Any organization dedicated to every sector of the international movement of cargo faces the same challenges as its members and supporters in the industry we serve. In the logistics field, these include rising costs, lower revenue, overcapacity in some areas, undercapacity in others, the challenges of automation, environmental issues, infrastructure that is outdated and fragile all over the globe and the need for knowledgeable staff.
The solution to most of these issues is education and training. There is a Native American saying that offers this thought: “Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand.” It is the involvement part of education, training and even networking that drives many associations and trade organizations. The advent of containerization, for example, required topics that covered everything from intermodalism to marketing unitized cargo to container standards to how corner castings worked, so transportation professionals could learn in those days a half-century ago about this new commercial phenomena.
Today, the container is everywhere — the building block of a global economy — but the need for education and training remains. We must be able to move in directions that meet today’s newer challenges. Education is defined as acquiring skills, and when you factor in technology, it is more valuable than ever.
Now, educational opportunities must include outreach, scholarships and award programs that recognize true leaders and those who can mentor the new generation of industry professionals. As we move deeper into the 21st century, the economic rewards of an education remain important to a person’s economic success, as well as to the success of the employer and the industry.
Our mission won’t be accomplished if industry participants simply wait on the sidelines. It takes strong cooperation between professionals, companies, schools, students and people throughout the industry and public at large worldwide.