The buzz of the ports business brought me back home

Blog by Zara Giles, Group Business Development Manager for Agri-bulks and Dry-bulk products.

An experienced shipping and logistics professional, Zara Giles originally joined Peel Ports back in 2010, working in different roles at The Port of Liverpool before leaving in 2015 for a brief stint working in supply chain logistics. Zara takes on the new role of Group Business Development Manager for Agri-bulks and Dry- bulk products across the Group, meaning she’s tasked with identifying new business leads and nurturing our existing customer base. Here Zara talks us through her decision to return to the world of ports, and why the call of the sea brought her back.

One thing I’ve discovered in recent years is that I’m not really suited to working behind a desk all day, every day. It took me a while to figure that out, but after my stint away from Peel Ports, working for a supply chain management business, I knew I needed to be part of something more dynamic. My last job had many great aspects of course. I helped to deliver solutions for big names in the automotive, beverage and utilities sectors, which gave me invaluable insight into a different aspect of the supply chain and better understanding of complex customer challenges. But I missed the diversity and buzz of the ports business.

In my previous role at Peel Ports between 2010 and 2015, I worked in a number of commercial and operational roles, mostly within the container and FMCG end-user sectors. Over the last three years I’ve been studying for the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Professional Qualifications (PQE), which I completed earlier this year, meaning I’m now a fully-fledged member of the institute, ready to use the knowledge I’ve developed.

In my new role I’m focused on bulk products, and their flow through all of the group port locations in the UK and Ireland, and I’m excited for the challenge of learning and understanding a new sector of the business. Bulk products can be a wide variety of things, from sugar to steel, and we offer shippers fast, easy distribution of dry bulk commodities to anywhere in the UK.

One of the most attractive parts of working at Peel Ports is the range of people you get a chance to work alongside. I’m already looking forward to working with some familiar faces in the Mersey division, and to meeting the teams across our sites in the UK and Ireland.

The Mersey has a long history in the bulks sector and holds a significant market share. As a result Peel Ports has strong relationships with a lot of the major players in the market and I relish the chance to build on these relationships to explore opportunities at all group locations that have possibly in the past not been well known to handle bulk products.

We have a great deal to offer existing customers and developing new ones in the agri-bulk and dry-bulk sectors. A big drive for our business in recent years has been to reduce the carbon footprint left by the entire supply chain when we’re moving dry bulk products, which has led us to invest in rail, road and in-land water transportation.  We have aggressive growth aspirations as a business and I’m looking forward to the challenge and team work involved in us striving to achieve these goals.

Over the last two years I have realised the importance of being a part of something that is making a difference. As a business we are shaping the industry and the UK logistics sector by doing things differently and personally. I see my return as a real opportunity to be a part of something big and exciting which will develop me professionally.

For more information on Agribulks click HERE.

For more information on Dry Bulks click HERE.

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