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Operations

Essentially, Operations is the movement of goods from point A to point B and all the corresponding logistics and invoicing relevant to the movement. At Trafigura, the scope of Operations expands to executing all aspects of the trade to the best commercial advantage while ensuring full compliance with regulations and legislation. The scope of this includes assessing logistical, credit, hedging, and performance risk and proactively working to reduce—if not eliminate entirely—risks on each of these levels.

As a result, operators are exposed to many aspects of the business and communicate directly with a number of 3rd parties, supplying and receiving information. Our operators also interact with various internal departments such as the commercial, finance, chartering and deals desk teams. Our different offices around the world ensure around-the-clock coverage as well as localized support for each of our business streams. As operators are not only juggling a multitude of information feeds on a number of different shipments, they need to filter information quickly to determine what is relevant and prioritize. The day is one of non-stop activity, and no operator ever knows how the upcoming day will look. Our operators need to be available 24/7 to deal with any out of office hour issues.

Operations are not often ‘typical’. Each shipment is different, and therefore each situation encountered requires a unique approach. We aim to give our operators the personalized training and skills necessary to properly identify and mitigate risks on each shipment and to find customized solutions to the optimal benefit of both our counterparties and ourselves.

Meet one of our graduates in Mumbai

Meet one of our graduates in Mumbai

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Meet one of our graduates in Mumbai

05 April 2016
Meet one of our Oil Operations Team Leaders

Meet one of our Oil Operations Team Leaders

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Meet one of our Oil Operations Team Leaders

05 April 2016
Meet one of our Operations Managers for Concentrates

Meet one of our Operations Managers for Concentrates

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Meet one of our Operations Managers for Concentrates

05 April 2016

A day in the life of a Regional operations manager

Regional operations manager

Country: Switzerland - Geneva
Education: Oxford University – MChem Chemistry
History: 7 years in Trafigura Operations
Interests: Oxford University – MChem Chemistry

03:30

Out of hour phone calls are common. We insist on being called (day or night) if there are potential issues during operations. Decisions need to be made, so it is important to remain focused, which can be difficult in the middle of the night! Poorly made decisions can cost millions of dollars.

07:30

Day always starts with a scan of emails, so I can start planning and prioritizing my workload around any scheduled meetings.

08:30

Getting my morning coffee usually involves kitchen discussions with Traders and Operators with queries that need to be addressed promptly. Discussions easily jump from customs documents and contractual issues to blending logistics and storage terminal capabilities. The diversity of the role keeps it interesting but requires quick, thoughtful responses.

09:00

Every few months I sit on a different product desk to remain integrated in to day to day operations. It is important to be a ‘hands on’ Manager as well as having an overall view of the team.

09:15

Team resourcing is an important element of my day. We cover over 14 different Oil products across Europe and the Middle East, as well as continuous contact with our Ops colleagues globally. Careful planning is needed to ensure operations are well covered during holidays and business travel.

10:15

Meeting with Distillates traders, finance and Ops as we are entering a new region. Contract involves moving large amounts of product by various modes of transport. Logistics (and therefore Operators’ experience) are key to making the contract work.

11:00

An unexpected delay to one of our vessel deliveries is causing issues for our Receivers. Ideas are bounced around the team until we come up with the best solution. It’s a great environment to share ideas and put your contribution forward. There is little ‘hierarchy’ here, everyone’s comments are welcome.

11:45

Approve a business trip request that has come in from one of the operators as their trader would like them to travel to Africa to meet with one of our counterparties. Discuss same with operator as we need to make sure we get the most out of the trip by meeting with Inspectors / Agents etc too.

12:00

Lunchtime training with my team. Topic for discussion today is “Deals Desk Overview for Operators”. It is important for us to understand what other departments do and what impact our operations have on them.

14:00

Preparations for tomorrow’s Audit. It is very important that we can comply with various audits as this can provide additional flexibility to our trading.

17:30

Meeting with Head of Dept. I provide a general update on the team, any operational issues we are facing etc.

 

18:30

A final scan through emails to ensure I have handled the most important items. Prioritisation of work is key and no one day is ever the same. Off home for the evening to spend some quality time with the family. Looking around there are still several members of the ops team in the office.

