Shipping profile: John Leitao

John Leitao works as Operation Controller in our Shipping team. He started working with British Steel in 2008 - find out more about what he does and the advice he'd give others thinking of joining us...

What was your first role in British Steel and what's been your journey since?

I've worked in various roles in Shipping both in the UK and overseas for in excess of 18 years, including working as an Assistant Port Manager. I started work with British Steel 12 years ago and my current role is Operation Controller, handling post fixture in the Shipping Department - this involves liaising with shipping companies on all aspects from point of engagement through to completion of voyage.

Our products travel globally and my role is to make sure our steel products are delivered to worldwide destinations on time, to the requirements of our customers, without compromising on the quality of our products, or health and safety.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My role involves coordination with various British Steel functions and external organisations to ensure our products are moved from the rolling mills to the end destination on time. I work directly with the mills, commercial teams, transport providers, port operators - both in the UK and overseas - cargo surveyors, ship owners and even the captain of the ship!

In order to charter vessels for both deep and shortsea routes, a good understanding of Incoterms, letter of credit, marine insurance policies, sales contracts and charter party terms are essential. However, this all comes with experience, continued personal development and support from the knowledgeable and dedicated team I am proud to be part of.

Safety is paramount and our team ensures all activities within a port and logistics environment are performed to British Steel safety standards.

A key element of my role is as an expert on logistics flow within the supply chain; I'm often involved in providing the commercial teams with costings and proposals to support project bids.

Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?

The team I work with and the management have always been supportive. British Steel has given me the opportunity and exposure to develop, both professionally and personally. The strive to improve and be the best steel producer is clearly visible in the passion of the people working at British Steel.

What advice would you give to other people considering a career here?

Sometimes when starting your career, you might look to the bright lights – but a vibrant steel town like Scunthorpe and British Steel provide opportunities in a wide range of roles including, but not limited to, finance, legal, supply chain, transport and shipping, operations, planning, technical, commercial, communications and IT. There's a huge variety of roles that go in to making and delivering our products!

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