From Pokémon to logistics: Nell Chang’s experience of life at WW Ocean
ChiaoYin (Nell) Chang has only been working for WW Ocean in Stockholm for 18 months but she’s already developed a passion for logistics. Here, she explains how the customer cargo coordination team matches customer requirements with vessel capacity and network performance.
The customer cargo coordination team acts as a crucial bridge between the commercial and customer teams and our Atlantic Ocean network.
A customer cargo coordination (CCC) specialist works with other CCC team members to help customers handle their shipment, providing the booking information required for the capacity management team to manage vessel capacity and performance. Two weeks before a vessel starts its journey in Europe, the responsibility for allocating cargo to the vessel will be handed over to us.
We’re a diverse bunch: 13 nationalities are represented in our 20-strong team. I’m originally from Taiwan, and I studied in Japan before moving to Sweden in 2009.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen embraces diversity, which is great. Despite the different cultural backgrounds, we have a shared belief in what we’re doing – and there are always interesting things to learn about the team. Collectively, we speak lots of languages: I speak Mandarin, Japanese, Swedish and English, which definitely comes in useful! Having English is obviously handy when dealing with the teams in Europe and the US, but I may well end up using my Japanese and Mandarin here in the future.
This is my first logistics role. Previously, I worked in marketing and PR for clothing and music brands.
I was looking for a career change, and had a really good feeling about this job – in fact, from the interview itself. It was more like a great conversation with three customer cargo coordination managers and the HR manager. I knew it was the job for me and would provide me with lots of opportunities for growth.
I’ve only been in the the role for 18 months but I’m fascinated by the complex world of RoRo shipping. I love working out how best to ship cargo each day – and am really interested in optimising procedures and analysing what should be changed in the supply chain in order to improve efficiency and profitability. That’s the aim of logistics, in my opinion.
My day starts with a cup of tea and a quick chat with colleagues. I then check the online vessel schedules to ensure they meet customer requirements and that there are no delays.
I follow up on bookings and cargo shipments, and communicate with customers and our own capacity team. Every vessel has a planned sailing date, and a few days before the sailing date we have a ‘cut-off’ date. Before the cut-off date, each CCC member must ensure all the information needed for a shipment is there, including the make or model, cargo dimensions and identification number.
Our role is making sure cargo is on quay and ready to clear customs. We manage 10 to 12 vessels a month: we keep track of cargo and bookings until they arrive safe and sound at the end destination.
To me, great customer service is about taking immediate action to solve a problem.
I always try my best to fulfil customer needs – whether that’s updating a customer with the vessel schedule or finding room for cargo if space is limited. Sometimes we have to be proactive and redirect cargo to help the customer and use vessels most effectively.
I live in a suburb of Stockholm and commute in to the WW Ocean Business Operations Centre, where we’re based.
Customer care used to be run from Southampton with the capacity teams and forward planners based in Stockholm, which meant working across time zones. Now we sit next to each other at the Business Operations Centre, so communication is really straightforward.
I have a very busy life outside work! My two boys are eight and three-years-old, so when I finish here, I’m looking after them.
In my spare time, you’ll find me listening to music or going to gigs. I like a lot of British bands, like Suede, Radiohead, Gorrillaz and The XX, but Interpol and Tame Impala are my all-time favourites.
I’m also a movie buff. I really enjoyed Baby Driver: great music, tempo and camerawork. I’m also on the social committee at WW Ocean, so spend a bit of time helping arrange parties and nights out for colleagues.
Outside of work, I love playing video games, and have a PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. People might not assume that I’m a video games addict, but I am!
One thing you might not know about me is that my ability to imitate Pikachu landed me a job in an agency!
The agency was working for Pokémon at the time and the job was communicating between the agency and the Japanese production studio that makes and owns Pokémon to license use of logos, graphics and any other Pokémon-related products.
People seem to work at Wallenius Wilhelmsen for a long time – and I can see why.
The business is complicated and the scope is huge so there’s always the opportunity to learn more. Although I’m only a small part of the business, I know that my skills and background will be needed and valued long into the future.