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Glenn Delve - An eventful journey

Glenn Delve, a Director at the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said, “My 31 years with MSC have gone quickly − it has been an eventful journeyand a great profession to be in.” He added, “I am old school and I am proud to have worked for so many years for the same company, which is a different mindset to young employees nowadays.”

When Delve joined MSC in 1985, the family owned com- pany had a fleet of 15 ships. Since then, this number has grown considerably. MSC is the second biggest container carrier in the world with in excess of 420 container vessels and also operates a number of renowned cruise liners.

Delve’s professional journey began in 1978 when he accepted a post as a management trainee in a shipping company. His natural aptitude for learning saw him complete a number of training courses in the field of shipping, which he said, “Gave his career a good grounding”.

Being part of the MSC journey has provided him with many opportunities to continue to learn as, “No day is ever the same”. Since the company has grown, new divisions have been added, which have included: ship agency, container depots, ship tracking and repair. “Each division has had learning phases and challenges, which has made the business exciting,” he said.

His journey with the company has ensured that his career has had many highlights, not the least was his appointment as a Director of MSC in 2006. In addition, he said, “Being able to conclude a commercial agreement is a highlight on every occasion; each circumstance is different and has different requirements. Over the years, we have had to negotiate complex multinational contracts. Each takes a lot of time and it is very rewarding to see the conclusion.” Delve added, “The majority of the many companies who were approached as potential clients 30 years ago are still shipping with us today. Building long mature relationship with our clients has been heartwarming. This has been achieved through trust, empathy and transparency.”

MSC prides itself on being a flexible company and puts the customer first and finance second. Improving client service prompted the introduction of Name Day Service, which means that the ships depart from ports on a specific day of the week. This was an innovation that was to change the world of shipping, with most other shipping companies quickly following suit. Now MSC has established berthing windows in the ports it visits to ensure that the ships can keep to schedule, guaranteeing happy clients.

Joining an Italian family owned business has had many advantages. Delve says that he has enjoyed his long working relationship with the Chief Executive Officer Captain Salvatore Sarno and MSC founder Chairman Gianluigi Aponte. He said, “The company has always treated its employees not only as assets but as family members. This philosophy is apparent in that the average length of employment within the company is 18 to 20 years. In addition, during times of economic downturn, no employees have been retrenched, which is a very different response to most of our opposition shipping companies.”

MSC is also proud of its investments in its people, which is apparent in its personal approach to business. A large number of training programmes are offered through the MSC Maritime School. These range from learnerships through to director development programmes. For young people embarking on a shipping career, Delve as this advice, “Work hard and the rewards will be there”. However, he said, “It is not an industry for the faint hearted.” He added that it is also important to work your way up from the bottom so that you have a good understanding of the different aspects of the shipping industry.

Delve is married and his wife also works at MSC. Having no children of their own, they both feel that the shipping company has been their child, which they have enjoyed seeing grow. When not working, they both enjoy the outdoors and travel to experience the people and culture of different countries.

  Glenn Delve - KZN Leader - Glenn Delve.pdf

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