WITH the new year comes new challenges and fresh leadership at Portsmouth International Port.
Mike Sellers has taken over the reins as the new port director, as Martin Putman has retired from the role after more than 20 years.
Mike, who has spent the past 20 years working for Associated British Ports in the east and north east of England, first arrived in Hampshire in December to start his induction at the port.
However, this month he will take full control of all operations. He will also become chairman of the board of MMD Ltd, a fruit import and handling business at Portsmouth International Port.
Mike said: ‘I have spent December getting to know the port and have been impressed with what I have seen.
‘It is clear that staff are dedicated to providing customers with the highest levels of service and that recent investment has delivered first-class facilities.
‘I am looking forward to working with the team and our partners to build on the successes of Britain’s best-connected port, and to make it the first choice for ferry, freight and cruise customers.’
Mike comes from a family of dock workers and has dedicated his entire career to shipping.
Most recently he was port manager at Grimsby and Immingham, where he oversaw the movement of 50 million tonnes of cargo each year.
Mike was also heavily involved in the development of the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal, the world’s largest biomass handling facility.
He brings with him a wide range of shipping experience and has held senior roles at a number of ports in East Anglia and Humberside.
The new job is not the only big change that Mike has faced in recent weeks – his wife Andrea gave birth to twin girls Rebecca and Imogen in September.
As well as enjoying a busy Christmas, the couple have also had to find a new home.
Apart from work and family, sport plays a big part in Mike’s life.
‘I enjoy watching most sports but, in particular football,’ he said.
‘I am a big fan of Manchester United, but am sure I can be persuaded to visit Fratton Park.
‘In our spare time, my wife and I like to go for walks. We have been living in a village on the Yorkshire Wolds and were lucky to have had great countryside on our doorstep.
‘We are looking forward to exploring Hampshire and Sussex, discovering the beautiful South Downs and coastline.’