PD Ports Announces Company-Wide Diversity Pledge To Tackle Gender Imbalance


This International Women’s Day, PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport and one of the UK’s most progressive port groups, has announced its company-wide diversity pledge, making clear its intent to create a more diverse workplace and creating an environment that embraces change and supports progress.

The port operator has engaged diversity and inclusion consultancy Diverse Matters to begin a three month intensive audit process of the business that will enable PD Ports to build a benchmark Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

The first phase of the project will see PD Ports engage in desktop audits, policy reviews, focussed interviews and engagement surveys in order to make a full assessment of any potential diversity and inclusion improvements that can be made.

CEO Frans Calje said: “Our industry as a whole has a historic gender imbalance where women are significantly underrepresented. Studies suggest that women account for only 11% of the overall maritime workforce and, perhaps even more startling, it is estimated that less than 1% of that are women in operational roles.

“We must do what we can to tackle those issues and ensure that opportunities within our industry are accessible and attractive to all which is why I am delighted that we are starting on this journey of discovery so that we can really take hold of the issue and take practical steps to address gender equality and inclusion.

“It is also important, however, to recognise that diversity is a much wider issue. Our aim is that, by tackling issues of gender inequality, we can use our findings as a benchmark that will enable us to continue our growth as an adaptable and accepting business; whilst continuing to build a richer and more immersive business for the future.”

It is a well-known fact that people are at the heart of PD Ports and the Company has now embarked on this statement journey in the hope of further supporting its people whilst building a richer and more immersive business for the future.

PD Ports has a long and proud history of supporting young people, a commitment that now exceeds 20 years and is backed by award-winning apprenticeship programmes and partnerships with institutions such as the High Tide Foundation, the Tees Valley Logistics Academy, Teesside University and the Education Training Collective.

With this new pledge, the port operator is hoping to tackle issues around gender imbalance within its industry head-on, an approach praised by Natasha Broomfield-Reid, Director at Diverse Matters.

“We are looking forward to working with PD Ports over the coming months,” said Natasha.  “This is an opportunity for us to review good practice, areas for development and support the company with next steps in enhancing practice.  This will also enable us to get to know the company and its people.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Break the Bias’ – this is a time where we can think how we can be more inclusive to women in the workplace and a workplace that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive for everyone.”

BIFA Shows Support for National Careers Week

BIFA Shows Support for National Careers Week

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is supporting the forthcoming National Careers Week 2022 with a series of events aimed at demonstrating its commitment to promoting careers in logistics.

National Careers Week 2022 runs from 7 to 12 March and is a celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK.

The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education.

With youth unemployment remaining high and BIFA members concerned about the shortage of certain industry skills, there has never been a bigger need for careers guidance to be promoted.

Throughout the week, BIFA will undertake a number of events, supported by a range of resources on its social media pages to encourage members to expand their own learning; showcasing the range of training courses available from BIFA’s Training team.

For BIFA, the week will commence with an online seminar entitled ’10 Reasons To Consider A Career In Logistics’ at 13:00 on 7 March.

In it, BIFA executive director, Carl Hobbis, who is responsible for all elements of BIFA’s Freight and Customs training, will be joined by Kyle Lawrence, chair of the London East region of BIFA’s Young Forwarder Network (YFN) – a networking group set-up for young people or those new to the industry – and finalist in 2018 for Apprentice of the Year in the BIFA Freight Service awards.

In this interactive session, using Kahoot, Carl will provide guidance to those considering a career in logistics, whilst Kyle will deliver the perspective of young people within the YFN about what they think of the industry since joining it.

Thursday 10 March at 15:30 will see BIFA’s latest Young Forwarder Network event taking place with guest speaker Sam Greenhalgh – vice president of sales Europe at Zencargo and host of industry podcast ‘What’s In The Box?’.

Sam’s career in the shipping industry started at the age of 16, when he joined a leading service provider on an apprenticeship scheme. Since then, he’s been on an incredible journey working in various roles. He is passionate about the freight and logistics business, and his podcast brings together industry leaders to discuss the hot topics and trends in logistics.

