Ken Perritt - General Manager


"Logistics is so much more than just 'moving boxes', it is a complex, interesting, dynamic environment where individuals can really make a difference."


How did you get into logistics and what was your first role?

I left school at 18 and was desperate for a job. I heard of a warehouse operative vacancy through a friend, so applied. At first I was unsuccessful due to over-subscription, but I kept pestering and when the company next recruited, they contacted me to offer me the job.


What is it about logistics that appealed to you and what does the industry have to offer young people starting their careers?

Being 18 at the time, the main main driver was financial reward and job security, however after 6 months, the opportunities were there to learn new skills, meet new people and be paid a generous wage for what was essentially an unskilled job.


What skills do you think you need to succeed within logistics?

Passion, a focus to succeed, resilience, a sense of humour, bags of common sense and an ability to adapt to your surroundings. Depending on how far you want to go, the only thing that will hold you back is your own desire - if you believe that you can do something then with the right support and a postitve attitude you won't be disappointed.


How has XPO Logistics helped shape your career?

I joined XPO Logistics as a Deputy General Manager was the key step for me in becoming a General Manager. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take on a site of my own and I am now in a privileged postion to be able to actively support colleagues who are either just setting out in their careers, or already established and looking to refocus and do something different.


What qualifications have you gained during your time at XPO Logistics?

I have completed the in-house Red Management Programme, which really delves into human behaviours, not only as an individual, also as a team. By understanding ourselves and others, we have a unique opportunity to be the best that we can be, which has to be good thing for everyone concerned!


What makes XPO Logistics a special place to work?

I have to say the people. I have worked and operated at many levels in 20 years of distribution and overall XPO Logistics has the right balance between people and commercial demands. Everyone is willing to support and help each other and generally speaking we are all heading in the same direction! Sure, there are difficult days, however they are overwhelmley outweighed by the good.

What advice would you give to an apprentice entering the logistics sector? 

If you’re committed and not afraid of hard work, both physically and mentally, then the world really is your oyster. Listen to those around you, use their experience to your advantage, learn from the mistakes (yours and theirs!) and move on. Logistics is a “dark art” and as technology develops and customers demand more for less you will never be bored, no two days are the same. After 20 years I still enjoy every day as it was my first and that is down to the people I work with who make it a great environment. Logistics is so much more than just “moving boxes”, it is a complex, interesting, dynamic environment where individuals can really make a difference!!