Harwich Haven Authority is recruiting for a Marine Operations Manager

Harwich Haven Authority

Harwich Haven Authority, in collaboration with Faststream Recruitment, is actively seeking to recruit an experienced individual with proven people management skills to take up the role of Marine Operations Manager.   



Who will you be working for?

Almost 40% of the UK's deep-sea general cargo trade and a substantial share of short sea ferry and passenger traffic passes through the Harwich Haven. This commercial activity is an important generator of wealth and jobs, serving both national, regional and local economies.

Harwich Haven Authority, established by an act of Parliament in 1863, is responsible for protecting, conserving and improving the harbour. It plays a vital role in sustaining the economic health of the area, by supporting the operations of the five Haven Ports.

The Authority has responsibility for 150 square miles of river and seaward approaches and is designated a trust port. In 2018, 15,775 vessels arrived in the Haven carrying 194,679,000 tonnes of goods.

Safety of navigation is key to the Authority’s operations and they strive to ensure the safety of everyone using the harbour and its approaches. Their Pilotage, Vessel Traffic Services, Pilot Launch and general marine services operate 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year to keep this important trade gateway flowing.  

As an independent, not for profit organisation, with no shareholders, income is generated from the Pilotage and Conservancy tariffs charged to vessel owners using the Haven Ports. In support of the trust port ethos, the Authority reinvests surplus profits back into the Haven for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Balancing commercial and leisure operations

Co-existing alongside commercial vessels are approximately 10,000 yachts that come into the Haven each year. The Authority provides free services for recreational users including navigational and traffic information via our Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and a seasonal harbour patrol. Marker buoys, yacht channels and harbour patrols also help ensure safe passage. Tide Tables Harwich, Notices to Mariners and maps provide further useful information for both locals and visitors.

Regular conversations also take place with local yacht clubs such as the Harwich Area Sailing Association (HASA) to make their members aware of the hazards of boating in our busy harbour.

So visitors can fully enjoy the Haven’s surroundings, collaborations regularly take place with groups such as Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Natural England and RSPB to protect natural habitats.

To find out more about Harwich Haven Authority go to:

@harwichhaven on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

What will the job be?

  • To deputise for the Harbour Master for Harwich Harbour and the Harwich Seaward Areas.
  • To lead, manage and train the Authority’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) and Pilot Launch Service (PLS) safely, efficiently, cost effectively and in accordance with the Authority’s Values. To support the Harbour Master in sustaining leading standards of navigation and to assist him in ensuring that the functions of the Authority are properly carried out, maximize the services offered to our customers and that all of the Authority’s pilotage activities are conducted in compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code.
  • Together with the Deputy Harbour Master (Pilotage) to deputise for the Harbour Master on operational matters as and when required and play a full role as a member of the Marine Management Team.

  • Member of the Marine Management Team reporting directly to the Harbour Master on a day to day basis.
  • Responsible for leading and managing the Authority’s VTS and PLS teams developing collaborative working relationships to enable the departments to deliver optimum levels of service, efficiency and navigational safety.
  • Provide professional advice on appropriate marine, navigational, VTS and other related matters to the Harbour Master, Executive and the Board of the Authority as well as representing the Authority in meetings and discussions with outside bodies and organisations in these specialist areas.
  • Maintain awareness of legal and technical developments affecting the Authority’s operations, locally, nationally and internationally.


Main Activities of the Marine Operations Manager

  • Line management responsibility for the Pilot Launch Superintendent and VTS Duty Officers. Second-line management responsibility for the VTS and PLS teams
  • The provision of proactive communication and management intervention including direction and communication to staff and monitoring of operational procedures.
  • The provision of advice and guidance to the VTS and PLS teams.
  • Manage the setting and regular review of performance objectives for direct reports through the effective use of the Authority’s performance management process
  • Support the Pilot Launch Superintendent and the VTS Duty Officers with the management of people management issues/concerns in line with policy and HR guidance
  • Ensure all VTS and PLS staff are properly trained and authorised, for the tasks they have to perform and review training needs and authorisations at appropriately regular intervals.
  • Support direct reports to develop strong management and leadership skills in order to better lead their respective teams
  • Oversee all recruitment and team development activities ensuring that role vacancies are made available to the widest possible audience with the aim of achieving a diverse workforce within departments
  • Develop talent and people to ensure we have the right people in the right place and robust succession planning
  • Ensure PLS and VTS teams are kept abreast of key business and operational information and that messages are cascaded appropriately and in a timely manner.

