Thursday, April 15, 2021

As Cricket Season Gets Under Way Young Freight Forwarders Network Makes 50 Not Out

Two Years On and Through the Pandemic Events Continue to Inform and Educate
Shipping News Feature

UK – As the flannelled fools take to the pitches the British International Freight Association's (BIFA) Young Forwarder Network (YFN) has passed the milestone of 50 events just two year's after the launch in March 2019. And this despite the bulk of the time being plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Considering networking is at the heart of the project one would have imagined the scheme possibly foundering yet, probably aided by the optimism and determination of youth, in its first year 741 individuals had attended 28 events organised by the YFN, which included regional launch events, airport and port tours, as well as talks by industry professionals.

In March 2020, Covid-19 led to the first national lockdown, which caused a temporary hiatus in planning, but events recommenced online in May 2020 with a virtual bake-off. At this point one could imagine a falling off in numbers as events were restricted principally to an online presence, yet in the past 12 months, 1,222 participants have attended 23 online events with the 50th event, a virtual port tour of DP World London Gateway, taking place yesterday, attracting a record 108 participants.

The YFN was launched in March 2019 to create several regional networking groups, run by young forwarders and designed to help early talent and young BIFA members develop their knowledge and professional skills, but in a more social environment. Carl Hobbis, BIFA Executive Director, who has management responsibility for BIFA’s training and development services, commented:

“When the YFN was launched, we said we thought it would prove to be a major step forward for the industry in developing its future freight forwarding ambassadors and leaders. The young people who are participating in the events are improving their knowledge of the sector, trends within it, as well as building their skill sets and learning from others. As we aim for a century of events, hopefully, we will be able to hold some in a face-to-face, more social environment, just like in the first 12 months of the YFN.”

BIFA’s Young Forwarder Network (YFN) is committed to providing opportunities for those new to the industry to develop their knowledge and professional skills. Membership is free and open to any employee of a BIFA Member company. Robert Keen, Director General of BIFA added:

“50 events in two years is a remarkable achievement and a clear sign of the attraction of the YFN to the younger generation within the freight sector. The YFN is really helping improve the promotion of the sector, making it more attractive to younger people and providing forums from which to learn.

“We now need more BIFA members to take heed of this opportunity by encouraging attendance at YFN events; and making greater efforts to promote the freight forwarding and logistics sector in their locality.”

Currently all YFN events, which are free, take place on Wednesdays in a virtual environment every two weeks approximately starting at 15:30 and lasting for one hour. Details of the next event can be found HERE.