The former head of supply chain for national retailer B&M has joined Peel Ports Group to further strengthen its relationships with importers.

Jerome Wildsmith has more than 30 years of logistics experience working with cargo owners, including time with leading retailers Matalan, Mamas & Papas and Regatta.

Based within the Port of Liverpool’s container division, his new role will be to drive container volumes and leverage the port’s proximity to major distribution centres north of Birmingham. 

Jerome started his role in September and brings with him extensive knowledge of port-centric solutions and container management within retail, as well as strong relationships with shipping industry leaders.

David Huck, Chief Operating Officer at Peel Ports Group, said:

“Jerome’s huge success at improving supply chain efficiency from the retail side is expertise that we can now offer our customers and will go a long way towards streamlining supply chain processes. 

“In the current climate, cargo owners are seeing their margins being squeezed ever tighter while being expected to simultaneously deliver greener logistics solutions. We will work with them to achieve these goals by maximising on the benefits of more effective use of sea transport, for closer to end destination logistics.”

As the UK’s second largest port operator, Peel Ports Group has a key role to play in supporting retailers. The business recently surveyed more than 2,000 retail leaders, with findings revealing the overwhelming majority (83%) felt it would be beneficial to liaise with ports directly to implement necessary transformational market change.  

Three-quarters (76%) of participants stated they would opt to import goods closer to end destinations if they were given a choice on their port of entry by shipping lines, while 68% felt a better choice of ports would improve supply chain efficiencies. 

The research also found more than half of retail leaders (51%) experience delays or bottlenecks in the supply chain, with almost a fifth (19%) claiming these delays are frequent. Most retail leaders (68%) felt importing goods via the North of England would help to prevent this.

Speaking of the findings, David Huck, said:

“Currently, 90% of deep-sea containerised cargo comes into the southern UK ports of Felixstowe, London and Southampton, yet 60% of these goods are destined for the North. More effective sea transport and shipping routes will offer endless opportunities for vast improvements for cargo owners, including a reduction of cost, carbon and congestion, with clear benefits for them but also for UK plc.”

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