PETER RICHARDS - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
With over 12 years of seagoing experience and 34 years of expertise in the operation and management of Ports and Container Terminals, Peter Richards joined Gulftainer’s headquarters in the UAE in 1987. He has served as Managing Director, General Manager, Operations Manager, Terminal Manager and Operations Superintendent with the company. Mr. Richards is currently the CEO and Executive Board Member of Gulftainer and CEO of Gulftainer’s US arm, GT USA.
Mr. Richards steered Gulftainer’s diversified growth from being a simple port operator to an integrated logistics supplier. He has played an instrumental role in expanding Gulftainer’s global footprint to Europe, and the Americas, in addition to securing consultancy contracts regionally; and in 2015 took the reins to drive the company’s global expansion plan into the USA.
Building Gulftainer’s reputation in its home ports, which in turn enabled the company to export its competencies and productivity world-wide, Mr. Richards established the company’s credentials as a premier international port operator.
A qualified Master Mariner with Diploma in Nautical Science, Mr. Richards has gained the reputation of being able to operate a very tight ship with excellent productivity and maintaining a loyal, long-term staff. His commitment and vision, as well as entrepreneurial maturity, has been recognized by numerous industry bodies including Sharjah’s International Maritime Club (IMC), who awarded him the Golden Helm Excellence Award in the Trade and Export category, the Propeller Club, Port Canaveral who named Peter the Maritime Person of the Year and Logistics Middle East magazine, which has regularly named Peter one of the top five most influential executives in Gulf Cooperation Countries Logistics Industry.
Tim Haas - Chief Operating Officer
With 31 years of experience in the transportation industry, Tim Haas is currently the Group COO for Gulftainer in Sharjah, UAE, responsible for operations and financial performance of a portfolio of terminal and transportation companies. Previously he served as SVP & COO of CMA CGM America and has overall responsibility for Marine, Equipment and Intermodal Operations in the US and Canada.
Prior to joining CMA CGM, Tim was working with Instar AGF, Canadian Infrastructure Fund, specializing in the purchase of transportation assets. He also served as Sr. Vice President of Watco Terminal and Port Services where he ran a network of 22 rail terminals across the US and Canada and a 655-acre industrial port in Houston. Before that time, he spent his career with Maersk/APM Terminals in various locations around the globe.
In the US, Tim has managed container terminal operations in New Orleans, Tacoma and Houston. Besides working in terminal operations in the US, he has managed the Port of Salalah, Oman, worked in business development in Africa and the Middle East from the APM Terminals corporate office in The Hague where he was involved in the port privatization of Luanda, Angola; Aqaba, Jordan; Az Zubayr, Iraq and Bahrain, and held the regional position of COO for the Greater China Area where he sat on the board of 10 joint venture organizations.
Daniel Wright - Chief Operating Officer
Daniel is a seasoned senior operations management professional with over 31 years of global supply chain and logistics experience, specializing in global ports and container terminals.
In December 2012 Daniel made the move from the UK to the UAE becoming Terminal Manager of Gulftainer’s flagship container terminal in Khorfakkan. Daniel has served as Gulftainer UAE’s Managing Director and Director of Operations Support since 2020. He joined Gulftainer as Terminal Manager in 2012 and served as Gulftainer Group Operations Manager from 2018 to 2020.
Prior to joining Gulftainer Daniel held senior managerial positions, starting his career in the UK at the Royal Mail. In 2008 Daniel moved into the Ports industry to take up an operational management role with Hutchinson Port Holdings at the Port of Felixstowe in the UK, being one of only two new entrants at that time, recruited from outside the industry into a management role. During his time at Felixstowe, Daniel introduced numerous successful initiatives aimed at improving productivity and management/employee communication.
Daniel is currently the Chief Operating Officer, responsible for driving operational growth across Gulftainer’s global ports and container terminals portfolio. He is responsible for business relationship liaison between Business Unit terminal operations and port authorities and customer relations. Along with ensuring safe, efficient and productive operations across Gulftainer’s global portfolio for the management teams to achieve and exceed core KPI's and strategic objectives.
