Steve Williams, operations director for Portsmouth’s international cargo operator Portico, has swapped his usual office view for one which is a few floors higher. Over 20 metres higher, roughly.
Crane drivers are critical to unloading the goods from ships, which call into Portsmouth bringing thousands of fresh produce in pallets and containers. To help make sure this essential role can continue, Steve has taken a refresher course so he’s able to step into the cab once again and make sure supplies keep moving.
Following approval from an instructor, Steve passed his competency test and is fully certified to drive cranes once again.
Steve said: “It’s been a while since I’ve been in this position. The last time was when I was in a previous role at Immingham Port.
“But it feels so familiar now I’m doing it again.
“It’s important that we’re all able to provide the support needed to keep critical supply routes moving. I’m pleased I can play my part and help the team around me who are all working so hard
“While it’s definitely different to what I would be usually doing, I certainly enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s another way to self-isolate and there’s no danger of not keeping to the two metre social distancing rule.
“I got called in at 7am this morning to cover a shift and will be doing another one later, so pretty much a full day.”
Portico is managing regular arrivals of fresh produce which are destined for supermarket shelves and also shipping essential goods to the Channel Islands.
Steve said: “We’re all in this together and it’s only right I’m doing what I can to help out. Everyone needs to follow the NHS guidelines and self isolate if they or anyone in their household has symptoms, this could mean a reduced workforce so we need to look at being able to take on other roles.
“Other senior managers are hands on working in warehouses, creating a great team spirit among all Portico staff.
“While it’s great being up here, there’s no real hiding from the team, I’m sure they’ll be keeping an eye on me and will definitely let me know if i make any mistakes.”