Ask Angel Transport managing director Ayna Shamim what it’s like to be a woman in transport, and she’ll tell you it’s not something she thinks too hard about – respect comes from staying true to your word and delivering consistently great customer service, something she has done over 12 years in business.
With an award-winning* FUSO fleet under her watchful eye, Ayna knows what she’s talking about.
“It’s all about service – simple,” says Ayna. “My customers don’t want to deal with anyone else, because they know that when they call up, we’ll get the job done.”
The Auckland-based business provides general freight services throughout the Upper North Island region, specialising in urgent same-day deliveries, often as a third-party contractor.
Ayna’s father Mohammed started the company after leaving Fiji in 2005 and asked his daughter to join him.
“It came as a big surprise – I was studying nursing at the time,” says Ayna. “I asked him ‘are you serious?’ After thinking about it overnight, I said ‘OK, let’s do it!”
Ayna was 19 years old at the time and says it was a steep learning curve over the first few years.
“I had a lot to learn – I was starting from scratch. I had no idea about axles and loading processes.”
Undaunted, Ayna stuck to her guns and set to work on building the company’s reputation.
“I had a lot of supportive customers, which really helped me learn what we could be doing better. I was very lucky in that respect. Over time, those relationships have grown to the point where I am the go-to person for my customers. If they move company, they bring me with them, and that’s really how our business has developed.”
From three FUSO Canters, Angel Transport’s fleet has grown to a 20-strong, FUSO mix of curtainsiders and flat deck trucks, comprising those original three Canters, 16 Fighters and a second-hand Shogun. The most recent purchase, a new 16T 4x2 Fighter FM1628 curtainsider, reflects the company’s continued growth.
“The mix allows us to be flexible and service a range of requirements,” says Ayna. “My father always says you can never go wrong with FUSO trucks – and so far we haven’t! They are reliable and great value.”
With her father’s backing and support from her husband “from day one”, Ayna has steered a clear course for the company’s success.
“My father owns the company, but I think of it as my baby. I love running the business and I love the industry I work in. I’m proud of what we have achieved.”
That passion may well have been passed down to her own daughters, who have expressed an interest in following in their mum’s footsteps.
“Between my and my brother’s kids, we have seven future employees waiting in the wings,” jokes Ayna. “If they show an interest in getting involved, the door is open.”
With such a successful role model to learn from, it looks like the future of the business is in good hands!
* Angel Transport won ‘Best Curtainsider’ and ‘Best Fleet’ at the Truck and Machinery Show 2017.
“People always say that our truck fleet shines,” says Ayna. “I take great pride in that. We ensure that all our drivers are well presented and the fleet looks good. I think it says a lot about our business approach and the high standards we maintain.”