In this interview, Liam Ellis explains what he most enjoys about overseeing MSC UK’s busy East Med, West Med & Canary Islands trade, as well how his department have truly lived the company’s family values in the way they’ve supported each other throughout this challenging year.
1.How long have you been working for MSC and what do you do in your current role?
I have been a part of the MSC family for just over three years but my introduction into MSC life started about nine years ago as an Export Trade Support Assistant on the India Pakistan trade and then pricing on the Export Far East trade. When I returned, I joined the Export East Med department as an Inside Sales Executive for approximately 18 months before progressing into the role of Export North Mediterranean Trade Development Manager. In March of this year I moved into the Import Department as Import Trade Development Manager for the East Med, West Med and Canary Islands.
I am mainly focused on developing and growing the trade with the assistance of my team by working closely with our customers, MSC Geneva and MSC agencies around the world.
2. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I don’t think there’s a typical day within the commercial department. At MSC we continue to evolve by adapting to the ever-changing market by remaining flexible, competitive and solutions-focused, which means that we must be proactive in our approach to achieving a first-class service for our customers. I usually start the day by touching base with my team and from there the day unravels into daily customer conference calls, meetings with other MSC departments and handling various customer requests.
3. What do you most enjoy about your role?
I enjoy working closely with our customers and finding ways to further improve their experience by collaborating with various departments across the business. I also enjoy exploring how customers can make best use of our range of services, including our strong short sea shipping offering. Short sea shipping is a competitive and fast-paced market so it’s important that my team and I remain up to date with any changes so that we can keep our customers fully informed of our various service options, including our extensive UK port coverage, reliable service options and door-to-door solutions.
4. Describe MSC in one word.
Family. The reason I have chosen this word is not only because members of my family are employed at MSC UK but also because of the issues the industry has faced within this last year. We have gone from being surrounded by our colleagues on a daily basis in an office to being a webcam or telephone call away from each other. My team and the rest of my commercial family at MSC have shown resilience and have supported one another throughout the pandemic – this proves that we have a bond with the people we work with at MSC that goes a lot further than ‘colleagues’ and this remains the same for our approach to customers.
5. Tell us about one of your favourite memories from your time at MSC to date.
The MSC Isabella naming ceremony at the Port of Felixstowe. It was a fantastic day being involved in the first ever naming ceremony in MSC UK’s history and being able to share that experience with some of our customers and MSC Geneva. It was also an enjoyable experience boarding a vessel of that size and having the opportunity to meet the crew and get an idea of what their role on the vessel entails.
6. What developments within your trade are you most excited about and why?
I have an ambitious and focused team who go above and beyond to offer our customers a first-class service. This excites me as we are always looking for new ways to facilitate our customers’ requirements by working closely as a team to consider various service and routing options in order to achieve our customers’ expectations. We also have the Turkey-Canada service, which is a fantastic direct, weekly service option for routing cargo directly between the South of Spain and Liverpool; thus providing our customers with an opportunity to route cargo directly into the North of the UK for a fast delivery door to door.