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Heathrow “misery” must end say forwarders

LONDON: November 01, 2017. The head of the UK's freight forwarder association says his members "want action, not words" to resolve congestion at Heathrow's cargo center.

Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association, said increasing volumes at Heathrow are only making existing problems worse for companies: "Congestion is as bad as it has ever been and the local police are now turning away vehicles, leading to a huge rise in complaints from our members."

HEATHROW AAAs Heathrow's cargo throughput rose 10.5 percent to reach 1.25 million tons in the first nine months of 2017, its non-executive chairman Lord Deighton has announced a 10-step plan to reduce the CO2 emissions from trucks collecting and delivering air cargo at the airport.

"Heathrow is dedicated to keeping the UK economy growing – but at the same time, we have pledged to be a sustainability leader and made promises to our local communities that we intend to keep," said Deighton. "The ten steps we have outlined today allow us to keep building on our cargo strength and role as Heathrow's biggest port by value, while restricting the emissions and local impacts of freight vehicles.

"Through innovation, partnerships and our unwavering commitment to be a better neighbor, we are showing an expanded Heathrow is not a choice between the environment and the economy – we can deliver benefits for both," he declared.

Keen said Deighton's plan includes an online "load consolidation tool" app for forwarders, upgrading cargo infrastructure at the airport to facilitate additional airside transshipments, the provision of consolidation points away from airport's local roads, and the development of a new cargo village to help reduce unnecessary vehicle movements.

"We understand the airport will collaborate with local authorities to address congestion points with the introduction of a code of conduct for operators and a joint strategic freight plan for local roads," Keen observed, adding: "Our members, who currently are enduring misery on a daily basis when using the airport's cargo centre, want action not words."

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