Partners and members of the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) Van Excellence programme are celebrating after a night of success at the Fleet News Awards 2018. Companies and organisations signed-up to the Van Excellence scheme won five awards with two others being named as ‘highly commended’ and two supporters of the scheme elected to the Fleet News Hall of Fame in recognition of their work in promoting excellence in compliance.
The Fleet News Awards are now in their 30th year and judged by a panel of experts, chaired by a former Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT), Christopher Macgowan. This year’s winners were announced at a ceremony on 14th March at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The Van Excellence winners were Wakefield-based Freedom Group, which was named winner in the ‘Fleet of the Year: Up to 1000 vehicles’ category; Skanska, which was victorious in the Safe Fleet category; mobility providers Alphabet, winner of the ‘Leasing Company of the Year with more than 20,000 vehicles’ award and BT Fleet which was named ‘Fleet Supplier of the Year’. Skanska’s Julie Madoui was also named Fleet Manager of the Year.
Gateshead Council and Scottish Water were each ‘highly commended’ in their categories, while Phil Clifford formerly of St Edmundsbury Borough Council in West Suffolk and Maurice Elford, who has retired from London & Quadrant Housing, were both inducted into the Fleet News Hall of Fame. Both men have been long-term collaborators on the Van Excellence programme.
FTA’s Head of Vans, Mark Cartwright, says seeing Van Excellence members do so well at the awards was due recognition for the hard work put in by the scheme’s members to improve standards across the industry:
“The Van Excellence scheme was set up to champion outstanding operational standards with the aim of improving safety and the reputation of the van industry. The success of our members and partners at the Fleet News Awards shows that the Van Excellence scheme really does help firms to excel and these are awards are very well deserved for many hours and days of hard work by all concerned.
“Every Van Excellence member and partner has made a commitment to aspire to be the very best in the industry and our success in these awards is evidence that many are achieving quite exceptional standards. I would like to offer all our successful Van Excellence members my warmest congratulations.”
Membership of FTA’s Van Excellence programme is open to all operators of vehicles of 3.5t GVW or less. At its heart is the Van Excellence Code which sets out standards for best practice in van operations. Van Excellence supports operators who are seeking or who have gained certification, alongside all van owners who are keen to ensure they are operating to nationally-recognised standards.
Mark Cartwright says it is important for operators to acknowledge the need for robust compliance procedures:
“With an increasing number of vans on the UK’s streets, all road users benefit from improved standards of van driving and maintenance. That’s why the Van Excellence programme is so important. Operators who would like to find out more about their legal obligations and improving their maintenance and training should come along to our Van Excellence Operational Briefings in Oxford, Derby and Glasgow.”
The FTA’s Van Excellence Operational Briefings 2018 take place on 10th April at Celtic Park, Glasgow, 12th of April at Kassam Stadium, Oxford and on 19th April at Pride Park in Derby. Bookings are now being taken, priced at £50 + VAT per person, by calling 03717 11 22 22 or visiting http://www.fta.co.uk/events/Van-Excellence-Operational-Briefings-2018.html
Efficient logistics are vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.
A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.