John Elliott

John Elliott

Work History

Work History
2007 - Present


DP World

2007 – CURRENT:C.E.O. – DP World / Asia Container Terminals Ltd – Hong Kong, China

Asia Container Terminals Ltd. is a joint venture company between international port operators DP World of Dubai, UAE and PSA of Singapore.The terminal with its 1.8 million TEU capacity serves as a vital entity of Hong Kong which is one of the busiest ports in the World.As a newly established company and highly profitable, it is one of the corner stone terminals in both of the shareholder’s global portfolios.I was recruited to lead the company as Chief Executive Officer.My position was to bring needed guidance to the existing management team, increase volume, efficiency and profitability in an increasingly challenging environment.In addition, continue to develop relations with the Hong Kong government and utilize my already existing strong relations with shipping line and industry executives.


·The company is recognized as one of the most cost efficient facilities in DP World’s global portfolio of 49+ facilities in which it achieves the highest production of all facilities with an average of 39 gross moves an hour per crane.The facility is recognized not only as the most productive facility in Hong Kong but also leading in safety initiatives.

·Successfully managed a challenging company environment in which the company’s shareholders were competitors against each other inthe global container terminal industry.

·Held full P&L responsibility.Administered and controlled all capital and expense budgets.Grew annual revenue from US$73 million to $76.5 million.Improved EBITDA from US$42 million to $45 million per year.Paid off US$66m in shareholder loans.This was achieved despite a 14% reduction in revenue per TEU resulting from market rate erosion and increase in transhipment percentage.

·Increased terminal volume by 16% under difficult market conditions in which Hong Kong has increasing competition from surrounding South China ports.Competition has resulted in Hong Kong having overall limited market growth of only 2% annually.

·In 2009, as a reaction to the unbudgeted economic downturn which reduced volumes by 14%, took dramatic cost reduction efforts.Reduced both operating and overhead cost below 2006 levels.Net Earnings target will be achieved, resulting in payment of interim dividend and forecasted year-end dividend totalling US$40m.

·Successful in the implementation of various cost savings programs which are gear towards developing a cost-conscious company culture.As rate levels in Hong Kong are quite stagnant or decreasing, a cost savings strategy was essential for increasing profit margin.

·Provided leadership to 7 senior managers and indirect oversight to 155 employees and 650 subcontract employees.Target was to ultimately develop my replacement with one of the local senior staff members.

·In 2008, received the 22nd AFSCA (Asia Freight & Supply Chain Awards) for the Best Container Terminal in Asia under 4 Million TEUS.In 2009, terminal was one of three finalists for the award.

·Successfully implemented OHSAS18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System and ISO14001 Environmental Management System.Recognized by the Hong Kong Government as the first company to implement such management systems in the local container terminal industry.In addition, developed Hybrid terminal equipment which reduced fuel usage by 60%.

·Member of two Hong Kong Government councils which is a six year appointment, Logistics Development Council and Port Development Council which are geared toward industry development and regulations.Councils consist of high rank government officials and CEO level from port, shipping lines and logistics industry.

·Active member of the Hong Kong Pilotage Advisory Committee in which I represent all container terminal operators in Hong Kong.The committee is responsible for the approval of all harbour regulations and selection of new pilots.In addition, I am an active member of the Hong Kong Container Terminal Operators Association.

·During the past five years I was invited to give speeches as an industry expert at several international conferences held in Europe and Asia.Most recently, at the annual Asia Terminal Operators Conference (TOC) in which I have served on the board of directors for the event for the past two years.

2005 - 2007

Commercial Director

DP World

2005 – 2007:COMMERCIAL DIR. – DP World & Pusan Newport Company – Seoul / Busan, Korea

The Newport Project is the largest infrastructure project in Korea and one of the largest in Asia.This green-field project consists of free trade zones, expressways, rail and ultimately 30 container berths. Pusan Newport Company, a joint venture between DP World and various construction companies, was responsible for developing the first project phase with 3200m of berth, 25 shore gantry cranes and 1,920,000sm yard. I was recruited to be the Director of Commercial as part of a small executive management team tasked to bring the project operational by January 2006.My position was to bring needed terminal development, management, and commercial expertise.


·The total cost of the first phase of the project is estimated to be 1.8 billion USD which includes inflation and capitalized interest. Involved in the successful financing of the project which totalled 870 million US dollars from both on-shore and off-shore lending institutions.Project financing won various recognition awards in 2005.

·Successfully worked in a challenging company environment in which shareholder representatives were placed in executive positions and had no previous knowledge of the container terminal industry and little knowledge of the English language.

·Assembled a team to develop all commercial aspects of the company.Tasks included the corporate branding and identity of the new Pusan Newport Co., setting of policies for commercial and communication, research on the local and Asian markets, competition analysis, revenue / cost modelling, forecasting, and finally the setting of short-term and long-term strategy through a formalized corporate marketing plan.

·Promoted DP World and Pusan Newport by using strong relationships with shipping line executives at headquarter and regional levels in Asia, Europe and Middle-East.Built tight bonds in a very challenging local business environment in Korea which required an in depth knowledge and following of culture and customs.

·Successfully restructured long existing local port practices in which shipping lines directly subcontracted various terminal labour functions.Working with government and legal entities these practices were brought back under the terminal operator’s control in order to gain efficiencies and multi-million dollar cost savings for all involved.

·Working with a local Korean team, we achieved opening of the new facility in January 2006 as scheduled.The facility started with productivity levels which were 30% higher then other facilities in the area and quickly rose to be one of the top productive terminals in DP World’s network of 50+ ports.The terminal consistently reached gross crane production averaging between 36 to 42 moves per hour.

·Gained the first customers totalling 1.9 million TEUS under extremely difficult conditions which existed due to over-capacity of terminals, declining market, higher trucking costs and local resistance due to “personal” interests.Directly developed, negotiated and closed all contracts with shipping lines at either regional or headquarter executive levels.Each contract generated between 20-50 million revenue annually.

·Formed successful integration teams which handled all aspects of fast migration of new customers from their current facilities to the new Pusan Newport facility.Teams covered all aspects from operations to accounting.

·Handled all promotional activities for Pusan Newport and DP World.Including frequent newspaper and TV interviews in which it was sometimes necessary to place pressure on government entities to meet commitments

·In addition, I was part of an executive management team which was responsible for the successful re-branding of the corporation to what is known today as DP World.This task included the full integration of both company acquisitions of CSX World Terminals and P&O Ports totalling 51 container terminals.Concluded with the merging of corporate commercial strategies, policies, procedures and employee organizational structures.

2000 - 2005

Terminal Director

APMT - Maersk

2000 – 2005:TERMINAL DIRECTOR – MedCenter Container Terminal – Gioia Tauro, Italy

Since its inception in 1996, Medcenter Container Terminal (MCT) has reported steady growth as a HUB transhipment terminal within the Mediterranean Sea.In 2000 Maersk Sealand / APMTerminals acquired part ownership of the terminal and was granted joint managerial rights as a part of the shareholding.I was recruited to be the Terminal Director and Shareholder Representative in the joint venture.My position was to bring needed expertise in management, terminal operations and union relations to the terminal, which is located in an under developed area of Southern Italy.Goals were achieved working only with local labour, management and government.


·Efficiently increased terminal handlings from 2.2 million teus in 1999 to a level of 3.4 million teus in 2004.Handling growths levels ranging from 15% to 35% each year.Developing the terminal to be the 15th largest container terminal in the world.

·Controlled a Terminal Operations Budget in excess of € 150M annually and managed a headcount of over 950 personnel white and blue collar plus additional sub-contract labour.

·Responsible for a terminal operation consisting of 18 gantry cranes, 3 mobile cranes, 95 straddle carriers and multiple miscellaneous terminal support equipment.

·Established initiatives along with the Port Authority to handle terminal growth and future developments in the terminal and surrounding area which included development of a new 380m berth, 468,000 m2 terminal expansion, development of a free trade zone, redesign of the harbour entrance and channel for handling future larger vessel sizes.Projects are designed to allow the terminal grow of over 8.2 million teus.

·Trained and motivated a completely local white and blue collar work force with an average age of 24 year and virtually no English speaking abilities.Lack of English speakers required me to became quickly fluent in Italian and local Calabrese dialect.Personally trained majority of local management in English due to the technical language required for efficiently running an international marine terminal.

·Implemented terminal improvement initiatives which included Process Improvement Teams.All improvements were geared towards improvements in terminal reliability, efficiency, targeting P&L objectives and employee involvement.Success was measured by improved productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction.

·Successfully calmed a previous volatile relationship between former terminal management and the existing 5 national unions using a teamwork and win-win approach.Involved union representatives in terminal activities, improvements and forward planning which furthered overall company and union relations.Resulting efforts were a direct elimination of labour slow-downs and local strikes.Local relations improved to the extent of several local non-adherence to national labour actions requested by the national Italian unions.

·Motivated workforce through a “family” style management approach which increased overall terminal gross crane productivity by 5 moves per hour with no additional increases of terminal resources or equipment.Terminal team aspired to reach records which included vessels handling 264 average container per hour.

1997 - 2000

General Manager

1997 – 2000: GENERAL MANAGER / Operations Manager – Sea-Land Service, Inc. - Norfolk V.A.

Orchestrated terminal operations of a 65+ acre facility with direct supervision of multidisciplinary management overseeing 500+ white collar and union employees and handling 380,000+ teus annually from 8 shipping companies.Controlled and monitored a $35 million operating budget.In charge of facilities marketing, client relations, cargo services, union negotiations/relations, equipment control & maintenance, yard, gate, truck and rail activities.


·Negotiated a 14% rate reduction in terminal and marine stevedoring labour equal to $2 million annual savings.

·Closed contracts with 4 new shipping lines adding 15+% in total lifts, generated $6 million added revenues.

·Championed the National Excess Container Storage Program generating $6M in new income.

·Restructured terminal focus shifting from majority wheeled operation to 75% grounded.

·Noted by superiors for outstanding team motivation skills that improved efficiency and production.

·Reinvigorated channels of communication between the (7) unions and management.

1991 - 1996

Various Management

1996 – 1997: MARINE OPERATIONS MANAGER – Sea-Land Service, Inc. – Norfolk V.A.

Promoted to take over the Marine Operations Manager position at Sea-Land’s 4th largest port operation in North America.Responsible for 6 assistant managers supervising 350+ multidisciplinary union personnel.Managed a $25 million budget and all marine operations for a terminal handling 300,000TEU.Managed union equipment engineers as well as facilities maintenance program for buildings, dredging, dock/fender system, etc.Monitored and ensured union compliance with contracts, negotiated new contracts and intervened to resolve labour disputes for 5 unions and locals.


·Hired, Trained and motivated a completely new staff of marine managers and stevedores.

·Generated a cohesive team spirit at all levels of operation directly resulting in Norfolk Terminal moving from 15th place in productivity in the organisation to 3rd overall.

·Reduced production cost by $2+ million annually through introduction of a “One Team, One Goal” philosophy.

·Created and implemented a “Cross Training Programs” to facilitate training of management staff in all aspects of financial, labour and process management.

1994 – 1996:ASST. MARINE OPERATIONS MANAGER – Sea-Land Service, Inc. – Charleston SC

Managed marine operations for Sea-Land’s 2nd largest terminal on the East Coast of the USA.Directed the efforts of 4 marine supervisors, 8 contract stevedores and 300+ union labourers.Financially accountable for a $17 million operating budget.Managed vessel repairs, vessel services with vendors, solidified labour contracts with unions, interfaced with Port Authority for berth scheduling and equipment needs, and motivated staff to increase production and reduce costs.


·Resolved several critical problems with contract employees and union labour.

·Reengineered loading/unloading techniques to improve weekly production averages from 30 to 37+ moves per hour – the highest in the entire Sea-Land organisation.Achieved records of 50+ moves per hour per crane.

·Implemented improved production and safety incentives/awareness programs.

·Saved in excess of $3 million annually through labour cost reduction and production improvements.

·Implemented the Navis computer stowage system for marine and yard operations.

·Mentored and cross-trained supervisors to prepare for upward mobility.

1991 – 1994:EQUIPMENT CONTROL MANAGER - Sea-Land Service, Inc. – Charleston SC

Managed all equipment and customer demands for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia consisting of 10,000+ units of rolling stock, containers, and refrigerated equipment.Balanced rolling stock flows between regions, other terminals via vessels and rail facilities. Interfaced with and assisted sales executives on critical sales calls.


·Managed a satellite marine facility for weekly vessel calls including yard, gate and maintenance activities.

·Orchestrated implementation of a pilot program for computerizing all gate and yard.System included redesign of the terminal gate complex.Successful program was rolled out to Sea-Land terminals throughout the world.

·Assisted in terminal design of Sea-Land’s new Wando Terminal including quay, yard and buildings.

·Handpicked by Sea-Land CEO to develop procedures and invoicing process for the storage of excess client equipment at U.S. terminals which generated $10+ million in annual revenues.