Javier Echeverria - Chief Financial Officer
Javier Echeverria is the Chief Financial Officer at Gulftainer. In this capacity, he is responsible for the company’s operational and financial strategy, assessment of organic and acquisition expansion opportunities, governance and risk management.
Javier is an accomplished financial strategist. In his previous role as Regional Finance Manager of Euromed and Americas for the Singaporean company PSA from Antwerp. He managed a multi-billion business driving its financing strategy and performance since 2019, with a portfolio of assets spanning across 11 countries including the USA. Echeverria joined PSA in 2014 as Regional Head of Finance for Latam based in Panama, taking leadership roles of increasing responsibility and is a financial leader with a demonstrated track record of delivering profitable growth for logistic and transportation companies and developing infrastructure projects.
His practical experience including Finance Transformation, is complemented with strategic capabilities enhanced by his education from INSEAD and IESE Business School.
Andrew Hoad - Group Chief Commercial Officer
With 34 years’ experience within the transportation industry, Andrew is currently CCO responsible for the commercial performance of the Gulftainer portfolio of terminal and transportation companies.
Andrew began his career with P&O where he was Commercial Manager for the Group’s Southampton Container Terminal. He also served as General Manager for the Saudi Arabia & Red Sea region for P&O Containers. To date Andrew has been based in eight countries and territories during his professional career.
Prior to joining Gulftainer, Andrew served as CEO for DP World Asia Pacific and as Chief Network Officer (CNO) for their global supply chain and logistics function. As CEO Andrew was responsible for eleven business units throughout the Asia region, leading the acquisition and then integration of the Korean based Unico logistics business into the wider DPW group. During this same period in 2021-22 Andrew also served as President of the Digital Freight Alliance, part of DP World’s digital enterprise.
Andrew has held roles as CEO of terminals in the Dominican Republic and Peru and was successively CEO and then Chairman of Asian Terminals Inc, DPW’s portfolio of container terminals, general stevedoring and passenger terminals in the Philippines. During this period in the Philippines, he doubled the revenue of the business, building an integrated multi-modal partnership with the country’s largest exporter, while also increasing margins. Earlier he was Commercial Director Asia for DP World and for CSX World Terminals. Prior to this, he served successively as Commercial Director Europe and then General Manager Europe for CSX, leading a number of terminal concession bids.
A graduate of Cambridge University, Andrew has logistics qualifications from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, and has participated in executive programmes at MIT, IMD Business School, the National University of Singapore and Case Western Reserve University. He has been active in the British and American chambers of commerce in Hong Kong for a number of years.
Simon Aynsley - Group Chief Sales Officer
Simon is an experienced senior executive in international shipping, maritime, trade, air & sea logistics, road & rail transport, vessel operations and integrated supply chain management having spent his 40-year career working for a number of global firms including DHL International (in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and Bahrain), Nedlloyd Swire, P&O Nedlloyd, Japanese conglomerate NYK before joining the CMA CGM Group in 1998.
Simon held the positions of Group Managing Director for the UAE for 3 years and Group Managing Director for Australia/New Zealand for 10 years. He was responsible for the Group’s organisational transformation and increased profitability.
Simon has held a number of Board positions across multiple companies throughout his career and more recently served as Executive Director and CCO of start-up firm Spectainer, an innovation and technology company designing/manufacturing collapsible shipping containers in tandem with the world’s first fully automated collapsing stations. His strategic vision, commercial strategy and global network including Carriers, BCO’s, IFF’s, road, rail and barge operators has been key to the Company’s future financial success.
Graduating in Business Management from Melbourne University, Simon his married with 3 children however returns to the UAE this time round with his wife Jacqui only. Simon enjoys golf, Formula 1, Australian Rules, Rugby Union, Cricket and is a keen cook and gardener when time permits.
