As delegates gathered for the final of three Freight Transport Association Olympics events on Wednesday (16 May), the message was clear – with only 72 days to go, it’s time to put plans into action!
Speakers at the event, sponsored by UPS, included Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Peter Hendy, Lead Transport Commissioner for the Olympic Games Sarah Bell, Head of the Road Freight Management Programme at TfL Ian Wainwright and Don Cannon, Major Projects Interface Manager at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).
Peter Hendy said: "We have two main objectives for the Olympics 2012 at TfL and they are to deliver great games and to keep London moving.
"My personal top tip for The Games is to be prepared, get as much information before hand and continue to keep informed about what’s going on: things change everyday according to where you are and where you’re going."
Ian Wainwright added: "The run up to the Olympics is going to be as important as the event itself, and help all understand the size and scale of the event.
"The information that we get out there will help pull details and info together and it is going to be a case of us all very much working together. It’s also important to talk to your customers, tell them about problems you’re facing during the games, and don’t let them put the onus back on you."
FTA’s Head of Policy for London – Natalie Chapman said:
"The day was a huge success, but what was clear from all the FTA members is that although they are planning ahead their customers weren’t as aware that they should be preparing for the Olympics too.
Natalie Chapman concluded:
"It was a recurring theme, many were worried that perhaps their customers weren’t as prepared for the games as they are."
The great hall played host to an Olympic Advice surgery for members, where map&guide, TfL, the Noise Abatement Society, Toyota Material Handling, Blue Tree Systems, FTA’s Member Advice Centre (MAC), Shopfta, PIE and UPS all had stalls to give the attendees guidance on their Games planning.
The event also offered FTA members workshops on the following topics:
• Home deliveries
• Waste and servicing
• Food and drink
• Construction and builders’ materials
• Mail and express courier
• Weymouth and Portland
• and health and pharmaceuticals
With most operators feeling 75% prepared for the Games, the event was the final push and with many of the exhibitors offering their top tips to delegates, James De Roo, Logistics Software PTV’s Business Development Manager summed up the most important piece of advice: "Be prepared for the unexpected."