Logistics community supports local causes

Logistics community supports local causes

2.6.2021 | Logistics

Logistics community supports local causes

Across the industry, companies are always supporting good causes. In this issue of Porttalk, we catch up with two local initiatives that are helping to make a difference.


Felixstowe Port Users’ Association is in the throes of organising its second charity golf day, which is being hosted on Wednesday 22nd September at the award-winning Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club. Sponsored by Gotelee Solicitors, the day will raise vital funds for local charities.

If you are a golf fan, why not enter a team of four and enjoy a great day on the course, culminating with a two-course meal at 5pm.

However, if a round of golf is not for you and your company is interested in being involved and providing much-needed support to local charities, there’s a range of sponsorship opportunities available that we’re happy to discuss, including individual holes, refreshments and raffle prizes.


ABP’s Port of Ipswich has announced its partnership with St Elizabeth Hospice’s Wild in Art for the third time to support the Big Hoot 2022.

With all profits raised through The Big Hoot going to support the work of the hospice, the trail will see 40 owls placed around Ipswich for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Paul Ager, divisional port manager, says of the Port’s involvement: “We are delighted to be supporting the Wild in Art trail for the third time and raising funds for St Elizabeth Hospice. With the trails in 2016 and 2019, ABP engaged with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders to support the Wild in Art trails.

“ABP has always had a great deal of fun with these campaigns, and it was fantastic to see people getting involved in previous years. After the year we have all had with the pandemic, we feel very proud to be sponsoring the Big Hoot in 2022, encouraging people of all ages to get out and enjoy the fresh air whilst enjoying local artists’ work.”


To find out more about booking a team or sponsoring the FPUA golf day, please email mark.binge@gma-warehousing.co.uk

For more information about the Big Hoot 2022, please visit thebighoot.co.uk

TOPS is the ‘complete TMS’ says GB Railfreight

TOPS is the ‘complete TMS’ says GB Railfreight

1.6.2021 | Rail

TOPS is the ‘complete TMS’ says GB Railfreight

Fargo Systems’ TOPS enables GBRf’s intermodal activities to operate seamlessly.

The complete transport software solution once again demonstrates the pivotal role it plays throughout the logistics industry – this time enabling GB Railfreight’s (GBRf) intermodal activities to operate seamlessly.

Playing an integral role in GBRf’s complete rail TMS (Transport Management System), all intermodal movements are planned and managed through Fargo’s TOPS.

Jim Slade, Project Team Manager at Fargo Systems, says: “We’ve been partnering with GBRf since 2005. With a commitment to TOPS that has seen their usage grow six-fold over the years, they are now processing over 100,000 EDI messages per month. This February alone, MSC sent over 98,000 messages, all of which were processed by TOPS, saving hundreds of hours of manual data input.”

Growing from an initial four TOPS users to today’s 24 concurrent user licences, the benefits of Fargo’s technology are evident across GBRf’s operations – from maintaining schedules, precision planning wagons each schedule, right through to the stevedores loading and unloading the trains.

‘Box to bay’ planning is a crucial requirement of GBRf. As Jim says: “TOPS is used throughout this operation – from loading each container to the correct wagon, to planning each specific platform and pin. It also integrates with other third parties in the industry who receive updates and instructions for loading and unloading wagons as per the transport plan stored.”

Notably, ‘box to bay’ plans are also imported to TOPS, key for inland container depot operators. The container depot completes the ‘box to bay’ process, yet GBRf still needs to hold it in TOPS to pass it to the destination port again via EDI and validate it against their safety loading guidelines.

Intermodal General Manager of GBRf, Julie Garn, continues: “For us, TOPS is the complete TMS. It holds the loading guidelines, validates users creating a ‘box to bay’ consignment, and ensures every movement adheres to the parameters. Respecting the loading guidelines, it then automatically completes the ‘box to bay’ plan and provides instructions to the port of departure and or final destination via EDI or a PDF; we EDI with the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company and CNS for Southampton and London Gateway.

“When a train departs or arrives at a terminal, TOPS receives and imports the gate move notifications, which are used to update the job in the system. This process immediately highlights any train misses or exceptions. It also enables us to enrich the data stored in TOPS with information from the depot. For example, we can import the container number to TOPS automatically when a container arrives at a terminal and is yet to be scheduled to a specific train. This then triggers real-time information to be sent out to customers ensuring their terminal systems are up-to-date too.”

Jim Slade continues: “GBRf is a critical player in the UK’s logistics sector, and automated communication is key to keeping their business on track and moving. Back in 2005, they were as committed as they are today to achieving business success by using the best logistics software they can, which in this case is TOPS.”

Julie Garn concludes: “Here at GBRf, we like to think of ourselves as visionaries. Our investment in TOPS has not only increased our efficiency but has revolutionised data exchange and integration across the industry. We couldn’t have done that without Fargo Systems.”



Imorex launch new clearance department

Imorex launch new clearance department

1.6.2021 | Logistics

Imorex launch clearance department

Palletforce partnership drives Imorex customs service.


Seizing an opportunity that presented itself through its relationship with Palletforce, Imorex has launched a new import and export clearance service.

Dan Jackaman, Imorex customs and forwarding manager, explains: “Palletforce needed an agent to handle the import and export declarations for its German trailer service as there were service issues that needed addressing.

“Our managing director, Graeme Connor, identified the opportunity and went to Palletforce proposing a solution. Once agreed, it was down to us to make it happen and launched the new service in early March.”

