Article in North East Times Magazine online
10 Questions: Martin Lawlor
March 5, 2019
Martin Lawlor has been chief executive of Port of Blyth and chair of its subsidiary, Transped, since 2006. Now recognised internationally as one of the UK’s offshore energy support bases, the port has enjoyed a sustained period of growth during Martin’s tenure, posting record financial results in recent years. Before joining Port of Blyth in 1994, Martin held various commercial roles at the ports of Tees and Hartlepool. In 2018, he was appointed chair of the influential British Ports Association. He is a serving council member of Maritime UK and sits on the executive group of Subsea North East
What was your first break in business?
Landing my first port job during the 1980s at what is now PD Ports on Teesside. I was a management trainee but ended up discharging cars and other cargo from vessels during the dockers’ strike among other duties. It was quite a baptism of fire but it gave me a good grounding for a port-related career.
What did you want to be growing up?
Apart from centre forward for Hartlepool United, I didn’t have a clear career ambition as a youngster. I did always feel that I would follow a commercial/ entrepreneurial path. I ran the school tuck shop and took part in car boot sales. I’ve now swapped car boots for cargo boats.
What attracted you to your current role?
I moved up to Port of Blyth in the mid-1990s for a commercial management role. What struck me at the time was the port’s huge potential and the opportunities for expansion. Working my way up to chief executive has been a privilege and it’s been great to be able to shape the port’s strategic vision.
What is your organisation’s mission?
We want to ‘be the best at what we do, take customer service to another level, add value and be different (in a good way)’. We’re well on our way to achieving this and we hope that our customers would recognise the Port of Blyth from this statement.
Read the full article and the 6 additional Questions on the NET website here