Multimodal 2019

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BIFA expands training team with another key appointment

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The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has expanded its training team with the appointment of Claire Capaccioli as Trainer – Freight and Customs Procedures.

For some time the trade association for freight forwarding companies has anticipated a significant increase in the training requirements of its members.

Carl Hobbis, training development manager:

“One year ago, when Graeme Wilkinson joined our training team, we forecast that with Brexit and the development of a relevant freight forwarding apprenticeship, that the need for training would increase.

“Now with the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship now available for delivery, and with ongoing uncertainties over the ramifications of Brexit on such matters as Customs Clearance, what was anticipated is now evident. Claire’s appointment is a reflection of that.”

Claire, who has worked in the industry for 27 years has a vast amount of freight forwarding experience. She started her career in 1991 at Kintetsu World Express but more recently, spent 20 years at Yusen Logistics. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Hobbis added:

“I’m delighted to welcome Claire to our team. She will deliver all aspects of our freight and customs training and her extensive industry knowledge will add nicely to the team.”

“With virtually all apprentice training providers committing to put learners through a BIFA introductory course and our five-day Customs BTEC, it is paramount that we have the recourse and experience.”

BIFA Director General, Robert Keen commented:

“Having known Claire for some years through her involvement with ​ BIFA in our Manchester Regional meetings and her assistance with previous BIFA training material developments, I have been looking forward to her joining the team.”

 and customs training and her extensive industry knowledge will add nicely to the team.”

Separately, BIFA has described the container shipping industry’s recent imposition of a ‘sulphur surcharge’ as unjustified and blatant profiteering.

It follows an announcement by Danish giant AP Moller Maersk that it is introducing a new bunker adjustment factor (BAF) surcharge on 1 January 2019, a full year ahead of the global sulphur cap on marine emissions which enters into force on 1 January 2020.

According to the shipowner, it could lead to prices of a 40 ft container on the Far East to North Europe route being hiked by anywhere between USD480 to USD840 (depending on fuel price), or by up to USD683 (depending on fuel price) from the Far East to US West Coast, for example. 

Robert Keen, BIFA Director General said:

“By any measure, these are very major increases, and they will be received negatively by BIFA members’ customers.

"While the shipping operators may say that the new BAFs are needed to cover the cost of switching to low sulphur fuels or fitting exhaust ‘scrubbers’, rises of this magnitude are unjustified and could be construed as blatant profiteering by shipping lines determined to exploit the situation.”

"BIFA would also prefer any increases that are necessary to be consolidated within freight rates and with any required fluctuation being managed against that figure.

“BIFA members are now faced with the task of explaining yet another surcharge to their customers, and what the rationale behind it is. The sulphur surcharge is bound to be extremely unpopular.

“Sometimes there is an unfair perception that our members are to blame.”

The latest swingeing increase is only the latest in a series of surcharges imposed by the shipping lines, and BIFA has long campaigned against them.

Earlier this year, leading container shipping companies announced almost in unison that they would be levying “emergency” bunker surcharges in response to rising fuel costs.

“Forwarders do not like shipping line surcharges - we have been challenging, and will continue to challenge their legitimacy on behalf of our members – and their customers,” says Keen.

Past attempts by lines to hike rates have included surcharges for equipment imbalance, peak season and currency, along with other fuel surcharges.

Keen adds that the number of surcharges and fees continues to grow, many of them with no real explanation or justification.

He added that while forwarders would continue to do all they can to minimise surcharges ultimately at least some of the cost had to be passed on to forwarders’ customers.

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Tues 18th June 2019 10:00 - 17:00

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