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Industry News

The latest news from BIFA
  1. Commenting after the publication of a report by the Committee, the trade association for UK freight forwarders agrees that more needs to be done to manage the huge uncertainty faced by a large number of traders over the matter of future Customs declarations once the UK leaves the European Union (EU).

    Director General, Robert Keen, says that the issues concerning Customs matters is probably the biggest concern voiced by the trade association’s members at present.

    Keen states: “We are actively involved with HMRC and have always recommended that there needs to be wider engagement with all who are engaged in processing international trade to give them as much time as possible to prepare and to allay fears.

    “We agree that our members and the trading companies that they serve need better and more regular information about the development of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which is scheduled to replace the current  Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

    “We regularly explain the potential Customs benefits to our members of obtaining trusted trader status under the EU’s Authorised Economic Operator system, which the Committee sees as being of potential use for facilitating international trade procedures whatever form Brexit finally takes.

    “We are looking forward to receiving further reassurance from HMRC that the CDS system and the CHIEF contingency option are capable of managing the likely huge increase in the number of Customs declarations every year, if no trade deal between the UK and EU is concluded.

    “We share the Committee’s concern that HMRC does not yet have the necessary funding and resources to produce the infrastructure that will be required to facilitate Customs processes post-Brexit.

    “We also appreciate that HMRC recognises the scale of the task it faces in preparing for the UK exiting the EU. BIFA will continue to work closely with them to help ensure a successful delivery of systems that will meet the needs of our members who, at the end of the day, are responsible for facilitating a considerable proportion of the UK’s visible trade.

    “It is clear that there will be many problems if the new customs system is not in place and functioning efficiently by the scheduled date that the UK is set to leave the European single market and the Customs Union in March 2019.

    “Any failure in the new Customs system would most likely lead to huge disruption for businesses, with significant delays at ports and airports of entry.”

  2. The new proposed crossing over, or rather under, the River Thames, planned to be the nearest to the mouth of the estuary, is always going to be somewhat controversial right up to, and indeed after, the cars and HGVs start to roll through it. Whilst the average motorist or freight truck driver will doubtless welcome the development, many locals are upset at the continuing uncertainty of the precise details of what is envisaged.

    Obviously it is important however for all due consideration to be given to both the size of the actual tunnel and the approach roads, and indeed to the actual route between Essex and Kent in a scheme which it is hoped will relieve the constant traffic flow, and all too regular delays, when travelling via the Dartford crossings, themselves for many years the subjects of controversy. Highways England have made up to date information available to all and anyone is free to sign up for updates by email HERE.

    Whilst Highways England cogitate on the details of the final scheme there will be a further consultation next year and the opinions expressed at that time will help shape the development of proposals before an application for a Development Consent Order is submitted to the authorities.

    There has already been some tinkering with the original incarnation which in Kent now sees the A226 junction removed from the scheme to reduce local traffic impact, to anyone familiar with the area an eminently sensible move, the A2 will host a new junction design and widening of the A2 to M2, junction 1 to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow, whilst roads on either bank are likely to see upgrades to three lanes, as opposed to the original two, in a bid to future proof the plans.

    Essex unsurprisingly now sees the planned route deviate around the huge landfill site in Ockenden. There will be a new junction adjacent to east Tilbury with a link road specifically to aid the throughput of HGVs. For some residents the best news is the redesign of the A13 meaning the proposed junction with the A128 is removed from the scheme. This notification was met with guarded optimism by locals who otherwise were likely to have been forcibly moved.

    One such affected body is the South Essex Wildlife Hospital, a well-respected charity which relies entirely on public donations to fund its work rescuing sick and injured wild animals from hedgehogs to badgers on a daily basis and which had hitherto feared it might be uprooted by the original plans. Sue Schwar founder of the Hospital, commented:

    ”It’s good news that the A128 will not be so badly hit by this scheme as previously proposed although we await details of the final plans. One factor to consider is the amount of traffic which is likely to reroute from other roads and the potential widening of the A128 to accommodate this which might prove a hazard to us in the future.”

