In the Spotlight with Joe Murfitt
Pall-Ex thrives on dynamism and foresight. Logistics is an industry that is always a moveable feast (if you’ll excuse the pun) with our partners responding to the demands of global markets. COVID, like many other industries, hit logistics hard and challenged us to come up with new and innovative ways to operate in a ‘new normal’.
Joe Murfitt is a shining example of how our team dealt with this uncertain time to create new opportunities and achieve results. We’d like to introduce you to Joe and celebrate some of the amazing work he has accomplished in his 7-year career at Pall-Ex.
Joe Murfitt is our Central Hub Operations Manager. Joe is a real success story here at Pall-Ex climbing up the ladder from telesales all the way up to senior management. Joe and his team work tirelessly to streamline processes, provide new pathways for team members to grow, and generally improve Pall-Ex’s offering as a whole.
Joe has been central to a series of successful initiatives including streamlining the daytime hub operation. Joe set himself the target of reducing unloading times by 2.5 hours, revolutionising the day shift operation and providing huge benefits to members whilst saving on costs by reducing working hours.
Joe is also a huge driving force behind the Warehouse to Wheels initiative. This drive was in direct response to the HGV shortage and supported forklift operators who wanted to become HGV drivers. By supporting the internal team with training and funding, we have been able to weather the storm and create exciting opportunities for promotion and self-development within.
We sat down with Joe to talk about his time at Pall-Ex and what it was like to be recognised for his successes with a Rising Star of the Year nomination.
How long have you been working with Pall-Ex?
Just over seven years. I started in 2014 in telesales as a junior, moving up to customer services and account handling before taking a transport supervisor role. This led to my promotion to Operations Supervisor in 2019.
When not at work, how do you unwind?
Obviously, with lockdown I’ve not been able to travel as much I’d like. I’ve had some great trips to Thailand and would love to go back. I also play football for Coalville FC every Saturday and will probably give that a few more seasons before moving to a more casual Sunday League.
What does a great day at work look like for you?
The best thing about working at Pall-Ex is that no one day is the same. Every day is unique and has its own challenges. For me, a great day is identifying challenges, finding opportunities with the team, and solving any issues that may arise.
I’ve got a really great team that has grown to include 36 people. There’s a real buzz in the office and it’s so great to see everyone get involved and buzzed, especially around busy times of the year."
What’s the best thing about being part of Team Pall-Ex?
One thing that’s consistent is that change is constant. Logistics is an industry that is constantly evolving, and it’s really exciting to be part of that change.
It’s also been great to put my own spin on things and help the team grow. Our Warehouse to Wheels initiative has helped people realise their skills. With the HGV driver shortage, we saw a gap to develop our team, help train them up, and fill the HGV needs.
I’ve also personally experienced the investment internally from Pall-Ex. The company has helped me with my degree and seeing Pall-Ex investing in the team is really amazing.
What is the most exotic delivery destination you’ve seen pallets shipped to?
It wasn’t that long ago but after visiting Thailand on holiday it was funny to think about Pall-Ex delivering all the way to Ko Samui. The majority of our work is throughout Europe but it’s nice to see Pall-Ex moving further afield. Imagine seeing a little Pall-Ex tuk-tuk!
What’s the most unusual item you’ve seen on a pallet?
As a network, we deliver everything up to 5m. The most surprising for me was a shipment of MMA training bags. They’re like punching bags with arms and heads to look like a body and allow for grappling, training, that sort of thing.
Anyway, driving my buggy through the warehouse I stopped dead when I saw them out the corner of my eye and thought they were bodies.
Another interesting shipment, especially from our Hull hub, is live beehives. The bees are sedated for 24 hours so we can ship them safely to their new home, but it is a little worrying handling a live beehive.
What’s your go-to road trip snack/playlist?
On road trips, I like to tailor the playlist so if I’m heading to London for a night out I’ll plan some upbeat house music. If I’m going on a road trip to somewhere wild (like my recent trip to Falkirk) I might put together a playlist of indie music, Oasis etc.
What trucker handle (nickname) best describes you?
This is one I’ve got from my football team. I’m a tall guy so they call me Longshanks so that would probably be it.
What is the most scenic route to travel on?
Locally, the Scottish countryside is beautiful. Abroad, I remember going to the Hideout festival in Croatia. We drove from Split down the length of the country. Croatia has the most islands in Europe, so we ended up taking 6 different ferries. Led to some great views that were broken up with some historical stuff like ruined tanks from the past.
Which country, that you can deliver to, would be number one on your holiday hit list?
Rio in Brazil or New York in the USA are on my bucket list. I would like to see the journey of the pallet from the UK to its destination.
Given your success at taking on a managerial role; do you have any advice for young people on the qualities needed to manage a team?
Not to sound cliche, but I started on telesales and I got to management through determination and hard work. For anyone out there, it’s all about taking your opportunities and believing in yourself.
What was it like being entered into the Logistics UK Awards and meeting royalty?
I’m not up-to-date on the royals, to be honest, but Princess Anne does loads of charity work related to logistics; helping people in developing countries achieve HGV licenses so they can get a good job. That was quite cool, as we both sort of worked towards similar initiatives.
One thing I remember, I’m tall and when Princess Anne’s security came in, they gave me a quick look up-and-down to make sure I wasn’t a threat. That was quite funny.
It’s thanks to the Pall-Ex team, like Joe, that we can offer market-leading services across the UK, Europe and the wider world. If you’re interested in finding out more about our leading palletised freight services or how you can become part of the Pall-Ex team contact us today.