Charles Menkhorst appointed CEO of Gulftainer

Maritime industry professional to steer expansion of Gulftainer in high-growth global markets


Sharjah, UAE:Gulftainer, a leading privately owned, independent port operator and a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises, has announced the appointment of Charles Menkhorst as its new CEO. Former CEO Peter Richards will continue to serve on Gulftainer’s Board of Directors and lead the expansion of the company’s footprint in the United States as CEO of GT USA.

In his new role as CEO of Gulftainer, Charles is tasked with oversight of the strategic growth of the company, which currently operates and manages ports and logistics businesses in its home base in the UAE, and internationally across Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

Commenting on the appointment, Badr Jafar, Chairman of Gulftainer and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, stated: “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.”

On the transition of leadership, Mr Jafar praised outgoing CEO Peter Richards: “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. 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.”

Peter Richards, CEO of GT USA, said: “Charles Menkhorst joins us with a proven track record in supply chain and ports management. I am confident in his credentials and ability to lead Gulftainer’s global mission, cementing our position as one of the world’s most productive port operator and third-party logistics provider. I would like to reiterate my gratitude to Gulftainer’s shareholders and Board of Directors for their unwavering trust in my role over the years since I joined Gulftainer in 1987. I look forward to a new chapter of expansion and growth for Gulftainer in the USA and globally.”

On assuming his role as Gulftainer’s new CEO, Charles Menkhorst commented: “Gulftainer is entering an exciting phase of development. We have a team of empowered professionals who are ready to write the next chapter of Gulftainer’s globalization, thereby focusing on existing and new geographies and developing new services to deliver world-class maritime supply chain solutions to our clients.”

With over 25 years of experience in the international maritime industry, Charles Menkhorst has served in several key roles for international conglomerates DHL Worldwide Express and APM Terminals. His previous role was Group CEO at Luxemburg-based ports infrastructure group Euroports.

Gulftainer’s strategic vision for growth remains resolute, despite the challenges the entire industry has faced in recent years. The company continues investing in its people, services, equipment and facilities, bringing innovative solutions that aim to meet the changing requirements of its customers.

In line with its digital transformation drive, Gulftainer has recently launched the “Future of Ports Startup Challenge 2020” to identify start-ups from across the globe with the ambition to 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. 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 COVID-19 during the lockdown in March-May 2020, Gulftainer launched complimentary Express Service Lanes to accelerate the delivery of over 200,000 metric tons of medical and essential supplies through its Sharjah Container Terminal in the UAE. Globally, Gulftainer’s Express Service Lanes also prioritised more than a million tonnes of essential supplies. The company continues to assist thousands of SMEs across its operations in five countries that face outlet flow restrictions, providing them with temporary storage for their shipments. 


About Gulftainer 

Established in Sharjah in 1976, Gulftainer is a leading privately owned independent port operator. In the UAE, the company operates three main ports on behalf of the Sharjah Port Authority – Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT), Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) and Hamriyah Port.

Globally, Gulftainer operates and manages ports and logistics businesses in several countries, including Iraq (Iraq Container Terminal, Iraq Project Terminal, Iraq South Terminal and Umm Qasr Logistics Centre), Pakistan (GTL-MTI) and Lebanon (Tripoli Container Terminal). In Saudi Arabia, Gulftainer is the majority shareholder in Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO), which manages and operates the facilities in Jubail Industrial Port and Jubail Commercial Port and at the King Fahad Industrial Port, Yanbu, operated in partnership with Red Sea Marine. The company’s first USA facility, Canaveral Cargo Terminal in Florida, opened in June 2015 and expansion to Wilmington, DE followed in 2018.  Gulftainer also includes wholly owned subsidiary, Momentum Logistics and Avalon Logistics, in which Gulftainer is a majority shareholder.

Internationally, Gulftainer is recognized for its commitment to improving customer service, health and safety at all its facilities, along with its corporate social responsibility in the communities in which it operates. 

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