Forwarding, Freight News

UK freight lacks academic expertise, says forwarder

[ September 30, 2016   //   ]

Freight forwarding lacks academic support for its workforce compared with many other countries, says Runcorn-based forwarder Maltacourt in its contribution to the Parliamentary Review of the transport industry, for which it was selected as thought leaders for the industry.
It says that as a growing and aspiring business, “we place a great emphasis on our employees -however, we’ve seen first-hand the struggles in finding dedicated support for training and developing our staff, beyond that of the British International Freight Association (BIFA).”
Although BIFA offers a range of courses to support the industry, courses are often cancelled as they are funded entirely by member subscriptions, says the company.
Progress in the industry is often achieved not through academic qualifications but through experience, Maltacourt adds. While the latter is important too, there are very few university degrees or modules around international trade or freight forwarding – the subject seems its lost ground against more modern, in vogue academic qualifications.
However, Maltacourt’s report asks: “Does the UK really need the number of law and MBA students currently in education? There’s a major concern that we could be hampering the next generation of freight forwarders and losing talented young staff to other more ‘fashionable’ industry sectors.”
Maltacourt also has a substantial presence in Hungary, where it has enjoyed “extensive support from banks, investors, academic institutions and regulatory bodies that has allowed our business and the industry to flourish…The market seems less bureaucratic and doesn’t suffer from the same saturation levels, allowing smaller organisations the opportunity to grow and compete on an even keel.”
The freight industry is in fact one of the most saturated markets in the UK, Maltacourt considers, with over 3,000 forwarders that “compete ferociously to offer logistical support to Britain’s businesses.”
Brexit will also have a significant impact on the industry in time; the cost of transport goods into the EU can be expected to increase due to the need to raise customs entries.

Pictured: guest speaker and ex-MP. Esther McVeymaltacourt-resized