Spotlight on… Sebastien Podgorski, WebCargo’s new VP Airline Solutions

CargoForwarder Global’s ‘Spotlight On…’ series highlights the many and very different jobs in the air cargo industry by asking individuals in those functions a set of seven questions. While airports around the world provide physical hubs for airlines and forwarders to arrange the physical transportation of air cargo, booking platforms such as WebCargo offer a digital business hub, bringing air capacity offers to those seeking the space. That is why, this week, Sebastien Podgorski (SP), Vice President Airline Solutions at WebCargo by Freightos, has been invited to share his business insights, experience and advice.

“Nothing beats real-life experience.” Image: WebCargo by Freightos

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

SP: Currently, I serve as the Vice President of Airline Solutions at WebCargo by Freightos, where my focus is on helping airlines harness the power of digitalization. While our initial emphasis was on facilitating digital bookings, we’ve now broadened our scope to collaborate with carriers in developing solutions that bolster their digital journey while enhancing their commercial and operational strategies. My role involves working closely with both internal teams and our customers to translate this vision into reality.

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

SP: In this dynamic industry, no two days are alike! Each day presents its unique set of challenges and opportunities. My role revolves around assisting our team and customers in navigating these daily fluctuations while staying aligned with their medium to long-term objectives.

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

SP: I’ve been in the industry for over five years now, starting out at Air Canada where I led the digital strategy that brought the carrier online during the COVID-19 pandemic. My journey into air cargo was partly accidental and partly destined – both my mother and grandfather worked in the industry. Although I initially aimed to join the airline sector, I spent seven years in finance and technology before an opportunity in airline cargo came my way. Five years later, I can safely say I’ve fallen in love with the industry and plan to spend the rest of my career here. What makes it so fascinating is the sheer variety and depth. Just when you finish a major project, there are a hundred more challenges and opportunities waiting. Plus, I get to make a real impact on an industry that’s critical to the global economy.

CFG: What do you enjoy most about your job?

SP: I find plenty of joy in my work. Working alongside the talented folk at Freightos is a big part of it. The collaborative vibe and innovative mindset here make every day exciting. Plus, getting down in the trenches with our airline partners, really getting what makes them tick and crafting solutions that fit like a glove – now that’s the stuff that keeps me on my toes and helps us all grow together.

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

SP: One of the biggest challenges in our industry is getting everyone in the supply chain to work together smoothly. It’s not always easy to make sure airlines, freight forwarders, shippers, and regulatory bodies are on the same page, especially when each has its own priorities and systems. That’s where we come in. At WebCargo, we’re all about creating innovative solutions that bring these stakeholders together. Our goal is to make collaboration easier and processes more efficient, ultimately boosting overall performance.

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

SP: The air cargo industry is truly one of the best places to work. It’s always exciting, with endless challenges and opportunities to explore. You can build a fulfilling career here with countless chances for advancement. Plus, since it’s a global industry, you’ll get to travel the world, meet people from diverse backgrounds, and experience new cultures.

The industry is always on the lookout for people with different experiences, so don’t be shy about applying. Once you’re in, make it a point to learn as much as you can. Be brave and ask to be part of various projects and initiatives. While there are plenty of training programs, nothing beats real-life experience. Take every chance to gain hands-on knowledge and dive into the dynamic environment of this industry.

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

SP: If the air cargo industry were a film, it would be “Inception.” Just like the movie, our industry is incredibly complex, with many layers and intricate processes. But despite the challenges, there’s a real sense of achievement and fulfillment at the end. Just as “Inception” leaves viewers with a thought-provoking and satisfying conclusion, the air cargo industry offers rewarding outcomes for those who successfully navigate its intricacies.

Thank you for your views, Sebastien.

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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