GB Railfreight’s John Smith wins FTA Multimodal Personality of the Year 2017

DACHSER, Howard Tenens, Virgin Atlantic Cargo, and Peel Ports Group also recognised, as record number of visitors attend Multimodal 2017 on its first day

Birmingham, UK, Wednesday 5th April 2017 – John Smith, Founder and Managing Director of GB Railfreight was named Multimodal Personality of the Year at last night’s awards evening in Birmingham.

Smith, who founded GB Railfreight in 1977, was recognised for his inspirational leadership and support of young people in the industry.

DACHSER was recognised as Multimodal Exhibitor of the Year, Beth O’Neill of Howard Tenens won the Young Logistics Professional Award,  Ports Group won the Innovation in Infrastructure Award and Virgin Atlantic Cargo was named air cargo operator of the year.

Howden’s Joinery and the John Lewis Partnership were both championed by FTA for their green initiatives.

Awards also went to Freightliner, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Maritime Transport, DP World Southampton, and DSV.

“We are delighted that Multimodal is recognising one of the stalwarts of the British rail freight business. We were especially pleased that he was here in person to accept the award, as we know his beloved Sunderland was playing last night,” said Robert Jervis, Logistics Portfolio Director, Clarion Events.

“We are pleased to say the FTA Multimodal Awards are going from strength to strength, and last night we welcomed over 650 guests celebrating over 12 winners, including two brand new awards.”

The John Lewis Partnership campaign to reduce carbon emissions was recognised with the Multimodal Award for Contribution to Environmental Sustainability in partnership with FTA, whilst Howden’s Joinery was rewarded with the LCRS Leadership in Carbon Reduction Award.

“The John Lewis Partnership is leading the way when it comes to reducing its environmental impact and carbon emissions,” said David Wells, Chief Executive, FTA.

“Howden’s Joinery similarly demonstrated a cooperative and inclusive approach to carbon reduction, including, not only their own vehicles and drivers, but also suppliers and even the end users.”

The FTA Multimodal Awards 2017 were hosted by David Gower OBE and took place at the NEC’s VOX Conference Centre, Resorts World on the first day of the free-to-attend Multimodal 2017 show at the Birmingham NEC.

Up to 10,000 logistics buyers are expected to visit over 375 exhibitors and take part in a choice of 23 seminar and workshop sessions to hear 82 expert speakers over the three-day show.

Registration is open online at

The full winners’ list includes:

Rail Freight Operator of the Year


Air Cargo Operator of the Year

Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Sea Freight Operator of the Year

Mediterranean Shipping Company

Road Freight Operator of the Year

Maritime Transport Ltd.

Port Operator of the Year

DP World Southampton

3PL of the Year


Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) Leadership in Carbon Reduction Award

Howden’s Joinery

The FTA Contribution to Environmental Sustainability Award in partnership with Multimodal

John Lewis Partnership

Innovation in Infrastructure Award

Peel Ports Group

The Young Logistics Professional of the Year

Beth O’Neill, Howard Tenens

The Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA) Award for Excellence

Exol Lubricants

Multimodal Exhibitor of the Year


Multimodal Personality of the Year

John Smith, GB Railfreight


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