Frequently Asked Questions
"We are very aware 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. It is imperative 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, Gruber Logistics (PAO) GmbH
Below you will find answers to common questions but if yours doesn’t appear, please our Recruitment Director, Sam Wilcox.
How long has PCN been running?
Project Cargo Network was established in August 2010. However, our Head Office team has been involved in the development and management of international forwarder networks since 1998. Read more.
How many Members do you allow in each Country?
It is PCN policy to allow no more than 5 companies in each country.
Can I see a current list of Members?
Yes, please click here for a full up-to-date list of our Members.
Where is your Head Office based?
Project Cargo Network is a Limited company (Reg # 7334156) based in the UK. The company is VAT registered (175457578) and has the following certifications: ISO 9001 Reg No 204480 and ISO 14001 Reg No 205343.
Do you have any Membership Rules?
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 ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 approved procedures and all final decisions are reached fairly and consistently, without bias or prejudice, in representing the interests of PCN and its Members.
"Without doubt, a very professional network, whose members are experts in their field. The relationships we have built within PCN continue to provide a positive commercial benefit to our company. It is a pleasure to deal with such an ethical, efficient and friendly group of partners." Alun Powell, Sadleirs Global Logistics
How do you select your Members?
Members are selected due to their excellent reputations within the industry, their accreditation by international authorities and have passed a strict entry procedure. Recommendations from existing Members are preferred due to the valuable prior trading experience. However, we also search for suitable companies in vacant locations (see list). Our Recruitment Team bring a huge amount of experience in how to select the right companies who will become active and valuable Members of our organisation.
How do you ensure a high standard of Members?
We continually monitor the quality of service of our Members to ensure that we have recruited companies who perform in a conscientious, diligent and professional manner via our annual Quality Control Survey. Poor performance records are not tolerated. As membership is only open to companies who are active within the project cargo and heavy lift industry, we also carry out an Evidence Audit every 12 months.
Do you provide meetings?
Yes! Both face-to-face and virtual events. Good communication has been extremely important since the COVID outbreak with many people now working remotely. This is why PCN have invested in a bespoke Meeting Hub where our Members can connect virtually using the platforms that have now become an essential part of daily life including Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and WhatsApp. Please feel free to watch a short video on our system:
Will I have to terminate current relations with agents?
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, it is then up to them to provide excellent rates and service to win the business.
Can I promote offices in other countries?
Rule #3 of our Membership Rules states “Members may not promote offices in countries where they do not have official PCN representation”. This rule is strictly enforced to protect Member’s representations and to avoid any hostility within our friendly group.
"PCN gave us the possibility to translate our local project expertise and knowhow into a truly global service scope. The network gives us access to specialists for project and heavy lift cargo around the globe." Franco Ravazzolo, Gebrüder Weiss GmbH
Do you offer Payment Protection and/or Insurance?
We are unable to offer Member-to-Member payment protection and/or insurance. At PCN we believe in prevention rather than cure - read more. We provide a bespoke Invoice Monitoring System has been developed to ensure smooth cash flow between PCN Members and to prevent late payments. Once logged in, each Member can add, view and edit details of outstanding invoices within our network. The system sends a ‘Statement of Accounts’ to each Member every 2 weeks highlighting due dates. We are proud to say that we have an excellent payment record within PCN. Our Members understand that paying on time and operating in a professional manner results in repeat business and excellent relations with their overseas offices.
Do you offer any training programmes for our staff?
Yes! Our clear and highly effective video based training includes narration, graphs, diagrams, video footage and photographs. When completed, the user will understand the practical, operational and engineering aspects of heavy transport and lifting projects. The training is ideal for staff who are at the beginning of their career in heavy transport, offering employers a time saving and low-cost alternative to workshops and seminars. However, as the training is comprehensive, senior level professionals will also benefit from the practical, scenario and video based course as it will encourage reflection on current practices. Each user receives a personal log-in so they can train at their own pace. For more details, see pcntraining.com.
Do you pass on Quote Requests?
Due to our continued efforts with search engine optimisation, our regular full-page advert in HLPFI and partnerships with industry exhibitions and events, we aim to drive new business 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.
"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, Central Oceans
Do you have a Smartphone site?
Yes, we acknowledge the growth in mobile devices but connection speeds can sometimes be slow so navigating through websites to get to the required page can be frustrating! We want PCN Members to have a great experience with our website, whether on a large PC screen or on their mobile device. Therefore, we provide a password protected Smartphone Service (m.projectcargonetwork.com, which enables the contact details of fellow partners to be found quickly on mobile devices.
Do you publish a Newsletter?
Yes, our colourful bi-monthly Digital Newsletter is provided free of charge and no payment is made for any articles. We are incredibly proud to regularly boast over 25 pages of news from our Members. We also allow external parties to subscribe and currently over 500 industry executives have asked to regularly receive a copy.
Do you offer marketing & news services?
Yes, we offer a dedicated news service. Upon request, we prepare an online article which is appears in the newsfeed on our Network News and our Smartphone Service. It is also published via our Blog, Digital Newsletter, LinkedIn and Twitter. News articles related to each company are also linked on their individual profile page 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.
Do you provide Sales and Marketing Material?
Yes, PCN has created many convenient sales tools. Together with our Marketing Websites which are customised to each of our members and based on a company specific URL, we also provide a Marketing Brochure, which is edited with each Member’s company details and emailed in PDF format ready for printing. We also provide customised World Maps, designed for Members to take to sales meetings to show their customers where their fellow specialist partners are located.
"It is a wonderful experience to be a part of PCN. Recently we finished a project for a drilling company with a fellow Member, it has been an excellent opportunity to demonstrate we have experience and ability to manage different size projects and likewise to interchange professional experience which gives confidence in future business. PCN Members are treated like important clients not only like partners." Elena Zapata, Integral Chile SA
Can I have a free trial?
We are a professionally run ISO certified organisation and unable to offer free or trial memberships.
How much business will I receive?
It is difficult to determine how much business joining PCN would bring to your company. Also, we want to avoid recruiting companies that are solely looking for increased incoming business. We want new Members to become active participants in our network and to promote their company and services to increase inter-trade.
What is the cost of Membership?
Members simply pay an Annual Fee of GBP £1100 with a one-off Joining Fee (dependent on location).
Can I list more than one office in a country?
Yes, the profile pages in our Members Area enable companies to list as many branch offices and staff within same country as they wish at no extra charge.
"The capped exclusivity makes a good compromise between only having one option for a service provider in any market versus having a multitude of competitors fighting for the same piece of business, and made it one of the deciding factors for Wilhelmsen Ships Service to join." Flemming Andersen, Wilhelmsen Ship Services