Connecting cargo owners

Multimodal is recognised as the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe’s only one-stop-shop for cargo owners, and the 2019 edition is set to be one of its largest events yet

When the doors to the NEC in Birmingham open on the morning of 18th June, 2019, Multimodal 2019 will officially commence its twelfth year of putting shippers, retailers, wholesalers, importers and exporters in front of exhibitors offering the latest logistics and supply chain solutions. Originally created to give the UK its own platform to host every major logistics sector under one roof, Multimodal is now firmly established as the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe’s premier freight transport, logistics and supply chain management event.

“As businesses in the transport, logistics or supply chain management sector will know, they tend to operate in both vertical and horizontal sectors. What Multimodal does is offer a unique opportunity to make priceless face-to-face contact with fellow professionals from all walks of industry, and to network with one’s peers in a collaborative environment,” explains Show Director, Robert Jervis.

In 2018, some 9281 individuals attended Multimodal, and Robert is understandably happy to report that, at the time of our conversation, registrations for this years’ event were running at around 50 per cent up year-on-year. This is all the more significant given the degree of uncertainty facing all industries in the UK at present. “We suspect part of the increase is driven by the fact that there are a lot of people and businesses out there keen to discover what actions their peers are taking and what solutions are being devised to respond to the challenges arising in 2019,” he says.

Multimodal offers a range of exhibiting opportunities to engage influential visitors, and in 2019 the event expects to feature between 200 and 250 exhibitors. Across the three days it will also play host to a number of important seminars, delivered by industry experts and leaders. “Confirmed speakers this year include the CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE) – which is a brand-new exhibitor in 2019 – Jeremy Nixon, CargoiQ Executive Director, Ariaen Zimmerman, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, Tim Waggott, and Eurotunnel’s public affairs chief, John Keefe, to name just a few,” Robert reveals. “Other new exhibitors, meanwhile, include Eddie Stobart, The Swain Group and HAROPA. These are just a few examples of how the event attracts speakers and exhibitors who are at the epicentre of the biggest topics and talking points facing the industry today.”

As well as the expected Brexit-based talks that will be taking place across the three days of the event, significant time will also be spent discussing some of the exciting future developments attendees are preparing to deal with, from increased digital disruption and the potential use of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, to the ever-changing landscape that is customs compliance. For Robert, one of the more exciting events taking place, however, will occur on day three, when Multimodal 2019 will address training, recruitment and the skills gap, with a major focus on apprenticeships, re/upskilling and education, with seminars and initiatives specific to this sector.

“There will be three main strands to day three of the event,” he details. “One will be targeted towards school-age individuals – primarily students coming up to their GCSE’s or other exams – while another will focus on those in tertiary education or apprenticeships. The third strand will revolve around our co-operation with the Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Partnership, which helps ex-service men and women back into work. For our part, we are encouraging said men and women to attend the event, where they will get the chance to learn about opportunities in the logistics and transport industries, and to meet with employers.”

In addition to all of the aforementioned features and talks, attendees of Multimodal 2019 can also look forward to several staples of the event, including the annual FTA Multimodal Awards Night and the very popular Multimodal Mixer, which brings together exhibitors and attendees in a relaxed networking environment at the close of day two.

With the event a matter of weeks away from taking place, the anticipation is already building and Robert, for one, is eagerly looking forward to seeing Multimodal 2019 coming together. “This is a business that is populated with the most amazing people – people whose jobs are to get things done with no ego and in a practical way – and I always look forward to meeting them at the event,” he states, before delivering a final message to those attending Multimodal 2019, or thinking of doing so. “There is a great deal that people can expect to see, hear and learn at the event. You can be sure of meeting a lot of interesting people, and if you go with a view to enjoying the occasion, I can promise that you will do!”

Multimodal 2019
NEC, Birmingham, UK – 18th – 20th June 2019