Once again, BIFA – the British International Freight Association – will be exhibiting at the forthcoming Multimodal 2017 exhibition and conference and will use the event to outline some of the work it is doing on behalf of its members that are facing significant challenges to the provision of freight and logistics services for international trade.
BIFA Director General, Robert Keen says that much of the conversation at Multimodal 2017 will inevitably be about the possible impacts of Brexit on international trade and freight forwarding.
“To date, BIFA has avoided making speculative statements with so many unknowns, but in the run up to the UK’s exit we will be campaigning to ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures.”
Mr Keen will co-chair a Brexit Briefing at the event and provide an overview of some of the areas of concern, including the physical infrastructure and Customs practices that need to be reviewed, giving participants an opportunity to air their concerns.
“I have already gone on the record to warn about the huge number of pundits offering solutions when there is still so much uncertainty about what is likely to happen in reality.
“My focus in Birmingham will be in showing how we are presenting the views of our members to the various government departments that we deal with, as well as explaining about some of the work that we are doing with organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry and International Chamber of Commerce to make sure that all parties negotiating the post-Brexit landscape are fully aware of the potential challenges for which they will need to find solutions.”
Outside the briefing rooms, the trade association for UK forwarders will be exhibiting on stand 7040, and all of the senior management, as well as BIFA’s five regional consultants will be on hand to meet visitors and provide advice or information they may require.
Keen adds: “Aside from Brexit, the UK freight industry continues to be presented with a broad spectrum of challenges related to developments at home and abroad, leaving UK freight forwarders and logistics companies with plenty on which to focus their attention.
“Participants will be able to find out more about those challenges and what BIFA will be doing to help by visiting our stand. From recent changes to the EU Customs Code to the Home Office Haulier Accreditation Scheme. From the impact of ocean shipping alliances to the challenges of e-freight. From the future of rail freight to the development of airport capacity in the UK.”
Keen adds: “We also hope to be able to provide a little more detail on the initiative to create a specific Apprenticeship Standard for an International Freight Forwarding Operative, in which we have been very active.
“Not only do we need to attract more young people to the industry, but it is vital that we have an apprenticeship that is relevant to their day-to-day work.”
As Multimodal approaches, BIFA reports that it is in good shape financially and operationally with significant momentum, a membership of over 1,500 companies, and a clear strategy that leaves it well positioned to continue to provide effective representation and support for the UK and international freight services industry.
Against an ever-changing background, 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 2017, gives BIFA a great platform to demonstrate that.
“Once again, I invite those making their way to Multimodal 2017 to visit us to say “hello” and let us explain why BIFA Membership can be a win-win for them!”