World Net Logistics Ocean Freight (Johannesburg) – Meet Deborah Pakkiri

Posted by Maria Hofer

World Net is delighted to welcome Deborah Pakkiri to the team. Debbie will lead our Ocean Freight operations with effect from 1 June 2020. As one of our home-grown talents, Debbie has over 20 years’ experience in freight forwarding in South Africa and is suitably qualified to take on the new challenge.

What makes you excited about Ocean freight?

DP: Ocean freight is where I started in this industry, so it is very close to my heart. Nothing excites me more than tackling an operational issue and satisfying the client with the outcome.
The system has changed a lot over the years so there is never a dull moment. It keeps one constantly thinking about improvement opportunities. There are also all kinds of people that you get to deal with.

The national lockdown and its restrictions have disrupted the imports via ocean significantly. When do you expect the market to have overcome the disruption?

DP: The national lockdown has created a backlog, which has now slowly but surely cleared up, however, the aftereffects of the delays have had a significant financial impact on the industry.
Many importers, transporters and logistics agents are finding things extremely difficult at the moment.
My mentor would always say, that tough times don’t last, but tough people do, and those words always echo in the back of my mind during trying times, as I truly believe that eventually, we will all recover from this disaster.

The import of goods via ocean requires lots of preparation and is a complex process. If you could give one tip to a new importer who is planning their first shipment, what would it be?

DP: Take time when choosing a logistics provider / partner as there are lots of factors to consider. You also always want to be in control of your freight, so you need to control your terms of sale wherever possible. Lastly, make sure you have insurance.

What do you believe is the most important personality trait to excel in the logistics industry?

DP: There are so many, however, a few of the more important ones, in my opinion, are as follows:
You need to be adaptable as the industry and requirements are often changing.
You need to be confident as this is a tough industry to be in.
You also need to be calm and co-operative as you deal with many different personalities and 3rd parties.
Last but not least, you need to be honest, humble and respectful.

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