The warehousing and logistics division is a rapidly expanding sector of the Trafigura group, employing over 1200 people across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. The main operations of the division include:
- The blending of metal concentrates in Chile, China, Mexico and Peru
- Refined metal storage compliant with LME communication protocols in Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, United Arab Emirates and the US
- The transportation of copper from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to global export markets
- Coal, bauxite, and alumina operations in USA and Colombia
- Iron ore operations in China, Mexico
We operate 60 warehousing sites in 30 different countries worldwide, with more than 4,000,000m2 of owned and leased storage capacity. We aim to be the logistics services provider of choice in the metals, minerals, and coal industry. To achieve this, we focus on providing excellent service by taking care of the supply chain and handling needs for our customers. This not only includes the traditional focus on warehousing and transportation, but also value-added services such as information supply, processing, and security. We also offer competitive rates, aiming to create the optimum balance between the configuration of our logistics infrastructure, quality of services, transit times, and cost management. Finally, we are always considering opportunities to grow the quality of our services by listening to ideas from customers, employees, and advisors.
The assets we operate are either solving a logistical constraint, or providing access to scale economies. With a focus on mining commodities, our operational locations are typically close to mining or consumption areas. Many of our assets are in developing countries, and we have extensive experience operating on every continent.
Meet one of our graduates in Mumbai
Meet one of our graduates in Mumbai05 April 2016
Meet one of Impala Terminals’ business analysts
Meet one of Impala Terminals’ business analysts28 March 2014
A day in the life of a business analyst in Oils & its Derivates
Business analyst in Oils & its Derivates
Country Switzerland - Geneva
Education: Cambridge University - MPhil International Relations
History: Started graduate programme in Geneva (Deals Desk)
Interests: Cycling, Running, Literature
Wake up – check my blackberry to see if anything important has come in overnight that needs my immediate attention. As my job focuses on different parts of the business across the globe, I can get responses and questions at any time. Having a quick scan through lets me organise and prioritise tasks for the day ahead. Today seems fairly quiet other than some responses providing information from our Shanghai office and an enquiry from our Peruvian office regarding an on-going project.
In the office – in my role as a business analyst, I’m involved in a variety of things, through from optimisation and analysis of existing business lines, through to investigation and modelling of new projects and ventures. Over a coffee, I start off by reviewing the responses from our Shanghai office which relate to a proposal for a Collateral Management Agreement I am putting together for a major bank – doing it early means I’m able to ask for clarifications during Asian business hours.
Sit down with our head of Corporate Finance and CFO in order to review a project being carried out in each of our major operating locations in order to understand and map our various business lines and the revenues and costs associated with them. This will form a major part of the budget for the group and will also allow us to benchmark different regions against each other so it’s important to get it right. So far we’ve made site visits to 4 locations in Africa and Latin America to collect operational data and now we’re analysing it using Excel models.
Have a meeting with our COO to discuss an upcoming opportunity in Africa which could see us bid for the rights to operate part of a major port. This could represent the opening of an entirely new logistics route out of central Africa for metals (both refined and in concentrate form). The project is currently in its very early stages so we discuss the commercial strategy along with the next steps required in order to put together a bid. In time, once a business case has been created, I will build a financial model in order to analyse the expected returns.
Grab something quick for lunch and eat it at my desk. My days are usually fairly busy and so taking a lot of time out for lunch isn’t always possible. Today, as I’ve had meetings all morning, I take advantage of the free time and use it to put the finishing touches to the budget for Burnside (our recently refurbished coal and oil terminal in Louisiana, USA) which I will discuss with the local management later in the day.
Join a video conference with our Johannesburg office where the senior management present the monthly operating and financial results for the African region. These meetings are a great way to understand the business and it’s often a good time to ask the local managers about opportunities [problems = issues] and issues we’re currently facing. Today we discussed the port concession opportunity along with a possible joint venture with a major South African producer which could see us build and operate a new warehouse in the Durban area.
Back at my desk, I have some time to work on the recommendations given earlier in the day on our business line analysis project. I work to integrate some new functionality into the Excel model as well as emailing our regional operations managers in order to request for some further operational data. Once this is done, I do some background reading and prepare some questions for my business trip tomorrow to Antwerp where I’m going to meet with our warehouse manager and HSEC manager in order to see how we operate first hand. In my role it’s important to get a feel for the business in detail so I try to visit as many of our operations [= not sales / office… ‘operational’ implies we have significant sites that are out of action; operations ≠ operational] sites as possible.
Our local management at Burnside call me to discuss the budget I have put together. The data comes from our main financial model for the project which is made up of a number of assumptions. We discuss a few key points and make alterations accordingly until we are all happy that the budget reflects reality. This will be presented to the senior management when they visit the site later in the day.
As the day winds to a close in Geneva, our colleagues in South America are just coming in. I give them a call to discuss the requests they made via email overnight and also to chase up on some outstanding items. It’s a great opportunity to practise my Spanish which really comes in handy when dealing with the local teams – most people in the office speak at least 2 languages.
Finishing up for the day and answering any last emails. I pack up my laptop and prepare everything I need for my trip tomorrow before heading to the gym for some exercise!
A day in a life of a business analyst in Metals & Minerals
Business analyst in Metals & Minerals
Country Switzerland - Geneva
Education: Imperial College London, MEng Chemical Engineering
History: Graduate Programme
An early start to the day. I did a quick jog in the morning to get ready for the day ahead. Geneva is a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors and I am trying to make the most of the opportunities the city has to offer.
Leave for the office, Geneva isn’t huge so it’s a lovely walk across the park to the office.
Get in to the office. Trafigura’s open office architecture allows for quick and efficient communication across the floor. I sit next to the global head of corporate finance so participating in conversations and learning from my experienced colleagues is a great privilege and a real asset of the company’s graduate programme.
Meeting with our legal department to discuss documentation on a deal we are about to close. Trafigura’s success depends in no small part on the smooth transfer of tasks between different departments. Everyone is open-minded and driven – it’s a great environment to learn the ropes of Trafigura’s business.
Coordinating with our group company secretarial staff to implement the issues just discussed in the meeting with our lawyers.
Telephone conference with our book-running banks on our flagship European RCF. We get an update of a deal that closes at an approximate $4.3 bn. My responsibility is to update senior finance management of the syndication process of the RCF.
Checking hedge levels for a cross currency swap.
Things can always go wrong and there is certainly no big room for error. Everyone has high expectations – the learning curve is steep and it’s a great feeling to get things done and to be recognized for it!
I get a request to prepare a presentation of our financials for a bank in Asia. The corporate finance department fronts Trafigura’s relationship with financial stakeholders, a big responsibility. Attention to detail and constant cross-checking of information are paramount to ensure the Group’s continued business success.
It is Geneva finance commodity week, a great set of events and informal get-togethers happening on an annual basis. Tonight is Trafigura’s event and we have invited our banks for drinks at a bar in town, a great opportunity to connect with some of the people I am communicating with on a regular basis via email and telephone.