BIFA hopes that Sam’s story will inspire and empower young forwarders to consider their next steps in the industry.

The trade association’s events will culminate with a free one-hour online event on Friday 11 March at 14:00 during which James Billingham, a director of the Skills Office Network, will provide a comprehensive overview of how BIFA members can upskill their existing workforce by using apprenticeships and will show how they can help to resolve their ongoing skills shortages.

Billingham has over 20 years of experience in logistics skills and training. He worked closely with BIFA, and a group of freight forwarding companies, during the development of the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship, and advises employers and training providers on all matters concerning apprenticeships.

Hobbis says: “National Careers Week 2022 is the perfect platform to advise and inspire the next generation as they enter the world of work.

“The week encourages education providers to bring together students, local employers and advisers through careers events and activities.”

In addition to inspiring school/college leavers, BIFA believes that this week will also be a great opportunity for those already in logistics to focus on the next step in their careers.

“With a few days to go before the start of National Careers Week, we are urging BIFA Members to sign up, join up and promote the logistics industry as a career of choice within their local communities.

“In essence every week is National Careers Week for BIFA, and we remain committed to promoting logistics as an industry of choice for the next generation, plus supporting our members in achieving their own career ambitions.”

HR Hubs at the Heart of Europa

HR Hubs at the Heart of Europa

Pioneering independent logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group has completed the first phase of its substantial human capital transformation programme.

Europa Worldwide Group currently employs over 1,100 staff in the UK. It has expanded significantly across all divisions and locations in recent years, thanks to its bold growth strategy. This aims to achieve an ambitious £400m turnover target. Forecasts predict an upward workforce recruitment trajectory, ensuring the firm remains on track to deliver this vision.

The milestone marks the culmination of many months of hard work behind the scenes. The objective is to ensure the Human Resources (HR) function is strategically aligned with the organisation’s intended future direction and is fully embedded across all areas of the business.

As part of this approach, eight Human Resources Business Partners (HRPBs) have been appointed following a competitive recruitment process. This represents a 160 per cent increase in the core HR team, bringing the full complement up to 13 staff members.

Each HRBP is responsible for looking after specific divisions within Europa Worldwide Group’s commercial portfolio; Europa Road, Europa Warehouse, Europa Air & Sea, Europa Show freight, Europa Contact Centre, and Continental Cargo Carriers.

Emma Jackson, Debi Rodgers, Bradley Earp, Juliette Battison, Sherelle White, Clare Maund, Aimee Stokes, and Debra Marks bring with them a wealth of experience to the roles. Each has worked in a broad range of sectors and offers invaluable expertise across all areas of the employment lifecycle.

These eight external recruits join the firm at an exciting time, with a new HR structure having recently been introduced at Europa Worldwide Group. The HRBPs will report to the Head of Human Resources, Elaine Robertson FCIPD ACIPP. She has spearheaded the design and delivery of this transformation programme through the global people and culture strategy.

It is centred around the introduction of dedicated HR hubs across the business. These are a combination of physical workstation resources at Europa’s largest sites – packed with crucial HR information tailored to each employee – as well as the development of the HRBP offering.

In its most recent financial results, Europa Worldwide Group announced a record turnover of £210m for 2020, with target projections of £260m for 2021 and £300m for 2022. Profits are expected to be £10m in 2021, an increase of £6.4m over 2020 levels.

Around 77 per cent (859) of Europa’s staff work out of the 3plc sites in Birmingham, Corby, and Dartford. As well has being given responsibility for looking after the different divisions, the HRBPs have also been allocated to each of these sites.

Bradley Earp and Clare Maund will support Birmingham; Juliette Battisson and Debra Marks will look after Corby; Angie Reece, Emma Jackson, Sherelle White and Aimee Stokes will assist Dartford; and Debi Rogers will split her time helping Birmingham and Dartford.

