Young Forwarder Network comes of age


With 21 virtual events in 2021, the British International Freight Association’s Young Forwarder Network really has come of age.

That feat comes less than three years after the YFN was launched by BIFA in March 2019, and is made all the more impressive considering the massive disruption caused to the freight and logistics sector, and BIFA members, from COVID-19 and the UK’s exit from the EU over that time.

This year’s 21 events, all held online, have attracted almost 1,400 attendees and included port tours, talks by recognised industry leaders, and sessions that focus on specific modes of transport, or issues that present challenges and opportunities to companies that manage supply chains.

The YFN was launched in March 2019 to create several regional networking groups, run by young forwarders and designed to help early talent and young BIFA members develop their knowledge and professional skills, but in a more social environment.

Carl Hobbis, BIFA executive director, who has management responsibility for BIFA’s training and development services, says: “When the YFN was launched, we said we thought it would prove to be a major step forward for the industry in developing its future freight forwarding ambassadors and leaders.

“The young people who are participating in the various events are improving their knowledge of the sector, and the trends that affect it, as well as building their skill sets and learning from others.”

BIFA’s Young Forwarder Network is committed to providing opportunities for those new to the industry to develop their knowledge and professional skills. Membership is free and open to any employee of a BIFA member.

Robert Keen, director general of BIFA adds: “21 events in less than a year is a remarkable achievement and a clear sign of the attraction of the YFN to the younger generation within the freight sector.

“The YFN is really helping improve the promotion of the sector, making it more attractive to younger people and providing forums from which to learn.

“2022, will see the YFN pass the 100 event milestone since its launch and we now need more BIFA members to take heed of this opportunity by encouraging attendance at YFN events; and making greater efforts to promote the freight forwarding and logistics sector in their locality.”

Hobbis concludes: “As we aim to achieve that century of events 2022, hopefully, before the end of the next year we will be able to hold some in a face-to-face, more social environment, just like in the first 12 months of the YFN.”