A day in the life of an oil operator

Oil operator

Country: USA - Houston
Education: Rice University - Economics, Managerial Studies & Sports Management
History: Started in Traffic in Trafigura, Houston
Interests: American Football and Mexican Food

06:30

The day starts quick. Alarm goes off. As I reach for my blackberry, I tell myself “I must be on my “A” game today.” Determined, I race through emails searching for any urgent issues that may have arisen over night. Did my ship complete its operation or was it delayed? Demurrage can quickly accrue….. We need to get this ship loaded! Was the product I loaded on or off spec? Do I need to solve the issue now or can it wait till I get to the office?

07:00

My apartment is located just outside of downtown so I jump in my car and make the speedy 5 minute commute doing my best not to check my phone along the way.

07:15

In the office, I sit next to the gasoline and distillate blender for the U.S. Gulf Coast. We work together as a team. I have been with Trafigura for 4 years and experienced several different roles within the company. But, in operations, I can honestly say I learn something new each and every day. In a nutshell, my job is to solve problems, and if I don’t know the answer, it is to ask the right person who does. Thankfully, Trafigura gives me the ability to make important decisions to solve those problems, but at the same time, work alongside individuals who “coach” me along the way. By far, the best attribute of the Houston Operations Team, is their willingness to train and teach individuals who want to learn.

08:00

The first thing I do is send an update to my trader, deals desk, and operators in other offices on the status of each vessel. It is important for them to also know when the vessel will finishing loading or discharging as this could dramatically effect pricing and supply. We currently have 4 vessels on the water and each is headed to completely different parts of the world….One to West Coast Central America, one to Argentina, another to our storage in New York Harbor, and we just fixed a vessel to to a new location.

08:30

My task calendar in Pluto looks pretty good since yesterday was Task Calendar Day. I reduced my urgent items from 58 to 3! All invoices were paid. All trades were allocated and signed off. I put my best estimate in for movement dates. All I needed to clear my TC was a final report for a vessel we loaded 3 days ago, but unfortunately I am still waiting for final quantities from the inspection company.

09:00

It scheduling day on Colonial Pipeline for 62 grade and our scheduler is on vacation so need to fill in for her. The trader wants to bring product into 3 different storage locations, but before we can do that I have to find out from our counterparties where the product is being supplied from. I must find Texas origins in order to get the product into our storage so I ask a couple of my contacts if they can help me out. Got them! I share the good news my trader with a grin on my face.

10:15

My trader just shouted at me that he want to bring 85 trucks of butane in our storage terminal. I shout back no problem, but I really think to myself “There is no way I can keep up…. 4 vessels on the water, it scheduling day on the pipeline, and now we need to get 85 trucks into tank.” However, that thought is short lived because it is not in my nature to back down from a challenge. Furthermore, I appreciate the market perspective I am receiving. Where else could I learn how product moves on vessels, pipelines, and trucks all in same morning? I am definitely seeing how this role has developed into a bright and hopeful career.

11:30

I’m currently writing operational guidelines in order for Trafigura to maximize duty drawback.

12:00

It’s Friday lunchtime. We have the best steak in town just a few blocks from the office. We are meeting one our counterparties there to not only network, but also to get a good indication on what is developing in the market. For example, is their refinery changing crude? If so, do they anticipate any spec changes in their streams of gasoline as a result? This is valuable information that I pass back to the trader that helps him make more informed trading decisions in the future. By building solid relationships with counterparties, they are more likely to come to us when they are in a bind and give us the “first look” at barrels before they offer them into the market.

14:00

We have several movements that will occur over the weekend so I have to prepare all my inspection nominations, agency nominations, voyage orders, and of course make sure to get the ok from our finance team to load or discharge.

 

15:15

I make my way across the trading floor to help out a recent graduate who just moved to operations. He has a couple questions so we go through a few emails and his task calendar. I’m really interested in seeing him succeed and develop so I take time to share what I know just like others have done with me at Trafigura.

16:45

Communication is key. So, in order to ease my conscious over the weekend, I prepare a two page weekend summary for the terminal and inspection company in order to ensure each movement occurs in the correct order and a timely manner.

