Tony Blackman

Five minutes with…

Tony Blackman, Managing Director of Port Side Solutions

Tony Blackman

Managing Director

Port Side Solutions

What prompted you to launch Port Side Solutions?

After working in the industry for many years and gaining a raft of experience, I was asked many times by my customers why I didn’t do this for myself.

Finally, in 2014 I did just that and haven’t looked back since.

With all the challenges of the last couple of years, what is the current recruitment situation in the area?

Last year, the HGV driver shortage was well documented, and it was no different in this region.

We are always actively looking and recruiting. Due to our business relationships, reputation and professionalism, we have managed to maintain an even balance with supply and demand. This year has been very good for us so far.

In addition to the relevant qualifications and experience, in your view, what sets a candidate apart?

In my opinion, there are two traits that we stand by and hope to see, and that is enthusiasm and loyalty.

Loyalty is the biggest one for me personally. We have a great relationship with our drivers, and it’s the old cliche of “you’re not just a number here”. We like to regularly speak to our drivers, whether that’s asking about their day or how their family is. Over the years, we have learned that these little things go a long way. And in my eyes, this is why we have a number of drivers who have been with us for over 12 years.

What changes would you make if you could wave a magic wand on the logistics recruitment sector?

IR35 would be the one that is screaming at me. Frustrating not only for the drivers and ourselves but also the clients. Especially the bigger hauliers. The larger hauliers are the ones that bore the brunt of it.

Don’t get me wrong, drivers’ wages needed a facelift, and rightly so, drivers’ pay increased.

You are heading up your own business; who or what inspires you?

The future and my family inspire me daily. I plan to continue to build the business, and hopefully, when the time is right, my children can take over and continue the success.

What resolutions did you make for 2022, and have you kept them?

To get the balance of work and pleasure and make sure I get on the golf course more this year. So far, so good.

Port Side Solutions