Nathan De Valck, Cargo Account Manager Sales & Marketing Brussels Airport, will leave his present position as to become the new Managing Director Belgium for ground handling agent WFS. There he starts already on 01DEC22. His forthcoming step drains more talent from the airport operator.
Nathan's departure is a bitter loss for Brussels Airport, because with him a proven air freight expert is leaving the operator. He started working in the aviation industry in 2002 and joined Brussels Airport Company in 2012, becoming responsible at BRUcargo for business development with forwarders, shippers, and other stakeholders. His cargo experience ranges from operational management, legal compliance, business development to commercial account management at several airports in Europe for cargo handling agents and airport operators.
He was one of the founders of the global Pharma.Aero collaboration group and managed together with former head of cargo and logistics, Steven Polmans, the IATA CEIV Pharma certification program at BRUcargo in 2014, making Brussels Airport the first cargo community in the world to be CEIV Pharma certified. It paved the way for BRU to becoming a center of excellence in pharmaceutical logistics and a leading European pharma gateway.
Back to the roots
By joining WFS Mr. De Valck is returning to his first venture in the air cargo business - cargo handling - as he started some 20 years ago as a management trainee at Belgian ground handler Aviapartner. His then-mentor was Geert Keirens, today the Director of Air Cargo Belgium (ACB), the umbrella organization with which Mr. De Valck has maintained a close collaboration relationship since.
“WFS, the largest air cargo handler in Belgium, offered Nathan an opportunity he could not turn down,” comments Mr. Keirens. “We are glad that he will still be part of the community. His prime legacy to the success of Brussels Airport as a cargo hub is in the development and continuous support of the pharma business.”
In his new position, which will include responsibility for the operation at Liege Airport, Mr. De Valck is the de facto successor to Koen Gouweloose, who held the post from January 2021 till April 2022, after a short spell at Swissport Cargo Services and over 30 years at DHL.
For the time being the function has been filled in on a temporary base. This March WFS was also able to recruit Liege Airport’s Bert Selis as its VP Businecentess Development EMEAA.
Over the last few years Brussels Airport has lost a great deal of talent, with Head of Cargo Steven Polmans as the most prominent example, swopping the airport for Nallian, a leading data sharing and cloud-based platform, in January 2021. Last February Mr. Polmans, who also chairs the global air cargo association TIACA, became VP Business Development and Free Zone Regulatory Affairs at Abu Dhabi Airports. In 2020 Nallian was also able to attract Sara Van Gelder, Brussels Airport’s Cargo Digital Development Manager. Nathan de Valck is now the third high ranking cargo manager to leave the airport company within two years.
According to a source familiar with cargo matters at Brussels Airport the fact Mr. De Valck was not considered the obvious choice to succeed Steven Polmans and that -still being relatively young - he would probably not get that opportunity in the years to come, might have made him start to seek new career chances elsewhere.
“With Nathan, a lot of expertise and network in regard to pharma, which is one of the key pillars for BRU, is leaving. That is not something you can just ignore or replace,” CFG’s source comments.
“There is no replacement for him yet, nor a decision on how to replace him or on how to reorganize the business. That is something being looked at for the moment. It will be good to see how that will happen once the vacancy is out. The fact that this has not happened yet, shows they are evaluating. Anyhow, a lot of experience has left Brussels in the past few years, so that is something they will have to deal with,” the insider points out.
We tried to reach Nathan by phone to get a statement from him on his upcoming move to WFS. Unfortunately, he was unavailable.
The CargoForwarder Global team wishes Mr. De Valck all the best in his new challenge.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels / Heiner Siegmund
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