Release Date:
Release ID: 1171

Breakbulk stalwart retires

The complex world of project cargo will not be the same following the retirement of industry stalwart Cecil Moore after more than 40 years.

South African-based Mr Moore, was the Honorary Consul for Sweden and Norway, in KwaZulu-Natal and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (FICS) London.

His career has included meeting ex Presidents Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk, President Thabo Mbeki, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and the King and Queen of both Norway and Sweden. His consular and business services were recognised with a Knight 1st Class, Polar Star (Swedish Award); and Knight 1st Class, Royal Order of Merit (Norwegian Award).

Mr Moore started his career in shipping in the early 1960s when he joined the Durban Port Captains Office staff learning operations at one of the busiest ports in Africa.

He then joined William Cotts as a Marine Boarding clerk in the operations department.

“This was a great opportunity to get hands-on experience in every department, spending time on the freight desk, claims, and trade development,” Mr Moore recalled.

William Cotts became Mitchell Cotts Maritime and Mr Moore continued his climb up the company ladder. He helped develop many lines in the South African trade, particularly the Brasilian Lines Lloyd Brasileiro, Paulista and the Spanish Line Naviera Garcia Minaur (Consortium Line). He cut his teeth on breakbulk cargo to far-flung corners of the globe and was one of the first to realise the potential of containerisation that changed the face of shipping.

In the early eighties he was promoted to Assistant Manager and then eventually became Manager of Mitchell Cotts Maritime in Durban.

With this promotion came the post of Honorary Swedish Consul in 1983, a post traditionally held by the Manager of Mitchell Cotts.

In 1987 the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Department appointed him Honorary Consul for Norway in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Later that year, Mitchell Cotts’ Maritime disinvested in South Africa, and despite being offered a very attractive position within the Grindrod Group who had taken over Mitchell Cotts, Mr Moore made the decision to start his own company.

Seaclad Maritime was formed and the Swedish and Norwegian authorities decided to break with tradition and the post of Honorary Consul in KwaZulu-Natal remained with Mr Moore.

Seaclad went from strength-to-strength and in 1988 were asked by HK Shipping (Hetherington Kingsbury), the Australian Aid Cargo Agents for Africa, to handle the Australian Aid parcels into Southern Africa.

“This was the start of some very exciting and challenging projects into various African countries,” Mr Moore said.

In 1992, Mr Moore decided to start a new venture called Mariner Shipping & Trading (Pty) Ltd.

“As a result of our Australian Aid cargo connection, the new company began trading as HK Shipping and has done so ever since, becoming almost a household word in shipping circles,” Mr Moore said.

Since 1999, Mr Moore has worked closely with international project cargo specialist Kevin Stephens and many members of the Project Professionals Group.

“Cecil is highly regarded for his professionalism and his achievements in the freight forwarding industry not only in Africa but around the world thanks to the successful partnerships he brokered on behalf of clients over a long period of time,” Mr Stephens said.

Mr Moore and his wife Jean are planning to spend more time in Perth, Western Australia, where both their daughters and young families have settled.


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