18:00

Communication is key. So, in order to ease my conscious over the weekend, I prepare a two page weekend summary for the terminal and inspection company in order to ensure each movement occurs in the correct order and a timely manner.

A day in the life of a graduate

Rotation 3 - graduate

Country: Singapore - Singapore
Education: Cambridge University – MPhil International Relations
History: Graduate Programme – Johannesburg, Geneva, Singapore
Interests: Mountain Biking, Kiteboarding

08:00

It’s Friday morning. Last night we met up with one of our main clients – it is very important to keep close relationship as we directly deal with counterparties on a daily basis. Plus a perfect opportunity to make new friends!

08:40

Leave for the office, which is only one underground stop away from my temporary accommodation.

08:55

Get in to the office. I sit next to all traders and can ask questions at any time during the day.

09:50

I operate barges sales from our tanks which are located on an island outside Singapore. Various counterparties lift oil and supply bunkers from us to the ships in the area. Planning is the key to avoid any delays in loading and allow traders to optimize their sales.

10:00

Discuss with traders and update reports on current throughout, barge arrivals, and ullage requirements in order to accommodate the next inbound cargo. The latter often will determine how many barges the traders need to sell that day to make sure we have sufficient space in the tanks.

11:00

Once the plan is in place, I communicate with our clients for the rest of the day and schedule their barges depending on berthing availability at the terminal.

12:00

I update all the movements in our systems.

13:00

I meet surveyors/agents/ship brokers for lunch at least twice a week. They update me on what is going on and try to convince me why they offer a better service than their competitors.

14:30

After lunch, I often help other fuel operators with their shipments by sending documentary instructions, checking contracts for amendments, nominating inspectors and agents based on contractual agreement and Incoterms. There are so many opportunities to learn, you just need to ask!

16:30

The speed picks up during the Platts window, as most barges sales happen at this time of the day. Once the sales are done, I communicate with our clients, update them on the free windows to load and ask for barge nominations. Meanwhile, I help to draw contracts with assistance from the Mumbai Support team. I am also in charge of ensuring that we have the correct financial arrangements in place in order to load or discharge the product in tank with our respective counterparties.

18:30

Nominate barges to the terminal and appoint inspectors to monitor loading.

19:00

Solve various admin issues and invoice our counterparties.

20:00

Go out with other grads and enjoy the rest of the day! By the way, barges do not stop loading after close of the business day, therefore have to be on top of things 24/7! Expect evening/weekend calls.

A day in the life of a graduate

Rotation 2 - graduate

Country: Beijing- China
Education: Middlebury College, Vermont – BA Economics
History: Started graduate programme in Singapore
Interests: Middlebury College, Vermont – BA Economics

06:30

Get up nice and early to ride my scooter to the gym for a quick workout. Love China, I can’t imagine life without my scooter now.

08:30

Arrive at the office and begin reading through my emails; I update the status of shipments that I’m responsible for. It’s important to monitor them and prepare for the next steps. The head of coal imports sits right next to me, and often checks with me to see how the deal is progressing.

09:00

After updating the spreadsheet and figuring out what needs to be done for the day, I get on the phone with each of the counterparties (CPs) and follow up on the relevant items.

10:15

We just signed a deal with a new CP, so now it’s time to draft a contract and begin negotiation over terms. Every term in the contract needs to be discussed/argued over with the CP because it will eventually affect how the cargo is executed. These discussions have also been key to helping my Chinese improve rapidly.

11:00

We’re putting together another deal and my trader wants me to draft up an offer, so I take down the key points and liaise with different internal departments to draft an offer with terms that will protect our interests.

12:00

Since coming to Beijing, I’ve been going with my traders to business lunches at least once a week. It’s very important to meet with CPs regularly to maintain a good working/friendly relationship, and also to exchange insights on the market, and discuss new opportunities. I’m the designated scribe, and by watching and taking notes, I’ve learned not only how traders speak with CPs, what the key market indicators are, but also about Traf and what we can do for CPs.

14:00

Back to the office. Our head of domestic trading has asked me to come up with a format for a daily report. It’s a pretty big project, and I’m still in the data-gathering phase, next will be filtering and graphing . Rest of the afternoon – I continue to follow up on outstanding items for our shipments, and work on the daily report.

