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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 22 No. 7
Tuesday February 21, 2023

Lionel Glad To Be Back

Lionel van der Walt, Emily Clemens and Claudio Fiaoni

     Right now air cargo people all around the world are more or less steeling themselves to a 2023 business climate that is a bit milder than last year, post pandemic, for example when the sky seemed no limit.
     But for Lionel van der Walt that is not the case.
     The ever positive executive that has impacted every assignment he has ever undertaken is back and seems ready to work some of his magic for a UK software company branded Raft.
     When Lionel van der Walt departed as IATA CNS President in December 2017, it was a sad day for the air cargo industry as we lost one of its most sincere, passionate, vocal, and impactful leaders.
     But guess what? Air cargo pulled Lionel back, not just once but a couple of times.
     PayCargo CEO Eduardo Del Riego once cited van der Walt’s “passionate leadership and one-of-a-kind international business acumen,” as factors in the decision to want him at PayCargo which is exactly where he was, when he suddenly pivoted.
     In early 2022, with PayCargo expanding at a astonishing rate, came the harrowing and monumental fright for Lionel and his wife Ilonka–a near call with their 24 year-old daughter Imma struck down with a brain tumor, needing to have a frankly dangerous operation, and an uncertain result.
     They somehow lucked out and got the best medical help for this type of affliction at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina.
     Lionel, recognizing his options were narrow, halted everything in his life except his daughter. He told his loved ones, friends and his business colleagues he had to step down to care for his daughter post-brain surgery. Well, lo and behold, Imma has completely recovered and today is back to regular life, a miracle to say the least.
     Lionel, who is now at a software company called Raft based in London, was in Nashville last week with his new team and challenge
     Raft, to hear Lionel tell it, “empowers freight forwarders to deliver more value to customers by automating the entire freight journey for complete transparency and control.”
     Lionel was out there on the hustings in Nashville, and in other U.S. cities as 2023 gets going.
     “Our intelligent freight platform works with the TMS to orchestrate, automate and streamline data processing, transactions, approvals, and workflows across the shipment lifecycle, improving communications and collaboration for all our stakeholders,” Lionel said.
     “People are the most important resource we have in a world of constant and fast-paced change, he added
     “Helping them to grow, learn and be successful means a lot to me, and in my
experience, is an approach that always leads to outstanding results.
     “My philosophy is to encourage team members and colleagues to be bold and always challenge the status quo.
     “This naturally leads to taking calculated risks, and failures at times.
     “However, my experience has also been that many short-term failures have led to long-term successes,” Lionel added.
     “It felt rather surreal to attend AirCargo2023 this year.
     “Just a few months back we were being told that life as we know it, would change forever with limited in-person contact and travel restrictions becoming the new norm for years to come. Yet, here we are today, no COVID restrictions and nobody seems to care about immunization cards and travel passes anymore; the threat of COVID appears to be long forgotten for most.
     “This just reminds me alongside our other story how quickly things can change and how, despite their best intentions, leaders can get it wrong.
     “A trap we all can fall into, if we become too complacent and self assured.
     “Despite all the continuous challenges we keep facing, the one thing that always encourages me is the resounding optimism and adaptability I observe across our industry. Nashville, this year was no different.
     “There is no doubt that we have more turbulent times ahead of us, but as noted by Vaughn Moore, AIT Worldwide Logistics Executive Chairman and CEO during his keynote speech, much of our success lies in our ability and willingness to ask for help and support each other when needed, irrespective if we are competitors or not.
      “And this is something that I feel our industry does particularly well.
     “My experience over the years has taught me that there is a deep unspoken respect and bond amongst many of our industry colleagues, irrespective of age, gender, sector etc.
     “This is a family, dysfunctional at times, but when it is most needed we are there for each other.
     “And it all boils down to relationships and trust, aspects that would be difficult to nurture if we did not have opportunities such as AirCargo2023 to reconnect in person.
     “And I also want to give the Global K9 Protection Group team a huge shoutout! Eric Hare, Jeff Koehl and Chris Daniels, you guys rock! Those who were there will know what I am talking about, and I am sure will certainly agree with my sentiments . . . go Jenga!

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 22 No. 4
Bruce Gave A Lifetime
Chuckles for January 30
Move Over Buck Rogers
Back To Where She Belonged
2022 Christmas Memory
Vol. 22 No. 5
Fruit Logistica 2023
Qatar CEIV Certified
Donna Milk Of Human Kindness
Air India's Captain Zoya
Brave Bessie Coleman

FT021323Vol. 22 No. 6
When A Forwarders Got Moxie
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Chuckles for February 13, 2021
Day One At Air Cargo 2023
One From The Heart

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

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