Airforwarders Association (AfA)

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) is a trade organization that represents the interests of companies involved in the air freight forwarding industry. Founded in the U.S., the Association serves both domestic and international members, advocating on behalf of the air forwarding community. It provides a platform for education, networking, and political advocacy.

Key takeaways

  • Definition: The Airforwarders Association is a trade organization focused on advocacy, education, and networking for air freight forwarding companies.
  • How it works: The Association operates through a board and committees, offering services like lobbying, education, and networking, funded by membership dues.
  • Types: Associations exist at national, regional, international, and specialized levels, each with unique benefits and focus areas.
  • Pros and cons: Pros include standardization, collective lobbying, business discounts, knowledge sharing, and international market access; cons encompass high costs, exclusivity, bureaucracy, limited influence, and conflicting interests.
  • Explore your options: Membership provides resources, educational programs, and networking, equipping you for competitive advantages in the air forwarding industry.

How it works

Becoming a part of the Airforwarders Association opens doors to a wealth of opportunities for companies in the air freight forwarding sector. The Association offers various levels of membership, designed to accommodate businesses big and small. Annual dues support a plethora of services that aim to uplift and advance the industry.

The AfA is guided by a board of directors and specialized committees. These governing bodies focus on key areas like policy advocacy, educational programs, and public relations. Their collective effort directs the association's activities, ensuring that members' interests are well-represented and protected.

One of the most critical roles of the AfA is its advocacy work. By identifying pivotal issues affecting the industry, the association acts as a unified voice in lobbying efforts. It collaborates with experts and legislators to present well-researched arguments for or against regulations that could impact air forwarding operations.

The Association places a high emphasis on education and training. Members have exclusive access to invaluable resources such as webinars, seminars, and publications. These resources keep them abreast of the latest industry developments, technological advancements, and regulatory changes.

Networking is another cornerstone of the AfA. Through periodic events, conferences, and online platforms, members have the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and share business insights. This helps in forming long-term relationships that are beneficial for all parties involved.

The Association is committed to upholding industry standards. Through various committees, it develops best practices and ethical guidelines that all members are encouraged to follow. This standardization ensures a level of quality and reliability, fostering trust both within the association and with external partners.

Last but not least, the AfA maintains consistent communication with its members. Regular newsletters, updates, and alerts are sent out to keep everyone informed. Additional member services, such as discounts on industry-related products and services, add extra value to the membership.

Each of these elements contributes to a well-rounded and effective association that serves the needs and interests of air forwarding companies.

Airforwarders Association types


  • Domestic focus: These associations prioritize issues and opportunities within a single country. They are most effective in dealing with domestic policies and regulations.
  • Local regulations: Members benefit from in-depth understanding of national regulations. These Associations can be very helpful in navigating local laws.
  • Localized networking: Since members operate in the same country, networking opportunities are highly relevant but geographically limited.


  • Regional focus: These organizations span multiple countries in a specific area like Europe, Asia, or the Americas. They provide a more comprehensive view of regional issues.
  • Cross-border expertise: These Associations are valuable for businesses that operate across multiple countries in the same region, helping them navigate different regulatory landscapes.
  • Regional networking: They facilitate connections within a broader area, allowing members to expand their regional footprint.


  • Global focus: These are designed for businesses that have a global reach. They address international policies, regulations, and market trends.
  • Global standards: They work to establish and uphold international best practices, benefiting members by setting universally recognized benchmarks.
  • Worldwide networking: Members have the opportunity to connect with companies from around the world, expanding their global network.


  • Niche markets: These Associations focus on very specific sectors, such as perishable goods or hazardous materials within the air forwarding industry.
  • Expertise: Specialized Associations offer deep knowledge and insights into particular market segments, giving members a competitive edge.
  • Targeted networking: Members can build valuable relationships with businesses that share highly specific challenges and opportunities.

Pros and cons


  • Standardization: An AfA typically sets industry benchmarks and standards. This uniformity ensures that all members maintain a minimum level of service, quality, and ethics.
  • Advocacy: They often lobby on behalf of their industry, speaking to regulators and policymakers. This collective voice can be more impactful than individual companies petitioning alone.
  • Discounts: Members frequently have access to exclusive discounts on essential business services or products, which can lead to cost savings.
  • Knowledge sharing: Associations may offer workshops, courses, and publications that help members stay updated with the latest industry trends, technology, and regulations.
  • Market access: Associations often have ties to international partners, facilitating easier entry into overseas markets, reducing the hurdle for smaller businesses.


  • Cost: Membership fees and annual dues can be substantial, particularly for smaller businesses with tighter budgets.
  • Exclusivity: Some Associations have stringent membership criteria based on business size, revenue, or service quality. Smaller or newer companies may feel excluded.
  • Bureaucracy: Large Associations often have complex structures, slowing down decision-making processes and responsiveness to industry changes.
  • Limited influence: Despite lobbying efforts, the Association’s influence can be limited, especially if it lacks adequate representation or faces strong opposition.
  • Conflicting interests: Associations try to serve all members, but bigger companies may have more sway in decisions, overshadowing the needs and concerns of smaller entities.

Explore your options

Having delved into the complexities and nuances of the air forwarding industry through this glossary, you're now better equipped to navigate its intricacies. The Airforwarders Association collaborates with industry leaders and regulatory bodies to elevate the standards and practices within the sector. By becoming a member, you can benefit from their extensive resources, educational programs, and networking opportunities. This membership can give you access to a wealth of expertise, reliable best practices, and competitive advantages that can help streamline your air forwarding operations and contribute to your business growth.

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