After 15 years at Peters & May; Simon Judson, Global Operations Director is part of the furniture! Knowing the industry, customers and our business inside out, Simon heads up the Peters & May Carrier Team, whom are at the core of global logistics operations.
These are the guys in charge of coordinating the shipment of your cargo – whether that’s a wind turbine, superyacht or even a fleet of racing yachts. Organising vessels, stow plans, loading schedules and port access, without our P&M Carrier team we simply couldn’t operate. Peters & May caught up with Simon, to celebrate his 15-year highlights and discuss the business development achieved over the last 15 years.
So how did you get to become Peters & May Global Operations Director?
‘I originally joined through the acquisition of Complete Freight LTD. Since, my role has grown every year with bigger, more technically advanced projects. I love a challenge though… It keeps me on my toes! I think recently one of the most technically difficult projects was probably the loading of a 500-tonne tug from Turkey to New Zealand with only a single crane and limited sling positions’
How have things changed over the last 15 years?
‘The market has seen some significant fluctuations which we have had to adapt to. At the turn of the century the industry saw a boom with a thriving market. But then in 2007/2008 the recession hit hard. Times have now changed! Competition is higher, service is paramount… in such a niche market we have had to revolutionise the way we operate. Consolidation is now key to achieving competitive pricing for customers. Although this is a challenge, it has forced us to push boundaries to achieve some record-breaking shipments! Take our recent 52 yacht sailing from Antigua for example’.
Name one of your highlights?
‘It has got to be the shipment of MV Hemisphere from Newport, Rhode Island to Falmouth, UK. The 44m sailing yacht is the largest luxury catamaran in the world! Every aspect of the project was technically challenging from the lift to securing on deck. When we loaded it, the hull was unfinished meaning there were no fixed lashing points. We had to think innovatively to safely secure her ahead of her Transatlantic journey’.
What is the biggest challenge the P&M carrier team face?
‘It’s got to be the reliance on subcontractors around the world – It’s part of our success as a globally operating organisation, however, it doesn’t come without challenges. There are language barriers, and you have to accept that some things are out of your hands. For example, if a vessel is delayed due to weather conditions – you just have to accept the situation, be flexible in your approach, keep customers advised and ALWAYS have a Plan B!’
What is the largest shipment you have worked on?
‘The largest in terms of the number of yachts – the 52-yacht sailing. But the records don’t stop there: The heaviest single item of cargo was either the Kalissa A or B, both jack up barges, weighing upwards of 1500 tonne each. Another whooper was a 64m Superyacht we transported from Hong Kong to Freeport. There are some great projects on the horizon…so watch this space’.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
‘Variety – every day in the office is different. Even now after 15 years, it keeps me learning. It sounds cliché but it's also the people – we have a great team here and so much internal talent. Take Simon Beck for example, our internal Customs and VAT guy, he has been at the forefront of the recent US – EU marine tariff debates. The people here are passionate about what they do – it’s so refreshing to see!’.
You must have developed some great relationships over the years?
‘Yes definitely, we have some great long-standing relationships with our Southampton based surveyors for example, we have got to have been working with them for over 10 years. Our lifting gear designer, we have worked with since before I joined. As the Peters & May Carrier Team coordinate vessels for loading and discharge we work closely with major shipping lines such as BBC, SAL and HHL. There are massive benefits to these well-established relationships, in that suppliers understand our business, and we have worked together to implement streamlined processes to benefit customers’.
What has kept you at Peters & May for 15 years?
‘A lot of it is the independence. Our parent company Constantine Group understand that we work in a very niche market and as a result they have trust in us to run the business, based on our knowledge and expertise. As a result, we run a very successful operation but also work in an environment in which people can thrive!’.
To gain more insight into the Peters & May team check out our interview with Shane Brearley, Senior Loadmaster.