Krystal Cheng

Sales & Project Manager, SAL Heavy Lift (Singapore)

I am Krystal. This August, I have my 10th anniversary with SAL Heavy Lift. In our Singapore office, I market our vessels to clients in S.E. Asia with a special client focus on the oil and gas industry. In that context, I assist my colleagues with tenders and bids for projects.

My way into the shipping industry was more or less a coincidence. During the time I finished my studies of business administration with major in e-commerce, we encountered the “” crisis. That made it really hard for me to find a job in e-commerce. Hence, I was quite fortunate that I got hired by a tanker owner as a management trainee. Since than, I never have left the shipping industry.
The shipping industry is known to be very demanding in terms of hours and response times towards clients and unforeseen situations. As a working mother with a young family, there are certainly challenging times in managing these expectations. However, with the great support and understanding from my working peers, this has made it more manageable.

Shipping is still a very male dominant industry. In some traditional Asian cultures, there are still customers who perceive women of not playing an important role in the organization. That makes it quite challenging sometimes, especially during face-to-face negotiation and meetings. However, this is changing constantly. Over the past years we have seen more women being involved in all parts of the industry.
When I started my career in the chartering and operations department with the tanker owner, it was a blessing for me that the exposure and experience I had gained in that tenure had made me more assured of what a women can bring in shipping industry.

When I get asked why I love to work in shipping, I reply: “There is never a dull moment”. No matter how long you are in this industry, everyday there is a new skill, situation and knowledge that you can learn from to become better.