From left to right pictured are Polly Schofield, Aleshea Addis, Robyn Wilson
People story

Keeping the containers coming

People icon Customers icon

CentrePort’s commercial team has kept a cool head and provided outstanding service to our freight customers in a year of disruption and uncertainty.

Many businesses in New Zealand and around the world are having issues with the supply chain, leading to frustration and delays costing time and money and in some cases causing significant business stress.

CentrePort’s commercial team has worked hard to support our freight customers and provide stability and certainty where possible.

The team has made clear and frequent communications a priority and always tries to find solutions to problems.

“Communication is huge for us – we’re in constant contact with our customers, which builds trust in the relationships so they feel they can come to us with their issues and that we’ll help them.”

– Aleshea Addis, Account Manager

The team understands that customers are grappling with a lot of uncertainty and constant change.

“With the disruptions to the global logistics supply chain affecting ports around the world, ship arrival dates can change five or six times. For us it’s been about keeping cool and calm and keeping communication up, updating those impacted, and always being understanding, giving customers the space to be frustrated.”

– Polly Schofield, Account Manager

Customers moving cargo by rail are among those affected by delays and the unpredictable arrivals of freight – which creates challenges in booking space on rail wagons.

A lack of containers available to export products has also created headaches. The commercial team has developed a mindset of finding solutions.

“The lack of empty containers has been a problem at times – this can have serious consequences for a customer, such as a temporary shutdown of plant. So one of our most important rules has been to just keep the next container coming – we really go all out to find a way to make sure there’s a free container available for the customer.”

– Robyn Wilson, Manager – CentreRail

The team has an in-depth knowledge of our customers’ businesses and an awareness of their needs, which helps them provide a responsive and empathetic service. It’s never just another box leaving port.

“Our customers sometimes joke that we’re part of their companies. Ports are big places and we provide them with direct personal contacts, the opportunity to speak to people face to face who they can trust is looking out for them.”

– Aleshea Addis, Account Manager

The team has travelled to customers’ plants to see first-hand how products are handled and transported. This has given them a good understanding of how supply chain logistics work and the port’s role in the chain for each customer.

“Visiting customers gives us a view of the whole movement of products, an appreciation of what our customers do, and an understanding of why it’s so critical for us to keep everything flowing, and the consequences when things go wrong.”

– Polly Schofield, Account Manager

Although it’s about freight logistics, there’s a big people component to getting this right. The commercial team talks to major customers every day and has weekly conference calls to go over what’s needed.

“We keep in constant communication across all parts of the shipping service – so we can give customers an accurate picture of what’s happening and what’s available so they’re not panicked and can plan.”

– Robyn Wilson, Manager – CentreRail

Caption: CentrePort’s commercial team (l-to-r) Polly Schofield, Aleshea Addis, Robyn Wilson