This month, we had the pleasure to interview Veronique Danciu, worldwide transportation Director, working at Asteelflash for the last 7 years.
Located in the USA, she makes sure products reach their destination. Today, this is her story we are sharing with you.
Hello Veronique, thank you for your time! We know it’s been tensed in the transportation sector this last year and you must be above and under all the time…
Hi! Thanks for the opportunity to talk about transportation! And yes, it has been extremely tensed since the beginning of COVID. Every day is a new challenge and I never know what I’m going to wake up to. I think I can say COVID is the most complicated crisis I have seen in my whole career! Prices are over the roof; capacity is extremely limited – all on top of the “usual” day-to-day regular issues.
Wow, that sounds daunting! Could you start by telling us your story?
For sure! I am Veronique Danciu, Worldwide transportation import and export director. I have been working for Asteelflash for almost 7 years now but I’ve been in the transportation industry for over 20 years and I love it!
Could you explain to us your mission and your role at Asteelflash?
My role has many aspects: with a worldwide scope for all AFG entities, my mission is to coordinate, guide, help all the sites’ transportation (both imports and exports), mainly as far as international transportation is concerned (air freight and sea freight); also making sure all topics related to international transportation are compliant with local rules and regulation (WW trade compliance) which requires very specific knowledge in Customs rules and regulation for all countries and regions. I am also in charge of setting up processes and directives to guide all teams globally, and finally, I negotiate transportation rates for all of our 17 sites. It is very challenging, there is always something to do but it’s always very rewarding.
You sound really passionate about your job; can you tell me where it is coming from?
I think my childhood has something to do with it. I grew up in Africa and I have moved around all my life. I developed an interest in different cultures and high adaptability to people and places. I have loved growing into such a heteroclite environment.
Being in transportation, I find all that diversity on a daily basis since I’m working with great people all around the world. Working along with them is so enriching on the professional level but also the personal level!
I highly appreciate teamwork. When we face an issue and the issue is solved as a team, it is very fulfilling. I have the privilege to work with an amazing teammate that I like to call “my right-hand man”, and together we have solved countless issues over the last 6 years. In my opinion, every role within a company is essential; without each other's work and knowledge we are not worth much, but together, we can create great things.
"Being in transportation, I find all that diversity on a daily basis since I’m working with great people all around the world. Working along with them is so enriching on the professional level but also the personal level!"
Are there any other specific things that motivate you in your job?
Exactly everything mentioned previously: transportation is constantly on the move, it evolves with the world and the market; it is basically a 24/7 job and every day brings its own set of challenges; what is exciting is the fact that I do not know what to expect when I start my day, every day is different, every challenge is unique, I never get bored!
You said that “every day brings its own set of challenges”; does it mean that there is no typical day as a Worldwide Transport director?
Each day is different and brings new challenges. With such a large scope, there is always a new topic, a new issue somewhere in the world. Based in the USA, I usually start my day with several calls with the European team. Because of the time difference; there is always a boat or a plane or a truck somewhere in the world to monitor; there is always a custom agent, somewhere, asking for documents; the local transportation and logistics teams do an amazing job; however, among 17 sites, there is always at least one facing a major issue… I also work on negotiations for specific shipments, presentation reports, data analysis, database updates….
What are the biggest challenges of your role?
The biggest challenge is to foresee what will be next in a very volatile market: no one predicted the Covid crisis, and yet, it let thousands of planes on the ground and we had to think hard to find strategies and solutions to mitigate its impact on the transportation. We try to be proactive with our customers by telling them there will be some delays in their delivery for example. One of Asteelflash strengths is its quick adaptability and flexibility in its daily management, which allow quick decision-making to move things faster when needed.
Could you tell us a story or an unusual event that marked you in your career with Asteelflash?
As the WW transportation import/export Director for the group, I am the “go-to person” for Customs. I was called one day by the US customs and the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) about some goods that had been imported by one of our American sites. The Customs and FDA representatives asked me the same question (that was over the phone):
“Can you explain the exact reason why Asteelflash is importing cocaine”?
I had to make them both repeat several times, as I was – first – not exactly sure of what they were talking about. “Cocaine?". “We do not do that, sir”.
What happened was that one of our suppliers had made a typo when he wrote the custom code for a test machine. So officially, AFG was importing illegal drugs on American soil… It took me 2 weeks to prove to the Authorities that it was a mistake and that AFG was traded compliant [laugh].
To finish I wanted to talk to you about the transportation newsletter that you’ve created. Could you tell us more about it?
This newsletter was created because it is important to keep the teams and especially our customers informed. Transportation must be transparent; keeping our customers informed and satisfied is our number 1 goal. I created this newsletter in order to fulfill this goal. You can find it on our blog: https://blog.asteelflash.com/blog/air-and-sea-freight-market-update-2021
Thank you very much Véronique for this moment with you and we wish you all the best!