Thursday, January 22, 2015

British Freight Forwarding Looking Up as Annual Celebration of Excellence Comes Round Again

BIFA Awards Judge All That's Best in UK Cargo Market
Shipping News Feature

UK – Once again the annual British International Freight Association (BIFA) Awards were an unqualified success today as the finalists gathered in hope and expectation at the usual venue of the Brewery in London. The mood amongst the gathered clan of freight forwarding agents was buoyant and the talk was of improving fortunes. A surprise Award featured this year as the TT Club was awarded a special honour to mark its continued support of BIFA for the past twenty five years.

There was an eclectic mix of old and new in terms of honours with seven BIFA members reaching the finals for the first time whilst old stagers such as the Uniserve Group with nominations in four categories, and Brunel Shipping & Liner Services securing a finalist position across three categories, showed the intensity of competition.

BIFA President Sir Peter Bottomley MP welcomed some 500 guests to the 26th BIFA Freight Service Awards and, along with regular BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, who gave an excellent well-judged and well timed speech following an excellent lunch, he presented the finalists with their certificates. Robert Keen, BIFA’s Director General, commented:

“In a neat twist to celebrate the 26th staging of the Awards, it was fitting that 26 different BIFA Member companies were in contention for these Awards, plus our Young Freight Forwarder finalists. Last year, BIFA celebrated the Silver Jubilee of its Awards competition. I am pleased that this year the Awards exceeded that benchmark event in terms of excitement and quality of finalists.

“It was also pleasing that seven Members qualified as finalists for the first time this year and I was delighted to present TT Club with a special award to recognise the insurance service provider’s continuous support for the awards for the past 25 years."

DP World London Gateway was Gold Sponsor of the host for the second year running and the ‘Ceremony Sponsors’ were American Airlines Cargo, Delamode, Descartes, MCP, Port of Antwerp, Simpex Express and the Woodland Group.

The finalists and winners in the eight Awards categories were as follows:

General categories

The Environment Award – sponsored by Red Recruit

Winner – Samskip – The judges praised the launch of the 'Blue Road' innovative logistics solution as an alternative to road transport using container barges to ship cargo from The Netherlands to the UK within two days.

Finalists – Atlantic Pacific Global Logistics; Freight Systems Express (Wales); Uniserve Group

The Project Forwarding Award – sponsored by Peter Lole & Co

Winner – Panalpina World Transport – The company impressed the judges with its demonstration of excellence in the successful delivery of a unique project requiring a complex logistics solution, which included the testing and evaluation of specialist towing equipment.

Finalists – Arbour Shipping; Greenshields Cowie & Co; Sound Moves (UK)

The Special Services Award – sponsored by Forward Computers

Winner – Schenker – A high quality presentation impressed the judges as it displayed the logistics industry at its best. The company’s ability to think quickly, and its excellent all-round service, contributed towards an outstanding performance at a very high profile public event.

Finalists – James Cargo Services; Uniserve Group; UTi Worldwide (UK)

The Staff Development Award – sponsored by Albacore Systems

Winner – Unsworth Global Logistics – The judges were impressed with the company’s pre-induction training and e-learning programme, which included feedback meetings, weekly workshops, a training newsletter, as well as Continuing Professional Development.

Finalists – Customs Clearance; Schenker; Woodland Group

The Supply Chain Management Award – sponsored by BoxTop Technologies

Winner – Allport Cargo Services – The judging panel chose this company as category winner for demonstrating a very innovative approach to its overseas pallet building and container load planning, resulting in its customer seeing significant cost savings and increased productivity.

Finalists – MIQ Logistics; RIF Worldwide; Uniserve

Group Modal categories

The Air Freight Award – sponsored by IAG Cargo

Winner – DSV Air & Sea – The judges thought this company stood out from the shortlist by demonstrating remarkable growth in a very competitive sector. Utilising its chilled facilities, the judging panel felt it had developed a specialist service that was of huge benefit to its customers.

Finalists – Brunel Air Cargo; MOL Logistics (UK); Uniserve Group

The European Logistics Award – sponsored by the TT Club

Winner – Freightex – The judges considered the winner used technology at the sharp end to change its distribution model so as to provide an optimum solution to the logistics challenges presented by its customer.

Finalists – Brunel European; Damco UK; UFS

The Ocean Freight Award – sponsored by Cargoguide International

Winner – Estuary Logistics – The company demonstrated a strong and reliable track record in the delivery of ocean freight services. Its submission described the development of a logistics optimisation programme for clients in the fashion sector, which, as well as keeping costs to a minimum, resulted in a notable improvement of service levels.

Finalists – Brunel Shipping; Moto Freight; Westbound Shipping Services

Individual category

The Young Freight Forwarder Award – sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Winner – Jenifer Taylor of Santova Logistics – Joining a cargo handling agent as a 16-year old school-leaver, Jenifer quickly got to grips with international freight. Progressing through a General Sales Agent, Jenifer built a wide knowledge to become an all-round logistics professional. She now manages all shipments for an international high-street fashion brand which has recently expanded into South Africa.

Finalists – Jefferson Inniss of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics; Charlotte Wild of Tudor International Freight; Kathy Wood of Moto Freight.

Photo: The happy winners gather on the podium with Naga Munchetty