Elaine Robertson, Head of HR, commented: “Providing the right HR support for a growing business is crucial. Our ambition is to harness the talents of all employees so they can reach their potential and enable Europa Worldwide Group to achieve its commercial expectations.

“Increasing the ratio of staff to HRBPs is a tactical priority. The goal is to seamlessly blend the overarching HR function into all operational teams. By facilitating, supporting, and empowering employees and their managers, the HRBPs and HR Hubs will enable better staff engagement and stronger business partnerships.

“I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our new HRPBs who join Europa at a pivotal time in its history. The Group prides itself on providing career opportunities for all. By putting a new structure in place to support this, the expanded HR team will be able to deliver day to day activities more efficiently whilst nurturing future talent.”

Underpinning the HRPBs and HR Hubs is a brand new, state of the art HR system which is set for implementation across the 18 Europa sites in the new year. All staff, be they office, road, warehouse or virtually based, will be able to access this ‘one-stop HR shop’ using the latest cloud technology.

The objective is to organise all HR services – including payroll, benefits, workforce, and talent management – in a single application. By allowing employees to access their personal HR information through the HR Hubs, processes will be pared back. This means the HRBPs will be able to focus on the strategic work that will boost productivity and commercial outputs.

The recruitment of a Learning and Development Business Partner is also underway, which will further complement this approach. The successful candidate will create and deliver bespoke training programmes to enhance the existing skills and capabilities of every employee operating at all levels within the Group.






Europa Worldwide Group has featured in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for three years running and in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 Covid-19 edition.

Shears opens new transport facility in latest investment

Shears opens new transport facility in latest investment

Bournemouth-based logistics company Shears Bros. (Transport) Ltd has opened a new transport facility in its latest investment to deliver service excellence.

The new transport hub is located on Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Business Park, just a few hundred metres from the Shears’ existing premises.

The 21,500 sq ft warehouse, which has recently been fully refurbished, will become Shears’ transport hub handling palletised freight for the Pall-Ex network, of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary.

The existing unit on Aviation Business Park will evolve into a dedicated warehousing and fulfilment facility, further strengthening Shears’ service offering.

In addition to this investment, Shears has recently welcomed a new General Manager to lead the business into its new era.

Mark Houghton joined the business in November 2021 and brings with him vast experience in the logistics industry, which he has already put to good use in his time at Shears.

Having managed the operation for a prominent logistics firm, handling returns for some of the UK’s top online retailers and running service centres for a national courier, Mark believes he is well equipped to take on this new challenge.

Speaking about what attracted him to Shears, Mark comments: “The role with Shears is an opportunity for me to grow as the company also grows.

“Being able to lead the business forward at such an exciting time is an opportunity that doesn’t present itself very often in the logistics industry. I’m really excited to see where the journey takes us.”

Mark will oversee the continuation of Shears’ growth and support all staff in achieving the excellent service that the business is renowned for in Bournemouth and the surrounding Dorset and Wiltshire areas.

Colin Hawkins, Pall-Ex Group’s Director of Owned Operations has been instrumental in the acquisition of the new premises and to Mark’s appointment.

On both developments, he comments: “Shears is yet again taking great strides in improving its service offering for customers across the South West.

“Our new facility just a few hundred meters from the existing site means that we can offer greater flexibility and levels of service whilst increasing our overall operating capacity.

“Mark has many years of experience and has a proven record of delivering outstanding results wherever he has worked. I have no doubt that this will be the case at Shears and I look forward to working with him as Shears continues to evolve.”

For more information about Shears, please visit: https://www.sbtl.co.uk/

Pall-Ex’s Warehouse to Wheels scheme delivers first graduate to combat industry shortages

Pall-Ex’s Warehouse to Wheels scheme delivers first graduate to combat industry shortages

Pall-Ex’s Warehouse to Wheels programme, which aims to provide warehouse staff with the opportunity to progress into HGV driver roles, has delivered its first graduate.