    As to the final design of the tunnel, its overall length and the actual size and siting of the entrances, there are currently no firm plans, so residents in both counties will doubtless be watching carefully as things develop. What is certain is that there will be a cost, the Dartford crossing was to have been free from charges when paid for, a pattern started in 1963 with the opening of the first tunnel and which continued until the final PFI payment on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in April 2003.

    It was then that the Highways Agency reneged on that agreement, deciding that the charges would continue, despite all previous promises, and ongoing tolls be payable to itself under the auspices of the 2000 Transport Act. So don’t anyone have high hopes of a free ride under the river via the new link in this lifetime if history is to be believed.

    Source: Handy Shipping Guide

  3. The site, called Thames Enterprise Park, is located on the site of the former Coryton oil refinery on the River Thames.

    The new facility will include a food hub; energy hub; sustainable industries hub and an innovation hub – creating up to 5,000 new jobs for the region.

    Planning permission has been granted for the remediation of the first phase of around 100 acres. An outline planning application is due to be submitted to Thurrock Council by the end of 2017, with a consent anticipated in summer 2018. This will allow the first development plots to be ready by early 2019.

    “The scale of the development will allow food distributors and manufacturers to locate in “clusters”, enabling more efficient supply chains directly into London and more widely,” said Mike Forster, Development Director, iSec.

    “This gives potential for cost and energy reduction in a sector that is sometimes resource inefficient and in need of increased automation.”

    Source: Logistics Manager

  4. BIFA Members that arrange deliveries or collections at Heathrow will be aware of massive congestion recently at the area known as “The Horseshoe”.

    Please be assured that BIFA is continually representing Member interests in discussion with all stakeholders including airlines, handling sheds, Heathrow Airport Ltd., SEGRO, and hauliers working on behalf of BIFA Members. A press release was issued last week which has received widespread coverage in industry publications

    Time to end congestion at Heathrow’s cargo centre.

    Discussions are ongoing how to mitigate the traffic flows and change working procedures however it must be remembered that the terminal was planned in the 1960s and without wholesale reconstruction any outcomes will be limited.

    Please be assured that this topic is top of our in tray at present and any developments will be communicated by postings on and in our e-newsletters (if you do not receive these you can sign up at our website).

  5. At BIFA and FIATA we encourage authorised members to display our logos affirming that they belong to organisations that set standards and encourage good practice. However, fraudulent websites will often display our logos to mislead consumers into believing that they are genuine. Whilst this is particularly prevalent in websites offering cars for sale, it is not limited to this.

    A UK member has published comprehensive advice on such car selling scams, which can be read here.

    How do you know that a website displaying our logos is genuine?

    Never “click through” from a logo if you are suspicious, as this may redirect you to a fake webpage deliberately created to confirm authenticity.

    You must go directly to or and search the member directories. If you are outside of the UK and you access you may have to look up the individual association representing a country, such as BIFA in the UK, and then go direct to them to verify the identity of the company you are checking on.

    Fraudulent companies spring up and disappear as soon as they have scammed money or goods. There is no recourse and whilst our logos are recognised it is impossible to pre-empt the fraudsters.

    Remember! when buying online beware of fraudsters, so check, check and check again.

  6. Robert Keen, the British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) Director General says: “Congestion at the horseshoe is as bad as it has ever been and the local police are now turning away vehicles, leading to a huge rise in complaints from our members.

    “Britain's largest port by value recently announced that its cargo volumes have soared over the past 12 months. Last month its non-executive Lord Deighton launched a new plan to minimise the impact of emissions caused by freight vehicles around the airport.

    “The plan highlighted ten major steps to be taken in order to handle Heathrow’s cargo operations more efficiently, responsibly and sustainably in the future.

    “The plan talks about such things as a Heathrow Cargo Cloud app for local forwarders, upgrading cargo infrastructure at the airport to facilitate additional airside transhipments, the provision of consolidation points away from airport’s local roads, and the development of a new cargo village to help reduce unnecessary vehicle movements.

    “We understand the airport will collaborate with local authorities to address congestion points with the introduction of a code of conduct for operators and a joint strategic freight plan for local roads.

    “Our members, who currently are enduring misery on a daily basis when using the airport’s cargo centre, want action not words.”

