Spotlight on … Sam Quintelier, Senior Business & Network Development Manager, Brussels Airport Company

CargoForwarder Global’s ‘Spotlight On…’ series sheds light on a different corner of the air cargo industry every week, as individuals working in one of the many and very varied jobs, bring their own flavor to the set of seven standard questions. Sam Quintelier (SQ), Senior Business & Network Development Manager, Brussels Airport Company, takes the stage this week. He takes us on a tour of his daily business, explains how he got involved in our industry, and offers advice to those looking to enter into air cargo.

Running the Brussels Airport Marathon in more ways than one! Image: Sam Quintelier

CFG: What is your current function? And what are your responsibilities?

SQ: Brussels Airport Company and I am Senior Business and Network Development Manager within the Cargo & Logistics unit.

CFG: What does a normal day look like for you? Or is there such a thing?

SQ: No such things as normal day but I can share a few common threads in an average week. There will always be at least one meeting with the core team as well as a few with the other branches within the cargo team. These make sure that even with working from home, traveling and just an overall busy schedule, we stay informed and on top of things. Next to that, we get a lot of questions from our community that can range from urgent issues to strategic opportunities, so of course we prioritize these and try to help.

I am also involved in company projects as business line owner (BLO) or advisor. This means I represent the voice of the cargo business for Perishables and Live Animals. Lastly, there is often travel involved as we represent Brussels Airport and the cargo community at trade shows and conferences or visit airlines and agents abroad for network development.

CFG: How long have you been in the air cargo industry, and what brought you to it?

SQ: My fascination for the airport, airplanes and logistics led me to my first degree in Logistics management. After that I continued studying so I didn’t actually start in air cargo. But in 2015, I needed a temporary job and started as Operations Supervisor with a freight forwarding company. What was a short-term job turned into a 3 year one with a lot of growth and hands-on experience. So, this will be my 9th year in Air Cargo.

CFG: What do you enjoy most about your job?

SQ: I think the fact that it is so varied, opportunities and challenges pop up constantly, which pushes you to keep learning and improving yourself to produce creative solutions. Next to that, the traveling! Having the opportunity to get to know so many people and cultures is really enriching and has led to some great friendships. I think if everybody in the world came more in contact with others, we would be able to understand global issues so much better and I am convinced that it would be a better place for all.

CFG: Where do you see the greatest challenges in our industry?

SQ: I don’t think it is just in our industry, but the adversity to change – it’s what keeps us where we are. This is also why Cargo Collective (CC) is important to make sure that barriers are removed or at least lowered. So young people thinking of joining don’t have to wait years to see how interesting and fun it can be. The sooner they realize that, the bigger the chance is they stay, and the greater the impact is that they can make.

If I can add one more: aviation is often seen as a source of pollution which brings only bad things to our world. But I see and experience all the good it does. Conveying this correctly to the broader public should be a higher priority, I believe.

CFG: What advice would you give to people looking to get into the air cargo industry? Any particular training they should aim for?

SQ: Training is done on the job, it helps to have a specific degree such as economics, engineering, management, etc. But this is often not required. What is required is a mindset to learn, be flexible without compromising your sanity, and have a customer focus. The last one not only applies to sales profiles, but also to colleagues, partners, etc.

CFG: If the air cargo industry were a film/book, what would its title be?

SQ: “The tail of the traveling circus”

Excellent. Thank you for that, Sam!

If you would like to share your personal air cargo story with our CargoForwarder Global readers, feel free to send your answers to the above questions to cargoforwarderglobal@kopfpilot.at We look forward to shining a spotlight on your job area, views, and experiences.

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