Five minutes with…
Murray Gibson Associates Ltd
How did you get your break in logistics?
Looking back, I cannot actually recall a time when I wasn’t involved in the world of logistics, although at the time, it might not have been called that as the term didn’t really take off for the supply chain industry until the mid-1990s. My working life began with BT in R&D at Martlesham, and for the twelve years of my time there, everything we did was project-based. The excellent education provided and skills learnt were to stand me in very good stead for the future.
What do you think the future holds for logistics in East Anglia?
It promises to be a more exciting time than any I have known throughout my working life – if we rise to the challenge! The retailing switch from business-business to business-consumer combined with the newly announced Freeport East opens up immeasurable opportunities for existing companies and those wishing to establish themselves here. The east coast ports and the A14 have always been the main conduit to and from UK PLC. The future has just become even brighter.
How long do you think it will take the industry to recover from the ramifications of Brexit?
The two years leading up to Brexit were a source of considerable frustration for most, purely because we didn’t know exactly what we were going to have to deal with. The permutations and possible outcomes were too numerous to focus on. Good or bad, knowing what you have in front of you is what logisticians plan for, execute and thrive on. It’s no great surprise that the Government has pushed back the full border checks by a further six months, so I would hope we will be in a stable position by this time next year.
What sectors of the industry are going to be this year’s success stories?
Unquestionably those involved in e-commerce and online retailing. When I spoke at the UKWA National Conference in March 2020, we projected online retailing to reach 30% of consumer spending in the UK by 2025. In reality, we exceeded that figure after just FIVE WEEKS of lockdown – and it hasn’t stopped growing since! Currently at 36.3%, according to the ONS, this produces both challenges and massive opportunities for the supply chain industry as it morphs into the new normal.
Tell us about a missed opportunity from your career?
I guess not being a natural risk-taker, there may have been some, but I can’t actually recall them. I count myself particularly fortunate that I have had a thoroughly rewarding career, previously working for three progressive and very successful organisations that have afforded me numerous positions in both operational and commercial roles. Given my time again – I wouldn’t wish to have done it any differently.
Tell us a secret or guilty pleasure?
Hmm……my guilty pleasure is losing myself in my workshop on a Sunday afternoon with a classic car project and Jonnie Walker’s Sounds of the 70’s blasting out of the sound system, feeling for all the world like a foretaste of retirement!