Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Freight Forwarding Representatives Give Support to Department of Transport Secretary

Continuity is Essential Says BIFA Boss
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the appointment of the newly elected government’s cabinet this week every sector of industry has kept a watching brief on how the make-up will affect it. As far as logistics is concerned the retention of Patrick McLoughlin as Transport Secretary certainly seems to have pleased those representing the country’s freight forwarding concerns with Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) saying:

“Previously, we have urged Government not use the leadership of the DfT as a political football, but to allow the Department to really focus on long-term solutions to the transport infrastructure issues which affect our members’ businesses activities. We have seen more than 40 transport secretaries since the Second World War, and three in two years prior to the appointment of Mr McLoughlin in September 2012.

"So, BIFA sees his reappointment as a welcome sign of continuity in the Department. We hope that under his leadership, we will see some joined-up thinking on the many issues that affect our members, including capacity concerns in the UK’s aviation industry, the state of UK road infrastructure; investment in the railways and strategy on port and harbour developments.

"Mr McLoughlin has previously said that he has an open mind on airport expansion, and we can only hope that when the Airports Commission presents its final report on the matter, its recommendations will be adopted in full and the overdue expansion of UK aviation hub capacity will commence. Likewise on HS2, while the talk on its pros and cons continues, the UK faces increasing rail congestion that hurts the country’s bottom-line, and we will hope that the DfT and politicians on all sides of the House now get behind this important project.

"BIFA is resolutely apolitical and favours no party in government, but will continue to encourage Mr McLoughlin and his team to guarantee that freight forwarding companies, who are key to the facilitation of the UK's international trade, are at the forefront of government thinking and policy. We look forward to presenting the case for freight and logistics to the DfT and the new government."

Photo: Patrick McLoughlin