Why entering the BIFA Awards can propel your freight business forward

Submissions for the British International Freight Association Awards close October 7 – enter now and be recognised for your outstanding contribution to freight and logistics

Who are the BIFA Awards for?

The BIFA Awards are aimed at UK-based international freight forwarders and logistics providers, celebrating every type of business from SMEs to multinational companies. There are nine categories for businesses and two for individuals:

  • the Air Cargo Services Award, which is sponsored this year by IAG Cargo
  • the Cool and Special Cargoes Award
  • the European Logistics Award
  • the Extra Mile Award
  • the Ocean Services Award
  • the Project Forwarding Award
  • the Specialist Services Award
  • the Staff Development Award
  • the Supply Chain Management Award

The individual awards go to the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year and the Apprentice of the Year.

Why do the BIFA Awards matter? What recognition does it give entrants?

The awards have been around for 33 years and are well-recognised within the industry. They promote the cargo sector and individual freight forwarding companies, both internally and further afield and recognise best practises. The judging process is entirely independent – each category’s sponsor provides a representative for the judging panel who reviews the finalists’ submissions and makes a decision on the winner. BIFA then promotes the awards, which this year will be hosted by rugby player Matt Dawson, to the public and the association’s 1,500 members, finalists receive certificates and BIFA email signature logos, while winners are profiled based on their award submission in the trade media.

In 2020 the Air Cargo Services Award went to Simarco Worldwide Logistics – below is a transcript from the awards ceremony on why they were chosen:

“The quality of entries in this category was very high and choosing a winner was a difficult task. The demonstration of new and innovative ways in which businesses are engaging with their customers, and developing their products and services, is very impressive. It is great to see pioneering work taking place across the sector in the UK. Working with a healthcare products supplier, Simarco Worldwide Logistics reacted to a significant change in their customer’s requirements resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Simarco were tasked by their customer to handle increased quantities and reduce lead times for shipments from manufacture in Portugal and China to distribution centres in the USA. By the end of September 2020 close to 500 tonnes of cargo had been shipped by air under DDP terms.”

Entrants for the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year award must be under 32. What attributes will you look for in the winner?

We ask entrants to describe their career and ambitions in a written submission, before interviewing them about their trajectory in the industry, their progress, what steps they’ve taken to help their progression and what ideas they have for the future. We’re looking for applicants who show enthusiasm and a keen passion for the work they do.

And for Apprentice of the Year?

Apprentice of the Year candidates are generally school-leavers, and don’t usually have the experience of the industry yet. They’re still learning so the approach is slightly different. Managers must put them forward for the award and again, we’re looking for apprentices to show enthusiasm, their thoughts on the sector and how they’ve embraced the freight industry and how it has opened their eyes to a business that is largely a mystery to the general population.

Entries for the 2021 competition are now closed, but you can read on to find out more about the winners here.