Fast-growing scrapyard company recruits ports and logistics expert to take it to ‘next level’

From left, Sackers chairman Chris Gray with managing director David Dodds Picture: HELEN CRAPNELL

From left, Sackers chairman Chris Gray with managing director David Dodds Picture: HELEN CRAPNELL - Credit: Archant

A former ports boss has joined an Ipswich-based scrap metal company as it gears up for growth.

Ipswich and Needham Market-based Sackers has appointed Chris Gray as its new chairman.

The former Hutchison Ports boss has spent 50 years in the shipping, ports and transport industry and his experience will help take the firm to the next level, the company said.

The firm splits its scrap metal into ferrous and non-ferrous categories from its Great Blakenham site and sells it for recycling to manufacturers internationally.

The business has invested heavily in plant over the last decade, spending £3m on a steel shredding plant.

MORE – Port stalwart takes on key role with Port of Felixstowe ownersJoint managing director David Dodds welcomed Mr Gray’s appointment.

“We’ve been exporting for about 20 years and initially it was small scale but over the years it’s become a large part of our business,” he said.

“Chris is highly experienced in logistics and shipping and will bring us his industry knowledge to give us a competitive edge. He also brings huge amounts of business acumen and this is evident in some of the large corporations he has, and still does work for.

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“We are very pleased to have Chris advise and strengthen the Sackers leadership team and his assistance to “navigate the ship” towards our growth plans.

Chris Gray said he was “honoured” to be asked to be chairman to help the firm with its expansion plans.

“There are lots of opportunities which I’m keen to help with and add new knowledge to the board,” he said.

Mr Gray was previously managing director of Contship UK Ltd and deputy managing director of Contship Containerlines Ltd.

He has also been chief executive of Port of Felixstowe owner Hutchison Ports UK Ltd and Hutchison Ports Bahamas and chairman of the UK Major Ports Group.

He was executive chairman of the Noatum Ports Group of Companies. He is currently non executive director of Red Funnel Ltd and Red Funnel Holdings Ltd and strategic adviser to Turia Port Management Investment (Holdings). He is also chairman of Tex Holdings plc.

Sackers dates back to the 1920s. Scrap metal is sorted in Great Blakenham and waste is recycled at its Needham Market plant. The business has grown significantly over the last few years and aims to recycle more than 90% of all waste that enters the premises.