Charles Menkhorst

Charles Menkhorst

UAE-based port operator Gulftainer, a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises, has appointed Charles Menkhorst as its new CEO to replace Peter Richards, who will remain on the company's Board of Directors and lead the company's US expansion as CEO of GT USA.

Menkhorst will reportedly oversee the strategic growth of the company, which operates and manages ports and logistics businesses in the UAE, as well as in Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the US.

Badr Jafar, chairman of Gulftainer and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, commented: “Charles Menkhorst brings a wealth of supply chain experience with him, which will prove invaluable in driving Gulftainer into its next chapter of growth. Charles will also lead Gulftainer’s digital transformation strategy and the development of sustainable infrastructure across our operations globally.”

Jafar also praised outgoing CEO Peter Richards for his efforts to turn the company into a global player. “In his 35-year career with the company, Peter Richards has spearheaded Gulftainer’s transition from a home-grown UAE company into an international player in the global port operations business,' he said. 'We will continue to rely on his dynamism to further accelerate Gulftainer’s growth within the US market, and we wish him many more productive years with the Gulftainer family.”

Richards expressed faith in Menkhorst's experience and abilities. 'I am confident in his credentials and ability to lead Gulftainer’s global mission,' he said, 'cementing our position as one of the world’s most productive port operators and third-party logistics providers.'

The new CEO added that Gulftainer was entering an exciting phase of development. 'We have a team of empowered professionals who are ready to write the next chapter of Gulftainer’s globalisation,' he said, 'thereby focusing on existing and new geographies and developing new services to deliver world-class maritime supply chain solutions to our clients.”

Menkhorst has over 25 years of experience in the international maritime industry, having held key roles at DHL Worldwide Express and APM Terminals, and serving most recently as Group CEO at Luxembourg-based Euroports.

Despite the current challenges, the company stated that its strategic vision remained unchanged, with investments continuing in its people, services, equipment and facilities.

As part of its digital transformation drive, Gulftainer has recently launched the “Future of Ports Startup Challenge 2020”, which aims to identify start-ups that can help lead the transformation of the port management and logistics industries.

'Gulftainer has partnered with the Global Silicon Valley Labs (GSV Labs), a leading global innovation platform, to engage start-ups in unique areas of tech-related opportunities where Gulftainer is pursuing new solutions,' the company stated. 'These areas are: The Internet of Things and Robo-Doctors; Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Drones; Big Data and Advanced Analytics; and Blockchain.'

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company launched complimentary Express Service Lanes to accelerate the delivery of essential supplies during the lockdowns, and continues to provide temporary storage for shipments affected by outlet flow restrictions.