Thursday, December 31, 2015

Freight Forwarding Boss Looks Toward the Future of Shipping

Reflections on Calais and Forthcoming Legislation
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – As the year closes Robert Keen, Director of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), the trade association for UK freight forwarders, has taken the opportunity to look forward to prospects for shippers in the forthcoming New Year. Mr Keen has commented on several matters of particular import to British and European shipping and forwarding stakeholders including changes to legislation, the dreadful events at and around Calais during 2015, the Heathrow third runway debate and the importance of training. He observes:

“From a legislative perspective, two major impacts on the freight forwarding landscape in 2016 will result from the implementation of the Union Customs Code and the amendment to SOLAS requiring the verification of gross mass of containers prior to loading. There is still significant confusion about the implications of both legislative changes and BIFA will continue to hold events to brief members and others to help them manage the change in processes.

“BIFA has repeatedly called for government action to address the problems being caused by the would-be illegal immigrants attempting to stowaway on trucks. We will continue to press the authorities in France and the UK to step up their protection of the routes across the Channel and fulfil their obligations to let trade move unhindered on this strategic freight route.

"In 2015, BIFA said that it felt that there is some evidence that the UK Government is listening to the advice it is getting from the UK’s logistics sector and we welcomed the freeze in fuel duty and planned investment in the UK’s road infrastructure, as being positive signs. However, this month we expressed our dismay at the ongoing delay in a decision on the expansion of airport capacity in the south east and sincerely hope that the government will not let party political issues continue to stop progress on this crucial issue in 2016.

“BIFA will continue our work to make more comprehensive educational material available to BIFA Members online. We have wrestled with this topic for the past few years and have an emerging strategy, which will become clear as 2016 goes on.”