19:00

Heading off to pub quiz! Everything has been sorted out for the day, our CPs are off work, so I can head out too. Of course, my BB is always on, and I’ll sort out anything that comes up after work.

A day in the life of a Global head of operations

Global head of operations

Country: Switzerland - Geneva
Education: Imperial College London – MEng Chemical Engineering
History: 10+ years in Operations
Interests: Fitness, Cooking

08:00

I only have a 5 minute walk to the office, which is one of the huge pros of living in Geneva !

08:10

Catch up with a colleague who has just spent the last week in South Africa. He fills me on the potential new business and asks for some input regarding logistics when it comes to railing coal to Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

08:30

It’s tempting to want to catch up on all of the mails from the US overnight, but I know I have a few hours to sort through those. Instead, I concentrate on Asia, and discuss an issue with one of our operators in Singapore. We are struggling to secure a workable documentary credit from a receiver, with the vessel giving eta loadport in just a couple of days we need to make sure the trader is informed so we can start pushing from a commercial perspective.

09:00

45 minute telcon with my Weighing and Sampling colleague in Singapore. We talk at least a few times a week to make sure we are monitoring our qualities properly and work through new contracts so we are fully up to date on future shipments. I really love this part of my role, it’s extremely interesting and coal qualities are much more complex than one would think!

09:45

Quick coffee in the kitchen and pop off a few emails before heading into a VC.

10:00

VC with IT developers in our London office to discuss the coal department migration to a new system. Everything seems to be going smoothly, they clearly understand our needs and I’m hoping we’ll be on line within the next few weeks.

11:00

The coal operations team in Geneva meets once a week with our commercial team for an uninterrupted hour to run through our shipping schedule and alert them to any issues. We have one vessel delayed by weather, which may cause her to miss her loadport laycan so we discuss the impact of this – how much barge demurrage will we incur, what is the line up at the port, is this going to cause our receiver issues? A few days can make a big difference in this industry!

12:00

Early lunch with one of my colleagues.

 

13:00

Another sit down with two of our traders and a visiting trader from our Mexico City office to work through a schedule for one of our long term contracts. Our traders keep us very involved, which of course keeps everyone very motivated.

15:30

The meeting has run a little bit over, so I run to my next one with my HR Business Partner to discuss some possible staffing requirements. As an Ops manager it’s extremely important that I keep on top of work flow and loads to make sure we have right number of the right people in the right place! I spent 10 years as an operator myself so this makes it a little easier for me as I understand the role quite well!

16:15

Quick catch up with our Stamford Ops manager to hear about her trip to a terminal on the US West Coast where we have just started shipping. She’s had a great week and I can hear how exciting she found it as she tells me about her meetings with agents, terminal managers, and the Vessel crew and captain. There is nothing like seeing the things we handle from remote offices, up close and happening in real time. I find this an integral part of being an operator, and try to ensure that everyone gets to make trips like this !

16:30

Discussion with our Dry Chartering department regarding some vessel swaps / substitutions we plan to make. Having an in house chartering department is great, and as the majority of coal cargoes are shipped via ocean going vessels we rely heavily on them for support. They need to be updated any known changes to the schedule for their own positioning and in turn they fill us in on their plans for upcoming cargoes – vessels sizes, etas etc. This information is very important for our planning purposes and I head back to my desk to update the schedules and send out an email to the team.

17:00

Conference call with our US Trade Finance team so they can update us on a new process they would like us to follow. It’s quite straightforward, and I agree to send out an update to the team to make sure everyone follows the new procedure.

17:30

I spend the rest of the day catching up on the mails in my inbox. It’s important to recognize what needs my urgent attention, and what can be left for another day…

19:00

I head out for the evening.

A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper traffic operator

Refined Metals Copper traffic operator

Country: USA - Stamford
Education: Saint Mary’s College Psychology Major/ Minor in Communicative Disorders
History: Copper Operations at Trafigura for 1 ½ years
Interests: Running, Hiking, Skiing, Dogs, College Football

06:20

I am up early to get ready for the day.

07:00

Leave for the office.

08:15

Get in to the office. Sit down and check e-mails from the night before which inevitably leads to logging and filing Bills of Lading for our truck shipments. As always, there are e-mails from Mumbai requesting information on cash-in and the debtors report.

