How to build a career in logistics: Things I’ve learned working for Peel Ports

Abbie McGuffie graduated with a degree in politics from Liverpool John Moores University. After beginning her career in the logistics sector as Operations Manager at the UK’s biggest regional distributor of hot beverage machines and drinks ingredients, she joined in 2014, as Sales & Logistics Development Executive.

Here, Abbie discusses her role…

Peel Ports was firmly on my radar long before I joined the company. I studied shipping business as part of my degree, working with a local MEP as part of my dissertation on the common fisheries policy. Naturally, this led me to discover more about the fishing industry – and it’s the insights I learned during my studies that led me to eventually apply for my current role.

While I developed my business acumen in my first job, there was always something intriguing about Peel Ports and over the past three years, I’ve been lucky enough to experience so many different aspects of the business.

I’ve worked with the commercial team overseeing customer service level agreements and warehousing contracts and with the sales team to grow our container business sector and multi-user warehousing. I’ve also helped online retailers make significant cost savings by finding shipping solutions that directly connect them with customers in all corners of the world. So to say my role has been diverse is an understatement.

My most memorable day has to be the opening of Liverpool2 with all of the team and our customers. Going up on the new cranes really brought home the scale of what we were launching.  It was a historic day for the city and was really special. Another memorable experience was being on TV for the L2 launch day talking about Multi-user warehousing for the BBC.

Winning the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) Young Employee of the Year Award in July 2016 was also really memorable – it’s definitely my biggest career achievement so far.

Currently, I’m focusing on gaining operational experience, working with port authorities and suppliers. I’m also busy organising conferences, events and meetings all around the UK to help build knowledge in areas including port governance and legislation changes to warehousing.

Peel Ports has placed a huge focus on my professional development. I’ve been lucky enough to complete a Negotiation course, Managing Terminal Operations course and I’m currently working towards my Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) accreditation, which I’m hoping will provide me with a deeper understanding of port management. The training so far has helped increase my confidence and agility within the business, developing a wide understanding of all the processes that make the business work.

The long-term goal is to become a business unit manager with the ability to manage a business P&L, including commercial and operational elements. The logistics industry changes all the time and every day is different from the last, which for me, is all part of the appeal.

When I first joined Peel Ports, I was conscious of getting anything wrong because I’m such a perfectionist with my work. However, a work colleague told me “you learn by doing” - which is one piece of advice that has always stuck with me.

A few other things I’ve learned include:

  • Never take anything personally when it comes to work – it’s good to be challenged
  • You are accountable for your actions
  • Always be honest
  • Just enjoy it

I also always make time to relax. For me, that includes practicing yoga or dancing to clear my mind. I’m a qualified dance teacher and I’m currently working towards a yoga teaching qualification. It’s important to have a healthy work-life balance.

Every day working with Peel Ports, is diverse, challenging and most of all enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

For more information on Multi-user warehousing and to contact Abbie please click HERE.


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