Frequently Asked Questions
"UFO has helped our company develop a network of agents and friends in the world and it has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue to us, as well as helped us build up our company whereby we now have over 10 offices. There is no doubt in my mind that our success and achievements would not have been possible without UFO membership and the dedication and professionalism that the management team put into it!" EXPRESS AIR FREIGHT, USA
Below you will find answers to common questions but if yours doesn’t appear, please our Recruitment Director, Sam Wilcox.
How long has the network been running?
UFO was founded in January 2000 by Rachel Crawford, who has been involved in the development and management of international freight forwarder networks since 1998. Read more.
Where is your Head Office based?
Universal Freight Organisation is a Limited company (Reg # 3966794) based in the UK. The company is VAT registered (175463684) and has the following certifications: ISO 9001 Reg No 202250 and ISO 14001 Reg No 205242.
Can I see a current list of Members?
Yes, please click here for a full up-to-date list of our Members.
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. 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 many Members do you allow in each country?
Just 1 per country! UFO is one of the only remaining freight forwarder networks that has maintained its ‘one company per country’ exclusive policy (with the exception of USA, UAE and China). Our Biennial Meetings are a unique opportunity for our Members to be the only representative from their country in the room.
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 UFO 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:
Do you offer Payment Protection and/or Insurance?
We are unable to offer Member-to-Member payment protection and/or insurance. At UFO we believe in prevention rather than cure and provide a bespoke Invoice Monitoring System has been developed to ensure smooth cash flow between 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 UFO. Our Members understand that paying on time and operating in a professional manner results in repeat business and excellent relations with their overseas offices.
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 the right companies who perform in a conscientious, diligent and professional manner. Our Quality Control Survey asks for our Members’ opinion on the level of service that their fellow overseas partners are providing. Poor performance will not be tolerated within the network.
Do you pass on Quote Requests?
Due to our continued efforts with search engine optimisation and advertising, we aim to drive new business to our Members. Our website is not only visited by forwarders looking for fellow agents, but also for customers looking for quotes. All leads received from our Quote Request facility are forwarded directly to our Members.
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 UFO 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, which enables the contact details of fellow partners to be found quickly on mobile devices.
Do you offer any Training Programmes for your Members?
Yes. One of the main challenges in our industry is the lack of training and staff development, especially with new and young staff members so we provide our Members with a bespoke eLearning Platform, incorporating a comprehensive 5 module online training program. Each registered user receives a personal log-in so that they can train at their own pace. When the training is completed, the user will understand the practical, operational and engineering aspects the specific topic and will be able to ask pertinent questions at the relevant time and understand the industry terminology.
Do you publish a Newsletter?
Yes, UFO issues a Digital Newsletter every 3 months, provided free of charge and no payment is made for any articles. Each issue includes articles on Member’s shipments, staff changes, the latest companies to join, reminders of membership tools, official updates, features etc.
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.
Can I promote Offices in other countries?
Rule #6 of our Membership Rules states “Members may not promote within the UFO (an) office(s), either as a member or not, either wholly or partly owned or not, in any area where a UFO member already exists.”. This rule is strictly enforced so that Member’s representations are protected and to avoid any hostility within our friendly group.
Do you offer Marketing & News services?
Yes, as our network is predominantly about acquiring, building and maintaining business relationships, we offer our Members a news service. We prepare an online article which is then published in our Latest News section. This service provides Members with the opportunity to promote their company and enables everyone to keep up-to-date with news from their overseas partners. Each article appears automatically on both our website and Smartphone Service and are also published on LinkedIn in order to reach a wider global audience. News articles related to each company are also available on their individual company page in our Members Area and on their dedicated brochure website.
Do you provide Sales and Marketing material?
Yes, UFO provides brochure websites, customised for each of our Members and based on a company specific URL. The brochure websites showcase online the huge potential that UFO and its Member have for supplying complete logistics solutions. We have created the sites in a collapsing responsive design so that it scales on smartphone/mobile devices automatically. An exciting feature is the ability for Members to post their company news to the sites. Members may also request a copy of our Marketing Brochure, which will be edited with their company details and emailed in PDF format ready for printing.
Do you have any Membership Rules?
Abidance of our Membership Rules is essential for the professional and efficient operation of UFO and its Members. Any official complaints are reviewed by UFO 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 UFO and its Members.
How much business will I receive?
It is difficult for us to determine how much business joining UFO would bring to your company. Also, we prefer not to ask our Members this question as 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 in order to increase inter-trade.
What is the cost of membership?
Our Members simply pay an Annual Fee dependent on your location with a one-off Joining Fee. Plus, our current campaign offers two years’ membership for the cost of one.
Can I have a free trial?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer free trial memberships.
What are the application requirements?
Full completion of our Application Form together with 2 references from forwarders who have acted as agents within the past year. Each applicant is also required to provide a recent case study (including photos) of an interesting shipment they have handled.
"I want to thank the entire UFO team for always keeping us together, since this has been a year of many challenges for all of us, staying united working for the common good has been our strength as a group, every day we move more loads between us, That is why we ask to continue without getting discouraged and face the covid19, it will be another challenge for all of us that in the end we will overcome, as we always do. Thanks UFO, Thanks Rachel." Robert Morales, President of Caribbean International Cargo, Dominican Republic