Member Profile: Rob Wanless, Rix Shipping Company


What is your career background?

After two years in farming after leaving school, I joined John H Whitaker (Tankers) who operated twenty-five tanker barges on the river Humber involved in the transportation of fuels and bunkers. After ten years I moved to the JR Rix Group selling fuels, then routing and planning the barge bunker deliveries, with general operational duties and latterly full crewing responsibilities.


What first drew you towards maritime?

Living near busy ports I was always drawn to watching vessels loading/unloading and manoeuvring and at an early age enjoyed travelling on Ferries, plus the canal barges held an interest for me. Fishing was very big at the time and the port of Hull had a proud heritage, and with this and all the subsider activities, I guess that was my destiny!

What is your role at Rix Shipping and how does a day in your life look?

I am the crewing manager for Rix Shipping covering the CTVs, Barges and Sea going ships. A typical morning starts with a routine tracking of the vessel locations and a look at the up-and-coming projects, checking the manning requirements for each vessel according to the charter and the safe manning certificates. Each day is different but involves much communication, tact and “persuasion”!

What is your motivator at work?

Seeing the vessels sail with a good crew who work well together. One of the big things in recruitment is not only the experience and certification of the crew, but they have to also work well together as they spend more time living with colleagues than family.

In both your previous and current roles, what have been some of the standout activities that you have been involved with?

Sense of achievement when all deliveries were made to schedule keeping the clients happy and ensuring they will always use us again. There is much satisfaction when we see a trainee deckhand progress to be a skipper.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like to go to big music venues having played in bands in my younger days. Also, enjoy family time in the countryside

What advice do you give to anyone interested in a career within maritime?

It is a rewarding varied career with ever-changing technologies, especially in the renewables sector. It is one of the most essential industries to the UK and globally, and it will always be so.


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Member Profile: Rob Wanless, Rix Shipping Company