  7. Freight capacity (measured in available freight tonne kilometers or AFTKs), rose by 3.9% compared to September of last year —less than half the pace of demand growth. This is positive for industry load factors, yields, and financial performance.

    It appears that the industry has passed a cyclical growth peak. The upward trend in seasonally-adjusted freight volumes in Q3 has eased and the inventory-to-sales ratio in the US is now trending sideways. This indicates that the period when companies look to restock inventories quickly—which often gives air cargo a boost—has ended.

    "Demand for air cargo grew by 9.2% in September. While that’s slower than in previous months, it remains stronger than anything we have seen in recent memory. But there are signs that this demand spurt may have peaked. So it becomes even more important to reinforce the industry’s competitiveness by accelerating the modernization of its many antiquated processes," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

    With year-to-date demand growth of 10.1%, the IATA forecast of 7.5% growth in air freight demand for 2017 appears to have significant upside potential even if the peak of the economic cycle has passed.

    September 2017
    (% year-on-year)

    World share¹





    Total Market












    Asia Pacific












    Latin America






    Middle East






    North America






    ¹% of industry FTKs in 2016   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level

    Regional Performance    

    Airlines in all regions reported an increase in year-on-year demand in September.

    • Asia-Pacific airlines saw freight volumes increase by 9.3% in September 2017, compared to the same period last year. Capacity in the region expanded 5.3%.  Demand growth was strong on all the major routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific, consistent with strong export order books for the region’s manufacturers. Exporters in Chinese Taipei, China and Japan all reported growing order books.

    • North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 7.4% for the month; the region also posted the second fastest international growth rate among regions (11.0%). Capacity increased 1.4%. The strength of the US dollar boosted the inbound freight market in recent years. Data from the US Census Bureau shows a 12.0% increase in air imports to the US in the first seven months of 2017, compared to a slower rise in export orders of 6.6%. However, there are signs that the decline in the US dollar since the start of the year is beginning to rebalance trade flows. In August 2017, the most recent month for which data are available, exports from the US by air grew 12.7% while imports by air grew more slowly at 7.4%.

    • European airlines posted a 10.3% increase in freight demand in September 2017, and a capacity increase of 5.6%. Concerns that the recent strengthening of the euro might have affected the region’s exporters have not materialized. In fact, German manufacturers’ export orders are growing at their fastest pace in more than seven years. Freight demand is strongest on the routes to and from Asia - which have received a boost in trade from the economic stimulus measures put in place by China - and across the Atlantic.

    • Middle Eastern carriers’ year-on-year freight volumes increased 8.9% in September 2017 and capacity increased 2.6%. This was a slowdown in demand from the previous month. A short-lived weak patch in demand in Q3 2016 has meant that recent months have produced volatility in the year-on-year growth rate. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes, however, have continued to trend upwards at a rate of 8% over the past six months. Still, strong competition, particularly on the Asia-Europe route, means that Middle East carriers are not seeing as healthy a pickup in the seasonally-adjusted traffic trend as carriers in other regions.

    • Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 7.6% in September 2017 and capacity increased by 5.9% compared to the same period in 2016. International freight volumes rose by 8.6% over the same period. This is well above the five-year average rate of 0.1%. The pick-up in demand reflects signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.

    • African carriers posted the largest year-on-year increase in demand of all regions in September 2017, with freight volumes rising 17.7%. This is a slowdown from August but still more than twice the five-year average growth pace of 8.9%. Capacity increased by 2.6% over the same time period. Demand has been boosted by very strong growth on the trade lane to and from Asia which increased by more than 67% in the first eight months of the year. However the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted volumes has flattened in recent months.

    View September air freight results (pdf)

  8. But this will leave shippers with significantly fewer sailings each week.

    According to new research from SeaIntel, there will be 90 vessels of 14,000 teu-plus delivered to carriers over the next three years, which means that by 2020, this size vessel will account for 88% of the ships operating between Asia and Europe.

    And if all the newbuilds are delivered according to schedule, by then 125 vessels on the Asia-North Europe trade would be 18,000 teu and above.

    SeaIntel added that if demand remained at current levels, the delivery schedule would mean that the trade’s entire needs could be covered by just 15 weekly services deploying 165 vessels across the three main deepsea alliances.