The initiative has been identified as a key tool in combatting the ongoing driver shortages that have long been present in the logistics sector but have only recently come to the wider public’s attention.

Pall-Ex’s first graduate from the Warehouse to Wheels scheme is Kirill Sapelkin, who began his journey with the Leicestershire based logistics company in 2018 as a forklift truck driver.

Having shown skill and a willingness to learn, Kirill was offered the opportunity to enrol in Warehouse to Wheels when it began in 2020.

Kirill undertook training that was funded by Pall-Ex to become one of the business’ shunter drivers, responsible for the management and movement of trailers at its Ellistown hub.

Now, having passed his Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and gained his HGV C Licence, he is qualified to drive HGVs up to 44 tonnes on the public highway.

This provides Kirill with improved career opportunities and increases his earning potential thanks to his attainment of a highly sought-after qualification.

Consequently, Kirill’s progress also benefits Pall-Ex, as it now has access to another HGV driver in a time when these skilled workers are in such short supply.

Speaking about his journey and his hopes for the future, Kirill said: “The Warehouse to Wheels programme has given me a great opportunity to progress my career and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of taking their career further.

“I’m pleased that the managers here at Pall-Ex believed in me and gave me this opportunity and I am looking forward to the next stages.”

The Senior Management team at Pall-Ex is very aware of the impact that driver shortages could have on the business and its palletised freight network, composed of over 90 independent transport companies.

Pall-Ex’s Operations Director, Paul Pegg, has overseen the implementation of the Warehouse to Wheels scheme.

On this, and Kirill’s achievement, he comments: “We are really proud of Kirill and his progression through the Warehouse to Wheels programme.

“Kirill has excelled in every role he has held with us here at Pall-Ex, and I have no doubts that he will continue to be an integral team member now as a driver.

“Our Warehouse to Wheels scheme is designed to support staff and help them reach their full potential, whilst helping the business develop a valuable, skilled workforce so we are really pleased to see the first graduate of many start their driving journey.”

To discover more about Pall-Ex and the roles available, please visit: www.pallex.co.uk/vacancies/

Pall-Ex Group is an award-winning network of hauliers comprising two leading UK pallet networks (Fortec Distribution Network and Pall-Ex UK), four subsidiary UK logistics businesses and ten European networks. A renowned name in logistics, Pall-Ex delivers an efficient and reliable palletised freight distribution service, backed by innovative technology and a first-class network of established shareholder SMEs. With its headquarters and central UK hub located in the heart of the Midlands, Pall-Ex is driving excellence in all areas, transporting more than 40,000 pallets across the globe every day.


Talent in Logistics Develop Conference 2020

Talent in Logistics Develop Conference 2020

Talent in Logistics has decided to delay the ‘Develop’ Conference (which was originally scheduled to take place on 25th January 2022) until Tuesday 22nd March 2022 in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on 5th January 2022 regarding the ‘work from home’ extension and the outbreak of Omicron Covid.

Ruth Edwards, Operations Director at Talent in Logistics said: “Our priority is to deliver an outstanding line-up of speakers and deliver an exceptional conference for industry instructors and training professionals. Given the situation is likely to continue beyond the 25th January, we decided to delay the Talent in Logistics Develop Conference until 22nd March 2022.”

If you have already booked your Develop Conference ticket(s), these will be automatically transferred to the new date and there is nothing more you need to do until the joining instructions are sent out closer to the new event date.

You can join us at the Conference, where industry leaders will provide insight into training changes and challenges for the transport and warehousing industries, by securing your ticket today. Tickets are just £75+VAT.

The conference offers a unique opportunity to discover the latest advancements in logistics industry training whilst completing relevant, useful CPD. For further information visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/conferences/develop-conference/, call 01952 520216 or email info@talentinlogistics.co.uk.

Why Attend Industry CPD Events?

