Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Freight Forwarding and Warehousing Trade Associations Get Set for Multimodal

Exhibition and Conference Keenly Anticipated by Logistics Community
Shipping News Feature

UK – As the world emerges slowly after the tribulations of Covid many in the logistics community are looking forward to the return of some semblance of normality with the fast approaching Multimodal Exhibition and Conference which opens at the NEC Birmingham on 19 October.

The light and airy atmosphere of the huge exhibition halls will hopefully provide a safe place to begin what is one of the most popular events of the transport and warehousing calendar, and the big guns will be out in force to boost the occasion.

One major new attraction at the forthcoming rescheduled exhibition is the British International Freight Association’s Freight Forwarders Village, designed to provide a marketplace for BIFA members and associate members to showcase the products and services they offer.

The Freight Forwarders village will provide a networking opportunity whereby visitors to the show can learn more about the workings of the trade association; and the benefits of being a member. Those looking for service providers will be able to discuss their day-to-day freight forwarding requirements with actual BIFA members that have decided to take a presence in the marketplace.

The village will include BIFA’s exhibition stand, and bespoke Logistics Services Provider Pods (Logpods) from which BIFA members can promote their products and services to the significant number of shippers, cargo owners and other visitors that Multimodal attracts.

The trade association that represents the UK freight forwarding and logistics businesses will also be using the event to demonstrate its ever-increasing portfolio of training services. This will include promotion of a recently launched online training course to help members to use the UK’s new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

HM Revenue and Customs’ CDS will replace CHIEF in a phased transition ending in April 2023, and BIFA’s new CDS - eLearning course provides hands on tuition, practical exercises and a technical resource, finishing with an assessment. The BIFA information is designed for those completing Customs declarations and BIFA plans to showcase the course at its stand and will demonstrate the 10 main differences between CHIEF & CDS.

The trade association will also have a prominent role in the seminar programme, with senior management involved in sessions that focus on the current state of the logistics marketplace, as well as what is next for international trade. Day 3 will see BIFA take the lead role in a programme that focuses on attracting young talent to the sector; with an examination of apprenticeships that are available; the trade association’s recently launched schools engagement programme, as well as the work being done by BIFA's Young Forwarder Network. Robert Keen, BIFA director general observed:

“Multimodal has become one of the most popular and successful exhibitions in the logistics and supply chain sector’s calendar and BIFA has been investigating how we can help our members and associate members to use the show to promote the extensive range of services that they provide. Being part of the new BIFA Freight Forwarders Village will give members and associate members that may have been reluctant to commit to the event in the past a very cost effective means of testing the water to see if Multimodal can deliver the business results that they are looking for.

“Whilst the international freight industry is devising methods of coping with the changing logistics demands of the global village often at a distance, the BIFA Freight Forwarders Village will give participants the opportunity for close range networking with existing and potential customers in a more personal environment.”

The unprecedented disturbances in trade caused by the pandemic coupled with Brexit has meant a sea change for many in how much storage they need available and concerns over what they should be paying for it. The exhibition will see the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) open its own Pavilion to showcase its members’ products and services.

The UKWA Pavilion is set to provide an ideally placed meeting and networking area and the association’s specialist legal partners, Aaron & Partners, will be on hand to provide expert advice and support on a range of issues, from limitation of liability to property dilapidation & decoration, contracts, leases and more.

The UKWA will also be getting involved in the discussions, hosting a ‘Warehousing of the Future’ seminar in the Forth Ports Theatre on day one of the event, including: Session 1 - Going Green. Sustainability is a key issue for warehousing, both in terms of operational and embodied carbon emissions Guest speakers will look at greener buildings from a real estate perspective and consider opportunities for reducing environmental impact through new technology.

This first session, which runs from 14:00 to 15:00 hours will be swiftly followed from 15:30 to 16:30 by Session 2 - Going Digital. Hand in hand with sustainability, digitisation can reduce paperwork, increase efficiency and improve performance. The session will look at how warehouse operators can embrace digital logistics without huge investment or major operational disruption.

There is a guarantee of something for anyone in the supply chain business to take away with them for this year's Multimodal (if only the bunch ofadvertising goodies which proliferate at the event).