“That year out has taught me a lot.”
Bart (1984) grew up in the Antwerp area (Belgium) and after secondary school he opted for a specialization year: international transport and logistics. Since he had always been overly interested in logistical processes, it turned out to be the perfect choice. After that year, he started applying for jobs and he soon ended up at Shipex. He deliberately chose a freight forwarder: "Particularly because you are part of all pieces of the puzzle. As a forwarding agent, you are much more at the heart of the process: you are a key player and you are dependent on many parties. That very fact, and being in contact with so many people around the world, really appealed to me."
Since February 2019, he also holds the position of key figure within Shipex. Although his business card features senior account manager, he doesn’t have a portfolio with his own clients. He moves between the various departments and deals with both import and export cases in close consultation with the commercial department. He sits on a different chair almost every day. Literally. "If, for whatever reason, people are temporarily absent, I will take care of their cases and related activities. Over the past few years, I have always had big accounts in my portfolio, but in this current position I feel like a fish in the water. I have contact with different clients and different colleagues on a daily basis, and I get to work on different cases every day: no two days are the same. I hope that I can continue doing this for the time being."
When he took his first steps within the company in 2005, Bart was staff member number 10. In other words, he has experienced the enormous growth of the company from up close. "Although Shipex is 'only' an SME, we are currently working with very large volumes. Not many freight forwarders can say the same." After twelve years, he briefly spread his wings for another logistics adventure - but that didn't turn out to be what he expected. And so he returned to the old nest, where he was welcomed with open arms. "It's only now that I realize that the grass is certainly not greener at other companies. On the contrary. I learned a lot that year. To put things into perspective, for example. I'm a lot calmer than a few years ago. I feel very much at home here: some of my colleagues have become real friends."
Bart may have been in the business for over fourteen years, he wants to continue developing himself. "Because of all that stepping in and taking up different cases, you sometimes come across things that you know a little less about. That's why I suggested committing to additional training, so that I can ultimately perform my job even better. Within Shipex, they very much welcome these kinds of initiatives."