Friday, January 21, 2022

Freight Service Awards Provide a Breath of Fresh Air After So Long Between Meetings

BIFA Event Gives Forwarding and Logistics Industry a Chance to Catch Up
Shipping News Feature

UK – There was an almost tangible sigh of relief at the Brewery in London's Chiswell Street yesterday as over 500 of the great and the good from the country's freight forwarding and logistics professions gathered at last for a major event in the shipping calendar, the annual British International Freight Association’s 2021 Freight Service Awards.

For many in the industry the event, postponed for the past two years as a live occasion due to Covid, is at the very heart of their industry calendar. It offers the chance for recognition from one’s peers and, perhaps even more importantly, an opportunity to reinforce business relationships and forge new ones.

Host for the event was, as often, a sporting figure, this time Matt Dawson, a veteran scrum half of England’s World Cup winning team in 2003, an event he mentioned when he said that all the Award winners demonstrated a clear understanding of overcoming last minute challenges to achieve success, alluding to Jonny Wilkinson’s imperious last minute drop goal which clinched the title.

Whilst so many industries have struggled through as the pandemic ran its course, no sector, except perhaps the NHS, was under more pressure, and rose to the occasion more ably, than the supply chain companies. This was reflected by the outstanding entries for the 2021 Awards despite a year beset by multiple operational difficulties and uncertainties caused by Brexit as well as the pandemic.

The generosity of those gathered was marked by a record total for the event achieved by the raffle held in aid of the industry’s favourite charity, Transaid, which made £3,600.

So the big winners in their respective categories this year as presented by Matt Dawson are:

  • Air Cargo Services sponsored by IAG Cargo --- Kerry Logistics triumphing over fellow finalists Maltacourt, Pentagon, and Uniserve Group
  • Ocean Services Award, sponsored by Port Express --- Allseas Global Logistics which overcame strong challenges from fellow finalists NNR Global Logistics, and Vikstar
  • Project Forwarding category, sponsored by Peter Lole Insurance Brokers --- Ace Forwarding ahead of fellow finalists AsstrA UK Ltd, LV Logistics, and Ucargo LLP
  • Specialist Services category, newly sponsored by Newage --- the winner was Your Special Delivery Service Ltd ahead of other finalists B&H Worldwide Ltd, Cargo Overseas Ltd, and Kerry Logistics
  • Supply Chain Management, sponsored by BoxTop Technologies had Brunel European in first place seeing off strong competition from fellow finalists Hemisphere Freight Services Ltd, Noatum Logistics Ltd, and Uniserve
  • The Cool & Special Cargoes category, sponsored by American Airlines Cargo saw JCS Livestock scooping (they probably do a lot of that) first place overcoming excellent entries from fellow finalists, Evolution Forwarding Ltd, and United Worldwide Logistics
  • The Extra Mile Award, sponsored by Descartes literally saw Hemisphere Freight Services do just that to beat laudable entries from fellow finalists Evolution Forwarding Ltd, Pentagon, and Unsworth UK
  • The Staff Development category, sponsored by Albacore Systems saw Unsworth UK come back to win against fellow finalists Aramex (UK) Ltd, Espace Europe Ltd, and Reliable Shipping Ltd
  • The returning European Logistics category, sponsored by TT Club had Killick Martin & Company ahead of Espace European, Simarco Worldwide Logistics, and Unsworth UK
  • Winner of the Apprentice of the Year category, sponsored by Seetec Outsource Training was Herbie Cobby (Geodis Freight Forwarding) who beat the other finalists, who were Matt Vick (John Good Logistics), Joshua Boswell (Geodis Freight Forwarding), Bobby Lowe (NVO Consolidation), and Thomas Low (OIA Global)
  • The Young Freight Forwarder category, sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo saw Laura Hobby from FS Mackenzie who impressed the judges with her passion for the industry to win. Fellow finalists were Ronan Kitchin (Aramex UK); Milos Bogovac (ZenCargo), Corey Chambers (Ital Logistics) and Jamie Halliday (Tudor International Freight).

Finally, BIFA Director General, Robert Keen presented a Special Recognition Award for services to the international freight industry, as well as charitable activities, to Gordon Day, who, after retiring from the industry following a very successful career, is now a stalwart of the London Freight Club and well known to many BIFA members. Keen commented:

“After a truly extraordinary and very challenging two years, it was great to meet in person to celebrate excellence across the freight forwarding industry, with awards that are now in their 33rd year, and justifiably regarded as the most prestigious in the sector.

“Once again, BIFA was delighted with the range of entries received from BIFA Members that managed to take the time to document their achievements while continuing to manage their businesses through incredibly trying times, which is a testament to their tenacity. I congratulate all the companies and individuals that won each category, as well as those that were shortlisted as finalists.

“I would also would like to recognise the support and contribution of the sponsors to the running of the competition this year. Representatives from the category sponsors gave their time to carry out judging and the selection of winners for each award.”

Photo: Caroline Barber, Transaid Chief Executive, addresses the audience.