Talent in Logistics Develop Conference 2020

Instructors and trainers working in the logistics industry have a lot on their plates. Keeping up with the pace of change takes work. New developments are happening all the time; not only changes to legislation such as those brought about by Brexit, but also advances in eLearning, plus a new emphasis on remote learning due to Covid and climate change, the list goes on. Instructors and trainers need affordable CPD (Continuous Professional Development) that will improve their skills and reduce knowledge gaps.

It might feel like losing a member of your training team for a whole day is too costly, but nothing could be further from the truth. Your team need development to be efficient and to keep your business compliant and competitive. Here are three reasons your instructors and trainers should attend the Talent in Logistics’ ‘Develop’ Conference on 22nd March 2022.

Retain your team

Good instructors and trainers are hard to find. Your instructors and trainers want to feel that they have a future with your company; nothing says that more clearly than investing in their skills.

Another important reason for developing your team is the effect it has on morale. Regularly attending CPD events will help that your team feel valued.

Studies have shown that engaged employees are not only more likely to stay, they’re also healthier, happier and more efficient.

Keep your business compliant

All skills fade, and instructors know this better than anyone. After all, keeping skills fresh across the industry is their bread and butter!  Professional CPD events are an opportunity for instructors and trainers to keep up to date with best practice.

Industry legislation is fast changing due to Brexit, net zero targets, the skills shortage and more. To keep compliant, you need your instructors to have all the very latest information.

Networking Is a Great Way to Grow your Business

Instructors and trainers attending Talent in Logistics’ ‘Develop’ Conference will be engaging with industry experts and peers from across the country. That’s a lot of potential business under one roof!

Attend the ‘Develop’ Conference on 22nd March 2022

Don’t let your instructors and trainers get left behind. Click here to book your tickets now for just £75+VAT, or for more information, contact the team on info@talentinlogistics.co.uk or visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/contact/.

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2022: Driving Diversity and Inclusion Forward

Designed to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion across the logistics industry, Nimble Media have once again partnered with Talent in Logistics to bring you The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge – a team building event open to the logistics industry which will take place on 23 June at Newark Showground in the heart of the East Midlands.

The first Diversity Challenge was launched in 2016 across the rail sector with the opportunity for companies to come together in a non-formal environment to network and team build whilst undertaking a range of mental and physical challenges. The concept has continued to grow and has demonstrated the benefits attained when companies improve diversity and work together as a team.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the core of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge and the event will bring together logistics professionals to look at how to tackle diversity collaboratively and collectively through fun physical and mental team challenges. The event is also a platform for the industry to share best practice, network, team build and help shape what the profession should do next to support a more inclusive sector.

With an overall mission to encourage the logistics sector to focus on their people strategies, the events delivery partner, Talent in Logistics, is dedicated to the recruitment, development, engagement and retention of the 2.5 million+ people working in transport, logistics and warehousing. Dedicated to supporting HR, L&D, Training & Operational professionals, the company was specifically developed to support these employers and aim to encourage them to address skills, training and career progression to retain exceptional staff and attract new employees.

Ruth Edwards, Operations Director for Talent in Logistics said, “After an inspirational and engaging event in 2021, we are thrilled to be supporting BLDC again in 2022. Diversity and inclusion is such a vital topic and one we need to make sure is high on all business agenda’s, especially following the challenges faced in the past couple of years where some important discussions around EDI have perhaps been put on hold. This event is the perfect platform for logistics companies to showcase that they too believe in the benefits of creating an inclusive culture, as well as bringing some workplace fun to their teams. We can’t wait to take part in such a unique event and hope that lots of fantastic people from the sector join us.”

The 2021 event will also see the return of our chosen charity, Transaid, an international development charity. Founded by Save Children, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

Transaid has more than 20 years’ worth of expertise in multiple countries with partners and governments, empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their lives, through safe, available and sustainable transport. Transaid identifies, champions, implements and shares local transport solutions to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for people in developing countries.

Florence Bearman, Head of Fundraising for Transaid said, “Transaid is delighted to be selected as the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge’s beneficiary charity for its second year. It was a pleasure to be a part of such an important event in 2021, and we were delighted to be able to support the teams in completing their challenges. Equality, diversity and inclusivity are fundamental to Transaid’s work as well as the future of the logistics industry, and we look forward to setting a new Transaid challenge to test the teams in 2022!”

