Meet the people of Pembroke Port - GAC UK

30 June 2021

The people who ensure the smooth delivery of the business activity at Pembroke Port and on the Milford Haven Waterway are key to the success of the operations here. From our own team members, to businesses based in and around the former Royal Dockyard, the wider supply chain and other key stakeholders, our regular feature will celebrate the hard working people of Pembroke Port who deliver such a positive impact on the local economy and community.

This month, we are featuring Mark Jack, Ships Agent at GAC UK. Mark tells us about the history of GAC UK, the company’s greatest achievements and plans for the future, his favourite day in work and lots more.

Name: Mark Jack
Business name: GAC UK
Job role: Ships Agent
How long have you worked here? Almost five years

Please tell us about your company, your products and services, and your team

GAC Pembroke is the largest, locally based and longest serving agent in Pembroke and the Milford Haven area. Our team covers all terminals including the Valero refinery, Valero Pembrokeshire Oil Terminal, Puma Energy, Pembroke Port, Milford Marina, South Hook LNG and Dragon LNG.

GAC can trace its presence in the area back to 2007 upon the acquisition of OBC who, themselves, opened an office in 1986 upon the acquisition of Burgess & Co. After a 35-year presence in the area, we have developed a wealth of experience providing agency and logistics solutions in the area and our team of six agents pride themselves on our local service, expertise and long standing local and customer relationships. Our regional manager for the South West and Wales, Carl Britton, is based here. Carl is tasked with leading the local team to continue the development of our services throughout the area, an area which is of vital importance to GAC UK.

GAC Pembroke is part of GAC UK, which is the nation’s leading service provider in ships agency, logistics and marine services with 20 plus locations throughout the UK, Ireland and Gibraltar. We are part of the GAC Group which has over 300 offices globally, in over 50 countries with over 8,000 employees.

The ethos of GAC is local expertise and service, fostering long standing relationships with its customer base, viewing customer relationships as a partnership and together evolving with industry and market needs to deliver the highest possible service.

What is the best thing about being a business based at Pembroke Port?

The unique selling point of GAC UK is its local presence and boots on the ground in all major ports around the UK, Wales and Ireland.

Pembroke Port and the Milford Haven area is a key location for us and as such it is vitally important we are based locally with excellent local relationships – we are also based in a fantastic setting and the view of the Haven is stunning.

Relationships are absolutely the key to the service GAC delivers, and one of our most important relationships is with the Port of Milford Haven. We are delighted to have such an excellent relationship with the Port, a relationship we have fostered and developed throughout the years.

The Port of Milford Haven is a progressive organisation, which has evolved alongside ever developing and advancing industry requirements, and continues to meet future challenges head on. GAC are excited to be based within the port and working together with the Port on these challenges into the future.

What has been your business’ biggest achievement?

Our services are available 24/7, 365 days a year and our team are well versed in delivering solutions to the maritime industry due to years of experience. This stands the team in good stead to be able to provide pro-active solutions to the existing terminal trade in the area and also embrace the new renewable projects, providing a high level of service to all customers involved.

In 2020 GAC UK received 1,176 feedbacks (exceeding our 1,000 target) achieving an overall satisfaction level of 99%, 2021 year to date we have received 325 responses so far and our current overall satisfaction level is also 99%.

GAC Pembroke consistently contributes to this impressive nationwide statistic. Below is just one of the customer references received for the office:

“I appreciate your good Agency for the invaluable and professional support and assistance throughout our call to South Hook. I wish that all Agents around the globe could take your best example of proper performance and services during vessel visits. It was my great pleasure to cooperate with your Agency.” Captain Oleksiy Vigutov – Sei Balqis.

What’s next for your business?

GAC Pembroke is well placed to deliver solutions to the expected boom in offshore wind and subsea renewables which will be prevalent in the area in the coming years with projects such as Erebus, Valorous and Emerald all expected. GAC nationally has built up a track record of delivering solutions to the renewable industry throughout the UK and has already delivered services to the future projects at survey stage.

We will continue to deliver import and export cargo services in the area using our unparalleled track record achieved working with the terminals throughout nearly four decades.

What has been your favourite and/or most memorable day in work, and why?

My best day at work was the first day I boarded a ship; it opened my eyes to a whole new world. I found it so exciting to be on board and get a taste of how vessels handle their cargo and an insight to the procedures they follow. The amount of people on board fascinated me and it further highlighted how important vessels are to the local and wider economy.

Is there anything else that you would like readers to know about your company?

Not only is GAC UK the leading provider of ships agency and logistics, it has an extensive array of other service offerings.

Our Marine sport, Leisure and Events product (MLE) provides extensive support to sports events globally. As part of our ongoing support to The Ocean Race, our team in Wales were involved in the event in 2018 in Cardiff for which we were the main contractor tasked with transporting the infrastructure required for the round the world sailing event. Our local agency team worked hand in hand with our MLE team to handle the importation and safe discharge of all shipments involved.

Other added value services GAC can offer globally are bunker co-ordination, freight forwarding, customs brokerage and hull wiping solutions, with all of these initiatives being available for delivery locally by our team of experts.

One key additional service offering very relevant to Wales and the South West of England is our Marine and Terminal Services product (MATS), under this product we cover hose handling, surveying and terminal services in Avonmouth, Cardiff and Plymouth. MATS can also provide mooring operations, stevedoring and a variety of other tailored marine solutions.

The Ocean Race and MATS example highlights the capability of GAC and the ability to provide a one-stop-shop to customers, wherever they are, tying together one of our national product lines with local expertise and service.

GAC UK are also committed to significantly reducing our environmental impact, improving the wellbeing of our people and influencing our stakeholders to do the same. With our MARS25 initiative we have launched a ten-year sustainability programme for people and planet with targets aligned to that of the UN sustainability goals.

We also continue to promote good physical and mental wellbeing initiatives across the UK, offering mental health first aid and additional benefits such as flexible working, enhanced maternity and paternity, additional annual leave and continuous training and staff development.

We are extremely proud to be the first provider of ships agency and related services to achieve Diversity in Maritime Charter Status with Maritime UK.

What facility would you most like to see at Pembroke Port?

I would like to see a new seafarers centre for the crew to replace the one that closed. It would be good for them to have free Wi-Fi access to call loved ones back home and to just relax in when they have shore-leave. All local stakeholders could also make use of it, building relationships with the wider community in a relaxed environment.


GAC agents Morgan Jones and Mark Jack outside the GAC Pembroke office
GAC agents Morgan Jones and Mark Jack outside the GAC Pembroke office