Tom Maddison

Five minutes with…

Tom Maddison


Buckle Shipping

How did you get started in the industry?

Well, as it happens, I never intended to get into the industry despite it being on my doorstep. I actually wanted to work in the funeral business. However, I couldn’t find any full-time positions locally, so my parents told me to get a job in the meantime.

But once I was in a Shipping and Forwarding office, I never had a chance to think about anything else. I realised it was a varied and important job for us as a country, so I never looked back.

How has Buckle Shipping adapted its operations in response to recent global supply chain challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and shifts in trade dynamics?

In recent years, there have been many challenges over a very short space of time, that’s for sure, but as always, in this industry, we use these to thrive and excel when given the opportunity.

We have had to think about different ways to work and contend with new regimes. Still, the current team we have built has not only experience but also the exemplary character to take the strain at times and continue to expand the team as needed to fulfil customers’ needs, new and old.

What future trends do you foresee shaping the logistics industry, and how is Buckle Shipping preparing to address or capitalise on these trends?

For most in the industry, the last 18 months have been testing, given that, a lot has grown so quickly over a short space of time, and a sudden and prolonged downturn in global trade has had a marked effect and continues to do so.

Here at Buckle Shipping, we have always tried to be measured and set ourselves up to cope; we have continued to expand our team throughout this time and will still do so as needed.

This was also one of the main reasons we opened our own warehouse last year. We felt we needed to take control of the cargo and the costs that had seemed to spiral over the last few years.

Being on-site and seeing and learning about things firsthand has helped expand my knowledge every day since, and I have no doubt it will continue to.

What does your average day look like?

My average day starts with walking my two dogs, then heading off to work and reading through emails and trying to keep up; since the warehouse opened and even before, to be fair, I have found myself on my feet a lot more, so a standing desk is my new normal.

Apart from the poor reception, with so much metal around the new site, it’s easier to catch me on my mobile than at my desk, though.

As we are a well-kept secret, even after 52 years of trading, I also spend much time getting our name out there, meeting people, and telling our story. It’s one to be proud of as we push into new territory and expand our offerings to customers.

Congratulations on your appointment as the Category 4 representative on the Felixstowe Port Users’ Association committee. What attributes do you bring to the role?

Thank you. I’m very proud to have been appointed, especially by fellow industry members. I hope most will know me personally, but if not, I welcome getting to know more of you over time.

I’ve always been passionate about learning more about our industry, and as long as I’ve been able to within my role, I’ve attended industry meetings to keep on top of changes and essential details.

Anyone who knows me will know I’m always looking to learn more and help others, so I will always bring that to the work I do and the FPUA members. As I settle into the role, I hope I will have some new ideas to help us all. There are always ideas, which is why I don’t sleep a lot.

Buckle Shipping