I joined P&O Containers as a graduate trainee straight after leaving university in 1994. After six months based out of Hainault being broken in by learning a little bit about each function, I spent nearly two years in ICM in Beagle House before the Nedlloyd Merger.
Part of the arrangement at the time for graduate trainees was to spend two years overseas in the first four. When asked about any preferences, the only one I remember expressing was that I would like to go “somewhere sunny”. I recalled this preference vividly as I looked out of the window over New Jersey in February 1997. I had a tremendous two years in East Rutherford working with the Global Logistics team and where I met my wife Melanie, who is now the mother to my two teenage daughters.
East Rutherford was followed by two years working on the East African Trade with Iain Mackintosh followed by moving to work in e-commerce under Patrick Burrows. I was lucky enough to host a visit from Patrick not long after starting my current job, everyone who worked with Patrick misses him very much. After five years in London I moved to Hong Kong to work with PONL Logistics. Two years later the takeover from Maersk came and I, like many others took the chance to think about what my next move might be.
I was considering options all over the world, with an Australian wife who I had met in America and with whom I was living in Asia (it was a very PONL lifestyle!) My mother, back in England, realised that her access to her new granddaughter would depend on me having a job in the UK. After scouring the newspaper adverts for some weeks, she sent me an email saying “I think I’ve found the job for you”.