For more information on the event, please contact 01780 432930 or email info@biglogisticsdiversity.co.uk.

BIFA 2021 Freight Service Awards: Shortlists Announced

26 freight forwarding companies have been shortlisted as finalists for the nine service categories of this year’s British International Freight Association’s Freight Service Awards, with 11 individuals making the finalists shortlist in the Apprentice of the Year and Young Freight Forwarder categories.

Robert Keen, BIFA’s Director General, commented: “It is no surprise that many entries to the BIFA Freight Service Awards 2021 document the obstacles encountered by our members since the onset of COVID-19 and the exit of the UK from the EU, and the innovative measures taken to overcome them, while continuing to manage their businesses through an incredibly trying time.”

Those shortlisted in the various categories are as follows:

Air Cargo Services Award, sponsored by IAG Cargo – Kerry Logistics (UK) Ltd, Maltacourt, Pentagon Freight Services PLC, and Uniserve Group

European Logistics Award, sponsored by TT Club – Espace Europe Ltd, Killick Martin & Company Ltd, Simarco International Ltd, and Unsworth UK

Ocean Services Award, sponsored by Port Express – Allseas Global Logistics, NNR Global Logistics, and Vikstar Ltd

Cool & Special Cargoes Award, sponsored by American Airlines Cargo – Evolution Forwarding Ltd, James Cargo Services, and United Worldwide Logistics

Extra Mile Award, sponsored by Descartes – Evolution Forwarding Ltd, Hemisphere Freight Services Ltd, Pentagon Freight Services PLC, and Unsworth UK

Project Forwarding Award, sponsored by Peter Lole Insurance Brokers – ACE Forwarding Ltd, AsstrA UK Ltd, LV Shipping Ltd, and Ucargo LLP

Specialist Services Award, sponsored by Newage Global – B&H Worldwide Ltd, Cargo Overseas Ltd, Kerry Logistics (UK) Ltd, and Your Special Delivery Service Ltd

Staff Development Award, sponsored by Albacore Systems – Aramex (UK) Ltd, Espace Europe Ltd, Reliable Shipping Ltd, and Unsworth UK

Supply Chain Management Award, sponsored by BoxTop Technologies – Brunel Shipping, Hemisphere Freight Services Ltd, Noatum Logistics UK Ltd, and Uniserve Group

The finalists in the Apprentice of the Year category – sponsored by Seetec Outsource, are Josh Boswell (Geodis FF UK Ltd), Herbie Cobby (Geodis FF UK Ltd), Thomas Low (OIA Global Ltd), Bobby Lowe (NVO Consolidation UK), and Matt Vick (John Good Logistics Ltd)

In the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year category, sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo, the finalists are Corey Chambers (Ital Logistics Ltd), Jamie Halliday (Tudor International Freight Ltd), Kane Parson (DSV Road Ltd), Laura Hobby (F.S. Mackenzie International Ltd), Milos Bogovac (Davies Turner & Co Ltd), and Ronan Kitchin (Aramex (UK) Ltd)

Keen adds: “Over the last 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit have created huge challenges for our members and propelled international forwarding into the public eye as never before.

“During this extraordinary period, during which the world came to a virtual standstill, BIFA members overcame many of those challenges to maintain the UK’s supply chains.

“The finalists in each category will now go forward to the final round of judging with winners due to be announced at the BIFA Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Thursday 20th January 2022.”


Diversity. There has never been a more important time to talk about this issue in the logistics sector. Employment figures for LGV drivers fell by 21,000 in the second quarter alone last year. The driver recruitment crisis has been exacerbated by the one-two punch of a decreased post-Brexit recruitment pool and jobs lost due to the pressures of COVID.

For an industry whose workforce has traditionally drawn only from certain limited demographics, increased diversity may well be not only the best, but the only solution.

