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Robert Keen

BIFA at Multimodal 2019

– uses the event to address and help resolve issues faced by the UK freight sector

Tomorrow, the UK and Ireland’s premier freight transport, logistics and supply chain management event, Multimodal 2019 opens its doors.

Now in its twelfth year, Multimodal represents every logistics sector under one roof, making it a unique and highly valued industry showcase.

Once again, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) will have a significant present, with staff from the secretariat as well as its regional consultants all being on the trade association’s exhibition booth at the event.

The show provides a great place for industry networking and meeting potential new clients and since the registration opened last month many high-profile shippers have already confirmed their attendance.

The trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies will be using the event to set out some of the important work that it is carrying out on behalf of its members that are facing significant challenges to their provision of freight and logistics services for international trade, at present.

Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, says that whilst issues surrounding the ongoing Brexit saga are likely to be major talking points at Multimodal 2019, there will be plenty of other matters about which BIFA members are concerned on which the trade association is working hard.

“Driver shortages are playing out in higher input costs and threats to the longer term stability of the market.

“Ongoing e-commerce growth is leading to volatility for all operators in the Last Mile sector.

“Fuel costs remain a continuing risk of doing business in the logistics industry, and the last year saw significant rises in the cost of fuel as well as tolls, which has squeezed margins for our members that are active in the European trailer services sector.

“The shipping sector is considering how it will handle the low sulphur fuel regulations which are due to be imposed on the shipping industry in 2020, and it would appear that their plans will lead to spikes in rates.

“I’m sure that all of the above issues, and many more, will be in the thoughts of visitors to Multimodal 2019 and our members will want to know what actions BIFA is pursuing on their behalf.”

BIFA will also be using the event to showcase its increasing involvement in the world of recruitment and training.

On Day Three, which is dedicated to attracting talent to the logistics sector by showcasing the exciting careers, long-term prospects and up-skilling opportunities within the sector, Carl Hobbis, BIFA training development manager, will be chairing a seminar that specifically addressed the issues involved in attracting, retaining and developing talent in transport, logistics and supply chain.

Hobbis added: “In addition to the seminar, we will also be promoting the BIFA Young Forwarder Network, which we launched earlier this year during National Careers Week 2019.

“The YFN is open to all; apprentices, graduates, anyone new to the industry or young forwarders, who just want to network and learn new skills.  Consisting of several regional networking groups, the YFN provides members with the chance to network with their peers, learn from industry professionals and boost their continuous professional development at the same time. Each networking group is run by young forwarders and designed to help early talent and young BIFA members develop their knowledge but in a more social environment.

“We will also be using the event to further promote and encourage the take-up of the international freight forwarding specialist apprenticeship, which became available in 2018, in which BIFA played a lead role.

“I would encourage all visitors to come along to the BIFA stand at Multimodal 2019 and find out about the YFN and how you can get involved; our ever increasing range of training courses; as well as the International Freight Forwarding specialist apprenticeship.”

Keen concluded: “Against an ever-evolving backdrop, BIFA – through its secretariat, policy groups, regional consultants, and committees, as well as its board and council – continues to serve its membership and delivers on their behalf.

“Multimodal 2019 gives BIFA a great platform to demonstrate that and we encourage Multimodal 2019 participants to visit our stand to find out more about what BIFA is doing to resolve issues faced by the UK freight industry.

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