·Improved rolling stock turn-time which was equivalent to $12 million in annual inventory reduction.

·Implemented a new chassis equipment sharing agreement between 5 major shipping lines for all USA locations.

·Initiated the Quality Management Program for the Charleston terminal.


1986 - 1990

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

University of North Carolina at Charlotte



A professionally qualified Executive, offering an extensive and diversified management background based on formal training and 19 years experience.Career has demonstrated leadership initiative, technical expertise, operations creativity, cost reduction and award-winning success in multi-cultural work environments.

·Poised, articulate and demonstrative executive team member able to effectively lead management / board meetings, present concise statistical/financial summary reports and act as point man for corporate-wide policy making issues.Advanced rapidly for exemplary performance at virtually every employment endeavour.

·Skilled in working and negotiating in multi-cultural/multi-language/multi-religion environments.Demonstrated ability to learn foreign languages, and live within the local culture.

·Extensive experience in process engineering, contract negotiations, union relations, team building, government relations and continuous quality improvement techniques.Solid reputation for motivating multi-disciplinary teams to produce record-setting results using the principle of lead by example.

·Client satisfaction-oriented executive evidenced in high client satisfaction rates and rapid improvements in gross business volumes.Keen appreciation for the importance of exemplary corporate image as well as bottom-line cost management.

·Consummate management professional.Progressive experience in all facets of marine terminals, transportation logistics and associated administration leadership.Proven expertise in the implementation and oversight of cutting edge operations techniques and measurement tools to reduce costs, enhance productivity, increase assets availability and maximize man-hour efficiency rates.

·Demonstrated ability to “think out of the box” to resolve challenging issues.Able administrator.Possesses in-depth knowledge and experience in strategic planning, financial/fiscal forecasting, and effective utilization of multi-unit corporate resources.Respected as a proponent of empowerment and accountability.

·Streamline and manage associated safety, staff training, regulatory compliance, union contracts, equipment /building maintenance, facilities design, computer/robotic automation and inventory control programs.Author of several creative initiatives that saved millions and were subsequently adopted terminal-wide.

·Instrumental in the development of Gioia Tauro, Italy, the 15th largest container port and transhipment hub in the world handling 3.4 million teus annually.At that time, it was recognised as one of the fastest growing and professionally managed facilities in the industry.

·In recent years, successfully opened the green-field container facility of Pusan Newport located in South Korea which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Asia.Currently, CEO of Asia Container Terminals in Hong Kong which is an award winning facility and recognized as one of the most efficient in Asia.

Professional Education


Mar. 2008Executive Leadership DevelopmentDP World Institute

2002 – 2004APM Terminals – Executive ManagementVarious

Continuing Education Program “MAGNUM”

Dec. 2003Communications TechnologyJS Riggio International

Neuro Linguistic Programming

Nov. 2003Project ManagementImplement A/S

Oct. 2003Port Performance IndicatorsNational Sea Training Centre,

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

Sep. 2003Environmental IssuesNational Sea Training Centre,

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

May. 2003Health and SafetyNational Sea Training Centre,

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

Apr. 2003Finance, Accounting and BudgetingNational Sea Training Centre,

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

Mar. 2003Security TrainingSecurity and Compliance, Inc.

Mar. 2003Lloyd’s Maritime Academy SeminarNational Sea Training Centre,

- Operations and Terminals Today.Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

- Terminal Sizing and Planning.

- Logistics and Simulations.

- Terminal Productivity.

- Equipment and Terminal Automation.

Feb. 2003Situational Leadership IIThe Ken Blanchard Co.

Dec. 2002Marine Terminals SeminarJordan Woodman Dobson

- Marine Container Terminal Capacity.

- Marine Terminal Productivity.

Sep. 2002Team Building and NetworkingDanish Military

Outdoor Survival Training

Aug. 2002Cross-Cultural AwarenessGlobal Consulting

Aug. 2002International Problem Solving andTeamCon, Dk

Negotiation Techniques.

Aug. 2002Foreign Relations in Foreign CountriesGlobal Consulting.

Aug. 2002Foreign EtiquetteGlobal Consulting.

Jun. 2002Corporate Culture – ItalianBernard Shultz, Spa

Nov. 2001Fundamentals of FinanceManagement Centre Europe

Oct. 2001Personal ManagementInternational Consulting & Training

Prior 2001:Human Resource Management, Leadership Training I & II, Hazardous Materials,

Continuous Improvement in Quality, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Various others.