Friday, January 21, 2011

Freight Awards - Winners Of The Logistics And Shipping Industry Poll

Achievements Celebrated at Annual BIFA Bash - with a Melancholy Touch
Shipping News Feature

UK – The British International Freight Association (BIFA) awards are now in their 22nd year, and there can certainly never been a finer luncheon in their history than that served to the 460 guests in London yesterday when the nominees and sponsors plus shipping and logistics personalities gathered to celebrate the event. The event was ably hosted by former football referee Graham Poll and introduced by BIFA Chairman Andrew Melton who referred to freight as:

“The ‘hidden industry’ but one central to the UK’s economy, in a world of constant change these awards celebrate those who aspire to be the best and this year we have seen a hard fought contest amongst the nine sponsored categories.”

Damco collected awards in two categories and there was a special lifetime achievement award for a surprised Derek O’Brien from the World Transport Agency for his long service to the administration of BIFA. Derek’s career in freight forwarding started at World Transport Agency in the mid 20th century at the time of the emergence of trailer services and a massive expansion in airfreight. His skill and knowledge with cargo claim handling procedures together with legal and insurance matters resulted in a BIFA award as freight forwarder of the year in 1993, and today, after 60 years in the industry, he continues to assist BIFA with his incisive knowledge on international trade.

Peter Quantrill, BIFA Director General was clearly delighted with the proceedings saying:

“There’s an old saying that ‘you have to be in it to win it’. We had a fantastic response to this year’s competition, with six first-time entrants in the finalist shortlist and top quality entries, which were judged by a panel of industry experts. I was especially pleased to re-introduce the Environment award category this year given the ever increasing importance of green issues in supply chain management. BIFA fully appreciates that entering the Awards takes time and effort. I can only applaud the effort put into the entries that were, as ever, of the highest quality.”

The winners of the Project Forwarding Award was Allseas Global Logistics and upon receipt Managing Director Andrew Morris dedicated the achievement to the passengers and crew of an Ilyushin 76T cargo plane which was destroyed shortly after completing a logistics mission in Africa. The aircraft crashed into Lake Victoria, shortly after takeoff from Entebbe Airport, Uganda with the loss of all aboard.

Karen Ahrens picked up a fiercely contested award for Young Freight Forwarder of the Year. Karen, who only moved to the UK from her native Germany four years ago, was given special praise for a prodigious performance working within the niche prestige market of international yacht and motorboat transport.

Peter Quantrill commented:

“The judges were impressed with Kristina’s passion for the industry and her determination to deliver the best service to the customer which has been borne out by a doubling in the trade she handles.”

In summation the Director General said:

“Once again, throughout the event, from gathering entries, to judging them and announcing the winners, this year’s awards showed us that the forwarding industry continues to show great resilience throughout varying economic cycles.

“As I have said previously, it is an industry that is adept at matching both its shape and service offerings to the changing needs of its customers. Those characteristics came out loud and clear in all the entries, and particularly the category winners, and will stand us all in good stead for the new decade.”

The Full List of Sponsors and Category Winners is as follows:

• Air Freight Award, sponsored by British Airways World Cargo: Uniserve (Airfreight).

• Environment Award, sponsored by Maersk Line: Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

• European Logistics Award, sponsored by TT Club: GEFCO UK.

• Ocean Freight Award, sponsored by CargoWise: SBS Worldwide.

• Project Forwarding Award, sponsored by OOCL: Allseas Global Forwarding.

• Special Services Award, sponsored by Forward Computers: The Spatial Group.

• Staff Development Award, sponsored by Albacore Systems: Damco.

• Supply Chain Management Award, sponsored by BoxTop Technologies: Damco.

• Young Freight Forwarder Award, sponsored by Johnson Stevens Agencies: Kristina Ahrens from Peters & May.

Photo:- Some of the award winners :

Rear: Stuart Clarke, HR Director Damco; Leighton Bonnett MD Uniserve; Derek O’Brien World Transport Agency; Andrew Morris, MD Allseas Global:

Front: Kristina Ahrens, Peters & May; Alain Vignon, GEFCO; Anatoliy Nagornyy Supply Chain Development Analyst,Damco: Nick Walker MD, SBS Worldwide: Rachel Morley Exports Freightworks Manager , Spatial Logistics.