Tilbury office expansion
10 July 2014
An interview with Branch Manager, Caroline Goodricke
Q: Tell us about the new office and why it was needed!
Caroline: “In the past few years, Allseas’ Tilbury team has grown from three to seven members of staff. We had outgrown our office, which was in the old Tilbury Container Services (TCS) building within the Port of Tilbury. We were delighted to find new offices at the Riverside Business Centre – not only is there plenty of room for expansion, a smart kitchen and a dedicated seating area, but we are also enjoying wonderful views over the River Thames!
“TCS was an ‘old-style’ dock office and it was a great place to get established. Our new offices have a more professional, business office environment and reflect our ambitions for further growth. Also, although we have moved out of the port itself, we are only just up the road and still very much part of the shipping fraternity with other forwarders at the Riverside offices.”
Q: What’s been keeping the Tilbury team busy?
Caroline: “The Tilbury team was initially set up as a ‘London office’ with the focus on LCL/FCL bookings. Since then, we have expanded massively from the container work – containers are still really important, of course, but we are also doing increasing amounts of project work. That has included shipping fire engines out to Ashdod for Unicef and moving exhibition and high profile cargo for GL Events, such as canopies and other items for the Malaysian Grand Prix, and Olympic Games equipment from London to Brazil. One of the biggest contracts we are currently working on is organising and handling the shipment of about 50 giant presses from Ford’s Dagenham plant.”
Q: What does the Ford job entail?
Caroline: “The presses, which were used in the old Ford Transit Van plant, are being dismantled onsite, for shipment to Bayaquan in China, where they will be reassembled for producing tractor parts. The pieces we are moving have dimensions of up to 140 cubic metres, with weights of up to 140 tonnes each. These have to be collected by truck from the plant and taken over the Dartford crossing to Thamesport, where they will be loaded on to special charter ships. It’s a huge scope of work, with very demanding health & safety considerations.”
Q: Tell us about your own background.
Caroline: “I joined Allseas about five-and-a-half years ago and came from a shipping background, having previously worked for Maersk Line and Senator Lines. I was joined by others with a similar shipping line background and that’s very important for us. Having that shipping line experience is a big advantage, whether it’s understanding ship planning or negotiating rates. Sometimes forwarding companies can have a rather limited experience or outlook but as a group Allseas focuses on a more collaborative approach, rather than the ‘them and us’ attitude of some. And as well as having that excellent mix of shipping line people and forwarders, we also have the benefit of being able to offer our own special equipment – something that really sets us apart.”
Q: So the Tilbury team is set for further expansion?
Caroline: “Yes, definitely. Ricky Fowler is our newest member of staff. He has worked in the shipping industry for more than 15 years and has brought with him a great deal of experience in import, export, FCL and LCL operations. He also has knowledge and experience of handling air freight operations, both inbound and outbound. The Tilbury team is going from strength to strength. Because we handle LCL, FCL and OOG cargoes, we can offer customers the full range of services, handling anything from very large to very small pieces!”
Also published in: Handy Shipping Guide