin Todd from Seabridge Australia & New Zealand, Maria Perez Bellido from Cargo Services Group from Spain, Panama, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Chile and we welcome the newest member to our Advisory Board, Nikos Simou from Be Accurate Ltd. in Greece.  We discussed a great many topics, and by the end left with many exciting ideas for improving the network, new initiatives to pursue, and new destinations for Annual Meetings.  I greatly value the input from the members of our Advisory Board, and want to personally thank them again for their participation.  The Advisory Board members are available to all members for suggestions and discussions on network topics.  They are a great resource for all of us.

New Member Orientation 

Next up we had a packed room for our New Member Orientation.  These events are very useful for new members, first-time attendees, and even long time members looking to see who is new to the network.  We start things off by letting every new member stand up and introduce themselves, then cover some basic information about the flow of the event. We also introduced a topic that we felt strongly about this year, and that we are calling Next Generation Networking.  So often, people come to these events ready to give the same old spiel about the basic services offered by their organization (i.e. air freight, sea freight, etc.).  This feels to us like a lost opportunity.  We are all gathered at this event because we are experts of logistics in our markets.  Why not take the opportunity during your One-On-Ones to dig deeper?  Find a niche you can develop together, discuss your unique strengths and find the overlap, and then you can develop a true partnership.  This was a theme we covered extensively throughout the event, but took the opportunity to plant the idea in new members' heads to get them thinking about how to maximize the event in the days to come.  After this brief presentation, we opened up the floor to let all those present mingle, and start making some connections ahead of the first main event, the Welcome Cocktail Reception.

Welcome Cocktail Reception: Sponsored by WECAN International from China 

The first main event of the Annual Meeting is our Welcome Cocktail Reception on the first evening, giving members an opportunity to connect in a relaxed, social atmosphere over food and drinks before the more formal One-On-Ones begin.  I truly believe in the importance of viewing our Annual Meetings as a totally immersive networking experience, offering far more opportunities beyond the One On One Meetings.  While productive, the One On Ones are only the beginning.  I think we can all agree that often times the partners we become closest to are the ones we share fond memories with.  Events like the cocktail party, or spending time together at the pool and hotel bar can often be the unexpectedly most productive meetings you have at these events. Towards the middle of the evening, I welcomed all delegates to the 2023 Annual Meeting, and invited our sponsor John Jiang of WECAN International in China to make a brief address.  

Mar 28, 2023

On Day 1, we like to kick things off with a bit of energy!  We pumped some lively music into the room and got people on their feet to clap their hands together and ring in the start of another meeting together.  To welcome everyone to the first day, we had our dear friend Maria Perez Bellido address the room to welcome everyone to the 2023 Annual Meeting on behalf of the company she represents, our 2023 Gold Sponsor Cargo Services Group from Spain, Panama, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Chile.

Meeting Booths

This year for the very first time we introduced a brand new sponsorship opportunity: Meeting Booths!  This offered a select group of members the opportunity to have a totally dedicated, branded space for their One On One Meetings, creating a lasting impression on all who came to meet with them.  It was amazing to see some of the creative ways that our members took advantage of this opportunity to make their spaces pop.  Special thanks to our members Dedicated Logistics Poland, STC Worldwide Inc. USA, and Seabridge Logistics Australia and New Zealand for being the first booth sponsors, and thank you to our presenters First Freight CRM and Freightify for also claiming booths.  We look forward to expanding on this opportunity in the future with more branded spaces and tables!


Bill Siemens Global Gratitude Pledge

This year was unlike any other in our network’s history.  As a result of an unexpected heart attack, my father Bill Siemens, the Chairman of our networks, was unable to attend our Annual Meeting for the first time in 20 years.  It was my father who started a tradition long ago in which we donate to a local charity in the country that is hosting our event.  This year, to honor him and this beautiful tradition we changed the name of this contribution to the Bill Siemens Global Gratitude Pledge.  This year it was our privilege to make a donation to Fundación Unidos por la Niñez Panamá, which benefits children who are the victims of abuse in underprivileged communities in Panama.  We thank them for their important work and for the opportunity to contribute to their cause.  For the first time this year, we also made it possible for all attendees of our event to make their own contributions to the charity.  If you are interested to learn more and potentially make a donation, please follow this link (https://unidosporninez.org/glnk-meeting).  We greatly appreciate all those who join us in making a difference in the lives of those in need.

We concluded  the morning presentations by introducing every attendee and their companies one by one, allowing every attendee to stand up for everyone to see, then we took the 2023 Annual Meeting Group Photo!

After the photo, it was time for a Coffee Break sponsored by Eagles Freight LLC from USA, who was the sponsor of our 2 coffee breaks per day for each day that followed, offering a variety of coffee tea and snacks to all attendees to help members stay powered up for their One On One Meetings.  

