BIFA) 2015 Awards this week proved to be more popular than ever, this year requiring two extra categories and considerably more seating to accommodate the throng of logistics industry representatives filling the dining room of The Brewery, in the heart of London. Reading the mood of an ever hungry crowd the usual fine repast was preceded by suitably brief introductions from Director General Robert Keen and President Sir Peter Bottomley MP.
With freight on the move being key to all those present, BBC Radio 2 traffic reporter Sally ‘Traffic’ Boazman proved to be an apt and witty host. Hers is a voice which has been briefing truckers on congestion problems on British roads since 1998. Traffic Sally regaled the audience with tales giving an insider’s view of working in the early days of ‘proper’ nationwide traffic reporting, cutting her teeth on AA Roadwatch reports and progressing to working with a host of well-known broadcasters at the Beeb.
The legion of followers she has built up from the trucking community, both as listeners and informants, have remained loyal since those early days and she in turn regularly emphasises the important link in the supply chain which they make up, expressing her thanks to all the oft unheralded people working in the industry who ensure daily life carries on as normal for the whole population. Ms Boazman joked that she was particularly impressed that that this year the event featured a ‘Cool Award’ category, not something one tends to hear at other stuffy trade occasions.
For the first time the charity most often featured by the industry, Transaid, had a presence at the ceremony with a table collection to raise funds for the myriad worthwhile projects it supports, particularly in Africa. Director Gary Forster told our reporter he was delighted to be at the Awards and thanked Robert Keen and BIFA for the opportunity to connect with the industry at the event. Meanwhile Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, summed up the entire occasion saying:
“I know that every year BIFA members look forward to attending the Awards luncheon as I do. It has always been a great way to start a New Year in business. The luncheon represents more than just fine dining in a splendid location. It is also about conviviality and networking, cementing existing relationships between members and guests, and making new ones. I congratulate every company and individual who took the time and trouble to enter our Freight Service Awards competition 2015.
“I continue to believe that the very act of entering allows Members to improve their business systems and learn a great deal about themselves. It is sometimes hard to realise that we have been hosting these Awards for more than a quarter of a century. Much has changed in the technological and business environments for the freight industry, both here and abroad during the life of these awards. But two things have remained the same, the venue of the Brewery, one of the best in London, and the need for the personal touch in business. We again celebrate these enduring qualities of the latter in this Awards luncheon.”
The Project Forwarding Award - sponsored by Peter Lole Insurance Brokers
Winner – Greenshields Cowie & Co – The company demonstrated its whole company coming together to provide logistics services for a significant humanitarian aid project. The team handled the continuing high pressure extremely well, and responded quickly to the requirement to deliver frequent charters under a closed borders situation.
Finalists – CEVA Freight (UK); Expeditors International (UK); Worldwide Energy Logistics
The Specialist Services Award – sponsored by Forward Computers
Winner – Dynamic International Freight Services - The judging panel considered the company put forward an excellent presentation detailing the development of its specialised carnet service which it offered in tandem with the movement of goods. This has proved particularly attractive in the film and television industry, as well as to participants in overseas events where time is of the essence.
Finalists – Customs Clearance; Priority Freight; World Transport Agency
Winner – 512 (Sheffield) – The judges felt that 512 showed commitment to staff development with the implementation of a significant graduate and management training scheme. The scheme encouraged staff to meet customers on a face-to-face basis, leading to staff growth and fulfilment, as well as bringing new blood and fresh ideas into the forwarding industry.
Finalists – Espace Europe; Uniserve Group; Unsworth Global Logistics
The Supply Chain Management Award - sponsored by BoxTop Technologies
Winner – The Woodland Group – The judges were impressed with the company's innovative approach of simplifying the supply chain within the sports industry. Having identified a clear gap in the market, Woodland Sports Logistics offers its customers a one-stop-shop, from sourcing ethically-produced products to managing the shipping, storage, and fulfilment process.
Finalists – Ligentia UK; MIQ Logistics; Uniserve Group
The Sustainable Logistics Award – sponsored by Red Recruit
Winner – Unsworth Global Logistics – This company was chosen as the winner for its dedication and flexible approach to developing 'greener' solutions for its customers. By identifying and implementing an ingenious car racking system it has created an innovative shipping method which improves efficiencies, with greater cost-savings, whilst saving the environment through a reduction in carbon footprint.
Finalists – Atlantic Pacific Global Logistics; Estuary Waste Management; Priority Freight Individual category
The Young Freight Forwarder Award - sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo
Winner – Liam Byrne of ACC Freight Management – In four short years he has firmly established himself in the international freight industry, particularly in European road transport. Responsible for both sales and operations, Liam has sought to ensure continuous improvement in both his own, and his teams’ service delivery. Liam now prides himself as part-owner of ACC Freight Management.
Finalists – Daria Banks of Banks & Lloyd (Shipping); Nicolas Barrois of World Transport Agency; James Mears of Ital Logistics Modal categories
The Air Cargo Services Award – sponsored by IAG Cargo
Winner – Transglobal Freight Management - The judges considered the company's commitment to increase efficiencies and services through technology by embracing the XML format in the production of electronic documents to be worthy of an award. The investment both in time and staffing is offering tangible service benefits to its customers, and has put the company at the vanguard.
Finalists – 512 (Sheffield); Brunel Air Cargo; Greenshields Cowie & Co
The European Logistics Award – sponsored by TT Club
Winner - PSL Freight – The company invested in both its staff, and in quality systems to deliver a new rapid response offering. As well as providing an improved service, with much faster turnaround times for existing customers, it has also generated new routes and new customers.
Fnalists – ACC Freight Management; Eurogate Logistics; Ital Logistics
The Ocean Services Award – sponsored by Cargoguide International
Winner - Panalpina World Transport – The judges considered that the company demonstrated a successful five year strategy for expansion of its ocean services division in specific industry vertical sectors. Through a successful implementation of its plan, this mode of transport has grown to a level where it has become a vital component of its total solutions offering.
Finalists – 512 (Sheffield); Brunel Shipping; Ideal International
The Cool Award – sponsored by American Airlines Cargo
Winner - Kuehne + Nagel – Through its KN PharmaChain programme, Kuehne + Nagel has shown a commitment to the cool chain that adds true value not only to its customers, but also to the whole supply chain. Its use of cutting edge technologies to provide wireless temperature monitoring for pharmaceutical shipments has provided greater reliability, reduced delays, less wastage, and real cost savings.
Finalists: IJS Global (UK); James Cargo Services; Panalpina World Transport
The Extra Mile Award – sponsored by Descartes
Winner – Moto Freight – Its approach to customers demonstrated an ethos throughout the company to go that extra mile, right down to the individual level. By providing an extremely personalised service 24/7, whether locally or overseas, especially as a small company, shows a real commitment to customer care.
Finalists: DSV Road; Ital Logistics; PSL Freight
Photo: Sally Boazman and Paul Richardson, Business Development Manager of Boxtop Technologies present the Supply Chain Management Award to Deborah Smith from the Woodland Group.