There may still be some uncertainty around cruising in the up and coming months, but the port industry have used last year's pause to prepare for a grand return!

We caught up with our Port Security Specialist, Jamie Graham, on all things port security and how Kingdom Security are preparing for cruise season 2021.


Tell us a bit about yourself:

My name is Jamie Graham, I am a Senior Contract Manager and have been with Kingdom for over 7 years. I've worked in many security settings but I do particularly enjoy working in the port facilities. It's a testing and challenging environment but brings the best out of everybody that works there. I have been an accredited Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) for over 3 years and have been involved with port facility security for around 5 years. My job is to manage the overall security deployment at the varied port facilities maintaining the highest levels of communication with clients and delivering a security operation that supports the port in every way we can.

Where do Kingdom operate in the port sector?

Kingdom currently operates in a number of port facilities and ferry terminals all around Scotland, from Ullapool to Invergordon and Inverness all the way down to Kennacraig, Oban and down to Ardrossan. We are constantly expanding our service moving into new areas, the aim being to deliver our unique brand of service and quality across the whole of the UK.

Tell us a bit about cruise season:

In essence, the cruise season sees a massive increase in the number of passengers and freight that pass through the ports. The increased volume of work brings with it many challenges but also many opportunities to strengthen and finesse our operation. We work hand in glove with our clients to deliver the service they need and in the process improve the safety of everyone. The cruise season for Kingdom and Scotland, mainly operates from March to October but some port facilities have cruise liners arriving all year round. The liners arrive from the UK and Europe mainly but we often get liners from America too.

What does the beginning of cruise season mean for Kingdom?

It's Kingdom's opportunity to demonstrate our capacity to easily upscale our resource commitment and work closely with the client to deliver cutting edge innovative services that are safer more efficient and include many aspects of added value that make us a truly unique provider.  

How are Kingdom preparing for cruise season?

We are continually discussing cruise season plans and ideas all year round with our customers. When cruise season finishes in October we will meet with our customers, have a debrief of the season and discuss any incidents or issues whether positive or negative and see where we can learn from to improve on the following cruise season.  In January we bolster our recruitment and training processes ensuring we have a resilient prepared cohort of officers well in advance of the season.  All existing staff (including managers) and any new staff undergo ISPS awareness training from our training partner at Resolve Training.  We have an exceptionally good relationship with Police Scotland who invest their time and input into this training in the form of Counter Terrorism awareness and vehicle, personnel and baggage search training to name a few.

What new safety measures will be in place to protect passengers and workers?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic there will be additional challenges for our clients port services, the Kingdom team will work closely with them to ensure that we help deliver all of the 'new' measures and protocols that will follow 'post' pandemic. Cruises bring large numbers of passengers, ships and crew to the ports in circumstances where people will be gathered in close proximity this will pose many challenges, however, our clients are world leaders in passenger safety and can be relied upon to establish safety measures that will be stringent and efficient. They will be supported fully by our service in everything they do. 

Talk us through last years stats:

As you know 2020 was a truly horrendous year for the 'Ports' as passenger and freight traffic were heavily impacted by the pandemic consequently our security operation was much reduced compared to previous years. Our hope is that in 2021 as the country opens up we begin to see a return to the level of demand that used to exist for instance in 2019 one of our customers, Port of Cromarty Firth had 109 cruise liners visit their facility bring more than 180000 passengers into the port.  Across all our customers we conducted over 800 vehicle searches and 500 passenger and baggage searches discovering a number of prohibited items from drugs to undeclared weapons and ammunition and knives.

How will 2021 differ from last year?

If cruise goes ahead in 2021 it will obviously be the first cruise season we have operated post COVID-19. The 'new normal' will be uncharted territory for us as a security provider but it will not detract from the quality or level of service we deliver. Our client relationships and operational resilience will overcome any challenge as we progress into the future.   

How do Kingdom stand out in the port security industry? 

Apart from our standout services, Kingdom clients benefit from a multi-faceted organisation with a footprint across the whole of the UK. Not only do we provide services to the Port Security Sector, we have separate divisions within the company that provide a range of services including guarding, recruitment, cleaning ,local authority support, mobile response, concierge, training and CCTV and technological systems. This diversity of service allows clients preferential benefits from all of these key services. 

To find out more about our expert port security solutions, please get in touch with our Head of Sales in Security, Sherrelle Blackwell, or visit: