Ali: Superintendent

Holidays spent watching his father shunt at Port Botany, would inspire Ali Karnib’s choice of a rail career in later life.

Ali is quick to say he was exposed to rail from a young age. After initially working in construction, Ali made the decision to look for other opportunities. “A job in rail was one that stood out to me, not only because of the variety of career paths but also for the longevity.”

He started as a terminal operator with Pacific National and close to two decades later he has held a variety of roles including terminal planner and linehaul operations supervisor before his promotion to superintendent. “From my time working in the terminal, I gained a wealth of knowledge and skills that have given me a great understanding of how things run.”

As Superintendent of Pacific National’s Sydney Freight Terminal, Ali is responsible for around 60 – 70 people. Working closely with his supervisors, he is expected to develop, communicate, direct and gain support for the implementation of strategies aimed at improving the performance of his team. “I enjoy working with my team, when they succeed, I feel like I have succeeded by being there to support them.”

Typically, Ali starts his day by reading a shift handover report and a daily report on train performance. He reviews the overall performance in the past twenty-four hours, and any incidents that may have happened. This helps him understand how to maximise operational efficiency and ensure the allocation of assets and personnel will help Pacific National deliver what matters for its customers.

“My job is important because not only am I responsible for managing relationships with our customers, but I ensure our operations run smoothly, our services run on time, as much as possible, and ultimately that our people go home safely everyday.”

While some of his responsibilities keep him in the terminal building, Ali equally tries to make sure that he sets aside time to get out into the yard. “We operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so the terminal is always busy. Where I can I try to take every opportunity to spend time out in the terminal, with our terminal operators and supervisors. I think as a terminal superintendent, it’s vital to spend time with the people who keep our trains moving. Without the team who work here, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”

Ali says while he never dreamed his journey at Pacific National would take him to where he is today, he finds his job very fulfilling. “I get the most satisfaction when we meet our customers’ demands, my team go home safely, and the trains arrive and depart on time every time. Ultimately, we are a team, and I am invested in making sure we achieve the outcomes we need to by working together safely.”