By Alex Binkley
Even though it’s a branch of a well-known international organization, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in North America has tended to fly under the radar. New President Bob Armstrong wants to attract a lot more interest in CILTNA and give it national recognition.
A well-known figure in the transportation community, Armstrong took over the helm of CILTNA last July and has been working with its 300 members to boost its presence and membership. To cut costs, he closed the organization’s Ottawa office and moved the administration to his home in Pickering, near Toronto. The website www.ciltna.com is being upgraded and expanded “so we can deliver more information to our members.” In time, he hopes to delegate administrative matters to focus more on membership recruitment and program development.
The London-based Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport has chapters around the globe and provides accreditation for the logistics and transportation training that its 33,000 members worldwide undertake. In Canada, CILTNA puts on an annual transportation outlook conference, which this year moves out of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to Montreal on May 7 and to other cities in the future, Armstrong tells Canadian Sailings. He also wants to hold mini outlook conferences in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and the United States.
Armstrong has already organized several CILTNA events in the Toronto area to augment the monthly meetings in Ottawa. He can rattle off a long list of transportation issues CILTNA should take a more active role in, including the Commons Transport Committee hearings on the rail freight service legislation, the shape of a renewed national infrastructure program and the need for a national transportation and transit strategy. “We want to get more members who are involved in transit and freight transportation.” The existing membership has a strong government and railway industry representation.
In addition to giving CILTNA more financial stability, growing its membership base in North America would ensure more people with a CILTNA designation will be recognized internationally for their expertise, he points out. “This will also help anyone with a CILT designation who wants to move to North America.”
In addition to the outreach to the public transit community, he’s aiming membership recruitment at the trucking and logistics sectors. “We also want to get the younger generation involved. That means we have to make more use of social media. Armstrong also wants CILTNA to work more closely with other business and academic groups interested in transportation and logistics, supply chain management, dispute resolution, policy and strategic planning, warehousing, operations and client services.
In addition to his job with CILTNA, Armstrong is a former President of the Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada (SCL). In a career that spans four decades, he has served as President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters Inc. and President of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada. He’s also worked as a senior manager in a logistics company and for a government relations firm and as a partner in an accounting firm. Since starting his own company, Armstrong Trade and Logistics Services in 2006, he has specialized in the marine sector where he served as the Project Director for MarineLink, which developed several short sea shipping initiatives for the Seaway-Great Lakes Waterway, led more than 10 trade logistics missions to China and has extensive experience assisting Canadian companies to find new customers for exports and to discover new sources of supply in China and Southeast Asia. He has undertaken business development projects for Ports of Thunder Bay, Hamilton and Belledune, and is developing a new feeder service for a ship operator into the Great Lakes that includes scheduled service for containers and bulk cargo.
He is Chairman of the Board of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, National Chair of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association, a Director of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Chairman of the METROLINX Goods Movement Roundtable and serves on Peel Region’s Goods Movement Roundtable.