09:00

Finish my coffee and send all the necessary documents and information to Mumbai. Everyone is in the office by now. I have e-mails coming from my trader requesting rates for trucking and rail. This morning I have a request for vessel rates.

10:00

Check with all refined metals operators if they have payments to send in to finance for the next day. I send one large e-mail to our Metals Payments group forecasting the necessary funds needed.

11:00

Provisionally invoice customers for the material that has been delivered this week and send those out to our customers. I then run a report that shows if all my numbers match in the system and reflect the correct tonnages.

11:15

Call trucking brokers to make sure that the drivers will be on time for scheduled appointments for the day. Luckily everything is running smoothly, if not I would be on the phone with different brokers finding someone to fill the appointment.

12:00

File customs for our loads en route to Canada. Confirm rail rates with our rail logistics manager so that he may publish them and we can load railcars for shipment. At this point I will send any other trucking rates that I have received to my trader so that she may plan her next trade.

13:00

Break for lunch. If we are not going out to lunch as a group I will go to the gym in the building and hit the treadmill. Come back refreshed and ready for the afternoon.

14:00

Return to my desk and filter through e-mails. As it is the middle of the month our customers will declare the volume they will take next month. I receive an e-mail regarding this and I immediately update our system with these figures. This way everyone involved will know what they have declared and my trader can update allocations for next month.

14:30

Check my files to make sure everything is updated and all documents are properly stored in our virtual filing system. As I look through my files, I am asked to “Buddy check” a payment order for our Scrap operator.

 

15:00

Confirm appointments for the next day. Check the vessel schedule for incoming shipments to the US and set up releases for that material. Ensure that all material will be delivered to our customers within the month. All warehouses are closing at this time and I find out if appointments have been fulfilled. Today is a rare occasion where all has been loaded according to plan. I then compose an e-mail to different customers to let them know how many truck loads to expect the next day.

15:30

I am currently learning how our Concentrates team works. I will meet with the concentrates operators and work to learn the different contracts and shipments. I find I need to send an invoice to a counterparty. This will take me some more time as I am just learning the system and procedures.

16:30

Switching roles! I am training one of our concentrates operators to learn a couple of the refined metal copper contracts. We go over shipments together. This cross training allows us to always be on top of our work and make sure everything is up to date. This also allows us to take a step back and teach what it is that we do

17:15

Final check through e-mail for the day. Update exposure reports after receiving the “Cash-in” e-mail. Send chasers to customers if any payments are due that have not come in yet. Log Bills of Lading that are sent from warehouses and ports. Update the system to show the correct material “in-transit” and “on-stock”.

18:00

Logging off for the day.

A day in the life of a Lead, Zinc & Copper operator

Lead, Zinc & Copper operator

Country: Switzerland - Geneva
Education: Binghamton University (undergrad), NYU (working on MBA now)
History: Have been at Trafigura for 2+ years
Interests: Baseball, running, writing

07:00

I headed to the gym to get a workout in before the day starts. It is always easier to get it done in the morning and helps me get ready for the day. It is also a great time to check my emails and make sure there aren't any urgent emails to respond to.

08:30

Got into the office. Checked my email and got my coffee. This routine helps me get into a work mode and allows me to plan out what needs to be accomplished for the day.

09:00

Video conference with Geneva to go over important topics from an operational standpoint. We reviewed vessel nomination procedures, what is going on with our current shipments, and any other topics of concern. This is a good way to stay connected with what is happening globally and to discuss any issues that are pertaining specifically to our office.

10:00

I talked to the trader about a domestic (rail car) shipment we have this month. There has been a problem getting enough rail cars and needed to coordinate the shipping schedule internally and with the mine/smelter.

10:15

I talked to the trader about a domestic (rail car) shipment we have this month. There has been a problem getting enough rail cars and needed to coordinate the shipping schedule internally and with the mine/smelter.

10:25

We have a $10 million shipment going towards Asia that needs to be looked after this morning. I need to get all of the paperwork in line (such as the BL), and work with our Chinese co-workers to prepare the documents for presentation against the Letter of Credit.