    “Assuming a healthy 5% demand growth in the coming three years, and also assuming the same degree of vessel utilisation as seen in 2017, it will essentially force each of the alliances to eliminate one of their current services,” it said.

    It means carriers have the potential to order another 14 18,000 teu vessels – pushing the forecasted level of 125 18,000 teu-plus vessels in 2020 to the 165 required to run 15 services, making the trade entirely mega-ULCV-operated.

    In turn, that would likely mean the trade’s existing 14,000-17,000 teu vessels cascaded to the Asia-Mediterranean trade. But it is doubtful whether it could cope with that sort of influx, as that would mean that 84% of vessels on that trade would be 14,000 teu-plus size, “and the trade lane will be entirely unable to absorb more than a small portion of the spill-over from the North European trade”.

    SeaIntel chief executive Alan Murphy added: “Of course, 18,000 teu-plus vessels can also be phased directly into the Mediterranean trade, there is nothing preventing this. From that perspective, the field is wide open for more orders of 18,000 teu-plus tonnage.

    “However, this would further exacerbate the cascading issues.”

    Source: The Loadstar

  9. Those short-listed in the various categories are as follows:

    Air Cargo Services (sponsored by IAG Cargo)

    • 512 Sheffield Ltd
    • Ligentia UK Ltd
    • Metro Shipping
    • NNR Global Logistics

    Cool (sponsored by American Airlines Cargo)

    • GBA Services
    • Morgan Cargo
    • Pharmafreight
    • Unsworth Global Logistics

    Extra Mile (sponsored by Descartes)

    • Connaught Air Service
    • MIQ Logistics
    • Morgan Cargo
    • Ucargo LLP

    Ocean Services (Sponsored by Clecat)

    • 512 Sheffield Ltd
    • Hemisphere Freight Services
    • Moto Freight
    • Ucargo

    Project Forwarding (sponsored by Peter Lole & Co)

    • Connaught Air Services
    • OIA Global Ltd
    • Priority Freight
    • Superior Freight Services

    Specialist Services (sponsored by Forward Computers)

    • Advanced Forwarding
    • B&H Worldwide
    • Cargo Forwarding Ltd (TR Logistics Group)
    • James Cargo Services

    Staff Development (sponsored by Albacore Systems)

    • Customs Clearance Ltd
    • Dachser Ltd
    • Maltacourt Ltd
    • Unsworth Global Logistics

    Supply Chain Management (sponsored by BoxTop Technologies)

    • B&H Worldwide
    • Dimerco
    • Ligentia UK Ltd
    • Yusen Logistics

    Submissions from the finalists in each category now go forward to the sponsor judging panel where they will be examined in detail to select the winners.

    Such was the quality of the Young Freight Forwarder entries this year that the judging panel has taken the decision to declare five finalists, each of whom will be invited to a face-to-face interview where they will have the opportunity to discuss their careers to date and their ambitions for the future.

    Young Freight Forwarder (sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo)

    • Irene Borghi (Cargonet Limited)
    • Louis Perrin (Hemisphere Freight Services)
    • Scott Showell (Damco)
    • Kate Town (TPS Global Logistics)
    • Lee Wells (512 (Sheffield) Ltd)

    The winners will be announced at the BIFA Awards Ceremony Luncheon being held on Thursday 18th January 2018 at its traditional home, The Brewery in central London.

    Event host, celebrity chef, musician, and 'Dragon Slayer' Levi Roots will present certificates to all category finalists, as well as trophies to the category winners.

    Robert Keen, BIFA’s Director General, commented: “The BIFA Freight Service Awards ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the strengths of our dynamic sector, network with peers, and liaise with BIFA representatives. The awards encourage entries from a variety of companies, with the aim of identifying the highest standards of service across the British freight forwarding industry. Each and every submission was of the utmost excellence and I give my sincere thanks to all entrants and wish the finalists the best of luck.”

  10. TIACA has developed a new online Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) tool to help improve visibility and facilitate global standards across the air cargo supply chain. This is also a step towards providing shippers with the ability to view the quality of service delivered by players in air cargo supply chain.

