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February/March 2018


Harbour Internation - at home in the Northwest

GM Business Connect caught up with Steve Swinburn, UK General Manager for Harbour International Freight, to find out about a recent accolade from logistics gaint Pall-Ex. We also asked Steve to go into detail about the specialist logistics carrier’s recent successful growth and their plans for the future. Tell us about Harbour International Freight – why did Harbour choose Manchester? “Harbour opened in the late 80s as an extension of their Dublin office because of strong links between Ireland and Manchester - Dublin and the Northwest in general. It was a logical fit for the company which had strong cultural ties to Greater Manchester. The company’s founding family had moved to Manchester in the late 80s and Trafford Park was the place to open a business.” How long has Harbour been operating? “The company itself is a former family-run business which started in the ‘60s and progressed from there – from deep sea containers in to shipments between UK and Ireland. In fact it was one of the pioneers

of groupage between Manchester and Dublin in the late 80s. This was before open markets and required customs clearance - a skill the business still retains.”

Harbour business was acquired by its long-term Irish partner JMC who introduced Harbour’s unique freight services to its 2,000 plus customers.

that has had the most impact?

You are described as a specialist logistic carrier - can you explain?

“In 2013 I joined the business as UK General Manager from worldwide freight services company DSV.”

“Many of our Irish Sea and International customers enquired about better Next Day pallet delivery options. After rigorous appraisal we joined Pall-Ex, the number one pallet network who can guarantee to deliver the high standards of service our customers are accustomed to.”

“From the ‘70’s when Harbour’s main activity was Customs Clearance (long before the days of the European Single Market), customers started to ask for more than documentation management, and the business expanded into Freight Forwarding. “Moving containers from the Far East to the UK and Ireland, we were the first in the market offering Overnight Palletised Services between Manchester and Dublin. “A number of recent events has seen the company record year on year growth of 20%. In 2012 the

When you joined Harbour what changes did you bring with you? “I’d like to think I brought a broader vision to the business. By creating services that match customer’s exact needs, introducing additional products, online booking, track and trace and consultancy services the business has seen rapid growth. “Harbour has recently moved to a large facility on the edge of Trafford Park. I can’t emphasise enough how important the Northwest location has been to our growth. What changes have you made Steve Swinburn, UK General Manager for Harbour International Freight

“In 2015 we introduced Domestic UK Delivery to our range of services. We now offer Next Day pallet delivery anywhere in the UK.

“This recent development has seen staff numbers grow at our UK Head Office location in addition to a substantial expansion in our fleet and facilities. “At Harbour, by continuing to invest in our business, its technologies and offering a premium customer experience, we are well placed to benefit from this growth.” For any further information Steve Swinburn and his team can be contacted at

GM Business Connect Feb.Mar 2018  

February/March Edition of Greater Manchester's fastest growing B2B Magazine

GM Business Connect Feb.Mar 2018  

February/March Edition of Greater Manchester's fastest growing B2B Magazine