Olvy Chuk acts as the point man for Inchcape clients and stakeholders in Cambodia to ensure reliable delivery of port agency services in his workday role as Branch Manager – Sihanoukville. And at weekends he turns his interpersonal skills to equally good effect with charity work to help poor families in his local community.
The common factor in both these endeavours, he says, is teamwork as collaboration with like-minded individuals all pulling in the same direction can achieve much greater things than each one acting alone.
This is indeed a core principle at the heart of Inchcape’s port agency operations with a global interconnected network of 245 offices with over 3000 employees that enables resource and knowledge-sharing to facilitate local teams on the ground and keep ship trade flowing.
Having worked in the role for the past 18 months, Olvy has clearly seen the benefits of this collaborative approach both in getting work done more effectively and in expanding his professional abilities.
‘Working towards common goal’
“Inchcape’s ‘one-team’ mindset with a single vision of serving the customer means we are all working together towards a common goal, which is also beneficial for business,” he explains.
“Everyone is also on the same page as regards to compliance with global QHSSE (quality, health, safety, security and environment) and anti-corruption regulations, as well as ethical business rules, ensuring consistent standards of operation across the organization.
“Furthermore, teamwork based on good management provides the opportunity to develop our skills. Being a good team player means always helping each other, openly discussing issues, sharing information and ideas, and solving problems together. This also means we are being constantly challenged to learn new things from the rest of the team.”
This concept is already well familiar to Olvy given he is a keen football player, while he also enjoys exercising at the local gym, and provides his services together with other volunteers for the Orphan charity in which he is passionately engaged in his spare time.
This entails both providing financial sponsorship of families and their children to support education, as well as practical assistance in the form of food, clothing, medical supplies and equipment such as bicycles.
“I really enjoy joining others in helping to change lives as it is highly rewarding and makes you feel part of something bigger. Together, we can make a massive difference,” he says.
Rapid learning curve
Olvy, aged 35 and married with four small children, was raised in the South East Asian country’s Kampong Chhnang Province and graduated with a Major of Art degree in English from its Build Bright University.
He has had a circuitous career path into shipping, having started out in sales and marketing with a telecoms company before taking on roles as operations supervisor in both delivery and logistics, then acting as a cargo operations and reservation officer in aviation and finally working as a shipping manager with a fashion firm before joining Inchcape in 2021.
Olvy has been able to quickly build up expertise in his current role both through interaction with experienced colleagues and internal training courses on Inchcape’s digital systems.
These have enabled him to get up to speed with the Optic platform for management of port call operations, marine services and disbursement accounting, as well as the World of Ports platform that provides vital port data and market intelligence on 4600 ports worldwide to facilitate more cost-effective port calls for clients.
Working out of Inchcape’s local office in Phnom Penh, Olvy is primarily engaged in ensuring vessel calls for clients at the capital city’s port, along with other Cambodian ports, are performed in a compliant manner and that all operational KPIs are met.
Strong business relationships
This means supervising the provision of port agency services covering cargo operations, including customs clearance and cargo movements, as well as services for the vessel itself such as repairs, maintenance, surveys and inspections, towage, piloting, bunkering and husbandry, which includes crew logistics and provision of spare parts and consumables.
He points out that vendor audits are an important part of his work to determine that suppliers used by Inchcape are compliant with the company’s code of conduct and thereby ensure ethical business standards are maintained.
Networking is also key to develop strong business relationships with vendors and terminals, as well as with internal and external customers, he explains. “We have, for example, built strong relationships with the harbour master and port officer to gain information more quickly and thereby facilitate problem-solving,” he says.
Inchcape is able to secure advantageous pricing with vendors due to its global buying power, while its extensive local supplier networks mean it can expedite ship deliveries more efficiently.
Olvy says another priority is clear communication between Inchcape’s port agency operations team and stakeholders to make sure customer needs are met in a timely manner to ensure fast port turnarounds.
His daily work routine entails handling PDAs at each port and providing responses on this to customers, together with gathering port information – including updates on port conditions and terminal status – and other useful data for the regional commercial team and weekly reports to management.
He is required to review feedback from customers, address any complaints and appraise compliments, as well as generate operational reports for both management and the principal as necessary, as part of the company’s policy of continuous assessment and improvement of customer service.
Motivational environment to achieve more
“It is always good to receive positive feedback from customers and management, which is certainly a motivational factor to learn and achieve more, and thereby perform more effectively in my work,” Olvy says.
“It is also great to work in a positive and enjoyable office environment with friendly and helpful colleagues.”
This, he says, encourages him to set new goals for himself and the company, as well as complete his responsibilities according to a clear work plan.
“I aim to be a good branch manager and team leader so that Inchcape can further improve on its performance as a port agency service provider and expand its services to customers,” Olvy says.
He is also keen to support the company’s regional growth by identifying additional port agency opportunities locally at the ports of Sihanoukville and Kampot, while also helping to develop its liner agency, logistics and surveying businesses.
“Working with Inchcape has been a great opportunity to expand my capabilities and progress my career in shipping. It has been a rapid and exciting learning curve that has enabled me to develop skills in handling port agency and understand more about logistics and the different shipping trades. I am learning and developing all the time,” he says.