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.

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A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

07:30

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



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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.



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

17:30

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



A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

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 a Regional Operations Manager

    undefined

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



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    07:30

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



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    17:30

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



  • A day in the life of a Regional Operations Manager

    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

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



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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?



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

11:30

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



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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.



A day in the life of an Oil Operator

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 an Oil Operator

    undefined

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



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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?



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    11:30

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



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of an Oil Operator

    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)

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



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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!



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

08:40

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



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

08:55

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



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

12:00

I update all the movements in our systems.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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!



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

18:30

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



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

19:00

Solve various admin issues and invoice our counterparties.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

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 3)

    undefined

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



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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!



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    08:40

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



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    08:55

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



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    12:00

    I update all the movements in our systems.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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!



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    18:30

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



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    19:00

    Solve various admin issues and invoice our counterparties.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 3)

    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)

undefined

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



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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.



A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

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 Graduate (Rotation 2)

    undefined

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



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Graduate (Rotation 2)

    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

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



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

08:00

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



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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!



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

09:45

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



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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!



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

12:00

Early lunch with one of my colleagues.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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!



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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 !



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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.



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

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…



A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

19:00

I head out for the evening.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    undefined

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



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    08:00

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



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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!



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    09:45

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



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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!



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    12:00

    Early lunch with one of my colleagues.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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!



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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 !



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    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…



  • A day in the life of a Global Head of Operations

    19:00

    I head out for the evening.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

undefined

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





A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

06:20

I am up early to get ready for the day.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

07:00

Leave for the office.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic 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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

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”.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

18:00

Logging off for the day.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    undefined

    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





  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    06:20

    I am up early to get ready for the day.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    07:00

    Leave for the office.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic 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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    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”.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Copper Traffic Operator

    18:00

    Logging off for the day.



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

undefined

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



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

10:15

An article from Metal Bulletin came in about the market (treatment charges) that I quickly read over. Though there are a lot of day-to-day operational tasks to perform, I think it is very important to stay up to date in the market and to keep learning from reading these types of articles.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

13:00

Lunch.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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.



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

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 Lead, Zinc & Copper Operator

    undefined

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



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    10:15

    An article from Metal Bulletin came in about the market (treatment charges) that I quickly read over. Though there are a lot of day-to-day operational tasks to perform, I think it is very important to stay up to date in the market and to keep learning from reading these types of articles.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    13:00

    Lunch.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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.



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

    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

undefined

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



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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.



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

09:00

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



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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.



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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.



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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.



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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.



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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.



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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 !



A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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 Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

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



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    09:00

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



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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 !



  • A day in the life of a Cu Concs. Operations Graduate

    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

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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



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

07:00

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



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

08:00

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



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

10:30

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



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

10:45

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



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

12:45

Lunch.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    undefined

    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



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    07:00

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



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    08:00

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



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    10:30

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



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    10:45

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



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    12:45

    Lunch.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.



  • A day in the life of a Refined Metals Operator

    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.