The Depot & Freight Staff Award rewards those who are amazing at their job in or around the depot or within the freight sector. Whether tackling logistical or transport challenges or managing tricky situations and incidents at their depot, these individuals all deserve our applause. GB Railfreight’s Felixstowe Operations team was honoured to take home the award this year.
Since last year, the team has completely transformed its performance. The Felixstowe team service had been one GB Railfreight’s best performing teams, moving 300,000 containers a year with an annual turnover of £100 million, but more needed to be done to ensure that ground staff felt supported with their wellbeing, workload, and development.
Mike Flatt and David Kidd have driven this change, with Mike moving across from Operational Manager to Operational Standard Manager, and David promoted from Train Manager to Operations Manager. This enabled Dave to concentrate on performance issues and working with the Port of Felixstowe, with Mike then concentrating on the training and standards. They swiftly set about reviewing the recruitment process, drawing on a strong talent pool, so they could select the very best candidates.
Mike and Dave have listened to ground staff about their concerns around health and wellbeing, and established an upskilling program to enhance the development of ground staff. These changes have led to a significant reduction in staff absence and much-improved team performance.
To help improve efficiency and procedures, Mike and Dave implemented a Yard Shift Supervisor (YSL) role, to refine working practices and shift management across the Felixstowe operation. Overall, these performance improvements have enabled the operations team to implement new business more efficiently and adapt swiftly to new opportunities.
“Were very surprised by this,” said GB Railfreight’s David Kidd. “We’ve had a few nominations tonight but didn’t expect to come away with an award. We’re very pleased though and, for the whole team, it’s very well deserved.”
The Depot and Freight staff award was sponsored by Keolis, the UK’s largest private operator of light rail services. Keolis maintains and operates London’s Docklands Light Railway, Manchester’s Metrolink, and Nottingham Trams. In UK heavy rail it also has a joint venture agreement for the GTR.
Josh Webster, Freightliner
David Jenkinson, DB Cargo UK