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The winners of the eight General, Modal, and Specialist categories in the Awards, which has established a benchmark of quality for the British freight forwarding industry for more than a quarter of the century, are: Superior Freight Services UK, TR Logistics, Dachser, B&H Worldwide, Metro Shipping, Moto Freight, Pharmafreight, and Morgan Cargo.

In the Individual category, the winner of the Young Freight Forwarder Award was Louis Perrin of Hemisphere Freight Services. Additionally a Lifetime Achievement Award was given this year to Colin Joyce of Stansted Training Services.

This year’s Awards luncheon was hosted by entrepreneur and musician Levi Roots. Roots sang his way to success to win financial backing for the launch of his ‘Reggae Reggae Caribbean’ sauce in the BBC’s Dragons’ Den competition.

BIFA President Sir Peter Bottomley MP again welcomed guests to the 29th BIFA Freight Service Awards luncheon ceremony, and – along with Levi Roots – presented all the finalists with their certificates.

Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, says: “The BIFA Freight Service awards are all about rewarding excellence and the luncheon is an excellent opportunity for Members and guests to network, cement existing relationships, and develop new ones.

“I congratulate every company and individual who took the time and effort to enter our Freight Service Awards competition 2017, especially those Members who entered the Awards for the first time. The range of finalists and winners dispels the myth that “the awards are just for the big companies”, with seven of the category winners being BIFA Members with fewer than 100 employees. I strongly believe that the act of entering itself allows Members to improve their business systems and learn a great deal about themselves.”

The finalists and winners in the nine categories were as follows:

General categories

The Project Forwarding Award – sponsored by Peter Lole Insurance Brokers

Winner: Superior Freight Services UK. A true door-to-door multi charter project of out-of-gauge rolling stock. Superior helped an overseas client to breakthrough into the UK/EU market, assisting with the set up of UK VAT numbers and translation of over 2,000 US tariff codings to EU Commodity codes. The “superior” project planning demonstrated results in their also being awarded the parts fulfilment contract. This clearly demonstrates the full package of services available and varied skill set a project forwarder is required to provide to its customers.

Finalists – Connaught Air Services, OIA Global Ltd, Braid Logistics

The Specialist Services Award – sponsored by Forward Computers

Winner: TR Logistics. The presentation from TR Logistics Group detailed a service which went over and above for customers. TR has looked to develop more functionality – thinking outside the box, and beyond the normal offering.

Finalists – Advanced Forwarding, B&H Worldwide, James Cargo Services

The Staff Development Award – sponsored by Albacore Systems

Winner: Dachser. Recruiting bright, dedicated, and motivated young people, and then nurturing and developing their talent in a highly-supportive environment to release their fullest potential, is at the heart of Dachser’s strategy.

Finalists – Customs Clearance Ltd, Maltacourt Ltd, Unsworth Global Logistics

The Supply Chain Management Award – sponsored by BoxTop Technologies

Winner: B&H Worldwide. B&H Worldwide’s purpose-built, visibility tool has streamlined their customers’ time critical supply chains and delivered substantial cost savings.

Finalists – Dimerco, Ligentia UK Ltd, Yusen Logistics

Individual category

The Young Freight Forwarder Award – sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Winner: Louis Perrin of Hemisphere Freight Services. Shipping and logistics is in Louis’s blood, and his interest in the industry began in childhood, when he would accompany his father on port visits and business trips overseas. Determined to understand the shipping world from the ground up, Louis began his career in the warehouse whilst studying a degree course in Logistics and Transport. In the relatively short period of ten years, Louis has worked his way up to director level within Hemisphere Freight Services.

Finalists – Irene Borghi (Cargonet Limited), Scott Showell (Damco), Kate Town (TPS Global Logistics), Lee Wells (512 (Sheffield) Ltd)

The Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Colin Joyce. In addition to the regular awards, this year BIFA made the decision to recognise a stalwart of the freight forwarding industry, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This was announced by Kevin King of ceremony sponsor, the TT Club, and awarded to Colin Joyce of Stansted Training Services. Having found himself redundant following the demise of the forwarder Thomas Meadows, Colin set up Stansted Training Services, specialising in the delivery of training in the areas of freight forwarding, exports, imports, and customs procedures. For over 30 years, Colin has delivered courses on behalf of BIFA and retires this year having trained hundreds of individuals and leaving a huge legacy of knowledge.

