Shipping & Logistics

Woman blazes trail in the shipping business

Elizabeth Kyalo (right) takes visitors around
Elizabeth Kyalo (right) takes visitors around mining firm Base Titanium. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The number of women joining the lucrative shipping sector in the world has been rising, according to a United Nations study.

The report, the Review of Maritime Transport 2018, indicates that the number of women joining the shipping industry is rising.

However, it has not been rosy for them as challenges abound.

One of the women who has worked in the shipping sector for decades is Elizabeth Kyalo.

“I have been in the industry for more than a decade. I joined the sector right after completing college.


“My first employer was a shipping line called P&O Nedlloyd which was later acquired by Maersk. That is where I learned the basics. I would later hone my skills and experience working for Tata Chemicals Magadi Soda for about seven years before I joined Base Titanium in 2013,” said Ms Kyalo. As a port manager for the firm, Ms Kyalo’s role is to make sure that all minerals; rutile, ilmenite and zircon, are shipped to the intended customers.

“It encompasses scheduling, ship chartering, shipping contracts, attending to customer issues whenever they arise and ensuring all regulatory requirements pertinent to exports are in place. Additional duties are the port management and staff administration,” she said.

The report says many women are joining several marine categories like seafaring and operations, chartering, insurance and law.

“It is attributed to efforts to advance the role of women in the maritime industry, including through IMO initiatives in global capacity building, International Labour Organisation and International Transport Workers’ Federation initiatives in standard-setting,” she said.

A shipbroker with qualifications from the institute of Charted Ship Brokers, London, Ms Kyalo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Egerton University and a Diploma in Logistics and Transport.

“I am currently finalising on a Masters in Shipping and Logistics at Middlesex University, the UK,” she said.

Having a vision, resilience and passion for her job are the main drivers of success, she said.