Chris McKirdy - SAC Clearance


Customs Broker


Before I got involved in Transport and Logistics I had a junior position in sales. I always liked the idea of being able to help people through my expertise and I guess my interest in the transport and logistics industry grew out of the big chance to help business. People might not often understand the role that transport and logistics plays in the day to day operation of a business but it is huge. I think this is what drove me to become involved in the industry.

To progress in my line of becoming a licensed customs broker it is essential to learn all aspects of freight forwarding. After some hard work I achieved my license in 2006 and their is great satisfaction knowing you are part of a specialised field of only about 1,400 licensed custom brokers throughout Australia. When I sat the examination you only got one opportunity a year to pass the exams, but it requires a massive effort to put in the 200+ days of study it can take to pass the exams. Luckily for me in my earlier career I had a mentor who helped me a lot whether at work or in my study, I guess he saw something in me. It can be of great reassurance to have someone like this aid your development and understanding this is why I like to give back to the industry as much as I can and take the time to help new entrants. Again it comes back to being able to help but the positives extend to the individual as well as the business.

Achieving my Customer Brokers license as mentioned is a major career highlight but since then so much more come to mind. In a previous position I maintained the account for Suzlon Australia, based in Melbourne and facilitated the importation of close to a hundred complete Wind Turbine Generators on several chartered vessels over a period of two years. The wind farm projects were based in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. This account required very specialized knowledge and experience dealing with imports worth several hundred million dollars over the life of the project. You always reflect fondly on the big budget projects.

Many skills will take you far in this industry. On a personal level I think determination and commitment have taken me a long way. In an industry that is constantly evolving I view change as an opportunity for exploration and learning and welcome adaptation to new processes so I can strengthen and increase my skills and expertise and drive my persistence. If I was to give advice to a new entrant to transport and logistics I would say cherish the challenges. Do not allow any obstacle to defeat you but rather see it as an opportunity to grow. But also to know that hard work pays off, wages increase dramatically once a person gets their Customs Broker License and can top $100,000.

At the moment I am really enjoying the challenge of running my own business and the freedom this gives you. I could hop in a caravan tomorrow and tour Australia and I would still be able to provide export advice to Importer and Exporters interstate. That is definitely one of the many great things about Transport and Logistics.