Friday, June 28, 2019

Warehousing Association Awards Gather Logistics Professionals Before the Princess

75th Anniversary Bash Greets Transport Charity Patron
Shipping News Feature
UK – This week saw London's Dorchester Hotel host the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) Awards, an extra special occasion, this being the 75th Anniversary year for that body. An amalgamation, forged in the heat of war to ensure the bombs raining down on the capital would not destroy the country's vital supply chain, and which has survived into the era of digitalisation and automation, to the point it would be unrecognisable to those early pioneers.

The event was made particularly special by the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, there in her official capacity as Patron of the transport charity Transaid, for whom the UKWA has vowed to raise £75,000 in this year of celebration.

An excellent lunch was preceded by the speeches and, introducing the event Peter Ward, Chief Executive, expressed pride in that long heritage and the evolution from brown coats to a modern era driven by technology, with improved opportunities for a new generation. He continued:

”The voice of the UKWA is vital for the journey ahead and these awards recognise the best of the best. This year has seen a record number of entries all of particularly high quality which demonstrates the condition of our industry.”

After remembering ex-stalwarts of the organisation who have sadly passed, Mr Ward thanked the sponsors of the day and then revealed the special anniversary annual which the UKWA has released for the occasion, which gives a timeline for the industry’s activities, set against what was happening in the country in general.

After a brief rundown of what is happening in terms of industrial warehousing, delivered by Simon Collett of Savills (16 million square feet taken in the first 5 months of 2019, vacancy rates at just 6.5% and 7.3 million square feet currently under construction), Caroline Barber from Transaid explained in detail its part in the fight against malaria in children which we have written on extensively in the past. A later request for funds for the assembled tables to stump up for bicycle ambulances of the type which continue to save lives in Africa met with a good response.

And so to the highlight of the day with a witty and entertaining speech from Princess Anne who, unlike so many, clearly knew the industry for, as she commented, ‘I am, after all, the commanding officer of the Logistics Corps’. The Princess Royal said:

”This is an event well worth celebrating in an industry just as important now as at the concept in 1944, and those at D Day must have had a pretty good grasp of logistics. Logistics contributes hugely to the country and employs 8% of the workforce yet many people have no idea of its importance.

’The days of ‘Get a big shed, put it away and we’ll try and find it later’ are over and now could not be got away with. We now have autonomous vehicles, drones, Wi-Fi and more in an industry which affects every part of our lives, where 8% ‘get it’ and 90% don’t.”

The Princess continued on about the work which Transaid undertake and how, when UNICEF started working in the Sudan during a crisis, they found an infrastructure which relied on rail transport dependent on British built locomotives from a bygone age, and were reliant on sufficient UK enthusiasts being still alive to keep them running.

This was the moment that those involved realised the need for improved logistics and hence Transaid was born via the intervention of CILT. Since 2015 UKWA has backed the charity and seen it keep pace with the times. She continued:

”There is a need for training and educational diversity, there is no longer any such thing as an unskilled job. Educationists must understand the problems of your sector. I congratulate the UKWA on 75 years and the work it has done to spread the word. I congratulate the winners and those who enable both customers and beyond to understand the complexities of the industry.”

The Princess waited on the stage to personally present the Young Employee of the Year award, sponsored by Hoppecke. This was won by Ryan Walker of 3P Logistics in a ceremony the young man is unlikely ever to forget.

The other Award winners are:

Best New Member – sponsored by Aganto

Winner – Karl King Transport

Manager of the Year – sponsored by Hormann

Winner – Hemisphere Freight Services

Environment Award – sponsored by Smart Freight

Winner – Durable

Training Award – sponsored by Mentor Training

Winner – Core Management Logistics

Innovation Award – sponsored by ELOKON

Winner – Pallite

Infrastructure Project of the Year – sponsored by BITO Storage Systems

Winner – Expect Distribution

Customer Service Award – sponsored by Luxonic

Winner – Arrow XL

Logistics Service Provider of the Year – sponsored by Aisle Master

Winner – Culina Group

The Chairman’s Award – sponsored by DP World

Winner – Tony Mannix, Chief Executive at Clipper Logistics

Photo: (Left to Right) HRH The Princess Royal, Young Employee of the Year Award winner Ryan Walker, Jonathan Bailey of Hoppecke, and UKWA CEO Peter Ward.