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On the eve of his retirement

Malachi Moyo reflects on a brilliant cargo career

Malachi Moyo is, in many ways, a Swiss WorldCargo legend. Currently the Station Manager for South Africa, he has been with our company for almost 30 years, during which his impact has been felt from Johannesburg to Zurich and throughout the rest of the world. On the eve of his upcoming retirement at the end of this month, we look back at his career with Swiss WorldCargo.

Biography/Career overview
Malachi was born in Zimbabwe in 1954, and his professional career in the airline industry began in 1981, when he joined Air Zimbabwe as a Customer Service Agent. There, he rose through the ranks until he became a Duty Traffic Manager, a position which he held until his move to British Airways. In 1991, Malachi returned to Air Zimbabwe for the position of Manager Ground Operations, responsible for ground handling of Air Zimbabwe as well as over twenty foreign airlines. But in 1993 he switched to Swissair, where he first served as Customer Service and Cargo Officer for Zimbabwe. A promotion to Network and Operations Manager, with a focus on cargo, followed, and in 1997 he became Country Manager, Passengers and Cargo. In 2000, he accepted a transfer to Johannesburg where he became Network and Operations Manager Cargo. Several years later in 2007, he took on a new challenge, when he became Swiss WorldCargo’s South Africa Country Manager and assumed responsibility for the team there, a position he has held since.

Swiss WorldCargo Johannesburg
Over the past years, Malachi has built up a strong reputation in the African air cargo market. Swiss WorldCargo’s local offices are based in Johannesburg, where a staff of five is responsible for ensuring a full capacity on Swiss WorldCargo’s daily flight to Zurich, as well as a seasonal flight from Cape Town. As the local station manager, Malachi’s duties are manifold: Managing his team, ensuring successful regular sales and steering, filling the space on Swiss WorldCargo’s daily Airbus A340-300 to Zurich, and regularly meeting with customers to ensure a seamless, positive experience. He has rounded this out with an additional role as a Dangerous Goods auditor, critical to understanding the complexities of certain shipments and their processes. He notes that he has seen many shipments in his lifetime, most of which are reflective of the regular exports coming from South Africa and the region: valuables, spare parts for vehicles, perishables, and pharma products. But he has also seen some standout shipments, such as last summer’s shipment of an Audi A7 within the belly of an Airbus A340-300.

The market has also changed, Malachi explains. Especially in South Africa, there is both an increase in capacity and demand compared to when he first started. This is great news in many ways – it allows customers more choice while reflecting a strong economy. But while competition is healthy, it also means that Swiss WorldCargo will need to ensure it stays top of mind for customers – and therefore continue to highlight its USPs when appealing to customers. While operating a daily flight out South Africa and Switzerland, which he refers to as “just one part of the pie” – Swiss WorldCargo must stand out in other ways – specifically with its dedicated focus on service and quality.

When asked about the future, Malachi says that he has great faith in his team as well as Swiss WorldCargo to continue to carry out his tasks. He encourages young people to join the industry and gain working experience, specifically those with a passion for air-freight and logistics.  Malachi credits his love of cargo as playing an important role in his success: “I always liked to see the flow of a shipment, from reservation, to acceptance, to handling. Whenever I was able to see that, I felt satisfied.”

What distinguishes Malachi is not only the breadth of his experience, but the time he has spent in it. He has seen it all – from his initial working experience in Zimbabwe, at a time when the industry had a fraction of the cargo and passengers it does today, to working at Africa’s largest airport. This deep knowledge, combined with his calm leadership style, has led to steady results and the development of South Africa as one of our key intercontinental markets.

On a personal note, Malachi explains that appearing in Swiss WorldCargo’s “Faces” advertising campaign was a highlight for him. The ad campaign, launched in 2012, focused on different employees from throughout the world and their contributions to Swiss WorldCargo, each with a picture of their face and an accompanying tagline. For his segment, he identified the tagline “I am Swiss at heart.” This reflects the idea that being “Swiss” is not a reflection of geography insofar as that of a certain culture and its values – quality, efficiency, stability and reliability – values which Malachi embodies.

Malachi Moyo in the “Faces” advertising campaign.

And what will he do now, given his newfound abundance of free time? “Enjoy, and relax,” he says, laughing. Maybe some travel, here and there, but mostly just reducing his personal pace after a career within the intensity of daily cargo operations. And certainly, he has earned it. Sir, you will be missed!