Dispatch Manager
CEVA Logistics

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Tom E

Hello, my name is Tom E. I work for CEVA Logistics in Bristol, and I’m a Despatch Manager. A Despatch Manager involves basically the day to day running of the transport. First thing in a morning I come in and check that everything that was prepared yesterday for today’s deliveries is all complete and gone through, and then I’ve got to start planning on tomorrow’s deliveries, so basically making sure that we’ve got the resources and everything in place ready for tomorrow.

00:00:35 As a young man at school, the only dream I had at the time was to be in the Navy. I think it was a passion for water. I don’t know. I just loved it. From an early age of about twelve, it was something that I always wanted to do. I even had careers advisors at school trying to tell me to try something else. I just said ‘I’m going, and that’s it. There’s nothing going to stop me.’ My mother waved me off on a train when I was sixteen and a half, and basically I never went back.

00:01:11 The day I left the north east, I caught a train down to Ipswich, via London, spent six months at a training facility – training camp – HMS [01:19], then moved from various ship to ship, and then shore base to shore base, and so on and so forth. That carried on for ten years. The thing I love most about the Navy was probably the people. It was such a lovely atmosphere to be in. Everybody looked after everybody else, you know. It was just a wonderful place to be in.

00:01:46 I think the biggest turning point in my life was actually leaving the Navy. It was such a big step, if you like, to come out of my comfort zone, and I think that was a major turning point for me and a large step at the time to take because I didn’t have a clue what to expect and what to do.

00:02:09 Initially, I had a City and Guild in motor mechanics, so I thought I’ll try the car dealerships. I’d done various odd jobs for the car dealerships. I didn’t really take to it. After two and a half years being employed by two different dealerships I then moved onto a logistics company – a small logistics company. I then moved to an insulation firm, which was delivering stuff on two sites for building site. I then started in… in August 1993 I actually came to CEVA as a warehouse person.

00:02:47 My work/life balance I think is quite normal at the moment. I give a hundred percent to my job, but also my leisure time is also my time, so I make sure that I have leisure time. I like DIY, which is a favourite thing of mine, and I also like cars, mainly tinkering with cars. I actually do a bit of car recovery on the side for a friend of mine. I’ll go down his yard and I’ll strip a car, strip an engine out, strip the gearbox out. So it’s slightly different to what I actually do at work, but it’s very enjoyable.

00:03:23 In the future five or ten year’s time, hopefully, I’m currently looking at emigrating to the States. I’m planning on buying a business out there to move out there. I’ve actually sold my house to finance the project, so hopefully by the middle of next year I should be in America enjoying the sunshine.


At the moment Tom E is a Dispatch Manager at CEVA Logistics in Bristol. But he’s planning to buy a business in the States, “I’ve actually sold my house to finance the project, so hopefully by the middle of next year I should be in America enjoying the sunshine.”

More information about Managers and directors in transport and distribution

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

76%  male 
24%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Managers and directors in transport and distribution plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities and resources necessary for the safe, efficient and economic movement of passengers and freight by road, rail, sea and air transport.
Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications and/or with relevant experience. Entrants to management trainee schemes in logistics offered by larger companies will require GCSEs/S grades, A levels/H grades, a degree or other equivalent qualifications. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. Professional qualifications are available. Legislation of the European Union requires all transport managers to hold a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). NVQs/SVQs in a number of relevant areas including supply chain and operations management are available at Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • Plans the optimum utilisation of staff and operating equipment, and co-ordinates maintenance activities to ensure least possible disruption to services;
  • Examines traffic reports, load patterns, traffic receipts and other data and revises transport services or freight rates accordingly;
  • Directs the movement, handling and storage of freight in transit, and reviews space utilisation, staffing and distribution expenditure to determine future distribution policies;
  • Ensures that regulations regarding hours of work, the licensing of crews and transport equipment, the operational safety and efficiency of equipment, the insurance of vehicles and other statutory regulations are complied with;
  • Ensures that harbour channels and berths are maintained and liaises with ship owners, crew, customs officials, dock and harbour staff to arrange entry, berthing and servicing of ships;
  • Supervises day-to-day activities in a railway station;
  • Arranges for maintenance of airport runways and buildings, liaises with fuel and catering crews to ensure adequate supplies and resolves any complaints and problems raised by airport users.
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