Owner and operator of the Port of Liverpool, Peel Ports, has announced major changes to its top team including the appointment of a new chief executive. Tony McDonough reports
Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports has announced major changes to its management team including the appointment of Claudio Veritiero as its new chief executive.
Peel Ports, which has just completed a £140m upgrade of its Liverpool2 deep water container terminal, says current CEO Mark Whitworth will stand down from his role. He becomes chairman of the group, replacing Tom Allison.
Mr Allison will remain on the board as a non-executive director and the company says the changes are being made as it prepares to start a new investment programme across its primary assets, which include the ports of Liverpool, Heysham, Medway, Clydeport and Great Yarmouth, as well as the Manchester Ship Canal.
It also operates a container terminal in Dublin and owns BG Freight Line, which provides short sea container services between the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe and Peel Ports Logistics, one of the UK’s leading shipping and freight forwarders.
Peel Ports has grown, on average, by 10% year-on-year for the last decade and has invested more than £1.2bn into its operations over the same period. The jewel in its crown is Liverpool2, a £400m container terminal that gave the port the capacity to handle 95% of the world’s biggest container vessels.
Mr Whitworth said: “For more than a decade we have consistently been at the forefront of the UK ports industry for the delivery of growth and investment. This has been a transformational period for the business and one that has enabled the group to create thousands of high value jobs within our existing and new facilities.”
“Given that stability in the company leadership has been a cornerstone of our success, the changes we are announcing today have been two years in the planning to ensure a smooth transition.
“We have ambitious plans to maintain the growth trajectory, which in turn will continue to create positive results not only for our company, but also for the regions and communities we operate within, for many years to come.
“The time is right for change and Claudio will be integral to making that change happen as he leads the business into an exciting new era.”
Mark Whitworth joined Peel Ports as chief executive in 2010 and over his tenure has led major transformations across the business, including Liverpool2 and the £100m development of a custom-built biomass import terminal for Drax Group.
Significant acquisitions including the Port of Great Yarmouth and Quality Freight (now known as Peel Ports Logistics) are also included in his successful portfolio, all contributing to three-fold growth in profitability from when he joined the business.
Claudio Veritiero joined Peel Ports in 2021 with more than 25 years of experience working in the infrastructure, logistics, property development and financing markets. He was previously chief operating officer of Kier Group and has held roles as chief operating officer of Speedy Hire and in the investment banking advisory division of Rothschild & Co.
He said: “Since joining Peel Ports a year ago, I’ve been taken by the calibre of our people, our operations and our customer relationships. I’m delighted to be taking on the role of CEO and will look to build on the unprecedented success that Mark has led over 12 years.
“One of my priorities will be to take stock of the changing needs of our customers and the port communities in which we operate so that we can further enhance our offering and customer experience.
“Ports are a vital catalyst for the whole economy, not just the supply chain, with a crucial role to play in creating jobs and enabling economic regeneration.”
Latest Department for Transport data confirms Peel Ports to be one of the fastest growing port groups in the UK, already handling 70m tonnes of cargo per year and with 15% of the UK’s total port traffic traveling through its waters.