But right now, logistics has a serious diversity problem. Talent in Logistics’ own research established an enormous gender gap among drivers: 95% male, 4% female, 1% transgender / prefer not to say. This issue isn’t limited to the drivers; it affects the industry as a whole. According to Logistics UK in 2019 , women comprised 13.7% of the industry workforce. 78% of the national workforce is white; in logistics it is 91%. 32% of LGBT employees in our industry choose to hide their sexual orientation at work.

What’s more, this diversity problem may be self-perpetuating. The younger generation of ‘internal customers’ is more politically and socially conscious. According to Logistics UK, ‘80% of millennials believe a diversity and inclusion policy is important when deciding to work for a company’. In other words, recruitment among all young people, regardless of gender, could be negatively impacted by a lack of diversity.

In order to face problems like this, we need a clear focus on what the terms we use actually mean. Even more so, we need to foster sensitivity to what distinctions mean to the people they are supposed to describe. Our understandings of all of these terms, ‘diversity’, ‘inclusion’, ‘ethnicity’, ‘gender’, ‘disability’, ‘sexual orientation’, are developing and changing all the time.

Increasing sensitivity to categories and distinctions like gender non-binary or neurodiverse is eroding stereotypes about who we are as people. Some decry the increasing complexity of our professional and social relationships, but for those of us looking forward, this is a good thing.

The pressure is on to stop relying on problematic, inaccurate binary divisions like white vs BAME, or men vs women, or gay vs straight. Instead of lumping people together in these convenient blocks, we have to respond to people with nuance, as individuals.

Yes, this is more work. But when we start doing this, the benefits can be astonishing. In particular, research has established a strong link between diversity and creativity. A 2017 US study found that diverse teams generate 19% more revenue. The diversity in ideas, perspectives and insights allows teams to better anticipate customer needs.

A diverse team is a team which has more than one way of working effectively, and this is never truer than when diversity is harnessed as a company asset rather than skirted as an uncomfortable issue.

Just as one example, as many as 1 in 20 working age adults in the UK may have ADHD. A lot of attention is given to the less desirable aspects of ADHD, but those with the condition may actually have significant advantages over their peers in higher-order skills, especially creative skills such as divergent thinking. The increased ability to make mental leaps and link together seemingly disconnected ideas is something that can be harnessed whenever thinking outside the box is needed. And even supposed weaknesses, like impulsivity, can be an advantage: those with ADHD will say things others are too afraid to.

So, what can organisations do to break the cycle and improve diversity?

  • The most important thing is to act. Simply paying lip service to diversity or sweeping it under the carpet will not achieve anything
    • Solutions need to be cultural, practical and deeply embedded. And all the stakeholders involved need to be on board
  • TIL’s research suggests attention to work-life balance and flexible working options is essential in the recruitment of women in particular. With flexible working options across other sectors rising in the past year, logistics cannot afford to be left behind
  • Cultures of silence need to be dismantled, and replaced with avenues for communication Our differences need to be addressed sensitively, but they shouldn’t be taboo
  • Workplace policies on disability access need to take into account government support that is available, for instance under Access to Work
  • It should be a company goal for shortlists and interview panels to show greater balance
  • Policies need to consider how a broad variety of needs could be accommodated, including those of transgender, neurodiverse, or physically disabled employees, for instance
  • Finally, policies should aim to enable and embed varied approaches to working, communication and problem solving, so as to get the most out of the differences a team can bring to the table

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge

Over recent decades barriers have been broken down and, as a society, we have come to realise and accept that not everyone fits the same mould. As a nation we are a diverse mix of genders, abilities and beliefs; so fundamentally it should follow that all employers embrace the wealth of talent available when recruiting and retaining staff.

The Big Diversity Challenge series of events was developed to provide an opportunity for industry organisations to experience a unique way to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in their workforce.



Talent in Logistics announces the decision to cancel the 5th edition of the annual Talent in Logistics Awards until 2022.

