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Tristan Howitt

CEO at X-Press Feeders


Tristan has worked for the Hartnoll family-owned X-Press Feeders Group since 1998. He became the MD for Asia in 2002, and in 2012 was made the CEO. In this time, the Group has consolidated from multiple regional brands in to the single global brand ‘X-Press Feeders’, and expanded to over 5.6m teu year, operating over 100 ships in Feeder Hubs from the WC Central and South America, Caribbean, North Europe, to the Mediterranean and through the Red Sea and Middle East to Africa, ISC, SE Asia and North Asia. Over 30 of these ships are now owned. As such, the Group has truly become ‘The Global Common Carrier’ and now ranks as 17th in the AXS listing. But none of these containers carried belong to the Group, as the business model is almost unique in being simply the provider of SOC Shipper-Owned-Container FEEDER solutions to the Container Industry, rather than being a competitor; a distinction which enables more rapturous expansion into new regions provided, of course, that they add value. In a commoditised Industry where margins are such a small percentage of turnover, Carriers are forever exploring ways to replace fixed network costs with variable costs, and X-Press offer a global out-port feeder network which can be accessed through almost any variety of variable and/or fixed regional allocations and partnerships.Prior to working for X-Press, Tristan worked 12 years for the Vestey family’s ‘Blue Star Line’, where he started in Reefer Trading, before being posted to Dubai and India as Operations Manager. He was made the Liner Trades Manager in 1992, responsible for the South American, Australasian, USWC/USEC and Middle East/India Trades, and remained in that post until Blue Star’s purchase by P&ON in 1998 when he joined X-Press. Tristan had joined Blue Star after a Commission in the Royal Navy,where he spent most of the 6 years in HM Submarines in the permanently gale-struck North Atlantic,either underwater, or wishing he was. Since realising the permanent oversupply of tonnage in most of the shipping markets, he has long nurtured the idea of returning to this skillset of rapid tonnage deletion, if he can only develop a business plan that fulfills current environmental and people friendly requirements.“

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