The UK freight industry’s only dedicated conference and exhibition – Multimodal – returned to Birmingham’s NEC centre last week and, being the largest forwarder in the neighbourhood, we popped in to catch the industry gossip and meet up with customers, partners and suppliers in the hall.
We are big advocates of Multimodal, in showcasing our industry, and really value the work that Robert Jervis and his team have down over the years to make Multimodal the juggernaut of an event that it has become!
While we may not always have the opportunity to exhibit at Multimodal, we are happy to provide expert speakers, support key partners like our industry association BIFA and participate in the Multimodal Awards, which have become a regular diary event.
And with the NEC literally around the corner, our team are encouraged to visit the show, to develop their industry knowledge and meet key contacts.
After several years of sky-high profits and basement-level service it was probably not surprising to see so many ocean and air carriers exhibiting, in an effort to promote a more customer-friendly and conciliatory image.
Perhaps understandably, many shippers and forwarders, having endured poor communication and woeful service levels over the last two years, simply wanted to ‘vent their spleen’ at the carriers’ representatives.
From our perspective, the carriers’ presence presented the ideal opportunity to reinforce the personal relationships and shared understanding, that build the foundation for a better commercial understanding and can get so many positive things done – behind the scenes.
We were particularly pleased to see the exhibiting premiere of our group shipping line, Ellerman City Liners, who were promoting their new Express Europe – USA service, which, judging by the crowds on the stand, was very well received.
Founded over 120 years ago, Ellerman’s heritage is steeped in British maritime history, with its substantial merchant fleet providing a massive contribution to the country in peacetime and during both World Wars.
It is with immense pride that we see this sleeping giant bought back to life, as part of our group of companies and wonderful to see our colleagues so warmly received in Birmingham; home of Multimodal and Metro.
To discuss any of the issues raised in this article please EMAIL Andrew Smith, Chief Commercial Officer.