Modal categories

The Air Cargo Services Award – sponsored by IAG Cargo

Winner: Metro Shipping. Metro led a successful collaborative approach with Birmingham Airport that demonstrated material benefits to the supply chain: reducing costs, reducing transit times, reducing carbon footprint and growing Birmingham Airport as an air freight centre. This winning submission is a shining example of the benefits of air freight.

Finalists – 512 Sheffield Ltd, Ligentia UK ltd, NNR Global Logistics

The Ocean Services Award – sponsored by CLECAT

Winner: Moto Freight. The winner of the Ocean Services category presented an innovative solution addressing the needs of a niche market. Moto Freight demonstrated sound knowledge and expertise in its field. Recognising the need for best practice in the stowage and shipping of a challenging cargo.

Finalists – 512 Sheffield Ltd, Hemisphere Freight Services, Ucargo

Specialist categories

The Cool Award – sponsored by American Airlines

Winner: Pharmafreight. Pharmafreight has consistently proven to be an innovator and leader in providing logistics solutions to the pharmaceutical business. Its collaborative approach, involving suppliers, clients, and end users has resulted in leading-edge technologies and processes.

Finalists – GBA Services, Morgan Cargo, Unsworth Global Logistics

The Extra Mile Award – sponsored by Descartes

Winner: Morgan Cargo. Morgan Cargo worked extremely closely with their customer and the customer’s suppliers to deliver better quality products to the CIS market, improving sales and profitability. Managing the UK operations completely, they also saved miles in unnecessary transit movements.

Finalists – Connaught Air Service, MIQ Logistics, Ucargo LLP

This will increase transparency around the fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles in the EU market. Commission Regulation (EU)2017/2400 introduces a common method to objectively compare performance of heavy-duty vehicles and to encourage the introduction of more fuel-efficient vehicles in the EU market.

The new regulation lays down provisions for the certification of truck components with an impact on CO2 emissions and the fuel consumption of vehicles (engines, gearboxes and torque converting components, axles, body, tyres and auxiliaries), introduces the vehicle energy consumption calculation tool (VECTO) – a simulation tool developed for the purpose of determining and declaring CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles, and lays down requirements for EU countries and manufacturers to approve and verify the conformity of components and the simulation process.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 4.0% year-on-year in November. This was the 16th consecutive month in which demand growth outstripped capacity growth, which is positive for industry load factors, yields, and financial performance.

The uptick in freight growth coincides with the traditional period of strong demand seen in the fourth quarter. November’s robust performance puts the air cargo industry on track to achieve its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing and export orders, which has tracked sideways for much of 2017, reached a seven-year high in the fourth quarter signifying that growth is carrying momentum into 2018.

"Air freight demand remains robust. November showed 8.8% year-on-year growth, keeping up the momentum that will make 2017 the strongest year for air cargo since 2010. And there are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well. In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the New Year," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

November 2017
(% year-on-year)

World share¹





Total Market












Asia Pacific












Latin America






Middle East






North America






¹% of industry FTKs in 2016   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level

Regional Performance

Airlines in all regions reported an increase in total year-on-year demand in November.

  • Asia-Pacific airlines saw freight volumes increase by 8.1% and capacity expand by 1.2% in November, compared to the same period last year. The region’s manufacturers continue to enjoy buoyant export order books. And the major exporters in China and Japan are reporting rising demand supported in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe and a continued solid performance from the US. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

  • North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 9.6% for November. Capacity increased 3.9%. The strength of the US economy and the US dollar have improved the inbound freight market in recent years. Data from the US Census Bureau shows an 11.6% year-on-year increase in air imports to the US in the first ten months of 2017, compared to a slower rise in exports of 6.7%. The recently agreed US tax reform bill may also help to support freight volumes in the period ahead.

