Published in The Cairns Post by Alicia Nally
August 1, 2018
FIFTEEN years of experience in international shipping have been poured in Lilian Auva’a’s new venture.
The enterprising former Pacific Asia Express manager has started LA Moana Agency, a consulting firm specialising in international shipping, transport and logistics in northern Queensland.
LA comes from Ms Auva’a’s initials, and “moana” is the Polynesian word for ocean or sea.
LA Moana was established in December last year and is run out of a home office, servicing all Australian cities.
“Over the years, I have noticed a gap in importing and exporting through this region due to the limited resources and services available in this region,” Ms Auva’a said.
“There is so much potential in our region, hence why I decided to take this opportunity to use my skills, experience and industry relationships to help bridge that gap where many feel disconnected and overwhelmed to consider importing or exporting.”
Ms Auva’a is keen to point out the difference between her business and a freight forwarding company.
As freight consultants, LA Moana operates independently and works directly with shipping lines, freight forwarding companies, customs brokers and transport and logistic companies to build a package to suit customers.
With an understanding of the project, requirements and budget, a project manager will then be assigned to an account from beginning to end.
The company is targeting businesses that want to expand into markets internationally but need help getting started and understanding shipping, transport and logistics.
Ms Auva’a said the first six months had been “challenging and yet very rewarding”. “I’ve met many local businesses and visited farmers to discuss their challenges, concerns and also their goals,” she said.
“It’s encouraging to see that there is so much interest, support and also collaborative partnerships forged with various stakeholders to help us achieve the same outcome for our region.
“Food and agricultural exports is an emerging market.
“With the amount of support and grants available to the industry and the free-trade agreements, it is opening up opportunities to help our growers and food businesses to expand their businesses and enter the international markets.
“My goal is to help develop and drive international trade growth within our region under a collaborative approach with strategic partners.
“Our mission is to mentor and coach individuals and businesses on becoming import and export ready, providing them with the appropriate supply chain solutions, and empower them to see the possibilities, identify the opportunities and have the confidence to make it happen.”
Ms Auva’a said some Pacific Islands ex-pats have also shown interest in the business to send cargo back to their families in the Islands.
Lilian Auva'a founder & owner of LA Moana Agency [Picture credit: Cairns Post]
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