Hannah admits she may have become “a little bit” of a ship-spotter in her role as Port Taranaki operations planner.
“I’d say I’ve definitely developed an interest in ships,” she says with a laugh.
Given she has the important and dynamic job of planning the schedule of ships that come and go from port, the need to build a knowledge of vessel, wharf, and harbour specifications is understandable.
Hannah has been at the port for 13 years, working within cargo, maintenance and marine departments to her current broader operations planner role.
And it’s a real family affair, with Hannah’s dad, brother, and husband either currently working, or having worked, at Port Taranaki.
What does your role involve?
“It’s all about relationships, planning and communication – a continual loop of receiving information from and communicating with shipping agents, customers, regulators and Port Taranaki staff to make the best decisions for the coordination of the ships.
“I use this information to allocate the best berth for each vessel and the most efficient use of our resources. This is put into our shipping schedule and updated daily.
“I have meetings daily with teams to look at the 24-48 hour plan, and also further out – two to four weeks – and discuss any operations going on that might impact on shipping.”
What do you like about the role?
“I like that there is almost immediate job satisfaction. Within a few hours you can see the plan you have set taking place on the water.
“I also like that every day is different, and the challenge of trying to set a plan – determining a plan A, but also having plan B and C in the background if needed.”
What are the challenges?
“Shipping is so dynamic. You can plan, but there are a lot of things outside of your control or management that can cause the schedule to change, such as weather conditions or cargo operations. This means you have to be able to adapt to what’s happening in real time.”