Thursday, January 18, 2018

British Freight Awards Are a Hit Yet Again with the Forwarding and Logistics Community

Another Memorable Event at the BIFA Celebrations in London
Shipping News Feature
UK – This week saw the much anticipated event which lies at the very heart of the UK freight forwarding and logistics community, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Awards, once again held at The Brewery, in the commercial heart of the capital, and, as so often in previous year's, the event proved one which will live long in the memory of all those fortunate enough to attend, and for a variety of reasons.

Things got underway as usual with a brief note of thanks from BIFA Director General Robert Keen to all the sponsors who once again made the whole thing possible. Following on came another brief speech from BIFA President Sir Peter Bottomley MP, who welcomed all present to this, the 29th such celebratory luncheon. And so to the first of two particularly memorable portions of the day, and what portions! As is becoming the habit at this venue, the meal was good enough to draw a vote of appreciation for the team of chefs from a satisfied crowd.

Next came what was the undoubted high point of the show. This year BIFA had selected well know singer and sorcerer, sorry saucier, Levi Roots, who proved once again why his unique products have become popular enough to have sold over 100 million bottles worldwide. Mr Roots may well have made his name as a star discovered on TV’s Dragons Den, but the audience remained riveted by his tale of being left in the care of his grandmother whilst first his parents, and latterly his 5 older siblings, moved individually to England from their Caribbean home as money slowly became available for the fares.

Levi was left alone to learn the secrets of his grandmothers sauce recipe, something he evolved and using his inimitable musical style proceeded to sell around Britain in later years, until his big break came. One can only imagine his feelings when faced with the boss of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, he received an order for 250,000 bottles of Reggae Reggae Sauce, at a time he was actually still brewing it up in the duchy at home in his kitchen in batches of 65 bottles a time. Levi Roots left the crowd with a piece of good advice he has lived by: “Be Yourself”.

And so to the Awards, the winners and finalists in the nine categories were as follows:

General categories

Project Forwarding (sponsored by Peter Lole & Co) Winner: Superior Freight Services UK.

Finalists – Connaught Air Services, OIA Global Ltd, Braid Logistics

Specialist Services (sponsored by Forward Computers) Winner: TR Logistics.

Finalists – Advanced Forwarding, B&H Worldwide, James Cargo Services

Staff Development (sponsored by Albacore Systems) Winner: Dachser.

Finalists – Customs Clearance Ltd, Maltacourt Ltd, Unsworth Global Logistics

Supply Chain Management (sponsored by BoxTop Technologies) Winner: B&H Worldwide.

Finalists – Dimerco, Ligentia UK Ltd, Yusen Logistics

Individual category

Young Freight Forwarder (sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo) Winner: Louis Perrin (Hemisphere Freight Services).

Finalists – Irene Borghi (Cargonet Limited), Scott Showell (Damco), Kate Town (TPS Global Logistics), Lee Wells (512 (Sheffield) Ltd)

Modal categories

Air Cargo Services (sponsored by IAG Cargo) Winner: Metro Shipping.

Finalists – 512 Sheffield Ltd, Ligentia UK ltd, NNR Global Logistics

Ocean Services (Sponsored by Clecat) Winner: Moto Freight.

Finalists – 512 Sheffield Ltd, Hemisphere Freight Services, Ucargo

The Cool Award (and Levi Roots Favourite) (sponsored by American Airlines Cargo) Winner: Pharmafreight.

Finalists – GBA Services, Morgan Cargo, Unsworth Global Logistics

Extra Mile (sponsored by Descartes) Winner: Morgan Cargo.

Finalists – Connaught Air Service, MIQ Logistics, Ucargo LLP

This year there was an additional Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Colin Joyce. In addition to the regular awards, this year BIFA made the decision to recognise a stalwart of the freight forwarding industry, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This was announced by Kevin King of ceremony sponsor, the TT Club, and awarded to Colin Joyce of Stansted Training Services.

Having found himself redundant following the demise of the forwarder Thomas Meadows, Colin set up Stansted Training Services, specialising in the delivery of training in the areas of freight forwarding, exports, imports, and customs procedures. For over 30 years, Colin has delivered courses on behalf of BIFA and retires this year having trained hundreds of individuals and leaving a huge legacy of knowledge.

Commenting on the event Robert Keen enthusiastically praised all his staff who made the event possible for another year and concluded:

“The BIFA Freight Service awards are all about rewarding excellence and the luncheon is an excellent opportunity for Members and guests to network, cement existing relationships, and develop new ones. I congratulate every company and individual who took the time and effort to enter our Freight Service Awards competition 2017, especially those Members who entered the Awards for the first time.

The range of finalists and winners dispels the myth that ‘the awards are just for the big companies’, with seven of the category winners being BIFA Members with fewer than 100 employees. I strongly believe that the act of entering itself allows Members to improve their business systems and learn a great deal about themselves.”

Photo: Lifetime Award Winner Colin Joyce shares a moment with Levi Roots after collecting his accolade.