UK freight association reveals star performers and a special award

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Winners of the British International Freight Association's (BIFA) freight forwarding and logistics awards were recently announced at a ceremony in London hosted by former football referee, TV pundit and newspaper columnist, Graham Poll. The Annual Lunch and Awards Ceremony was attended by more than 460 guests, including finalists, sponsors and industry personalities.

From a shortlist of 34 finalists, which comprised 27 different (BIFA Member) companies, the winners of the BIFA Freight Service Awards 2010 are:

Air Freight Award, sponsored by British Airways World Cargo: Uniserve (Airfreight).

Environment Award, sponsored by Maersk Line: Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

European Logistics Award, sponsored by TT Club: GEFCO UK.

Ocean Freight Award, sponsored by CargoWise: SBS Worldwide.

Project Forwarding Award, sponsored by OOCL: Allseas Global Forwarding.

Special Services Award, sponsored by Forward Computers: The Spatial Group.

Staff Development Award, sponsored by Albacore Systems: Damco.

Supply Chain Management Award, sponsored by BoxTop Technologies: Damco.

Young Freight Forwarder Award, sponsored by Johnson Stevens Agencies: Kristina Ahrens from Peters & May.

This year also saw the presentation of a Special Award to Derek O'Brien.

Derek's career in freight forwarding started at World Transport Agency in the mid 20th century at the time of the emergence of trailer services and a massive expansion in airfreight. His skill and knowledge with cargo claim handling procedures together with legal and insurance matters resulted in a BIFA award as freight forwarder of the year in 1993, and today, after 60 years in the industry, he continues to assist BIFA with his incisive knowledge on international trade.

Peter Quantrill, BIFA Director General, said: "There's an old saying that 'you have to be in it to win it'. We had a fantastic response to this year's competition, with six first-time entrants in the finalist shortlist and top quality entries, which were judged by a panel of industry experts.

"I was especially pleased to re-introduce the Environment award category this year given the ever increasing importance of green issues in supply chain management.

"BIFA fully appreciates that entering the Awards takes time and effort. I can only applaud the effort put into the entries that were, as ever, of the highest quality."

The achievements of the winners included the development of a cost-effective and environmentally sound air freight solution for some very high profile global fast fashion customers; the introduction of a Mode Neutral Distribution System which reduced carbon emissions by 9 percent; a very positive approach to staff development which saw training available to all members of staff; as well as initiatives to improve the quality of information within the supply chain.

Added Quantrill: "Kristina Ahrens from Peters & May who won the Young Freight Forwarder Award deserves a special mention. Having moved to the UK from her native Germany in 2006, she has established herself in the niche prestige market of international yacht and motorboat transport.

"The judges were impressed with Kristina's passion for the industry and her determination to deliver the best service to the customer which has been borne out by a doubling in the trade she handles."

Summing up another successful Awards competition and ceremony Mr Quantrill said: "Once again, throughout the event, from gathering entries, to judging them and announcing the winners, this year's awards showed us that the forwarding industry continues to show great resilience throughout varying economic cycles.

"As I have said previously, it is an industry that is adept at matching both its shape and service offerings to the changing needs of its customers.

"Those characteristics came out loud and clear in all the entries, and particularly the category winners, and will stand us all in good stead for the new decade."

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