John Pollard worked in container liner shipping from 1973, almost from the inception of deep-sea container transport. His first job, after having nine years in mixed banking – mainly in the City of London, for private, commercial and merchant banks – was with Nippon Yusen Kaisha as inventory manager. Here he was responsible for the control of all containers, the network, all maintenance and repair, and planning and utilisation analysis for both Trio and Med Services. This was for a period of five years, in their London office. Due to expansion in container shipping, he spent another year or so with Star Shipping as assistant manager. His next job was as OT shipping equipment control manager for the Johansson Group in Sweden. Later in London he was overall controller for group-line interests. He travelled extensively in order to deal with problems face-to-face.
In 1982, he took the container control manager’s job for the Ceylon Shipping Corporation, where he stayed until 1995, adopting a very firm grip on costs and constantly calculating the optimum utilisation patterns to cover all bookings, via the UK and European agents. He was the instigator of repair systems, control and network systems that saved the corporation a great deal of money. He also travelled to most port depots to deal personally with any excessive repair costs, fighting fraud on the way and meeting the agents to generate goodwill, and to encourage all those he worked with.
In 1996 he purchased a ladies’ fitness shop. He expanded that and continued to work as a freelance broker. This was for Transamerica Leasing, the job being to find slot space for the movement of empty containers. He started work as the container controller for Coli Shipping (UK) Ltd, in London, where, again he cut costs, ensured all bookings were covered and the containers used to optimum advantage – a low inventory being the first priority. He travelled to Libya to find long lost containers, dating back to a prior period of export. He also systematised all aspects of cost control.
As MD for Arcatrans Inc, he considered any control job that clients needed, operating from his base in Lancashire. Container control systems for utilisation, tracking, networking routes with vessel schedules, lease negotiation, repair of containers, checking invoices, and cost accountability were his specialisms.
Arcatrans Inc’s role was to secure the most economic system for the client.