Thursday, January 17, 2019

British International Freight Awards Honours Worthy Winners Across Logistics Spectrum

BIFA Finalists Announced at Yet Another Great Event
Shipping News Feature
UK – Once again the completely sold out British International Freight Association (BIFA) Awards proved to be a memorable event for all who attended. Competition for the awards was as fierce as ever and there was much support for every one of those in the running for all of the eleven categories on offer. The Brewery in the heart of London was again the setting for both an excellent meal and a lively event.

The event boasted two speakers who could face the crowd with a particular justification in that both President Sir Peter Bottomley and event host Dame Kelly Holmes MBE have both passed their HGV driving tests. During his speech Sir Peter suggested that with the current driver shortage it might be necessary for them to dust off their qualifications.

The BIFA President can be guaranteed to give a good speech and he suggested that the incoming sulphur cap had prompted the lines slow steaming policy, whilst they had introduced simultaneous fuel surcharges, meaning BIFA members were actually supporting them to deliver goods more slowly whilst paying for the privilege!

With his speech ranging from the weather to Brexit, Bottomley opined that, on this last point, his members were those best placed to advise the Prime Minister on the problems and were the only group not panicking at the volatile situation.

For the transport charity Transaid chief executive Caroline Barber gave a precis of what the group had achieved in the past year. Many BIFA members actively support the cause helping to fund the now almost ubiquitous bicycle ambulances the charity provides in Africa, whilst it had now seen its 160 driving trainers themselves instruct around 30,000 drivers. The MAMaZ Against Malaria programme in Zambia, which we detailed previously, has seen the disease cut by 96% in its first trial which will now be extended. The raffle for Transaid added over £2,000 to its coffers.

Next up Dame Kelly was a tour de force, as one observer noted, this was the first time in many years that he’d seen what is always a tough audience for a speaker, spellbound. She ranged across her life, warts and all, telling of the litany of injuries and, in the year before her greatest triumph at the 2004 Olympics, how she had suffered terrible depression. However when the film of her twin successes in the 1500 and 800 metres were screened one knew this was a British awards ceremony as she was applauded roundly by all.

Dame Kelly, who gave up athletics after success as a 16 year old to join the Army, returned at age 20 to the sport she was born for but had to wait until she reached 34 for her stunning success. Her message was simple, if you want something then go for it, but only if you strive absolutely and single-mindedly are you liable to succeed.

And so to the Awards. This year saw several new names in contention and much was made of the success of the winner of last year’s Young Freight Forwarder of the Year, Louis Perrin who went on to collect the FIATA International title in Delhi in October. The full list of this year’s winners is:

Air Cargo Services – Sponsor: IAG Cargo

Winner: Metro shipping

European Logistics – Sponsor: TT Club

Winner: Uniserve

Ocean Services – Sponsor: Corrigan Bentley

Winner: NNR

Project Forwarding – Sponsor: Peter Lole Insurance Brokers

Winner: Specialist Logistics Services

Specialist Services – Sponsor: Forward Computers

Winner: Charles Kendall Freight

Staff Development – Sponsor: Albacore Systems

Winner: Hemisphere Freight Services

Supply Chain Management – Sponsor: BoxTop Technologies

Winner: OIA Global

Cool – Sponsor: American Airlines Cargo

Winner: Bermuda Forwarders (UK)

Extra Mile – Sponsor: Descartes

Winner: Freightport Logistics

Young Freight Forwarder – Sponsor: Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Winner: Luke Brown, Daily Groupage Services

Apprentice of the Year – Sponsor: Outsource Training & Development

Winner: Thomas Turner, Panalpina

Photo: Dame Kelly Holmes MBE helped make the awards a memorable occasion.