  • Oversee all operational activities for the VTS and PLS departments
  • Take a hands-on approach to management with the ability to undertake VTS work if required.
  • Maintain an up to date knowledge of technological changes within the industry and industry best practice
  • Identify opportunities to streamline operational processes and systems
  • Define performance management KPIs to monitor operational success against objectives
  • Establish a culture of continuous business improvement
  • Ensure that the requirements of HHA health and safety policy and all other relevant policies and procedures are adhered to by employees working within the VTS and PLS departments.
  • Ensuring all operational logs, recordings and other records are properly maintained by the Pilot Launch Superintendent and VTS Duty Officers
  • When required, assist the Harbour Master in the examination (re-examination) of prospective Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) holders and overseeing the issue of PEC licences as appropriate.
  • In the absence of the Harbour Master, deputise as Commander in real and simulated emergencies and co-ordinate emergency responses in accordance with laid down procedures.
  • In conjunction with the Harbour Master undertake investigations into casualties or incidents in accordance with laid down procedure.
  • Assist the Harbour Master to explore opportunities to generate revenue for the Authority by exploring potential commercial opportunities by utilising our marine expertise.
  • Work alongside other members of the business on wider Authority projects
  • To be available outside normal office hours as senior officer on call; a duty shared with the Harbour Master, Deputy Harbour Master (Pilotage) and Assistant Harbour Master.
  • Carrying out such other duties as may be required from time to time.

  • Assist the Harbour Master whenever appropriate in reviewing the direction relating to the Authority’s Marine Operations and take responsibility for implementation and effective monitoring. Including review of statutory marine publications.
  • Assist the Harbour Master to translate the Authority’s strategic plans into defined operational plans
  • Assist the Harbour Master in regularly reviewing the level of operational demand to ensure sufficient staffing levels in the interests of safety and operational efficiency.
  • Research opportunities for cost savings within the Marine departments
  • Minimise operational expenditure within the VTS and PLS departments wherever possible with a particularly focus on the reduction of overtime spend.

  • Manage the setting of, regular review and adherence to all operational budgets within the VTS and PLS departments
  • Responsibility for controlling costs and maintaining VTS and PLS spend within the given budget.

Person Specification for the Marine Operations Manager


Management qualification or significant prior experience of working within a senior management position.


  • STCW II / 2
  • and / or
  • V103 / 1 VTS Operator qualification


  • Strong people management experience with evidence of effecting change
  • Experience of managing within a unionised environment
  • A solid track record of leading cross-functional teams
  • Strong commercial negotiation skills
  • Experience of developing and implementing policies and operational procedures


  • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written with the ability to present complex information
  • Excellent leadership, team management and motivational skills
  • Ability to coach and develop others
  • Driven to achieve results with proven strong decision- making, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of safety, quality and cost objectives
  • IT literate with Microsoft office packages and confident in learning new IT systems
  • A Team Player with the ability to build and maintain effective working relationships
  • Strong budgetary planning and proven financial acumen
  • Exceptional organisation and planning skills
  • Flexible approach to working hours


  • Knowledge of Trust Port priorities
  • Understanding of issues facing Ports and Harbour Authorities
  • Knowledge of the Maritime H&S environment
  • Stakeholder engagement skills
  • Knowledge of the Port Marine Safety Code
  • Knowledge of the legal and regulatory aspects of the HMMM duties
  • Understanding of the operation of a major port facility and its components

  • Must be prepared to travel to meetings, conferences etc. involving overnight stays.
  • Hold a UK driving licence.

The Package for the Marine Operations Manager

Salary: Negotiable 

Relocation Package: Up to £8k tax-free

Enhanced Holiday Entitlement: 25 days (plus 8 public / bank holidays)

Healthcare: Private Healthcare - BUPA paid by HHA - P11d for tax (can add family at employees’ cost) plus discount voucher scheme (part of BUPA package)

Hours: Full Time. Permanent Monday - Friday

Other benefits:

  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) - helpline assistance 
  • Death in Service (DIS) - 6 x salary
  • Enhanced Sick Pay - 6-months @100%, 6months @75%)
  • Health/wellbeing - access to OH, bi-annual health assessment & flu vaccination. Eye Care Scheme up to £100 per annum, plus up to an additional £100 per annum for VDU users.



Pension contributions




Royal London


9 26%

Defined Contribution Scheme








15.26% ceiling

Probationary period: 3 months

Notice period: During the probationary period - 1 month. After the probationary period - 3 months 


  • CPD supported, courses / training provided as required
  • Free parking

How to apply

If you would like to apply for or discuss the position of Marine Operations Manager at Harwich Haven Authority, you can apply via the following ways:


Contact Faststream’s Sebastian Zuliani, who is managing the recruitment process for a discussion about this eciting role. 

Sebastian Zuliani

Manager of Ship Management

+44 (0) 2380 208 832 Email Sebastian