Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day Warehousing Awards Attract More Than the Usual Supply Chain and Logistics Crowd  

Andrew Marr Answers the Questions as an Unusual Character Makes a Guest Appearance

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Shipping News Feature UK – The Dorchester Hotel in London's Park Lane was once again the venue for the annual United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) Awards, and the event was as successful as ever, attracting a big crowd of professionals from throughout the supply chain. Main speaker for the day was broadcaster, historian and journalist Andrew Marr, who for a change was the one answering questions from UKWA Chief Executive, Peter Ward, after the latter had addressed a record breaking gathering of logistics executives, an apology for the 'tight tables' being a plausible demonstration of the popularity of the event.

Following a speech by Simon Collett, from main event sponsor Savills, during which the real estate manager explained the relationship between the 100,000 new homes needed in London alone, and the logistics infrastructure required to support the new residents, Peter Ward spoke of that morning’s AGM and paid special tribute to Lord Brabazon, leaving his post of Honorary President after over 25 years association with the UKWA.

The new President, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, was duly introduced, a woman who has had a suitably chequered career, working as she has as both an MP and an MEP, and with an obvious talent for dealing with contacts regarding Brexit, speaking as she does, six European languages.

And so followed the TV presenter's grilling in which he obviously relished the opportunity to cut loose and speak freely, unconstrained by the need for impartiality as imposed by his BBC role. Marr opined that, despite seeing the rise and fall of both Thatcher and New Labour, he felt Brexit to be the biggest political event of his career. He was candid regarding Jeremy Corbyn, saying he had noticed a fall-off in popularity whilst he felt the incumbent PM had the ability to survive all but the most tenacious of party revolutions.

He said a cessation of the Brexit process could lead to ‘blood on the streets’ with very little visible change in opinions since the referendum, and two years of smothering verbiage would hopefully end with the current meeting at Chequers, designed to bring all in the Conservative party into line. However he felt that there was perhaps 25% of the so called ‘political class’ that still simply didn’t accept the referendum result.

Meanwhile Mrs May was walking a central line, using tactics akin to a good judo move with any opponents weight counting against them, either ‘go this way or take this back to the House of Commons and face the consequences’. Whilst for some of her Tory opponents this matter is an existential, ideological imperative, she is insisting they deal in the real world.

This then was turning into much more than the usual award ceremony. Continuing, Marr dismissed the possibility of a Macron style personality breaking the power of the major parties, the British political system, unlike the French, making such a thing impossible. If the SDP led by four of the most respected political heavyweights of their time had failed, there was no chance of it happening now. Besides which he couldn’t imagine any current home grown figure to match Macron’s undoubted charm.

Marr warned those present to be prepared for a ‘no deal’ situation, he cautioned that Msieu. Barnier and his colleagues refused to be interviewed on Brexit, and concluded that there may well be a fudge for the next two years and the whole situation could be dragged out ‘for ever’. If there were resignations then they would have to ‘suck their teeth and get on with it’.

President Donald Trump was next for the Marr treatment, again a man who will only be interviewed by ‘Fox friends, Piers Morgan and Nigel Farage’. Marr envisaged that Donald Trump’s brash style may well bring him another term of office, appealing as he does to the ‘rust belt’. The talk continued with the broadcaster waxing lyrical on the power of global giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook and their ability to avoid taxation, versus state enterprises dependent on that very income.

Topics ranged from the Irish border question to 'would he be taking over Question Time?' (no), Momentum, and the success of his documentary series ‘Britain from Above’ during the making of which he first realised the huge scope and impact of the logistics industry in society.

Marr was followed by Caroline Barber of Transaid who detailed the charity’s latest works in Zambia where, by way of their smart logistics programme providing transport for people and supplies, the children who traditionally had just a 10% survival rate if they contracted malaria and couldn’t reach a medical facility quickly, had undergone a sea change in fortune. Transaid had set up 500 volunteers and effected a 96% drop in child mortality in just 6 months.

This worthy cause was once again supported by the traditional round of ‘Heads and Tails’ which secured donations exceeding £3,500 in a matter of moments.

The day had a further surprise on this, American Independence Day, by the impromptu visit of no other that the US President himself (well that’s who he said he was). Who knew that Donald Trump could do more than a passing impression of Boris Johnson, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho?

And so to the real business of the day. The ten awards which were:

Best New Member – sponsored by Verdion

This corporate award is given to the company showing the highest professional standards of warehousing on joining the UK Warehousing Association.

WINNER DAP UK

Runners Up

Manager of the Year – sponsored by Llamasoft

For an individual with outstanding personal and professional skills, reflected in an efficient operation, with high levels of productivity and a highly motivated team

WINNER Donald Gillies, Bullet Express

Runners Up

Young Employee of the Year – sponsored by Hoppecke

This award goes to a young employee who clearly demonstrates sound personal attributes and a high level of competency, combined with an enthusiasm for logistics and clear potential for the future

WINNER Sam Collins, Walker Logistics

Runners Up

Training – sponsored by Mentor

The Training award goes to either an individual or company that has demonstrated a significant level of personal or team development

WINNER ILG

Runners Up

Environment – sponsored by Still

Awarded to the company that best demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and the most successful application of energy efficient processes

WINNER Howard Tenens

Runners Up

Innovation – sponsored by Elokon

This award goes to the company that has demonstrated a bold and innovative response to the changing market, by the introduction of new technology, products or processes

WINNER Gotelee Solicitors – Guardian Product Safety Due Diligence App

Runners Up

Infrastructure Project – sponsored by Bito Storage Systems

A new award for 2018 that recognises a new or improved logistics building or logistics park development and/or investment, that brings additional capacity to the market

WINNER John Lewis Partnership

Runners Up

Customer Service – sponsored by Handling & Storage Solutions magazine

Awarded to a company with a highly customer focussed culture, showing clear evidence of an in- depth understanding of customer needs, resulting in overall and measured customer satisfaction

WINNER Granby Marketing Services

Runners Up

Logistics Service Provider of the Year – sponsored by Aisle-Master

Recognises a highly professional, motivated and well-led company that demonstrates best practice and total commitment to UKWA’s key principles of working safely, ethically and profitably

WINNER Miniclipper Logistics

Runners Up

Chairman’s Award – sponsored by DP World

This prestigious award recognises a special individual who has worked in, and represented the logistics sector in an exceptional way. Announced by UKWA’s Chairman, Graham Undy and sponsored by DP World London Gateway the award went to Chris Sturman, veteran of 40 years in the industry with a past which included spells with BRS, Mars, Wincanton and West Kent Cold Storage and latterly CEO of the Food Storage and Distrbution Federation, the UK trade association which represents the interests of companies which operate in the food logistics sector.

Having stood down from his role Chris Sturman was praised for his honesty and integrity and the announcement of the prestigious award proved a popular choice.

Photo: Susan Knief of the UKWA was presented with a thank you by Chairman Graham Undy for organising yet another successful event as President Donald Trump (aka Mike Osman) looks on approvingly.

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