It’s really a very simple job, but one that is very detail oriented.

The Logistics coordinators at Wallenius Wilhelmsen coordinate shipments with other  staff and customers to ensure high-quality service and on-time deliveries. Venture spoke with logistics coordinators from China and Brazil to learn more about their important roles.

In the last two and a half years, logistics coordinator Crystal Shen in Shanghai, China, has handled more than 30,000 documents for customers and dealers. Accuracy is of the utmost importance in Shen’s daily work, since she makes sure that imported cars reach Chinese auto dealers at the correct time.

“It’s really a very simple job, but one that is very detail oriented,” she says. “I follow the dispatch list prepared by our staff, then send documentation at the right time to the Chinese customs people so that certificates can be sent to the dealers. Without the certificates, the dealer can’t sell the car.”

Shen’s other title is Customer Care Assistant Manager, and she takes pride in providing good service to customers. “The main thing is to be quick, quick, quick. I have to be the bridge between the people in our yard and the customer.”

For Erika Macedo, a logistics coordinator in Sao Paolo, Brazil, the basic work may be the same, but the challenges are quite different. “We want to provide a quality, fast, low-cost delivery service to our customers,” she says, “I’m always thinking about how I can best serve the customer.” It can be tough, she admits, in a market where most inland transportation is by truck, and where roads are not always as reliable and safe as they should be.

“There aren’t a lot of qualified trucking companies with capacity available, and they’re often quite full, so a major challenge for me is ensuring that we have the space, or the right partner we need, to deliver on time,” Macedo says.

She adds that the whole concept of supply chain management is a rather new one in much of South America. It means, she says, that much of her work involves phones, email and the sending of spreadsheets because of customer and governmental needs, where she would like to use more of the advanced systems available in Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

“It’s hard to coordinate things using a spreadsheet,” she laughs. Even so, thanks to her hard work Brazilian customers do have greater visibility of their cargos to know when equipment will arrive in the country, when customs have been cleared and when delivery will be made to the customer’s factory or dealership.

“I know that we are adding value for the customer, because they don’t have to worry, knowing that we are taking care of it,” Macedo says. “Still, it does take time, and it means that I can’t always focus on other areas of my job, such as bringing in new projects and systems, and new customer development. I think that when there is more maturity in the market about the supply chain concept, then we can be more efficient and provide even better service. I know that we are ready within Wallenius Wilhelmsen to provide this.”