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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 22 No. 8
Wednesday March 1, 2023

Men Mountain Smiths 2.0

Lionel Smith and Aaron Smith     Air Cargo Integrators (ACI) CEO Lionel Smith and his son Aaron Smith were surveying the trade show scene Tuesday February 21 at the Air Cargo Africa 2023 in Johannesburg. As he looked up and down the aisles, Lionel at six feet, seven inches tall, enjoyed a unique vantage point.
     Born in Kenya and on the scene in Dubai cargo for the past several decades, Lionel Smith not only stands above.      In a crowd of ground handlers he also stands out for his inventiveness, love of the business, and openhearted effort to deliver cargo where others fear to tread.
     We met Lionel in 2008 at the bustling Dubai Airport Freezone - DAFZ He was serving as managing director of ACI during a time when he was overseeing many successful cargo charter flights across the world, especially in outsized projects, transit shipments, emergency relief, and air drops in war zones including Iraq and Afghanistan.
     “I recall that we were flying charter flights into Kabul, Afghanistan, where Air Cargo Integrators Afghanistan Ltd. was situated.
     “ACI was flying charter flights into Kabul, Afghanistan, working with WSI World Security Initiatives (WSI) Kabul, to deliver value added services including airport reception; trans-shipment i.e. air to air, sea to air, freight reception, and door-to-door service from Baghdad and Erbil.
     “We also were early boots on the ground, offering door-to-door delivery service within Afghanistan from our bonded warehouse facility located on Jalalabad Road, Kabul.
     “ACI was also very early in, offering several weekly frequencies a week to Baghdad International Airport (BGW) International Airport.”
     Today based at Dubai World Central (DWC), Smith has an office at the business part DWC, where he conducts his normal charter and freight forwarding business.
     Post pandemic and changing times call for new strategies and Lionel, an old cargo pro, has added value to his enterprise by bringing in his son Aaron, who spent 5 years with Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) in Dubai on the consulting side.
     “‘People, Partnership, and Performance’ are at the forefront of our business philosophy,” Lionel says.
     “ACI Logistics counts our people as our strongest asset.
     “Passion for work, altruistic commitment, and business acumen have to date crafted strong partnerships with our valued customers.
     “We take pride in what we have achieved and remain committed to consistently providing quality Warehousing, Freight Forwarding, and Logistic solutions to all our clients, placing emphasis on safety, quality, and sustainability in all areas of our work.
     “We work on an equal footing with everyone,” Lionel smiled, adding, “We never talk down to anyone!”

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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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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