The Talent in Logistics Awards programme recognises the talented people that work within the sector, keeping the cogs turning. That includes individuals, such as forklift operators and HGV drivers, and the teams of people behind the scenes who are responsible for training, health and safety, and more. It also focusses on initiatives that display best practice when it comes to sector recruitment, employee engagement, and people development.

Ruth Edwards, Operations Director at Talent in Logistics comments: “Cancelling this year’s awards was a very difficult decision to make, and we are very disappointed as we were so eager to welcome the industry for another brilliant event. However, we are certain this is the most responsible course of action at this time.

“For us, the magic of our industry is in the people. Over the past year, they have been crucial, and deserve even greater praise and recognition than ever for their efforts. So, to keep everyone safe, and give us the best opportunity to celebrate these efforts we feel it is responsible to postpone. We make a promise to the sector that when we come back in 2022, the event will be bigger and better than ever before.”

Talent in Logistics will release full details for the 2022 event in due course.

For further information on entering the awards or sponsoring an award category in 2022, visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk, call 01952 520216 or email info@talentinlogistics.co.uk.


The fourth annual Talent in Logistics Awards for 2020 took place on Thursday 1 October and was not quite the glittering awards ceremony that we have become accustomed to, but given the extraordinary circumstances the sector has found itself in this year, the team at Talent in Logistics thought it only right to deliver a virtual awards night that promoted the celebration and recognition of all those working in logistics.

Among those taking away an award were GEFCO in the Best Place to Work category, with judges being hugely impressed by the high levels of employee engagement, the commitment shown to health and wellbeing and an impressive investment into people development.

Meanwhile, Kate Lester of Diamond Logistics was named Inspirational Leader of the Year, while Collaboration in People Development went to Hermes and Abbey Logistics scooped the Training Team of the Year title.

The awards night also featured the Forklift Operator of the Year announcement, which followed a series of exciting, interactive and live challenges earlier in September – finalists went head-to-head for the title, and it was won by Scott Trotham of National Composites Centre.

This year also included the second LGV Driver of the Year competition, and for this there was not 1 but 2 prizes. The CAT C competition was won by Ryan Hunt of Bidfood and the CAT C + E was won by Carl Webster of Buffaload Logistics. This accolade not only celebrated the drivers who are the face of the logistics sector, but provided another thrilling live spectacle hosted at the National Logistics Academy headquarters.

The Talent in Logistics Awards also saw categories, such as Innovation in Recruitment and Rising Star, which were awarded to Business on the Move and Sadie Booth of Pertemps Driver Training respectively.

Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director at Talent in Logistics, said: “Our awards are testimony to the hard working, inspirational and fantastic people we have in this sector. Standards of entries were exceptionally high, and showcased the very best in innovation, engagement and tenacity. I’ve been really encouraged by the number of businesses putting team members and initiatives forward, despite the challenges we have faced as a sector this year, which speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their work, as well as the future of logistics and its people strategies.”

Laptop showcasing Awards Night

The winners announced on the night were:

  • Best Place to Work; GEFCO
  • Collaboration in People Development; HERMES
  • Industry Ambassador of the Year; JENNIFER SWAIN, ROAD TO LOGISTICS
  • Inspirational Leader of the Year; KATE LESTER, DIAMOND LOGISTICS
  • Innovation in Recruitment; BUSINESS ON THE MOVE
  • Innovative Training Programme; RTITB & MA-SYSTEM
  • Training Provider of the Year; FLEET SOURCE
  • Training Team of the Year; ABBEY LOGISTICS GROUP
  • Health, Safety and Wellbeing; CLIPPER LOGISTICS
  • LGV Driver of the Year (CAT C); RYAN HUNT, BIDFOOD

Ruth added “The main aim for this year’s awards was to celebrate the sector together with organisations and individuals to shine a light on all of its achievements despite the challenging conditions, ensuring our key focus is on the people who are seldom recognised, but without whom our sector could not survive, and we feel that we achieved this.”