Shippers: why care about professional associations

Courtney has been incorporating more business planning tools into our operations – and bringing a new lens to customer service, people development and forecasting. These exercises have only strengthened my appreciation for the value of professional associations to the advancing of industries and the businesses that work within them.

Whether they think about it or not, clients greatly benefit from a company’s role with its professional association.

I currently volunteer and serve as CIFFA Vice-President I and Customs Chair. From that vantage point, I am really well-schooled in the seemingly continual changes to regulations governing our industry. The CIFFA board advocates on behalf of its members – serving as watchdogs, of sorts, for how government priorities affect our businesses and systems and by extension our clients.

Professional associations set the bar for baseline education and provides opportunities to gain advanced knowledge. They establish service standards and ethical codes to build consistency, security and trust. That is particularly important in Freight Forwarding in Canada. If you’re a shipper and not one of our clients, I would strongly recommend you look for a supplier that is a CIFFA member to gain access to the competency, business ethics and knowledge the association requires of them.​

Our team benefits from professional development opportunities which, in turn, benefit our clients.

My own career was carved out by a family-owned business where the learning was… might we say… “organic.” But, as I moved into more responsible roles – culminating at owner and CEO – I relied heavily on the educational offerings of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) and CIFFA.

Earning certificates through the courses offered, I continued to enhance my learning through conferences, workshops and conversations with the network of members. Experiences that proved invaluable to my business and my clients.

Today, I give back by sharing my knowledge with colleagues, competitors and industry newcomers. As a leader of a team of eager and able young customs brokers, forwarders and logistics professionals, I support the growth of our team through fully sponsored certificate programs offered by the industry associations.

Would you like to know more? Please contact me at


“I’m Paul Courtney and I’ve been in this business for 30 years” 


Great news!

Courtney Agencies is excited to share the recent acquisition of US -based PMK International. Now, with shipments originating from either side of the border, you can expect the same outstanding and trusted service - under one roof! Read more.