A major new attraction at the forthcoming rescheduled Multimodal Exhibition and Conference will be the British International Freight Association’s Freight Forwarders Village, designed to provide a marketplace for BIFA members and associate members to showcase the products and services they offer.

Robert Keen, BIFA director general.

BIFA has reached an agreement with the event’s organisers to expand its existing presence by creating this freight forwarders village in a prominent part of the exhibition hall.

The village will provide a networking marketplace where visitors to the show can learn more about the workings of the trade association; the benefits of being a member, whilst discussing their day-to-day freight forwarding requirements with actual BIFA members that have decided to take a presence in the marketplace.

The Freight Forwarders Village, will include BIFA’s exhibition stand, workshop arena, as well as a break out and refreshments zone, as well as bespoke Logistics Services Provider Pods (Logpods) for BIFA members that do not have large marketing budgets, but want to promote their products and services to the significant number of shippers, cargo owners and other visitors that Multimodal attracts.

The trade association that represents the UK freight forwarding and logistics business will also be using the event to further show its ever-increasing portfolio of training services. This will include promotion of a recently launched online training course to help members to use the UK’s new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

HM Revenue and Customs’ CDS will replace CHIEF in a phased transition ending in April 2023, and BIFA is offering hands on tuition, practical exercise and a technical resource, finishing with an assessment. BIFA’s CDS – eLearning course is designed for those completing Customs declarations and will cover the main differences between CHIEF and CDS.

The course has been developed in conjunction with Agency Sector Management, which provides software to the UK Customs clearance and freight forwarding industries and represents the interests of the freight forwarding community.

The trade association will also have a prominent role in the seminar programme, which was being finalised as this article was being written. Senior management will be involved in seminars on day one and two that focus on the current state of the logistics marketplace, as well as what is next for international trade. Day 3 will see BIFA take the lead role in a programme that focuses on attracting young talent to the sector; with an examination of apprenticeships that are available; as well as the work being done by BIFA’s Young Forwarder Network.

Robert Keen, BIFA director general adds: “Multimodal has become one of the most popular and successful exhibitions in the logistics and supply chain sector’s calendar and BIFA has been investigating how we can help our members and associate members to use the show to promote the extensive range of services that they provide.

“Being part of the new BIFA Freight Forwarders Village will give members and associate members that may have been reluctant to commit to the event in the past a very cost effective means of testing the water to see if Multimodal can deliver the business results that they are looking for.

“Whilst the international freight industry is devising methods of coping with the changing logistics demands of the global village often at a distance, the BIFA Freight Forwarders Village will give participants the opportunity for close range networking with existing and potential customers in a more personal environment.”

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