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Issue 6 2014 - Freight Business Journal


New man at the helm at Bifa

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has named Robert Keen as its new director general to succeed Peter Quantrill who retired from the trade association in August for personal reasons. Mr Keen joined the industry in

1970 and worked for a succession of forwarders before joining BIFA in 1999. He was appointed an executive director in 2009. He is also chairman of the

FIATA Multimodal Institute and a member of FIATA’s extended board; vice chairman of CLECAT’s Maritime Logistics Institute; and a Clecat board member. He has also been chairman of the United Kingdom Air Cargo Club. BIFA National Chairman, Carson

McMullan said: “He has had an excellent record of achievement since he joined BIFA and enjoys a

great relationship with the

membership. His challenge will be to continue to develop BIFA’s four key objectives - representation and lobbying; the provision of advice and information; promotion and training - objectives to which Peter Quantrill, our director general

for the last seven years, made a significant contribution. Mr Keen added: “Working

together we will drive forward BIFA’s representative role and deliver results for our membership.” Carson McMullan concluded:

“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.” (See: New BIFA chief to continue the good work, page 15)

Maritime buys out Roadways

Maritime Group has acquired Aegeus Transport, the holding company for fellow container haulier Roadways Container Logistics, for an undisclosed sum. The purchase includes the entire company, employees and assets of Roadways, the fourth largest container transport company in the UK. The

deal includes 374

employees, 241 vehicles, all Roadways sites at Hainault, Felixstowe, Leeds, Manchester, Nursling in Southampton and the Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT) at Birch Coppice in Tamworth. The combined business will operate a fleet of over 1,300 vehicles and its network will include Railports at Tamworth and Tilbury, as well as depots at every major gateway and consumer conurbation. Maritime’s existing network

consists of 16 depots at Bristol, Doncaster, Felixstowe, Birmingham Hams Hall, Immingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Peterborough, Reading, South Shields, Southampton, Thamesport and Tilbury. It employs over 1,300 staff

and drivers throughout the UK. Maritime’s group MD, John

Williams, said: “This is a strategic move and a really excellent fit with Maritime. Altogether the combined business will provide much greater scale, scope and services for customers.” Maritime Transport marketing

director Andrew McNab added that the deal cemented Maritime’s position as the UK’s number one mover of maritime containers by road. In inland container transport only Freightliner, with its extensive rail interests, is bigger. Maritime is very strongly asset-based, he continued, and while it does use subcontractors, it owns most of the trucks – all the latest Euro 5 and 6 models - and trailers that it operates, as well as being a major employer of drivers. Since the company was

bought out from Hutchison Ports in the early 2000s, turnover has multiplied from around £18m to around £200m today, he added. He said that the depot network

of the combined operation was still under review, but that locations would not necessarily be closed even where there was more than one location in the same port or city. “We are looking at every location, but the reality is that when you put two businesses together they don’t necessarily fit in one location.” There are adjacent Maritime and Roadway depots in Leeds and Manchester but the new depots would offer room for expansion. In the Midlands, however,

Maritime currently operates at Hams Hall while Roadways has a modern rail terminal at BIFT in

Tamworth and it was likely that the combined operation would be concentrated there, said McNab. Maritime is also working

on a plan for its Southampton operations. Roadways has a purpose-built site at Nursling, while Maritime has a large facility at Marchwood and another at Milbrook. McNab said that the container

transport business had gone through a tough time in recession with

the recovery only

now setting in aſter seven years. However, the difficult economic circumstances had brought opportunities to make acquisitions; since 2010, Maritime had got involved in its first railhead operation at Tilbury, which it took over from Wincanton, had acquired DHL’s container transport business and started its own distribution business to provide a final link from customers’ distribution centres to the retail or manufacturer end-user. Maritime will now concentrate

on bedding down the Roadways operation – at the time of writing, group MD John Williams was touring all the new company’s sites and meeting employees.

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