A North East port has appointed a new commercial manger as it gears up for its next phase of growth.

Port of Sunderland has appointed experienced industry specialist, Sven Richards, to oversee its commercial operations.

Sven spent just under three years at Cumbria’s Port of Workington prior to joining the port, where he held the position of port manager.

Prior to that, he was the port operations manager for Port of Tyne, where he worked for nine years.

Sven’s newest challenge however will see him join Port of Sunderland at what is one of the most exciting junctures in the municipal port’s history.

Significant private sector investment from a plethora of businesses in recent years has provided a major boost to the port, and with further investments in the pipeline, Sven is excited about the future.

“It is a real privilege to have been appointed commercial manager at Port of Sunderland,” he said.

“Having worked in the industry for over a decade, I’ve long been an admirer of the port and how it has continued to reinvent itself and stay ahead of the curve as the market for the provision of port services and infrastructure has changed.

“If you look at where the port was a decade ago when I was just up the road at the Port of Tyne, it is almost unrecognisable how much it has changed.”

“Private sector self-funding investors have bought into the vision, particularly companies operating in the circular economy, commodities, intermodal and development and offshore renewable sectors.

“And with the Trinity Rail, Road & Sea Enterprise Zone freeing up a further 11 acres of prime developable land with direct access to rail, road and sea, the port is fast establishing itself as the location of choice for private investment.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone associated with the port and I am looking forward to playing a part in its future growth.”

Brineflow, Leo Group and ASCO are among those to have invested in new facilities at the port over recent years, following the adoption of a new commercial strategy by owner Sunderland City Council to stimulate more private sector investment, and port chiefs believe the appointment of Sven and the completion of the Trinity Rail, Road & Sea Enterprise Zone will provide another major lift to the North Sea port.

Matthew Hunt, director at the Port of Sunderland, said: “We are thrilled that Sven was delighted to accept the offer of becoming our new commercial manager.

“Sven is someone we’ve known for quite some time and is someone who really buys into what we’re doing here.

“Over recent times, in addition to the port providing a development platform for significant third party capital investment, we’ve gained a reputation for providing bespoke supply chain solutions to our growing customer base which Sven is excited to assist in developing further.”