Harris-born Murdo Macleod who is the man at the helm of Inverness Harbour is to retire after 54 years in the shipping and ports industry.
Originally from Tarbert, Captain Macleod joined Inverness Harbour in 1981 after more than 24 years in the merchant navy with many years in command of container ships, passenger, bulk carriers and general cargo vessels trading world wide.
Originally appointed as a marine pilot, Murdo was Harbour Master for many years and became the port’s first Chief Executive in 2002, a post he combined with harbour master before the roles were split in 2006.
Murdo commented: “It’s been a great privilege to spend so many years at Inverness Harbour – a facility which is part of the fabric of the city. I’ve seen ships come and go and cargos come and go, but the harbour has continued to thrive at the heart of what is now a city. I’ve been proud to be part of the development of the port over the years. With our latest additions and improvements we now have one of the most modern ports in the UK.”
In his time at the harbour he estimates he has piloted 9,000 ships in and out of the Port of Inverness and has overseen many changes in the facilities. One of the biggest changes over the years has been the size of the ships that come to the harbour where larger, modern and more powerful ships are now handled. And that’s down to new developments, according to Murdo: “We’ve invested more than £19 million on improvements in recent years and that has paid off.”
Developments in recent years include the extension of the Longman Quay and also a new Tanker berth as well as the North Longman Development which opened in 2009, giving larger laydown areas for renewable energy companies.
Another substantial change has been the creation of the new Marina which is already almost full and attracts yachtsmen from Europe as well as closer to home.
Chairman of the Harbour Trust Rod Michie, praised the contribution Captain Macleod has made to the Harbour, saying: “What you see today at the port of Inverness is a different place from the one Murdo arrived at in 1981. Those changes would not have happened without him and he has steered a very steady course over the years. The harbour is one of the city’s success stories and it has continued to thrive, despite difficult economic circumstances. Murdo has made a major contribution to that success.”
Captain MacLeod will not be lost to the industry as he will remain as a Trustee/Board Member.