Sir, regarding yesterday’s article headlined ’Does BIFA still exist?’ (23 August, click here to read) , I would like to make it clear that the British International Freight Association is not only very much alive; it is thriving, a fact of which you are well aware as one of the record number of attendees at our Freight Service Awards lunch earlier this year.

Our membership is at record levels, as is the number of delegates who attend our training courses.

Over 2,500 in 2011.

As a trade association, one of our founding principles was to offer complete support to our members and training continues to be central to our activities.

We deliver a comprehensive range of training courses covering every mode of transport used by commercial freight operators as well as regulatory, procedural and business topics involved in the movement of goods into and out of the UK.

The courses reflect the importance the trade association places on offering training to members and non-members alike involved in the UK freight forwarding industry.

They cover various areas of business and include: Air Cargo Security, BTEC Intermediate Awards, Customs Procedures, Dangerous Goods shipments, Customs management, Health & Safety, Introduction to Letters of Credit and Managing Contracts & Liability using the BIFA Standard Trading Conditions.

The courses are a must for the comprehensive development of personnel skills in every mode and type of shipment. Whether you are sending goods by road, need to learn the basics of sea freight, looking to meet the requirements of the air cargo security regime, we have a course for everyone.

Even the editor of Lloyd’s Loading List.com might find one that would be of use!

We provide courses at BIFA’s HQ, as well as locations across the country. This means that members and non-members wishing to undertake courses can do so locally and conveniently.

We are also witnessing a satisfying and growing number of in-house courses being provided to those who wish to benefit from the superior training BIFA provides.

Earlier this year, BIFA added a dedicated area to our website offering Good Practice guidelines for its members.

In the BIFA Good Practice Toolbox , BIFA company members are able to access 10 high quality guides that have been created to enable them to provide in house training on some of the fundamentals of freight forwarding, logistics and international trade.

The guides cover important topics relevant to a freight forwarder’s daily business and include advice and guidance on: the use of BIFA Standard Trading Conditions; freight insurance; agreements with overseas freight agents; logistics agreements; documentary Letters of Credit; release of cargo documents; the use of cash on delivery and shipper’s disbursements; dealing with personal effects; sub-contracting, as well as Incoterms.

They were produced in response to BIFA member companies asking for more material that can be used in their office to enable staff to be trained in situ.

We are now working on video presentations which will help to enhance the spread of good practice to all staff in BIFA member companies from their office computers and assist BIFA members in demonstrating staff development.

Full details of the training courses which BIFA offers can be seen on our website: www.bifa.org .

Regards,

Peter Quantrill
Director General, British International Freight Association


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