    The initiative, launched at TIACA’s 2017 Executive Summit in Miami, USA today, comes after a year of research undertaken by a team of TIACA Board members led by Chairman Sanjiv Edward, Head of Cargo Business, Delhi International Airport, and Cheemeng Wong, Senior Vice President, Cargo Services, SATS Ltd.

    Other Board members who are backing the CSQ measure include Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo and Logistics, Brussels Airport Company, and Amar More, Chief Executive Officer, Kale Logistics Solutions.

    “In my interactions with shippers it has been reaffirmed that the lack of visibility and absence of uniform global standards results in air freight business deals being limited by cost considerations, lack of product improvements, and perceived lack of value for money,” said Edward.

    “The Cargo Service Quality initiative is a logical step for an association like TIACA, that integrates all the players of the air cargo supply chain,” said Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary General, TIACA.

    “This initiative will play a key role in standardizing cargo quality assessment globally, establishing new benchmark parameters, identifying strength and improvement areas, optimizing investments, and sharing best practice in the industry,” said Cheemeng Wong, Senior Vice President, Cargo Services, SATS Ltd.

    Participants will be able to fill out an online Cargo Quality Assessment Form either every quarter, or every six months, and will have access to a customized Quality Dashboard.

    Key benefits of taking part include gap analyses in order to identify strength and improvement areas, and best practice sharing.

    The pilot phase of the program includes assessment tools for airports and cargo terminal operators, and the CSQ will eventually be available to measure other segments of the air cargo supply chain.

    The program has received backing from players at leading airports including Hong Kong International Airport, Singapore Changi Airport, New Delhi Airport, Brussels Airport, and Beijing Capital Airport.

    Source: TIACA

  11. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said such a body could have a brief to look at greater moving of freight and construction material by river thereby helping to ease congestion on the capital’s roads.

    The call was made as part of LCCI’s response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy which proposes to move more freight off London’s streets and onto the River Thames.

    Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said:

    “In effect, the Thames is an underused superhighway which flows through the heart of our capital, surely we should look to maximise its potential.

    “As London continues to grow and more infrastructure is built it makes sense to ease some of the congestion on our roads.

    “TfL is already working with Network Rail and the Port of London Authority to move freight off the streets and a River Commission could take this work to the next level, inviting views from interested parties

    LCCI believes that a River Commission could operate within an agreed time remit, taking evidence from all interested parties and producing a final report of practical recommendations.

    Currently 90% of all freight in the capital is moved by road although some major construction projects have already made use of the river, demonstrating further possibilities.

    These include Crossrail which has seen more than 3m tonnes of excavated material taken away by river, saving half a million truck trips on London’s roads.

    Source: LCCI

  12. Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1842 introduces the electronic Certificate of Inspection (CoI) requirements via TRACES NT. Electronic CoIs will be the method of pre-notification and endorsement from 19 October 2017. The original e-CoI shall be printed and hand signed until e-signatures are eventually facilitated via TRACES NT.

    Registration of operators (importers/persons responsible for load) on TRACES NT

    • Registration/validation on TRACES NT (note this is a different platform to regular or classic TRACES used for CEDs/CVEDs) may be done by accessing TRACES NT Login.
    • Guidance on access to the system and user guidance on the registration and validation process can be found here.

    Validation as an operator (importer) on TRACES NT

    • The competent authorities at the point of entry (Port Health Authorities) are not tasked with registration and validation of importers as per conventional TRACES - this has to be done by an approved UK organic control body.
    • It is necessary to notify your Control Body after TRACES NT (ECAS) registration as validation of importers is done by Control Bodies. UK importers are required to be associated with one of these bodies to enable access to the system.
    • The CoI will be completed at origin with input from the organic importer before signing in box 18 and submission at the point of entry/clearance.

