The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has named Stephen Parker as its new Director General to succeed Robert Keen, who will be retiring from full time employment with the trade association in 2023.

At the end of 2022, Mr Parker retired from his position as Head of Customs UK at DHL Global Forwarding, and commenced his new role with BIFA from the start of the new year.

Parker’s career spans over four decades in freight and logistics. Having secured a position with Pandair in the early 1970s, it could be said that he leaves DHL having worked for the same company, as Pandair was bought by AEI, which in turn was acquired by Danzas, which was then acquired by DHL.

A previous Chair of BIFA from 2011 to 2013, he has served on the UK trade association’s Board of Directors and chaired its Customs Policy Group. He will stay as Chair of FIATA’s Customs Affairs Institute.

Robert Keen was appointed Director General of BIFA in 2014 and has been at the helm of the trade association during a very turbulent period for its members, in light of the constant changes to trading conditions caused by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commented BIFA National Chair, Rachel Morley:

“We are delighted that Stephen has accepted our invitation to become Director General. Having served as a non-executive Director for many years and been heavily involved in some of our policy groups, he is well versed in the work that BIFA undertakes and hits the ground running from day one.

“We are also pleased that Robert will not be leaving just yet, having agreed to manage BIFA’s working relationships with other organisations and associations as International Relations Manager; and will be available to ensure that the transition of Director General is seamless.

“Robert leaves behind a tremendous legacy of achievement in all four of BIFA’s key objective areas, which are representation and lobbying; the provision of advice and information; promotion; and training. Stephen’s challenge will be to continue to develop those objectives.

“As the head of the established representative body for the UK freight and logistics industry, Stephen is tasked with providing the leadership of BIFA that will continue to help us to support our members in their efforts to secure their development in the global economy against a background of ever changing challenges, customer demands and new legislation.”

Mr Parker added:

“I am really pleased to be offered the opportunity to lead the trade association and am looking forward to working with the talented staff and management team at BIFA’s secretariat, as well as the Board of Directors, Council, Policy Groups and Regional committees.

“Working together we will continue to drive forward BIFA’s representative role and deliver results for our membership.”

Concluded Rachel Morley:

“BIFA is in excellent shape with significant momentum and a clear strategy that has us well positioned to fulfil our role of providing effective representation and support for the UK and international freight services industry.

“We promote good practice and total quality in the provision of freight services by all members, and encourage the membership to observe the highest standards of professional competence.”