Currently offering T1 import and export customs clearance service, the team, including custom coordinators Andrea Baker and George Connor, is focusing on driving service efficiency. Dan explains: “The department was set up to solve a problem, and so our attention has been on getting the service set up, stable and as efficient as possible.

“The nature of the service we offer Palletforce means our growth rests in their hands as they and their German partner need to sell the service.

“Historically, the clearance stage was always a bit of a black hole, with tracking information lacking and lots of waiting involved. Our new relationship with Palletforce enables us to access the information needed to deliver a hugely improved service, with an inventory linked service. To further avoid delays at the port of entry into the UK we have strategically created dedicated ETSF warehousing at our Huntingdon facility which only handles European groupage trailers.

“Having handled 228 import consignments to date, we’ve reduced the average number of days to get a whole trailer cleared from around six days to 0.29 days on our last trailer. It’s these improvements that we’re most proud of.”

The Imorex clearance team also pulls on the experience of newly appointed general manager Tony Stoker and as Dan reflects: “Including Tony’s knowledge, the team benefits from 90 years’ industry experience. That’s a wealth of knowledge rivalled by very few.”

Looking ahead, Dan adds: “Now we’re up and running, we’re looking to add sea freight clearances to our service offering and then hopefully some general forwarding work too.”

For more information about Imorex visit imorex.co.uk

Port of Lowestoft cares for Kittiwakes

Port of Lowestoft cares for Kittiwakes

1.6.2021 | Ports

Port of Lowestoft cares for kittiwakes

Maintenance work is underway to encourage Kittiwakes to keep returning to Suffolk.

Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced vital works on the Port of Lowestoft’s Harbour Kittiwake Wall, to maintain the important breeding site for the local kittiwake population.

Dating from the late 1980s, ABP’s bespoke kittiwake wall on the North Pier was built to replicate the cliff-like conditions that kittiwakes favour for nesting. The wall has been a successful breeding site, with hundreds of nests and fledglings recorded in previous years. However, it is not currently used by the kittiwakes. Thought to be due to the build-up of old nests, ABP will be upgrading the Harbour Kittiwake Wall as part of the preparations for Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF). This work will remove abandoned nests and install safe wire mesh protection above the wall ledges to protect the kittiwakes from gull predation.

Lowestoft is home to one of two established breeding colonies in Suffolk, and kittiwakes first colonised the piers at the entrance to the Port in the 1950s. Within the Port of Lowestoft, the Harbour Kittiwake Wall is recognised as a County Wildlife site. With advice from the Council’s ecologist to ensure that no active nests are being disturbed, ABP will be completing the essential maintenance work over the coming weeks.

Andrew Harston, Regional Director, Wales & Short Sea Ports, said: “The Port of Lowestoft has long been home for one of Suffolk’s two established kittiwake colonies. We are delighted to be able to upgrade the Port of Lowestoft’s Harbour Kittiwake Wall to ensure that it provides a safe, attractive nesting site for the visiting birds.”

Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We welcome the work and initiative which AB Ports are undertaking to improve the harbour area for kittiwakes and other sea birds. We all have a responsibility to support and protect our wildlife, and by introducing positive enhancements, no matter how small they may be, we can really make a difference over time.”

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said: “With Lowestoft being the home to one of two established breeding kittiwake colonies in Suffolk, as recent events have highlighted, there is a need to ensure that appropriate nesting facilities are provided locally that replicate the cliffs that are their natural habitat. It is thus very good news that ABP will be carrying out work to the wall on the North Pier so that a safe and secure home is provided for these popular visiting seabirds.”

Kickstart your business

Kickstart your business

1.6.2021 | Tax

Kickstart your business

Stephanie Hammond, director at Beatons Group, looks at how the scheme works and how to make the most of it.

Companies are now looking to get back to business with the coronavirus appearing to be in retreat in the UK.

Many sectors, however, especially the hospitality industry, are finding it difficult to recruit new staff.

Additional factors, such as Brexit, have put other industries in the same boat, with the Financial Times recently reporting the haulage and logistics sectors are facing a recruitment crisis.

To help maintain recruitment levels and get more young people back into work, the government has launched the Kickstart Scheme.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?
The Kickstart Scheme provides money to employers to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on universal credit who are at risk of being unemployed long-term.

Essentially, the government will pay 100% of the national minimum wage, or living wage depending on the employees’ age, for 25 hours a week.

These funds, which also cover an employer’s national insurance contribution and workplace pensions, will continue for six months.

The idea is to help companies recruit quickly as the UK reopens and give life chances and valuable experience to young people hit hard by the pandemic.

The hope is young people given a chance for employment through the scheme will then be recruited full time.

What do I get if I apply for the scheme?
As well as the Kickstart Scheme covering a young person’s wages, when a business is accepted on the scheme, they will immediately receive £1,500 of funding per job created.

This money will be used on set up costs and to support the young worker with training, allowing them to develop as an employee.

The funds could also be used to pay for a new uniform, IT and software or necessary equipment they need.

However, the Department of Work and Pensions may ask for records to show where the money has been spent.

How do I apply?
Businesses can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant online or through a Kickstart gateway, a company already working with the scheme.

A Kickstart gateway can be any organisation – from local authorities to charities and trade bodies – that will act as an intermediary and can apply for funding on your behalf.

Click here to apply online.

If you need further advice, visit beatons.co.uk