Eric Lei, Export Operation Manager

“Succeeding at Toll depends on what you do together. Finishing a job well, accomplishing projects, meeting KPIs – it takes more than one person. You need to work together and have good team spirit.”

When you’re part of Toll, there’s always a lot to look forward to. In my position in Exports, I’m taking on a lot more, while helping my team grow and in turn also growing my own experience. Being able to push yourself and your abilities is outstanding. Eventually, I’m also quite interested in getting back into the frontline area of Freight Forwarding. There’s so much more to learn and I’ve been away from a lot of the hands-on side for a few years, so gaining even more up-to-date knowledge is something I’m quite excited about. It’s where I’d like to be.

My career to date with Toll has taken me from building an export team at the Centre of Excellence in Songjiang, China through to Global Forwarding in Shanghai. That has meant I was dealing with teams of less than 10 initially and now have a team of almost 50. As a result we’re covering a lot more areas as you’re across major export origins in Ningbo, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as Shanghai.

A lot of businesses will talk to self-improvement and opportunity but my progression is the genuine proof of that. You really have a chance at Toll to be recognised and to move up if you perform well. I’ve really enjoyed the growth development opportunities I’ve had here. In my instance, the manager I reported to could see I was doing my job well and there were tangible results, so I’ve progressed and been given new challenges. I first joined as an operator, but was promoted directly to a Customer Service Supervisor prior to where I am now. Typically, you would spend time in Customer Service first. For me, I have always worked with a strong focus on our customers, they are most important, particularly as we are a service industry - our customer is our business. In my role it’s all about maintaining a great relationship, ensuring their needs are met and there’s shared optimised benefits between the customer and our company. It’s about getting the best solution you can provide, even finding a faster vessel to ensure a shipment gets through in a set timeframe. You work proactively, knowing the needs they have in order to find a better solution. The Forwarding industry is filled with challenges, particularly recently. You have to stay on top of them, from managing shipments as an operator, through to team performance and growing and nurturing your team as a supervisor.

While it can get busy at work, it’s important to take a break and have balance. I have two Corgi puppies that I walk during my spare time. I also really enjoy exploring Chinese cities, including those I know and those I’ve never been to. And if they have spicy food then even better.