Freight association to advise UK Government on Brexit

On Wednesday 30 March UK Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 to begin negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. The British International Freight Association (BIFA) – the trade body representing the UK’s freight forwarding companies – responded with a statement noting that speculation on the outcome of the move cannot yet be made, and the Association will aid the government in traversing the path ahead for trade.
“In the run up to the UK’s eventual exit we will be working with Government to try and ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures,” said Robert Keen, Director General, BIFA.
“Clearly there are significant areas of concern for our members, which are responsible for much of the physical movement of that trade, over the eventual outcome, including the physical infrastructure, trade arrangements and Customs practices that will be reviewed as part of the Brexit negotiations,” he added.
“I have already gone on the record to warn about the huge number of pundits offering solutions when nobody really knows what is likely to happen in reality.
“BIFA’s focus now will be presenting the views of our members to the various government departments that we deal with, as well as working with organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry and International Chamber of Commerce to make sure that all parties negotiating the post-Brexit landscape are fully aware of the potential challenges for which they will need to find solutions.”

Bentley make significant in-roads on Project Management Technology

At the Bentley Conference in Sydney last week, BIM became the buzzword driving Bentley’s strategy in producing effective delivery strategies for major projects.
In the rail sector, the 118-kilometre Crossrail project linking London’s east, west and centre which is currently around 70 per cent complete and thus far on time and within budget has placed Bentley ahead of it’s competitors.
Technology was a key driver for the project. Given that the sheer scale of this project was such that virtually every major consultant in the United Kingdom was involved to at least some degree, a critical success factor revolved around the early development of a ‘single source of truth’ for all information which was considered to be important.
In sharing his experiences at conferences in Sydney last week, Crossrail head of technical information Malcolm Taylor said it was largely achieved through adopting basic principles which dealt with collaboration in a multi-disciplinary environment.
“It’s important to think carefully about the type of information which will be required over the life cycle of the asset during operations and maintenance as well as during design and building,” Taylor said.
“If you start with the end in mind, know what it is you need to collect and then collect it, you can be sure that you have got the right data at the right time.”
While the second half of the 20th century in terms of data collection and information gathering was all about using folders and personal computers, Taylor believes the modern way involves databases using modern tools to be as efficient as possible.
In terms of adoption of BIM specifically, Bentley vice president – ANZ Brian Middleton says Australia suffers from a lack of effective leadership. Whilst the level of focus upon the capabilities of BIM as a modeling tool have been adequate, he says there is insufficient focus upon how intelligence captured during the design and construction phases can subsequently be used in the operations and maintenance phases, which can account for around 80 to 90 per cent of overall cost of owning the asset. Too often, he said, use of multiple technologies and file formats during design and construction and the practice of different parties discarding information which was not needed from their own point of view resulted in a set of information at the end which was disjointed and not easily understood by facilities managers and maintenance contractors.
Middleton is particularly disappointed about references to BIM as a software tool in a report following a senate inquiry into use of smart information system technology in the design and planning of infrastructure, saying it should instead be viewed as a combination of people, process and technology to move information across the asset life cycle.
“There are two things that I see,” Middleton said when asked about how Australia and New Zealand are performing in terms of BIM adoption, “A huge appetite and a lack of leadership.
“There is a huge appetite in the supply chain amongst the contractors and huge enthusiasm on the part of owners and operators. But there is a lack of knowledge and understanding and leadership in terms of applying it and obtaining the benefit.”

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