Independent Port Handling (IPH) group, which includes port terminal operators Southampton Cargo Handling (SCH), has strengthened its cruise ship operations by recruiting Glen Gardner (pictured) as Cruise Operations Manager.

Glen joins the company from Associated British Ports (ABP) where he spent nearly eight years as Port Operations and Security Manager in Southampton, latterly being responsible for operations at the City Cruise terminal in the Western Docks. He started his career as a purser working for P&O Princess Cruises, now part of the Carnival Group, and worked for the latter ashore before setting up his own cruise passenger services company and subsequently joining ABP in 2008.

Besides SCH, IPH is the parent company of Cruise and Passengers Services (CPS), the UK’s biggest cruise ship valet parking company, Portsmouth-based ship services company Southern Maritime Services (SMS) and personnel agency Pathfinder Personnel.

The company is the UK’s most extensive provider of cruise ship services with operations in Southampton, Portsmouth, Falmouth, Liverpool and Oban in Scotland. Among its key cruise customers in Southampton are Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Saga Cruises.

SCH Director Lee Davis said that Glen’s experience would be valuable in supporting the Group’s Southampton operations and expanding its cruise portfolio.

He commented: “We are now the most extensive provider of cruise ship port services in the UK and our cruise business continues to grow in Southampton. Glen’s experience in both port and on board operations will help us to improve services to existing customers and continue our growth path in wider cruise business.”

Glen added: “This is an exciting time to join IPH as it plays its part in strengthening Southampton’s role as Europe’s leading cruise port and expands its operations further afield, based on the ability to provide a full turn-key service that ranges from mooring to baggage handling and storing to ship’s agency.”


Harmony of the Seas

Cruise terminal operators, SCH, have added another notable first to their passenger ship credentials by handling the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, on her maiden voyage to the Port of Southampton.

SCH provided a range of services from mooring to stores loading and baggage handling as Royal Caribbean International’s exciting Harmony of the Seas made a series of short cruises from Southampton before she deployed to her home port in Barcelona for the 2016 European summer season.

The new 227,000 tonne ship is approximately two metres longer than her two sister ships of the RCI Oasis Class and can cater for over 6,500 guests on her 16 decks.

SCH provides support services for all RCI ships calling in Southampton and this season will regularly handle Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, operating their European itineraries from the south coast port.

SCH Director Lee Davis said: “Handling the largest cruise ship in the world required considerable operational expertise. Our experience supporting other RCI ships was also valuable as we played our part in ensuring that turnaround operations for Harmony of the Seas in Southampton were successful.”