26.6.2024 | Logistics

The Greatest Show - Multimodal 2024 Success

Exhibitors, attendees, and organisers agreed that this year’s Multimodal was the best event since the exhibition’s founding in 2008, so Porttalk caught up with event director Robert Jervis.

“This year, the show was humming before the doors opened. With more exhibitors than ever (307) and our attendance rate up 6%, the challenges the transport and logistics sectors have faced over recent years, including COVID-19, were replaced by a buzz and excitement to embrace and navigate what lies ahead.

“An extraordinary moment of this year’s show was the visit of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. Her first attendance at the show since 2014, she graced us in her capacity as patron of Transaid, the official charity of the transport and logistics sector, adding a touch of regal honour to our event.

“The awards ceremony was a testament to our industry’s inclusivity and community spirit. With award entries more impressive than ever and the gala evening filled with logistics excellence, 880 guests were charmed again by this year’s award host, Kevin Keegan. The presence of smaller firms alongside the industry giants was a clear sign that every person in the room, regardless of their size, felt privileged to be part of this unique and community-minded industry.

“This year’s awards also delivered a Multimodal first. As the judges found it impossible to decide which of two industry heavyweights was worthy of being declared this year’s Personality of the Year, the decision was made to award both Sir David Ord and Terence Mordaunt of the Bristol Port Company received the evening’s top accolade.

“Bringing into sharp focus how the industry has moved on since our first ever show, critical themes of the speaker and conference programme, and the conversations around the exhibition halls, centred very much on issues including AI, Net Zero, alternative fuel options and embracing modal shifts. And how these opportunities will change the face of how we do business.

“Proud of the role Multimodal plays in shaping the future of our industry and how it helps create new and foster existing connections, the team here is already looking forward to June 2025.”

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With 42 companies featured in this year’s BIFA Village at Multimodal 2024, Porttalk caught up with some exhibitors who made the village home away from home to hear their thoughts on the show.

Paul Burke, sales executive at Freightcover, says:

“For us, the show provided an ideal opportunity to network. While it’s always great to see many familiar faces, we were delighted with the number of new connections and the chance to explain more about our services. With our team on hand to answer any technical questions, having a presence in the BIFA Village instils confidence in attendees and, I believe, enhances our reputation within the industry. The community spirit and the relationships forged with fellow exhibitors are a bonus to exhibiting in the village.

“With this year’s show buzzing, the organisers, exhibitors and attendees were all determined to make this show stand out. I’ve been in the logistics business for 40 years now, and heading to the NEC in June is a highlight in the calendar as it allows me to catch up with contacts and reignite friendships made years ago.

“But with the show now over, the real work is just getting started – following up on leads and pushing to achieve those sales conversions.”

Ian Taylor, managing director at MultiFreight, says:

“Without a doubt, this year’s show was a success – both in terms of the number of solid enquiries received and the much-valued opportunity to informally catch up with a host of existing customers that had made the trip to Birmingham.

“It was also an exciting time for us as the recent acquisition of Boxtop by Descartes now positions MultiFreight as the largest UK independent freight-forwarding software supplier to the freight industry.

“With a distinct shift in the topics being discussed, this year’s conference and speaker programme highlighted how the sector is confronting global challenges and responding with innovative and savvy solutions. This year’s show was about CDS, NCTS5, sustainability, carbon calculating, and container tracking.

“For MultiFreight, exhibiting within the BIFA Village provides great value, and we were pleased to see the significant improvements in this year’s exhibitor pods. Multimodal offers a vital opportunity for the industry to unite and celebrate excellence. Recognising its importance, MultiFreight has already committed to exhibiting at Multimodal 2025, underscoring the exhibition’s crucial role in fostering industry collaboration.”

You can view BIFA’s highlights reel and photographs here and save the 2025 date in your diary by clicking here.