Companies and individuals across the warehousing and third party logistics (3PL) sectors were rewarded for excellence at UKWA’s Annual Awards for Warehousing 2011 ceremony, which was held recently at London’s Dorchester Hotel.

This year the Association received a record number of entries in all categories and the winners were chosen by UKWA’s Awards Committee, which comprised Phil Culling, Chairman  of storage systems specialist Redirack; Mel Grainger, a past chairman of UKWA; and Roger Williams, the association’s Chief Executive Officer.

Roger Williams commented: “UKWA’s Awards are established as symbols of achievement in the 3PL sector and emphasise the importance of logistics within today’s economy. The high number and quality of the entries we received underlines the professionalism that runs through the modern logistics industry.”

A total of ten awards were presented and the winners were:

Customer Service Award: Expect Distribution Expect Distribution impressed the judges as a family owned and run business with a customer focussed culture. Each employee is aware of the required level of service to the client and the company aims to provide value added benefits through a structured customer care programme.

Environment Award: Elddis Transport Ltd Within the last 12 months Elddis has switched to new low energy lighting at its warehouse and head office, introduced low emission vehicles to its company car fleet and worked with clients to increase pallet heights which means the number of lorry journeys required is reduced.

Training Award: DHL Supply Chain As part of its contract with Jaguar Land Rover, DHL were challenged with resourcing staff for a second shift to support production volumes at JLR’s Halewood plant. 600 additional employees were required with a 10 month window for recruitment and training. The judges were impressed by DHL’s success in achieving their aim. In addition to the overall winner in this category, PF Whitehead’s entry was highly commended by the judges.

Warehouse Manager of the Year: Paul Wilson, Century Logistics The judges were looking for excellent personal and professional qualities reflected in an efficient operation, optimum warehouse productivity, and a highly motivated and flexible team. The winner, Paul Wilson of Century Logistics, demonstrated these qualities.

Technology/Innovation Award: Linde Materials Handling Ltd In drawing up their shortlist, the judges looked for evidence of bold and innovative responses to the changing marketplace and Linde Materials Handling Ltd’s Nav-Man system got their vote. NavMan is a semi-automated system that can be configured to provide an interface for warehouse management software systems in standard VNA trucks. It ensures all operators, whether experienced or novice, to work at the most efficient rate.

Best New Member: Toyota Tsusho UK Ltd A corporate award given to the company showing the highest professional standards of  warehousing on joining the UKWA, Toyota Tsusho UK Ltd inspired the judges most. The company joined UKWA in 2010 and inspector Richard Davies was duly impressed with the extensive range of services it offers from its purpose built facility at Castle Donnington.

Team of the Year: Expect Distribution Ltd Neil Rushworth, Expect Distribution’s operations director, had no hesitation in putting forward his colleagues for this award after the company completed a move to a new £9m facility at the heart of the motorway network in West Yorkshire. The move has enabled Expect to offer a range of additional services to clients which, in turn, resulted in outstanding levels of growth and profitability in 2010. This was only possible due to the efforts of the employees involved in the day to day running of the warehousing operation and the judges agreed.

Employee of the Year: Des Bailey, Century Logistics Having joined Century Logistics as a warehouseman in 2005, Des stood out as someone with the potential to advance within the company. His manager, Harry Bell, says of Des: “Des has excelled in all the roles he has had within the company – progressing into supervising one of the largest and most dynamic teams in Century Logistics. He is a worthy contender for Employee of the Year.”

Chairman’s Award: Ken Richards The winner of this year’s UKWA Chairman’s Award was Ken Richards. Ken joined UKWA’s council in July 1993, as North West regional chairman, and was elected national Chairman in 1997 and again in 2003.  He ran a very successful International convention in 1998, and has been a Vice president of UKWA since 2005.

UKWA’s CEO, Roger Williams, commented: “Anyone who has had anything to do with UKWA over the last 20 years will not need reminding of the immense, almost immeasurable contribution Ken Richards has made to the development of the association, and to the industry as a whole.

“His relationship with UKWA has been wholehearted and his contribution to all discussions and debate always based on his deep operational experience and common sense. His advice has always been available, and although his view on any topic is always clear and unequivocal, he  readily accepts a contrary but well argued point of view, and more importantly, fiercely upholds the democratic nature of our governance. On leaving UKWA’s  management board he takes with him the gratitude and respect from all his colleagues over the years.”

Over 450 UKWA members and their guests, together with suppliers to the warehousing industry, attended UKWA’s Awards for Warehousing 2011 ceremony.

The main sponsor of the event was Jungheinrich UK Ltd, while individual Awards were sponsored by: Toyota Material Handling UK Ltd, Knapp UK Ltd, Luxonic Lighting PLC, Clarion Events, Translift Bendi Ltd, Warehouse Technology Group, Lutterworth EcoLighting Ltd and Briggs Equipment UK Ltd.

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