A need for information as early as possible was the key message at the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA’s) Scottish Supply Chain Conference, which focused on the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow next year.
The event was hosted by law firm DWF Biggart Ballie and speakers included, Glasgow 2014, Glasgow City Council, Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.
Having worked closely with various organisations including LOCOG and Transport for London in preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, FTA realises the importance of providing as much information as early as possible in order to help the logistics providers to the Commonwealth Games, and those operating in and around Glasgow so that they can plan ahead of the event.
A lack of forthcoming information will leave freight and logistics operators feeling unprepared, and FTA is calling on the authorities responsible for organising the Games and the operation of the road network surrounding the event, to provide vital details regarding changes to routes around Glasgow as soon as possible in order that plans can be made.
FTA’s head of policy for Scotland, Chris MacRae, said: “We’re working closely with the organisers to shape the plans and disseminate information for FTA members. But, our experience from London and the Olympic Games 2012, is that we need as much information, as early as possible, to identify which customers will be affected and to develop appropriate solutions.
“The information doesn’t need to be perfect – the logistics industry can manage change – that’s what we do - but we can’t plan if we don’t have anything. Eighty per cent of something would be better than one hundred per cent of nothing.”
Many of the companies attending were directly involved in the preparations for the London Olympics, which were hailed to be a huge success for the logistics industry. TfL, 3663 and DHL shared their experiences and lessons learned.
However, unlike London, there is no dedicated team to support the freight industry.
MacRae added: “A Freight Team for the Commonwealth Games would help the industry plan. We need people with industry experience on the inside cross checking that the plans will work for freight and logistics organisations who will be operating in and around Scotland during the Games.
MacRae also urged transport operators not to be complacent. He said: “The London Olympics was a smooth logistical operation but that was not by chance; it was down to meticulous planning by industry and close partnership working with the organisers and transport authorities.”