William Burns

Principal at Mercator International

Based in Dubai, with over 37 years of experience in ports, ocean shipping, and international logistics. Mr. Burns has designed, marketed, and managed ocean shipping and marine terminal operations throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Prior to joining Mercator International, he was a senior ports advisor to the Emirate of Ajman (UAE) where he was involved in the development of that Emirate’s bulk and break-bulk marine terminals. Mr. Burns previously served as the Managing Director for the Hunterston Container Terminal in Scotland, and as the chief commercial officer for Salalah Port Services.

In addition, he represented the Port of New York/New Jersey on a commercial basis for Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Burns spent fifteen years in several management roles with Sea-Land Service, including as Operations Director for Asia-Middle East – Europe Services.


  • General Manager and Advisor, ETA/AI Ghurair Group
  • Maritime Representative Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, UK, Port Authority NY NJ
  • Director, Bill Burns Associates, Scotland
  • Managing Director, Peel Ports, Hunterston Container Terminal
  • Commercial Director, Salalah Port Services, Oman
  • Head of Operations, Sea-Land Service, AME Division
  • Director, Operations Management Centre, Sea-Land Service, Switzerland
  • Owners Representative and Chief Liaison Officer, Sea-Land Service, India
  • Country Manager, Bangladesh, Sea-Land Service
  • Regional Manager, Sea-Land Service, Saudi Arabia


  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics