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New appointment to steer sales at Port of Sunderland


May 9, 2017

A NORTH East port has made a senior sales appointment, as it looks to build on already buoyant results.

Port of Sunderland has added Paul Olvhoj to the team as sales manager, as it looks to make waves over the coming months.  Paul, who joins the port from cargo handling service GT Gillie & Blair Ltd, has been appointed to steer the municipally-owned port – which this year celebrates its 300th anniversary – towards further success, after seeing sales soar in recent years.

With a wealth of experience, amassed during his time with regional shipping agents and chartering companies, Paul’s primary role will be to attract new business, establishing the port as an attractive centre for inward investment.

Previously, Paul worked as agency and business development manager at GT Gillie & Blair Ltd, responsible for the development of new business within the company’s core sectors. Prior to that he was in charge of business development at International Marine Survey Limited.

Paul, who lives in Gateshead, said: “I have worked with the team at the port for a number of years in my previous roles, so I know everyone well, and am really looking forward to settling into the job and making an immediate impact.

“The port is a fantastic facility, with great natural assets that have been enhanced by investment from Sunderland City Council.  As an intermodal hub that enjoys excellent rail and road links, ease of access to two of the region’s airports, and positioned less than five minutes from open sea, Port of Sunderland is a special proposition.  When you team that with facilities that include mobile cranege, plant and handling equipment including heavy lift cranes – and plenty of hardstanding and storage, there are huge opportunities in traditional shipping activities like unitised and bulk cargo handling that can be exploited, as well as obvious opportunities in new and renewable energy given its geographic position.”

After gaining an advanced diploma from Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and an HND in Weapons Engineering from HMS Collingwood Royal Naval Weapon Engineering School, Paul’s first job was as a weapons engineer for the Royal Navy, sailing between Europe, Asia and Africa. He also spent a year in the oilfields of Siberia, before working in Nigeria running a small laboratory repairing tools used to sample soil under the seabed in the Gulf of Guinea.

Paul joins a port that has enjoyed considerable success and investment in recent years.  Its recently granted 8.3 hectare Enterprise Zone status will unlock further inward investment opportunities.

Port of Sunderland director Matthew Hunt said: “We are delighted to have Paul on board. His wide experience will be an asset to the port and he is just the person we need to build on the fantastic growth we have seen over the last seven years.

“There has been a concerted effort by the team here, and the port’s board to make strategic investments that will pay off in the future, and we are now seeing these decisions bear fruit.  Paul’s appointment will allow us to build on the momentum we have gained, and I’m thrilled to have him on the team during a really exciting period for us.”

Port of Sunderland is celebrating its 300th anniversary this June.  Next year, it will be the host port for the Tall Ships Race, which is expected to attract more than one million tourists to the city over a July weekend.

By Emily