One On One Meetings

The bulk of every day consisted of 30 minute, back to back One On One Meetings scheduled between members.  These meetings are an incredible opportunity to meet face to face, introduce your business, and discuss what you might develop together.  Imagine: for one trip to one fabulous destination, you can sit across the table with agents from all corners of the world, expanding your company’s reach via your partnerships, elevating the potential offering to your clients.  What could be more productive than that?!

Mar 29, 2023

We started off day two with a presentation about the concept of Next Generation Networking, which was perfectly exemplified by a conversation we had with our member and sponsor LLS Team from Germany & China.  Most importantly, we took this opportunity to point out the distinction between Agents and Partners.  An agent is replaceable, interchangeable.  A partner is indispensable, and meets you at eye level to seek out value add, long term opportunities together.  We believe that it is more important than ever to dig into each other’s capabilities and niches to find where you can develop something in collaboration with each other, which is much more elevated than exchanging freehand shipments.  The proof is in the pudding, as we shared some of the exciting results produced buy LLS Team via their partnerships with other members.

First Freight CRM

Next up we had a presentation from Todd Collins of First Freight CRM, which is a sales and client relations management software developed specifically for the freight forwarding and logistics industry.  If you are not managing your sales process with a CRM, you are simply not working at the highest capacity.  Tools like First Freight are an incredibly beneficial tool for increasing and driving sales and closing deals.  We are always exploring ways to increase sales efforts between members and look forward to exploring this further with First Freight.  Learn more at: https://firstfreight.com/


This was followed by a presentation from Henry Trotman from Frieghtify, an online freight rate management platform enabling forwarders in maximizing profits via pricing visibility.  This is the second year we have had Freightify participate in our event, and we are looking forward to exploring new ways to collaborate!  Learn more at: https://www.freightify.com/

2023 Gala Dinner sponsored by Supply Chain Solutions USA & China


The 2023 Annual Meeting Gala Dinner was truly something to behold.  Thanks to a grant from Visit Panama and our Silver Sponsor Supply Chain Solutions USA & China, we hosted the gala at a UNESCO World Heritage Site: La Concepción Convent at Panama Viejo.   After a beautiful cultural performance of indigenous Panamanian dance, Anthony D'Ambrosio of Supply Chain Solutions and I both addressed the group, then let our incredible entertainers take over and guide us into dancing the night away.   

This is an actual archeological site, and our group were the only people there in the moonlight, eating dinner together and dancing by moonlight under ruins from the 1500s.   A bit of history: Soon after a group of nuns from the order of Our Lady of Conception arrived in 1598, they proceeded to build a church and convent. Both were destroyed during a 1621 earthquake. The sisters replaced them with a huge complex consuming two blocks. This church was built in 1640 but reduced to ruins 31 years later during a raid of buccaneers including Henry Morgan himself.  The look on everyone’s faces was total awe and amazement, and it was a night that we will never forget for the rest of our lives.  A very special thanks also to V2K Panama, the destination management company that helped with these arrangements.  

Mar 30, 2023

2023 Annual Meeting: Day 1 Session

Then, like magic, it was the last day!  We touched once more on the topic of Next Generation Networking as a means for competing with the likes of giants like Maersk, who are deliberately trying to cut out freight forwarders as an end to end logistics solution, but can never compete with the devoted, dedicated service you can offer.  The way forward is going to be in collaboration with your partners, leveraging each other’s strengths.  

It is also important to stay abreast of important technological trends, so we touched briefly on AI in Logistics: What ChatGPT taught me about ChatGPT.  A lot of speculation is going on about AI, but it is important to approach it without fear and challenge ourselves to think, how can I utilize this tool to my advantage and elevate my service?

We also did a walk-through of our newly renovated Members-Only Website & App, which has been completely renovated with a host of new features to facilitate agency sales in collaboration with your team, including CRM functionality.  Click here to take a tour for yourself!

To wrap it all up, I shared the story about my personal journey, and the obstacles my team and I overcame in order to execute what many were calling our best meeting ever.  In this case, I can tell you for sure that the truth is stranger than fiction, but that is a story for another blog article…

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  It was a very unique and special year hosting the entire event without my father for the first time this year, but I was incredibly lucky to be supported by my incredible team Gioia Cerullo, Sophia Sparacio, and Justin Sullivan.  

Thank you to every attendee for being there. It was my pleasure to serve you. We can not wait to see you next year….

…Speaking of which, next year we are going to BALI, thanks to our 2024 Gold Sponsor TRANSCONTINENT, Pt. from Indonesia!  Tentative dates April 22 - 26

With Gratitude,

Will Siemens

President of Globalink & Global Value 

2023 Annual Meeting Photo Gallery

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