  • European airlines posted a 9.9% increase in freight demand in November and a capacity increase of 4.7%. Concerns that the recent strengthening of the euro might have affected the region’s exporters have not materialized. Europe’s manufacturers’ export orders are growing at their fastest pace on record. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

  • Middle Eastern carriers’ year-on-year freight volumes increased 6.6% in November and capacity increased 3.1%. During the same period carriers in the region posted 6.6% growth in international freight volumes - the slowest regional year-on-year growth for the second time in three months. However, seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have continued to trend upwards at a rate of 8-10% over the past six months. Notably, freight load factors have increased substantially on routes to and from the Middle East to North America, indicating a fall in capacity flown on the route.

  • Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 9.4% in November and a capacity increase of 11.1% compared to the same period in 2016. International freight volumes rose by 9.6% over the same period. This is well ahead of the five-year average growth rate of 0.9%. The pick-up in demand comes alongside signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.

  • African carriers posted the largest year-on-year increase in demand of all regions in November, with freight volumes rising 17.5%. Capacity increased 24%. During the same period international freight volumes grew by 17.8%, a deceleration from 27.2% in October. However, this still was the 13th month of double-digit increases. Demand has been boosted by very strong growth in Africa-Asia trade which increased by more than 67% in the first ten months of the year.

View November air freight results (pdf)

Officers discovered the cigarettes in 6 separate seizures between 23 December 2017 and 2 January 2018.

Each consignment was listed as foot stools, but when officers examined the furniture they found hundreds of packets of cigarettes, branded as Lambert and Butler but suspected counterfeit, hidden in the void beneath the cushions.

In total, 1,012,800 cigarettes were detected.

Had the smuggling attempts proved successful it could have cost the Treasury approximately £375,000 in unpaid duty and VAT.

All of the consignments came from China.

Paul Airlie, Deputy Director of Border Force North, said:

“These significant seizures, 1,012,800 cigarettes in total, are testament to the expertise of Border Force officers who are working every day to prevent illegal importations, no matter how well they are concealed.

“The black market cheats honest traders and it is effectively stealing from the public purse. By stopping the consignments Border Force has starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.”

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country. They use an array of search techniques to find illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Source: Border Force

Hayes is being replaced by Joseph Johnson, the UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s brother, who was minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation till now.

Hayes took office in July 2016. His responsibilities as minister for transport were high speed rail (HS2), maritime and aviation, Europe and international.

In a handwritten note to the PM, Hayes expressed his wish to "resign from your government following more than 18 years of continuing service on the front bench". Hayes has been a member of several previous governments, in charge of education, energy, security and minister without portfolio.

The latest supply chain trends, the effects of disruptive new technologies in logistics, and developments arising from modal shift are just three of the topics to be explored at Multimodal 2018.

The blurring line between retailers and logistics providers and the need to recruit more young people into the supply chain industry will also be debated at the free-to-attend show, taking place at the Birmingham NEC from the 1st to 3rd May 2018.

Now in its 11th year, registration is now open for the three-day event, which has once again teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) for its workshop and seminar series.

“With Brexit imminent and disruptive new technologies affecting the traditional supply chain model, it is now more important than ever to listen and learn from the experts,” said Robert Jervis, Logistics Portfolio Director, Clarion Events.

“Our workshop and seminar programme features over 20 panels and workshops led by dozens of industry leaders, debating the most important issues facing our industry today.”

The speaker line-up includes experts from the Port of Dover, iContainers, Network Rail, Agency Sector Management, Freightos, and what3words.

Hundreds of exhibitors are also taking part in the show including Peel Ports Group, DACHSER Ltd, Russell Group, LV Shipping & Transport, Associated British Ports, Malcolm Logistics, and Eurotunnel.

The FTA Multimodal Awards have also opened for online nominations, which can be entered by visiting

For more information on attending or exhibiting, contact:

Robert Jervis
Logistics Portfolio Director
Clarion Events
+44 (0)20 7384 7760

As an international standard with global application, the HS plays a key role in facilitating world trade. The HS is used as the basis for Customs tariffs, Trade policies and quota controls, Collection of international trade statistics and data exchange, Rules of origin, Trade negotiations such as the WTO Information Technology Agreement and Free Trade Agreements, Monitoring of controlled goods, for example, chemical weapons precursors, hazardous wastes and persistent organic pollutants, ozone depleting substances and endangered species and many customs controls and procedures, including risk assessments and profiling, electronic data input and matching and compliance activities; and Economic research and analysis.