11:00

We have had an issue with declaring a vessel/disport for a shipment to Asia so I had to take some time to discuss the situation with our chartering department. It is amazing in this role how many parts of the trade we are actually involved in. Getting exposure to such things as vessel and logistical issues is something that in other companies an entirely different person/department would look after.

12:00

Part of the job is learning the basics and foundation of the trade. That means running exposure reports and sending through payment orders to pay our counterparties. Though not the most glamorous part of our job, it is very important to make the operations run smooth here and from a knowledge standpoint, vital to master.

12:15

Break-it is good to get up and talk with some of the other people in the office, especially in the other departments. This really helps with office camaraderie, but it also gives me a chance to learn and discuss what is going on in their departments.

12:30

A big part of our job is monitoring and maintaining our spreads and hedging positions. This is an exciting part of the business, and is quite important due to the high potential of "Profit & Loss" impact. Due to some delays on one of our vessels, I need to adjust spreads to make sure we are not exposed to market swings.

13:00

Lunch.

13:45

I am managing our arbitrage positions and took some time to make a few adjustments here. This is another fascinating part of the business and is a nice balance to the physical side of the business we are normally working on.

14:30

It is a Friday afternoon so a perfect time to catch up. I need to coordinate a stock report (reconciles our metal positions), set up umpire instructions (assays), and meet with Deals Desk to go over my hedges from this morning.

 

16:00

Our traders are extremely dynamic and create contracts/deals of all sorts. I spent about 30 minutes today going over these to familiarize myself with the business. Some of these as well need to be sent out to the counterparty for signature, while others need to be signed by our traders here.

17:00

Vessel nomination at 5 pm on a Friday. I had to quickly vet the vessel to make sure it is acceptable to us, and then send it off to our customers to get everyone's agreement.

18:00

A bunch of guys in the office are going out for a few drinks to relax and enjoy the benefits of working hard all week. It is a great chance to talk with other people in the office and get new perspectives about the company as a whole.

A day in the life of a Cu Concs. operations graduate

Cu Concs. operations graduate

Country: Switzerland - Geneva
Education: London School of Economics – BSc Economics
History: Started graduate programme in Geneva
Interests: Skiing, Dancing, Swimming

08:00

A walk by the lake gazing at the humongous Jet d'Eau with a Starbucks to go, feels like a perfect way to reach office.

 

09:00

I got allocated with my first shipment from Callao to China.

10:30

Team meeting with the personnel from one of the biggest container lines for Trafigura. The various questions raised by the experienced operators in the team added to a lot of learning. Realised that operations is indeed an end to end process and logistics is one of the crucial processes which can make or break the P&L.

11:30

Training session on cons hedging. Being in cons operation I can be actively involved in initiating hedging for my physical cargo. We hedge base metals as well as precious metals. The most challenging part is to accurately hedge the changes in physical tonnage as the exposure can cost millions to the company.

13:00

Out for a run with the 'runners club' of Trafigura. Excellent way to keep fit, breathe some fresh air and to know people from other departments.

15:30

I need to set up all the requirements for my new shipment like financing, hedging, logistics, setting up of the P & L, coordination with port and custom authorities and setting up the trade in our internal system.

17:00

Call with the onsite Callao operator. Got insights about the storage and load readiness of my cargo and about how weighing of the cargo and port operations are carried out at Callao.

18:15

Need to be accurate and organised as this is my first shipment and have to prove my abilities as I am sure the global head of ops and the traders are observing every bit of my move. The best part is everyone in Traf is approachable and ready to answer any questions. Hence, absolutely no excuse to let anyone down. Operations is challenging and complex. ..but a lot of fun !

19:00

Girls time out - salsa class across the road from office with girls from lead and zinc operation !

A day in the life of a Refined Metals operator

Refined Metals operator

Country: Switzerland - Geneva
Education: Aston University, BSc in International Business and Management
History: Refined Cobalt operator in a metal trading firm –10 month – London, UK. Refined Metals operator in Aluminium team – 2 years – Lucerne/Geneva
Interests: Skiing, Traveling, Cars, Motorbikes

07:00

Put my sport clothes on and go for a run in my little French village, just outside Geneva.

08:00

Leave home and go to work on my motorbike passing by lovely Geneva scenery.

