| Thailand 's economy rapidly expanded in the 1980s, largely due to the huge growth in the nation's import and export sectors. The automotive industry saw parts and materials arriving from overseas, with complete vehicles being assembled in Thailand and sent throughout the country and to ports for overseas shipment. Electronics, agriculture, furniture and other manufacturing segments relied on the movement of goods, through ports and airports as well as throughout the country and region.
As a result, the freight forwarding industry took on a more vital and active role, but the speed of its expansion created intense competition as well as haphazard growth. Many felt the industry lacked direction, as the industry was unregulated and had no controlling body to ensure freight forwarders operated according to international standards. To confront the problems facing the industry at this time, a group of international freight forwarders gathered together and finally decided to form an association that would benefit the entire sector.
Som Pliansaneh, a member of this original group, initiated a proposal for the formation of a freight forwarders' association, which was submitted to the Board of Trade of Thailand (BoT). With full support from the BoT, the original group invited another six or seven freight forwarders to join the new association, after which Mr. Som, Khlang Tantimongkolsuk and Vichai Mehkmahan registered it with the Ministry of Commerce. On March 10, 1987, the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA) was officially inaugurated.
After TIFFA had been founded, the original members invited other freight forwarders to join the association, and a general meeting was called to elect the first Board of Directors. At this initial assembly, Mr. Som was chosen as TIFFA's first President, with 14 Directors joining him on the board. The original board remained in office for two years, at which time a new Board of Directors was elected with Mr. Khlang, another founding member, being tabbed as the association's President.
Succeeding Mr. Khlang two years later was Phongthep Tangpinichit, who served as President for the TIFFA board's third term, along with a newly elected Board of Directors. Somsak Visetruangrote took the helm of TIFFA's board during the fourth and fifth term, before Suwit Ratanachinda was elected President, a position he still holds today.
TIFFA is currently a member in good standing of the following organisations:
FIATA (The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations)
AFFA (Asean Federation Forwarders Associations)
BoT (Board of Trade of Thailand )