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AHFA Specialized Furniture Carriers Announces New Certification Program

The Specialized Furniture Carriers (SFC), a division of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) since 2009, announces it has created a new certification program that will more clearly define the division’s membership criteria.

“This program has been under development for nearly a year,” explains Mike Padjen, executive director of both SFC and AHFA’s Solution Partners supplier division. “The scope of SFC’s membership is now global. The need for these revisions intensified in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting explosion in furnishings sold online. Our members meet need for proper handling and shipping of furniture worldwide, and the new certification program will help distinguish them more clearly from general commodities companies.”

With pressure to respond to global applicants describing themselves as “specialized furniture carriers,” the division felt the need to conduct additional vetting of prospective new members.

“The Specialized Furniture Carriers division is a critical resource for the manufacturing and importing members of AHFA, and for the furniture industry in general. SFC’s new application process will gather essential information to help shippers select partners for their supply chain needs with greater confidence; partners who will add long-term value to their operations.”

The application will allow prospective members to identify one or more primary areas of service: 1) Carrier; 2) White Glove/Final Mile; 3) Warehousing/3PL; and 4) International Shipping/Brokering. The application will require information supporting these identified areas of expertise, including years of experience, home furnishings industry volume, home furnishings-specific training and home furnishings-specific equipment and/or technology.

Additional criteria requiring verification will include legal and regulatory compliance, risk management/insurance and sustainability practices.

If an application is declined, AHFA will identify areas needing improvement and/or additional documentation required. AHFA and the applicant will develop a plan and a timetable for these improvements to be made.

Current SFC members are grandfathered through June 2025, after which they will also complete the new, more detailed application.

AHFA maintains a directory of SFC members on its website. Visitors to the page can search the directory by state and/or Canadian province or by service category to find the specific services their business requires.

SFC sponsors AHFA’s Annual Logistics Conference each June. Logistics professionals from all segments of the industry are invited to join with the carriers in discussion of key issues and challenges facing the industry.