Sarmad Tiwana - Director Human Resources
With over 25 years of rich and diverse experience in Human Resources and Organizational Change Management, Sarmad Tiwana has been instrumental in creating globally coherent HR business strategies and transformation initiatives that enhance organizational infrastructure, turnaround human resource departments and improve collaboration across the business.
Sarmad joined Gulftainer in September 2014. As the HR Director for the Company’s global human capital function, he is primarily responsible for developing the organization’s strategies and creating an agile, stretching and engaged performance culture. His group-wide HR leadership focus areas also include capability building, human capital development, change management and providing recommendations to Gulftainer’s strategic thinking and direction.
Sarmad previously held senior leadership positions in a variety of sectors spanning Education, Consulting, Leisure, Built Asset Management, Infrastructure and the Media sector across the U.K., Kuwait and the U.A.E.
In his previous HR leadership roles with E.C. Harriss, Moby Media and Fouad Alghanim Group of Companies, Sarmad pioneered HR functions and related operations across Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and India, to lead international people strategies in diverse markets, with a major emphasis on continuous learning, coaching and leadership development, designing change initiatives whilst improving internal processes and procedures within any demanding environment.
A British national, Sarmad is a graduate in Mathematics and holds an MBA in HR and Change Management from the University of Hull Business School. Besides a PG Diploma in Management Studies from Greenwich Business College in London, he also holds several certifications including a PG Certificate Diploma in Neuroscience and Leadership, Human Behaviour Psychologist/Consulting, and Health, Life and Nutrition Coaching.
Vinay Sharma - Director Information Technology
Vinay is the Director of Information Technology at Gulftainer. In his role, he is responsible for the continued development of an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment throughout Gulftainer. He drives the digital strategy of our value chain globally, explores emerging technologies, assesses their impact on the company's business, prototypes and evaluates new concepts, and recommends new approaches and solutions.
Vinay joined Gulftainer in April 2012. As a technology executive and business partner with more than 20 years of experience, his core focus is on Digital transformation and Innovations. Since joining Gulftainer, he orchestrated a complete transformation of Gulftainer's existing IT infrastructure, mission-critical systems, team composition, and IT culture. Under his leadership, Gulftainer was awarded The Best IT Transformation Award by Logistics Middle East in year 2017. Vinay strongly believes in the alignment of IT strategies with business objectives to help Gulftainer achieve a competitive position in the industry while honouring its commitment to stakeholders worldwide.
In his previous role, Vinay functioned as an IT Director, where he gained vast experience in the various business verticals of the global supply chain - ports, logistics & transportation, manufacturing, contracting, property, retail, and distribution. Vinay holds a master’s degree in computer science and an Executive MBA from SPJ School of Global Management.
Vinay is a member of the CIO global forums, port & logistics industry groups and has won many industry accolades such as CIO100, CXO50 and World CIO 200.
James Caldwell - Group General Counsel
With over twenty years of experience as an international trial lawyer and General Counsel, Jim has a record of mitigating organizational risk and litigation costs and exposure to drive profitability without undercutting morale. He is skilled in global collaboration and communication, regulatory compliance, and change management, consistently exceeding organizational goals to drive and maximize profitability.
A trusted legal advisor and business partner, Jim has established key partnerships with internal and external stakeholders throughout his career by focusing on strategic contract negotiation and conflict resolution, among other areas.
Jim is a servant leader enthusiastic about using his advanced business and legal acumen to represent his clients and is fully committed to making Gulftainer’s Legal department commercially minded, accessible, responsive, and a true support department facilitating revenue generation and mission execution. In his former role as Chief Legal Officer, Jim had the overall responsibility of the legal and compliance functions for the BOA Group, which is a privately held Norwegian conglomerate of shipping, engineering, construction support, and marine transportation and management companies operating worldwide. Prior to his time at BOA, Jim was a trial lawyer at what is now Bracewell LLP.
Jim holds a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University - Bloomington, a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University, and a BA from Stephen F. Austin State University, in addition to various other certifications and licenses. He is married to Kristen and has three daughters. Jim is an avid reader, author, inventor, and marathon runner.