Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Meet some of our team below!

Darren Ryan – Director

Darren Ryan started his career as an apprentice and now runs Morrison Freight with co-director Lee Steward.

As a boy he had spent his summers helping his Dad in his warehousing business and, with that experience under his belt, he left school and got himself a place at the International Trade College where he studied for his NVQ in International Trade and Services.

His first job was with Denholm International Freight Ltd in Felixstowe at the age of 16 on pay of just £29 a week, starting on the Eastern European Department before moving to the German department.

It was during this time that Darren and Lee first met and, at the age of 22, they both moved to work at Morrison Freight.

Darren gained experience working on the Import, Export, South European, Warehousing and German departments.

He also got his hands dirty helping with handballing, the loading and unloading of containers and achieving a forklift license so he could unload containers and be on the ‘front line’ of daily operations.

In April 2015 Darren and Lee made the joint decision to buy the business and completed a management buyout and became directors, with a vision of taking the company forward.

Within our first two years they completed a Business Growth Programme with Cranfield School of Management and created a ten-year plan for the business.

Darren also completed a Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and DGSA qualification.

Lee Steward – Director

Lee Steward runs Morrison Freight with co-director Darren Ryan.

The pair met while working for Denholm International Freight Ltd in Felixstowe and, at the age of 22, they both moved to work at Morrison Freight.

Lee gained experience working on both the import and export sides of the business and became particularly interested in bespoke logistics.

His resourceful, driven nature has helped push through innovative solutions for many of the company’s customers, including the inter-modal service which allows freight to travel part of the way by train – a cost-effective option for many clients.

In April 2015 Lee and Darren made the joint decision to buy the business and completed a management buyout and became directors, with a vision of taking the company forward.

Within our first two years they completed a Business Growth Programme with Cranfield School of Management and created a ten-year plan for the business.

Since then Lee has been instrumental in future-proofing the business with heavy investment in recruitment and training.

Scott Maskall – Southern European Operations

Scott Maskall has held a variety of roles during his 15 year career with Morrison Freight.

He currently works in the operations division, overseeing daily operations between UK, France, Spain and Italy in his role in southern European department.

Before that, he held positions in the accounts department and in warehousing which have given him a good understanding of how the team works in unison.

His favourite part of his job is the negotiating and deal making which he has to do on a daily basis but he also enjoys constantly learning.

As such, he has completed an ADR training course – Introduction to customs for Export and Import (BIFA) – as well as FTA Management of drivers’ hours and records and Emergency First Aid at work. He also has an NVQ level 2 & 3 in business improvement techniques.

Scott’s desire to constantly challenge himself plays out in his personal life too. He completed a skydive in 2016, jumping out of an aeroplane at 10.000ft. He has also sampled the unusual dish of fried tarantula while in Vietnam – part of a backpacking tour across Asia.

Scott is a father of two.

Jamie Abbott – Export Operations

Jamie joined Morrison Freight in 2014 on an apprenticeship and was so enthusiastic he finished his NVQ Level 2 & 3 ahead of schedule.

After working in imports for six months, he was moved to exports and now, at the age of 23, manages that department.

He is responsible for more than 2,300 tonnes of cargo a week – which is almost 100 lorries per week.

Jamie is directly responsible for the growth, profitability and budgets for the export division as well as being a key account manager for a number of customers from the retail, construction and manufacturing sectors.

He is responsible for organising monthly UK client visits for his team and implementing new processes and procedures when required. 

Jamie played an integral role in helping the company grow its exporting in Switzerland – meticulously going through all the tasks necessary in dealing with a country outside of the EU.

As a result he became a key member of the team which helped the company obtain AEO status and a trusted advisor to customers on the impact of Brexit.

Since then he has introduced procedures and measures within his department that has seen trade between the UK and Germany increase by 33% while European overland road services have increased by 27%.

He also cemented partnerships with existing and new customers which have seen the business increase its European cross trade between Belgium and Germany, France and Germany and Spain and Germany by 26%.

Jamie was a finalist in the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year category of the BIFA Awards in 2019.

Thorsten Drennhaus – Import Operations

Thorsten Drennhaus is just one of our resident German speakers. Having started an apprenticeship in freight forwarding 1991 after leaving business school.

By 1996 Thorsten was fully working in German national freight services and soon decided to move his skill set to an international operation where he was in charge of export traffic from Germany to the UK, Belgium & the Netherlands.

Flourishing on the buzz and thrill of the international side of freight & logistics; Thorsten saw the opportunity and growing presence of Morrison Freight Ltd within Europe and decided to move over the UK and join the team in 1998 and has never looked back.

When Thorsten initially joined Morrison Freight they were moving approximately 40 lorries a week from Germany to the UK. Under Thorsten’s leadership the department now moves over 120 lorries a week from Germany to the UK alone, not to mention cross trade throughout Europe with insights and experience gained by Thorsten’s early career.

While Morrison Freight applied for the AEO status, Thorsten was a key member of the team that helped in the process and is a trusted advisor to customers on the impact of Brexit.

As part of Morrison Freight’s training in 2019 Thorsten acquired an EAL Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Business Improvement techniques as well as taking part in an ADR awareness course and BIFA training for Import and Export customs regulations

Andy Brendt – Import Operations

Andy is another apprentice of the Freight industry having started on a YTS scheme back in 1991 whilst working for a European trailer operator. Andy soon found he enjoyed the buzz of European freight and moved to the more challenging role of becoming a freight forwarder in 2005.

Andy’s long history and experience has had him oversee and partake in many aspects of freight forwarding. In addition to European road freight he has experience in project cargo, sea freight, intermodal and air freight operations.

Andy joined Morrison Freight in 2017 and is now working closely with Thorsten Drennhaus and is an integral part of the import team.

Andy has completed various training courses since starting at Morrison Freight, including BIFA customs training courses, hazardous awareness course, personal development course & DGSA course (Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor).

Annie Francis – Senior Accountant

After leaving school and completing her A-Levels, Annie was always driven to achieve. With courses ranging from Equine Studies to land based Business Management, Annie wanted to broaden her horizons.

Her entrepreneurial side led her to setting up her own catering business in 2014 and in doing so resulted in her getting much enjoyment from running the business and accounting side of things. She quickly realised this is where her true passion was so she applied to become a trainee accountant at a small firm in Needham Market and decided to sell her catering business.

She quickly transitioned from trainee to junior and finally senior accountant over years, finally fully qualifying in 2018 as MAAT.

Annie soon started a small bookkeeping business with a handful of her own clients which has grown over the years and continues to do so.

Annie joined Morrison Freight Ltd in 2019 to take on a new challenge in the management accounting sector, rather than working in practice.

In taking on the role of management accounting she has started studies with CIMA to complete her Professional Qualification.

Annie loves the team spirit and more personable feel of the company and offices and shares in their vision.

Outside of her busy work schedule Annie is a proud mother and still manages to make time for her two horses, one of which she has had for 18 years; it’s had a fantastic showing career, winning national competitions.