Last week, Steven Polmans closed the door of his office at Brussels Airport for the last time. As Director Cargo and Logistics, he was part of the team established in OCT2010, when the airport’s cargo activity was created as an independent business unit within the Brussels Airport Company. Since then, the cargo business has been on the up at the Belgian airport.
Brussels Airport has lost a highly respected and extremely creative cargo manager who has shaped BRUcargo’s freight business like no one before him. It was Steven Polmans who, in cooperation with
the Belgian data manager Nallian, pushed the BRUcloud platform forward, enabling the collective information exchange between all cargo airport actors doing business in Brussels
Together with his dedicated team, he was able to upgrade the BRU air cargo business from a mere secondary activity to the forefront of the airport’s international standing.
His achievements include the rolling-out of the world’s first IATA CEIV Pharma community, the creation of the umbrella organization, Air Cargo Belgium, and the expansion and upgrading of BRUcargo, one of the oldest dedicated cargo villages in the industry.
In 2012 Mr. Polmans became Head of Cargo & Logistics. In 2019, he was given full P&L, commercial and operational responsibility for all the airport’s cargo-related activities as Director Cargo & Logistics.
On the international level too, Mr Polmans’ endeavors did not go unnoticed. After joining the board of The International Air Cargo Association in AUG16, he became the organization’s chairman in JUL19, succeeding Sebastiaan Scholte, the former CEO of Dutch forwarding agent, Jan de Rijk.
Since then, Mr. Dynamite Polmans has breathed new life into TIACA and introduced crucial reforms, giving a hitherto inert organization a strong voice in the global air cargo industry.
He also co-created Pharma.aero, the cross-industry collaboration platform for Pharma Shippers, CEIV-certified cargo communities, Airport Operators, and other air cargo industry stakeholders.
Steven Polmans will embark on a new venture in some of the most dramatic times for the air cargo industry, which have proven that the pharma-dedicated policy of the airport is paying off.
Some local observers have indicated that he decided to quit because Cargo lost its status as a separate legal entity after the airport management decided to reintegrate its freight and logistics unit into the parent company. On the other hand, as from 01APR19, the entire responsibility for the airport’s real estate, including budgeting, was transferred to the cargo unit. Mr Polmans himself did not comment on these reshuffle operations.
Where will he go next?
To this day, he has been very secretive about his future career. All Mr. Polmans vaguely indicated, is that he is planning to remain in the air cargo industry. In a LinkedIn post he shared on the occasion of his departure, he says: “So goodbye BRUcargo and the wider air cargo industry for now, for sure not a farewell!”
A successor has not yet been announced by the airport management.
To be continued...
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels
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