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Port welcomes new business development manager

Ian Palacio

In a proactive move to enhance customer relations and further develop its cruise, ferry and freight markets, Portsmouth International Port has appointed Ian Palacio as new business development manager.

As part of the new business development manager role Ian will be working on fresh opportunities for ferry operations in the Western Channel, taking advantage of the Port’s excellent transport links and location close to the English Channel.  Ian will also be assisting MMD Ltd, the leading UK fruit importation and handling specialist based at Portsmouth International Port.

Ian is no stranger to the Solent, having been born just down the road in Southampton. That is also where he has spent the last 19 years with Associated British Ports, part of an impressive maritime career that has seen him working for Geest Line and Tropic Shipping, as well as Britain’s biggest port operator.

For the last 12 years Ian has been the Commercial Manager for ABP at Southampton. He started with the organisation in 1998 in the operations department, before moving into a business role that also took him to the head office in London. Ian’s entire working life has been dedicated to shipping since graduating from Plymouth University with a degree in Nautical Studies.

Ian said: “I’ve received a warm welcome and was excited to take the new role. It was certainly time for a change and a new challenge. My move to Portsmouth International Port feels like a natural progression and I look forward to helping current customers, and developing relationships with new operators too.”

Port Director Mike Sellers has stated his aim to significantly increase the cruise business at Portsmouth International Port over the next few years. Ian Palacio has been tasked with identifying cruise operators who would benefit from the first class facilities, flexible services and enviable position close to world famous attractions.

Ian said: “Despite a strong reputation in the industry there is a need to attract new customers at MMD, following the recent news that Geest Line is moving banana imports to another port for scheduling reasons. Fresh produce has always been a specialty and we can build on that expertise. I believe there is also real potential to develop other cargo streams at MMD following recent investment in new equipment and facilities. “

Having moved as a boy from Hampshire to Wales and then to Devon, Ian has lived his whole life by the sea. When not working he spends as much time as possible in the natural environment, enjoying sailing and competitive windsurfing. He is also a keen cyclist. Ian can often be seen driving his classic Citroen 2CV through the Hampshire lanes. The French car has become a cult classic in recent years, and Ian enjoys taking his 1986 Charleston model on rallies.

Ian is married with two teenage daughters and lives in Hampshire.