Brandon Fried, longtime
Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association is one air cargo executive in a world of change that seems to transcend time.
While it has become fashion and even rule
to flip and change top executives regularly at other industry associations,
there goes “Steady Brandon” out there seemingly unflappable
as counterpoint to that action.
As 2020 debuts, Brandon with
The Airforwarders Association Board Members, from left to right—
Richard Fisher, BTX Global Logistics; Sandy Gregory, RIM Logistics; Chris
Commodity Forwarders; Jennifer Frigger-Latham, EMO Trans; Rick Bridges,
Roanoke Trade; Sasha Goodman, Rockit Cargo and John Peery, Mercury Air
Cargo, keep AfA, not the biggest organization of its kind in the world,
punching above its weight.
are the most important attributes of a leader?
ever, fall in to the trap of thinking you’re the smartest guy in
the room because the odds are you will be wrong, and the results can be
embarrassing. Also, you need to be passionate, committed and positive
with a strategic focus since those working with you depend on your outlook
and vision for their own success. Treat your team members well by listening
to their opinions and providing feedback to help them in achieving overall
Why is mentorship important?
the history of man, no 12-year-old ever said, “I want to be a freight
forwarder when I grow up”. Those who do stumble into forwarding
often find themselves fascinated by the daily variety and challenges and
those are precisely the folks we want to attract. Teach them right, instruct
them well, and they will become tomorrow’s leaders.
How do you handle customer experience?
#1 is shut up and listen because this is not a one-size-fits-all world.
Every customer has their own hot-buttons, their own needs, and their own
unique perspective on what’s important. As important and exciting
as the new technology is that is rolling out across the supply chain world,
they are after all only tools and, be it a hammer, a saw, a wrench, or
a scalpel, are only as good as the hands that wield them. Craft solutions
that fit your individual customer’s needs and you will succeed.
There are many venues along the service chain, including outsourcing that
forwarders cannot control, but impact the customer and service partners
what successful forwarders do – they manage relationships and must
understand that vendors, just like customers have unique needs. As much
as we are focused on technology in today’s world, we must never
lose sight of the fact that relationships matter more so.
How can forwarders extend influence to touch points that you do not even
have responsibility for?
true and meaningful partnerships with your service providers and understand
that loyalty is a two-way street.
How do you promote great collaborations?
win-win relationships in which the vision is clear and the strategy concise
with easy to understand objectives. If the mission is too complex for
the group and its people, many will simply give up in achieving the overall
What is your idea of happiness?
interviewed by FlyingTypers, but a close second would be a love
of commercial aviation and vintage automobiles. I love airports and cargo
and am a sucker for the old school style of driving where I’m still
in charge and not some damn computer buried under the dashboard somewhere.
But the most happiness is spending time with my family and good friends
because no plane or car beats those moments.
Your idea of misery?
BF: Doing just about anything else for a living. I am passionate about the
freight forwarding industry and the Airforwarders Association and am honored
to be associated with such a wonderful group of people.
What do you consider your main fault?
worry too much and have come to realize that most of what we worry about
never really happens. On the other hand, being concerned drives the passion
that helps us accomplish important objectives.