Thursday, January 16, 2020

Once Again Freight Forwarding's Favourite Awards are a Runaway Success

BIFA Lunch Packs in Common Sense, Humour and a Decent Meal
Shipping News Feature

UK – The first, and for many in the industry the best, of the annual shipping industry award ceremonies, is the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Awards, held today for the 31st consecutive year at the Brewery in Chiswell Street, London. This always proves a place for many rival freight forwarders to meet up in an amicable atmosphere, have a good meal, and talk business.

This year’s celebrations were certainly not a disappointment, the celebrity host being Ade Adepitan MBE who proved to be a humorous and entertaining speaker. Firstly BIFA Director General Robert Keen kicked off the ceremony with a brief introduction in which he thanked the sponsors and emphasised the importance of youth and training in the industry.

President Sir Peter Bottomley MP was as witty as ever, proudly admitting that he had once let in a goal at Wembley when playing for the MPs in a Children in Need charity event, and comparing his sporting prowess, tongue firmly lodged in cheek, to the world championship winning host. He reiterated his speech last year when Brexit was inevitably the main topic saying, as ever, the freight industry would keep calm and carry on doing what it’s good at.

Sir Peter pleaded that both the UK negotiators and those from the EU 27 try to make things as simple as possible, saying he had affection for the past but confidence in the future and asking those present to encourage such as the young forwarders network, to make the future of the industry as strong as it is today.

Shipping’s favourite charity, Transaid, was well represented and Chief Executive Caroline Barber thanked BIFA members for their continued support, and outlined some of the work currently being undertaken. The emergency transport cycles and driver training the charity supplies will be well known to regular readers, and the anti-malaria trial which cut deaths by 95% provide striking evidence of what can be done with a little determination.

After the dinner the response to the raffle in aid of the charity showed the mood, raising £2,973 from the assembled guests, all of whom were challenged to take a role in raising money through the sweat of their own brows via one of the many events Transaid currently has on offer.

And so to the main speaker, a man with the ability to combine inspiration and humour in his own singular mix. Ade Adepitan, struck down as a small child with polio in his native Nigeria, a country in which disability was simply not tolerated, found himself thrown into the urban confusion of Plaistow in East London on his first day at school as a cripple dressed in the pink flared trousers and jacket his mother thought appropriate - one can only imagine.

What was clear from his speech was that, even at such a young age he possessed the talents required to win friends in what should have been a particularly hostile crowd, ever keen to jump on the weakest. It is to his credit that he obviously realises that all the success he has subsequently enjoyed would never have been possible without the single mindedness and courage of his parents.

Sporting success came to Ade Adepitan for one reason alone, one he recognises in himself, and encourages in others, shoot for the moon, fight for your dreams and above all - never give up. As Robert Keen observed:

“Having achieved success in the Athens Paralympics, the European Championships, Ade’s sporting career culminated in a world championship gold medal. His drive is an example for all the companies that enter the BIFA awards, as they seek reward for endeavour and professionalism, whilst being able to demonstrate high standards, determination and professionalism.”

This year saw BIFA record numbers of both new members and trainees, whilst the 550 people who sold out the event meant it was more successful than any previous year, causing Keen to continue:

“After 30 years, the BIFA Freight Service awards have established a reputation as the Oscars of the UK freight and logistics industry. Whilst the awards are all about rewarding excellence, the luncheon once again proved to be an excellent opportunity for Members and guests to network, cement existing relationships, and develop new ones.”

And so to the finalists and winners in the ten categories, which were as follows:

Air Cargo Services award – sponsored by IAG Cargo

Winner – Noatum Logistics

Finalists – Charles Kendall Freight, Dimerco Express, Evolution Forwarding, Metro Shipping

European Logistics Award – sponsored by TT Club 

Winner – Davies Turner

Finalists – Nextday Freight, Noatum Logistics, Simpex Express

Extra Mile Award – sponsored by Descartes

Winner – Brunel Air Cargo

Finalists –Hemisphere Freight Services, Jordon, Ligentia

Ocean Services Award – sponsored by Port Express

Winner – Westbound Logistics

Finalists – Spatial Global, Ucargo, Unsworth

Project Forwarding Award – sponsored by Peter Lole Insurance Brokers

Winner – Spatial Global

Finalists – Moto Freight, OIA Global, Pentagon Freight

Specialist Services Award – sponsored by Forward Computers

Winner – Morgan Cargo

Finalists – Asap Cargo, Regional Express, Tigers Global Logistics

Staff Development Award – sponsored by Albacore Systems

Winner – Core Management Logistics

Finalists – Dachser, Morrison Freight, Unsworth

Supply Chain Management Award – sponsored by BoxTop Technologies

Winner – Zencargo

Finalists – B&H Worldwide, Davies Turner, Unsworth 

Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Seetec Outsource

Winners – Thomas FrostGeodis Freight Forwarding

Jack ReddingtonHemisphere Freight Services 

Finalists – Holly Herron – Dachser; Sarah Griffiths – DPD Group

Young Freight Forwarder – sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Winner – Jenna Morgan - Wallis Shipping

Finalists – Jamie Abbott - Morrison Freight; Sophie Rye - Kerry Logistics; and, Mitchell West - DB Schenker

Photo: Ade Adepitan gets a thank you kiss from Young Freight Forwarder Award winner Jenna Morgan.