    Validation as an operator (agent/person responsible for the load) on TRACES NT

    • Validation of operators (person responsible for the load) is done by the port/point of entry (from 17.10.17). Full details of the organisations and persons using the system will be required. There are two stages to the validation - validation as an operator (person responsible for the load) and validation as a user. The control authority at the point of entry needs to complete both these tasks otherwise a message 'the roles you requested are being reviewed' will appear. Note there is generally a 24 time delay between validation and visibility by the agent/person responsible for the load on the TRACES NT system.
    • Persons responsible for the load will need to indicate all associated ports/points of entry they will be arranging imports at on the TRACES NT system.
    • Importers will be required to choose from the list of validated operators (persons responsible for the load) to enter details on the CoI.
    • The person responsible for the load generally will only enter information relating to the port of entry (CoI box 9) however clarification is pending regarding what information may be added by the agent/person responsible for the load.
    • The person responsible for the load field is optional on the CoI. Users linked to the operator entered in this field will have access to the CoI and will receive notifications about it. Where the importer is solely handling the consignment at the point of entry, no information is needed in the box 'Responsible for the load'.


    A requirement of the legislation is that importers notify Port Health of the intended arrival of the organic consignment 24 hours in advance. This is usually by the submission of the Certificate of Inspection, however the following methods are accepted.

    • Faxing/emailing a copy of the electronic certificate of inspection and/or bill of lading, invoice and packing list (an original signed e-CoI will need to follow).
    • Completing a TRACES NT e-CoI entry* and submitting the original e-CoI, printed and hand signed with associated paperwork. Once operators are validated further details on the CoI may be completed and submitted - the CoI will then appear on the TRACES NT system with a status of Issuing body declaration signed.
    • TRACES NT CoI may be easily identified by the information in box 3 which has a unique serial number prefixed CoI and a Quick Reference box.

    * Note that the country of clearance/point of entry must be completed to indicate Felixstowe and UK (in Box 9) otherwise our staff will not be able to view the CoI on TRACES NT. It would be helpful if when completing box 17 of the CoI that the ETA date is added after the vessel name.

    Currently we will not be aware that a CoI has been submitted on the TRACES NT system as there is no electronic notification system in place to point of entry in existence

    Satisfactory checks

    On satisfactory completion of the checks, consignments may be released for free circulation into the Community. The completed CoI will be verified and endorsed on TRACES NT, signed and returned (this will be necessary until electronic signatures are in place). The TRACES NT system will indicate consignment verified when the CoI has been endorsed by Port Health. The signed e-CoI may then be used as evidence that the checks have been satisfactorily completed.

    Note: There is a further stage of CoI completion by the first consignee following clearance at the point of entry indicated on the TRACES NT system which is indicated by a status of first consignee declaration signedwhen signed off/saved.


    Defra (organic imports) are the lead competent authority in the UK. The contact email is

  13. The UK has more than 4,000 miles of inland waterways, stretching from the North West through the manufacturing heartlands of the Midlands down to the country’s southern coasts. Yet many businesses have still to recognise the opportunity which water presents for the transportation of freight across country at a lower cost than more conventional mode of transport.
    The 2017 Freight by Water Conference, to be held at Doncaster Racecourse on 1 November, will focus on the opportunities which exist to link Leeds and other Northern cities to Humber port, as well as links between Manchester and Liverpool. The event, which is free to attend, will also provide an opportunity for delegates to debate how best to capitalise on the business opportunities presented by water transport, and present case studies on how water freight is becoming more integrated into last-mile distribution systems.
    “Water is one of the unsung heroes of our transportation network modes,” says Alex Veitch, head of Global Policy at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which co-ordinates the work of Freight by Water, “yet the opportunities which it presents for business are enormous.  At a time when businesses are facing increasing pressure to maintain margins while supporting their UK trading partners, the country’s inland waterway network is ideally placed to ensure deliveries can be made effectively and on budget. The Freight By Water conference will give delegates the chance to hear how water can be part of an effective multi-modal logistics business which links all parts of the country to maximum effect.”
    Speakers at the event will include representatives of key ports and waterways bodies, as well as Transport for the North and the Canal and River Trust.
    “When considering a fully integrated logistics solution for the transportation of goods across the UK, between cities and ports, water is often overlooked, “ continues Veitch, “yet the benefits to businesses could be enormous if they were fully explored. We would encourage manufacturers and logistics businesses of all sizes to attend Freight by Water and discover exactly what a watery solution could bring to the bottom line.”
    For more information and to book a place at this year’s Freight By Water event, which is supported by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Multimodal, please visit

  14. The White Paper, which is available to view here, sets out plans to legislate for the standalone customs, VAT and excise regimes the UK will need once it leaves the EU. In August, the government set out its proposals for a new customs relationship with the EU and confirmed that, regardless of the outcome of negotiations, the UK would need new customs laws in place by March 2019.

