My Job at SATS: I oversee seamless import cargo logistics operations at WFS South Africa

My Job at SATS: I oversee seamless import cargo logistics operations at WFS South Africa

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport is no doubt a hub of activity, where more than 650,000 tonnes of cargo (JNB) find their way in and out each year.

Right in the thick of this hustle and bustle is Zethu’s cosy corner office – her creative space where she fulfils her duties as a Duty Manager for Import Administration at Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) South Africa, a joint venture between WFS and Airlink.


Zethu in her quiet corner office at WFS South Africa (Johannesburg)

Finding her place in cargo

Zethu’s journey in logistics started humbly, joining WFS South Africa as a Customer Service Representative in 2012 when the office commenced operations.

From managing customer inquiries and navigating import tariffs to handling calls, she quickly mastered the trade, and within a brief period, she landed successive promotions as Team Leader, Senior Team Leader, and Duty Manager.

Over the years, Zethu has not only climbed up the ranks but also embraced cargo as her chosen career path.

Reflecting on her 11-year journey thus far, Zethu acknowledges, “My hard work and determination paid off.” Beyond a personal aspiration to excel, she finds her drive rooted in a desire to make her children and the women who raised her proud.


Ntombizethu Precious Dlamini, Duty Manager, WFS South Africa

Zethu’s day at work

As Duty Manager, Zethu’s responsibilities span a diverse array of tasks, primarily focused on operational and administrative responsibilities. From managing staff to resolving issues, she does it all with top-notch efficiency.

A pointer from this seasoned Duty Manager? “Communication is key,” she stresses. “Everyone must be on the same page so we can achieve collective success.”

Her day starts with a thorough review of documents provided by customers, ensuring that all cargo is properly accounted for. Years of experience have equipped Zethu with the confidence to efficiently fulfil this vital responsibility. Moreover, she makes it a point to stay updated on the latest industry and company regulations to maintain compliance standards rigorously.

Throughout the day, Zethu works closely with her team as well as other departments, offering support wherever needed to maintain a seamless flow of operations and timely cargo processing. She believes this hands-on approach keeps the Import Administration workflow efficient.

A digital take on import cargo logistics

Air cargo and freight logistics represent a dynamic domain, constantly evolving to meet the demands of consumers, integrate emerging technologies, and adhere to changing regulatory frameworks. Zethu, recognising this challenge, stays proactive in exploring new approaches to her role.

Recently, the WFS South Africa team has embarked on several initiatives aimed at streamlining work processes, a prospect that excites Zethu. “I find great fulfilment in contributing to these projects,” she shares enthusiastically, noting how it inspired her to delve deeper into Artificial Intelligence (AI).

After completing a course on AI and acquiring a newfound understanding of its potential to revolutionise their team’s operations, Zethu is currently looking for ways to integrate it into their processes.

She spearheads a project focused on automating invoice processing – a critical part of import cargo operations. With this initiative, the team can enhance overall efficiency, reduce manual workload, and minimise the risk of errors.

Discovering harmony amidst the bustle

Zethu’s workplace may be nestled within the bustling confines of Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport, yet, despite the fast-paced nature of her role and the environment, she refers to it as her source of joy.


Zethu (in red) with her colleagues celebrating their 10th work anniversary with WFS South Africa

“Working with WFS South Africa has been fantastic,” Zethu shares. She fondly recalls the camaraderie shared among her team, from spontaneous celebrations to moments of support. For her, these interactions make the daily grind something to look forward to.

As a working mother with family residing in a different city, Zethu understands the importance of striking a delicate balance between work and personal life. She offers a piece of advice, particularly to fellow women in the workplace: “It’s about finding that balance by prioritising one’s purpose and doing activities that bring inner peace.”

Outside the confines of her office, Zethu finds solace in nature’s embrace. Much like her cherished corner office, the serenity of being surrounded by trees and water fuels her creativity and provides a welcome escape amidst work demands.