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FBJ 4 FREIGHT BUSINESS JOURNAL


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Issue 5 2015 - Freight Business Journal From the Editor


The Airports’ Commission report on future runway capacity in the south- east will be welcomed by the


airfreight industry


and its customers. It is of course only a report, and in no way binding on the Government, and the suggested third runway for Heathrow still faces some heavyweight political opposition, much of it in the


Party. Nevertheless,


ruling Conservative the


///OPINION


FBJ is the only UK and one of the few pan-European Multimodal newspapers. The comments we have received prove there is still room for a hard copy publication with the freighting industry. You don’t have to look at a screen all day!


FBJ boasts the most informative and authoritative source of information with unrivalled in-depth knowledge of the rapidly changing freight business environment.


By Chris Lewis


fact that the Government was willing to appoint the Commission in the first place, headed by a former Bank of England chief, suggests that it will take its findings seriously. The airfreight community in and around Heathrow has more immediate concerns than a new runway that will likely not be handling its first planes until yours truly is drawing his state pension (assuming such things exist by then). The central core cargo area, the notorious ‘Horseshoe Road’, is a 1960s build, designed with the occasional transit van in mind, not the 40-foot artics that regularly clog the place up as they attempt to manoeuvre around the place at peak times. Whatever happens on the runway front, this area needs a complete rebuild and the question of the airport’s cargo needs – both on- and off-airport – must be seriously considered. The fact that there are more bellyholds arriving and departing will be of little interest if the system is unable to process the extra cargo – in fact the new runway capacity could make the situation even worse if the handling system can’t process the extra volume. Heathrow’s appointment of its first dedicated cargo manager in around two decades is a step in the right direction. It’s important that this encouraging start is built on and that momentum is not lost.


Something very strange is happening in our world. Young, fit men, capable and willing of putting in a full day’s shiſt in a warehouse or distribution centres are milling around in Calais, risking their lives clinging to the underside of a UK-bound truck. Many of them will have paid thousands of pounds to a people-smuggling racketeer to get them this far. At the same time, Perry Glading of the Port of Tilbury, in the midst of building a major portside distribution complex bemoans the fact that “getting people are a real challenge” in his industry. In fact, the manpower shortage is probably the biggest single challenge facing the logistics industry in south-east England. Perry Glading’s tenants would probably be very interested in employing some of the guys currently populating the makeshiſt camps of Calais, but only if they have work and residence permits. His comments are echoed by BIFA boss, Robert Keen. Even worse, Indian restaurant owners are warning of an impending crisis – new visa rules are making it prohibitively expensive to recruit skilled chefs from the Indian subcontinent. I don’t want to sound apocalyptic, but could the high street curry house be heading for extinction? This country needs a sensible and rational debate about immigration.


Calais migrants: the solution is in our hands


Sebastien Barth, managing director of time-critical specialist C4 Logistics takes a critical view of claims from the Freight Transport Industry (FTA) that the UK supply chain is in imminent danger of collapse because of the illegal migrant crisis at Calais.


The FTA says its haulage members were becoming increasingly concerned about the issue because the migrant population has risen to around 3,000, as those fleeing North Africa and Middle East make their way to Calais in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain. It is true that the problem has become


very bad because of the international situation in these troubled areas, but there is more that can be done at a practical level to reduce the risks of people getting onto vehicles. I understand the FTA’s position, but it


is as much our responsibility as the UK Government’s which as we know has faced dramatic public sector cuts, including within the Borders Agency, and the long- term prognosis is for greater reductions in spending. We have no choice but to be practical and do more ourselves to protect our businesses and consignments. I urge carriers using the Eurotunnel


to take full advantage of the voluntary vehicle emissions check as an opportunity to conduct a further search for stowaways


as recent figures from the UK Borders Agency revealed that the number of illegal stowaways doubled from 782 in 2013 to 1,463 last year. Delays in any of the industries we serve


can cost millions of euros to our clients, which is why we plan, plan and plan again to optimise the journey in terms of routes, traffic planning and tracking. We also ensure that we have the correct documentation, in order to avoid problems that are within our control. Border controls and customs are typical


pinch points, which is why we carry out six checks to our vehicles before and during the journey stops to make sure we are not carrying anything or anyone, we should not be. This includes at the Eurotunnel where the drivers are offered a CO2 emission test on their vehicles by the tunnel’s security team. This is a key point for an internal and external investigation, because it receives a stamp that reads ‘Eurotunnel security checked.’ We have a very strict immigration and security procedure because of recurrent


problems crossing the channel, despite the best efforts of the French and UK border controls. So, we ask our drivers to do all that they can to make sure that no persons have gained entry to their vehicles in transit. We check before a consignment is loaded


and once again aſter this process when we secure the vehicles with a TIR cord seal and padlocks. This is all recorded on the travel documentation, as are any changes including if the vehicles are opened by customs. We then record the new seal numbers onto the documentation so that there is a clear and transparent record. Once the Eurotunnel


or ferry port checks are conducted, the driver will carry out a further check before leaving French soil and then again – inside


and outside the van – on arrival in the UK. The driver will then conduct one final search before arriving at the customers’ premises. These are the rigorous steps we follow


on every transport movement in to order to avoid the disruption that illegal immigrants can cause to customers’ shipments in terms of transit times. A delay at customs, if an illegal passenger is found, can be costly in money terms, but also could impact people’s lives if the vehicle is carrying medical equipment or drugs, not to mention the potential brand damage. Being in control of every


stage of the transport is part of our job and we are thorough in our checks to make sure those rules are adhered to.


As the definitive publication within the sea, air, road and rail freight sectors, each issue includes regular news and analysis, in-depth coverage discovering the business decisions behind the news stories, shipper and exporter reports, opinion, geographical features, political and environmental issues.


If you have any stories or letters which should be of interest or any feedback on FBJ, please contact our editor Chris Lewis - +44 (0)208 6450666 chris.lewis@fj-online.com


next issue >> circulation >>


Our next issue will include features on Freight Audit & Pay services,


North-east England and Germany. There will also be our regular IT Section and news pages. For further details contact: John Saunders - +44 (0) 151 427 6800 john.saunders@fj-online.com


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