    Responding to calls from businesses for continuity, today’s White Paper confirms that the UK’s new laws will, as far as possible, replicate the effect of existing EU customs laws, to minimise disruption for businesses whilst creating the ability for the UK to set its own customs policy.

    The paper covers provisions for the implementation of customs, VAT and excise regimes in the event that no deal is reached, and sets out the steps the Government would take to minimise disruption for businesses and travellers.

    The Customs Bill will give the UK the power to:

    • Charge customs duty on goods; define how goods will be classified; set and vary the rates of customs duty and any quotas;
    • Amend the VAT and excise regimes so that they can function effectively post-exit;
    • Set out the rules governing how HMRC will collect and enforce the taxes and duties owed;
    • Enable the UK to prepare for a range of negotiated outcomes including a transition period; and
    • Implement tax-related elements of the UK’s future trade policy.

    Government welcomes your feedback on the White Paper, and thanks you for the feedback received to date on August’s paper. This will aid future policy development as the full detail of these changes are laid out through secondary legislation, and allow the government to further consider specific business impacts. The Paper poses a series of questions and – while there is no deadline for providing feedback, although HMRC has advised that response before 3rd November 2017 is encouraged.

    Those who wish to provide feedback on the proposals set out within the paper can do so by email   or via post to:

    Customs Stakeholder Engagement
    HM Treasury
    1 Horse Guards Road
    SW1A 2HQ

  15. The UK's largest airport, still awaiting a Parliamentary vote next year to approve building of a third runway, set out its plans to ensure that even as freight volumes grow with expansion, overall airport-related traffic on the road does not increase in number compared with today.

    Heathrow’s role as a trading hub will grow as expansion takes place, with cargo capacity set to double with the addition of a third runway. Currently, the majority of Heathrow's annual 2.75m freight vehicle movements  are made to support the airport’s cargo operations.

    Heathrow’s non-executive chairman Lord Deighton unveiled the initiative at the BCC International Trade Summit. Lord Deighton set out “ten practical steps” detailing how freight operations “can be more efficient, responsible and sustainable in the future”. The proposed steps include:

    • Using innovation through tools like a load consolidation “Heathrow Cargo Cloud” app for local forwarders and the trial of low emission freight vehicles and geo-fencing technology to reduce emissions on local roads
    • Investments in airfield charging points to install an ultra-low emission zone for vehicles on-airport;
    • Modernising cargo infrastructure at the airport to allow for more airside transhipments, consolidation points away from airport local roads and a new cargo village that reduces unnecessary vehicle movements;
    • Working with local authorities to address congestion points with a Code of Conduct for operators, and a joint strategic freight plan for local roads.

    The steps are intended to deliver against the commitments set out in Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s sustainability strategy. Local residents and businesses will have the opportunity to feed into proposals on freight and Heathrow’s expansion, as they will form part of the airport’s public consultation process.

    Lord Deighton said: “Heathrow is dedicated to keeping the UK economy growing – but at the same time, we have pledged to be a sustainability leader and made promises to our local communities that we intend to keep.

    “The ten steps we have outlined today allow us to keep building on our cargo strength and role as Heathrow’s biggest port by value, while restricting the emissions and local impacts of freight vehicles.

    “Through innovation, partnerships and our unwavering commitment to be a better neighbour, we are showing an expanded Heathrow is not a choice between the environment and the economy – we can deliver benefits for both.”

    Chris Welsh, director global and European policy for the UK’s Freight Transport Association said: “Heathrow’s Blueprint for Sustainable Freight is a collaborative and pioneering plan.

    "By establishing a sustainable freight group, Heathrow will gain valuable insight from industry to develop procedures that are synergetic and will satisfy both Heathrow’s ambitious environmental goals as well as increasing the efficiency of freight operations in and around the airport. We look forward to working with them.”