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.
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.
recall that we were flying charter flights into Kabul, Afghanistan,
where Air Cargo Integrators Afghanistan Ltd. was situated.
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
“We also were early
boots on the ground, offering door-to-door delivery service within
Afghanistan from our bonded warehouse facility located on Jalalabad
“ACI was also
very early in, offering several weekly frequencies a week to Baghdad
International Airport (BGW) International Airport.”
based at Dubai World Central (DWC), Smith has an office at the business
part DWC, where he conducts his normal charter and freight forwarding
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
and Performance’ are at the forefront of our business philosophy,”
counts our people as our strongest asset.
for work, altruistic commitment, and business acumen have to date
crafted strong partnerships with our valued customers.
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.
work on an equal footing with everyone,” Lionel smiled, adding,
“We never talk down to anyone!”