Meet The Team | Zara Giles Head Of Commercial

16 January 2020

What is your job title?

Head of Commercial (Mersey)

How long have you worked for Peel Ports?

I’ve been with the company since 2010, with a two-year break working for a 4PL as Head of Supply Chain.

Tell us about your career to date

After graduating from university with a psychology degree I spent a number of years travelling then joined a family-run wholesale distribution company in the Midlands.

My role there covered all aspects of the business from transatlantic/Far East procurement, inventory management and pricing all the way through to B2B and B2C customer events, marketing and sales. This gave me a really good insight into the commercial running of a medium-sized business and all the challenges it faced.

Since working for Peel Ports I’ve been lucky enough to progress through various different positions within the business in both commercial and operational roles. I have also achieved a professional shipping qualification and become a member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. This operational experience linked with academic qualification is what has given me the grounding to succeed within Peel Ports.

What does your role entail and how does this add value to the business?

I’m responsible for the commercial growth of the Mersey division of Peel Ports, which incorporates the Port of Liverpool, Birkenhead Port and the length of the Manchester Ship Canal. My role entails managing the sales team and working closely with the Operations and Property teams at every site and terminal. I also work very closely with our Group Marketing and National Business Development functions to align our activities with strategic business planning.

On a day to day basis I spend the majority of my time talking to customers and putting proposals together to provide sustainable supply chain solutions.

What do you enjoy most about your role? How does this benefit your customers etc?

I really enjoy the diversity and scale of working in a port environment alongside the impressive growth record of Peel Ports in the last 10 years. This has created a very challenging and often very rewarding environment to work in. Due to the level of diversity in the business and our growing portfolio of services we often have the opportunity to be a lot more creative in coming up with solutions when compared to our competitors.

I can honestly say that there is nothing more rewarding than standing on a quay side watching a ship discharge cargo knowing you have played a part in it being there!

What should customers/agents come to you for?

If a business is looking for efficiency savings within their supply chain or a new route to market then we would be very pleased to hear from them. In fact even if they would just like to gain a better understanding of what we can offer as a business and how we can support in some of the supply chain issues being experienced.

I’m yet to come across a situation where we’ve not been able to offer support in some aspect, whether by improving carbon credentials by using the Manchester Ship Canal or providing competitive haulage rates. We are always here to help.