08:30

Arrive at the office and starting reading my emails, replying to urgent requests from German and Italian customers whom we deliver the metal by trucks from our storage location in Europe about changing the delivery schedule, aluminum quality feedbacks, and writing a to do list, aiming to complete it today.

09:00

Prepare draft allocation of the material to the customers, by looking at all the material in stock and transit using our internal system and physical contract. Once allocated ask my finance department to take the material out of repo.

09:15

Meeting with trading team to discuss upcoming allocations, market tendencies in relation to supply and demand, deals in the pipe line and their potential challenges – KYC, credit Issues, pricing structure, critical markets, expectations, spot problems that may arise.

10:30

Preparing and sending the meeting notes to my team to summarize the discussion and agreed actions.

 

10:45

Filling in an insurance claim for a missing truck that got stolen in transit from Holland to Germany.

11:05

Receiving a phone call from the stevedore, the Captain of the vessel loading in Belgium is demanding extra and unneecessary lashing when securing the cargo. If we have to continue as per captain's instructions, the cost for L / S / D will exceed the estimate for our P/L. This is an opportunity for me to use my persuading skills to minimize the cost. The challenge is that lashing and securing should be provided as per Master’s satisfaction. Therefore, if the Captain insists, stevedores must comply with his requirements. After long conversation with the captain we have finally managed to persuade the captain to use less L / S / D. The captain has never loaded the ingots before on his vessel and after the conversation became more flexible working with our stevedores and gangs that are well experienced and perform this operation on a weekly basis. In the meantime I am receiving pricing orders from my customers, which I am authorizing and passing to my hedge desk. It is important to be able to multitask as the majority of the customers’ requests are very time sensitive.

12:45

Lunch.

13:30

Need to come back to my shipment from Belgium. Captain proposes to start loading on Saturday and asks Trafigura to pay the overtime for loading on the weekend. After quick calculations of the free time, we refuse captain’s proposal and luckily captain agrees to pay the overtime himself and load on Saturday.

13:45

Aluminum prices falling. Managers ask to run all my Aluminum positions and check the pricing exposure of the sales customer to ensure that the customers will not walk away from the sales contract. We often give an option to the customer to price their monthly quotas in advance. If the internal limit is reached, the credit department will be informed.

14:30

My trader has just agreed to purchase 10,000mt of aluminum in Rotterdam warehouse and asked me to manage the logistics. I immediately open our internal filing storage system Alfresco, file the Aluminum specs, lots, and prepare the provisional allocation of the metal advice my finance department, so that they can contact the bank and get the best financing option.

15:00

Customer in Austria has asked our trader to establish a consignment storage location at their premises. Trader asked me to find out if this can be an option. Before confirming to the trader I need to perform inspection of the facility using the most competitive and reputable inspection company, confirm it with our VAT department, Insurance companies and Risk department. I am responsible for collecting all the information about the customer and the facility and present it to our internal departments.

16:00

A German customer has sent us a DDP delivery schedule for 1000mt of primary aluminum together with their pricing request. I pass the pricing request to the hedge desk, double checked my pricing noted, check the credit exposure, our stock and allocate the most suitable material from the nearest location. Request my finance department to take the metal out of financing, and give a phone call to my haulier to negotiate the freight rate. Once all agreed I send the delivery instructions and issue the invoice.

 

17:30

Call from forwarder due to strike action that has started in Trieste port, Italy, trailers coming in to North Italy are being held at the port. Therefore there will be delays on the arrival times. Need to phone the customers and advise the current situation. One customer has Just In Time production strategy and relies heavily on our deliveries. The delivery delay can cause a production closure and needs a quick solution. I need to check available material in alternative location near the customer premises and find a substitution. Once substitution found I confirm it with my trader. As a result I need to cancel my previous invoices ex Trieste and prepare new invoices and delivery instructions and send the trucks to the customer.

 

18:45

Due to the unexpected problem with strike in Trieste, few not urgent issues left pending in my to do list, which I will finish tomorrow morning.

19:00

Attending Shipping networking event with my colleagues held in Geneva organised by a shipping club. Good chance to meet new people in the same industry and spend some time by the lake, enjoying sun.