Currently the WCO is in the 6th edition of the HS and in the process of preparing the Seventh Edition of the HS (HS 2022). During the life of the HS, there have been 60 meetings of the Harmonized System Committee (HSC) where 4,144 agenda items were discussed, 10 Recommendations were produced concerning the application of the HS Convention, 2280 classification decisions made and 871 Classification Opinions adopted to ensure the harmonization of classification. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, the WCO calls for the international Customs community, in partnership with the international trade community, to continue to be proactive and pursue its efforts to develop and maintain the HS, especially in terms of the application and uniform interpretation of the HS, so as to safeguard and further grow the benefits of this success.

Source: World Customs Organisation

China announced last July that from 1 January it would impose much stricter quality restrictions on imported cardboard, as well as banning the import of 24 types of waste material, including plastic and mixed paper, as part of president Xi Jin Ping’s drive to clean up China, environmentally.

The new quality standards mean cardboard will only be accepted by China if the material is almost completely uncontaminated with other waste products: contamination rates must be below 0.5%, rather than the 1.5% previously applied. This means cardboard that still contains staples or is contaminated with dirt could be rejected and sent back on container ships to the countries of origin.

Countries including the US and the UK export millions of tonnes of cardboard and other waste products to China each year for recycling, but some or all of this could be rejected under the new restrictions. Indeed, container line Maersk reported a drop in waste cargo into China even before the 1 January changes, but expected some measure of rebound as exporters adapt to the new regulations.

Other lines, such as Hapag-Lloyd, told customers as early as last September that they would stop accepting cargo of scrap plastic and waste paper from Europe, the US and Asia that are due to arrive at Chinese ports after 31 December.

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at shipping industry association Bimco, stressed that the changes did not amount to a total ban on imported waste products, but on the import of 24 of the dirtiest and most polluting types of waste, ranging from household plastic waste to unsorted paper, and recycled textiles to slag.

From a shipping perspective, Sand noted that the restrictions from China were “actually a technical trade barrier, hindering trade”, and as a result the World Trade Organization had notified its members and widely debated the ban. But in spite of these concerns, the changes came into force at the start of 2018.

One source estimated that scrap and waste products make up the sixth largest US export to China, although data from MDS Transmodal and Bimco indicates that ‘pulp and waste paper’ together form the single biggest category of containerised exports from the US to Asia (based on SITC2D trade classifications − Standard International Trade Classification at a two-digit level), making up almost 1.5 million teu per year. ‘Ores and scrap’ come in fifth at more than 300,000 teu; ‘plastics in primary forms’ are sixth at nearly 300,000 teu; ‘textile fibres’ are eighth at more than 250,000 teu; and ‘paper and paperboard’ are reported to be the ninth largest category of containerised exports from the US to Asia at more than 170,000 teu per year. Some of these may be included in the ban, sources say.

“Waste paper in particular, but also scrap plastics and metal scrap, are among the more significant back-haul cargoes for container shipping lines,” Sand told Lloyd’s Loading List.

He confirmed that volumes of waste going into China had already been decreasing. “In the second half of 2017, after the announcement of the ban, trade into China involving now-banned materials already started to drop,” he said. “By the start of 2018, many or all lines have stopped accepting cargoes of this kind destined for a Chinese port.”

Sand stressed that container lines make the majority of their money on front-haul cargo – “in short containers sailing from the East to the West” – although the effects of the changes were likely to be significant.

“Going back, container lines aim at covering costs by transporting low-value cargoes, while repositioning their ships,” he noted. “Not only container lines are affected by this; dry bulk shipping also transport scrap metal around the globe.”

He added: “In short, container lines will lose revenue and money on back-haul trades; China is the largest importer of many waste materials – a trade pattern that has been growing for decades. Depending on where the waste will now be sailing to − if sailing at all – the import will become less or more significant to shipping.”

Source: Lloyds Loading List




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