Sealogis 25 years: “Continuously shifting in an ever-changing world”
2020 has proven to be a great year for Erwin De Smet, Account and Procurement Manager at Sealogis Freight Forwarding Belgium. He started his 20th year of employment at Sealogis since the first of September 2020.
When Erwin came aboard 20 years ago in the year 2000, he was the 9th employee at that time of Sealogis, which was then known as Challenge International Belgium. “At first we were settled at the Ernest Van Dijck Kaai by the Scheldt. I still remember the imposing Grimaldi ships that sailed by.”
Could you briefly describe your career at Sealogis?
“I started my career at Sealogis, which was then at the time known as Challenge International Belgium, at the commercial outer-service department. Along the way and throughout the years, my role started to develop. After a few years of working as an Import Manager, I became the Account and Procurement Manager, which I still exert to date. My current role can be split up into two main parts, an Account Manager and a Procurement Manager. As an Account Manager, I position myself as a bridge builder between the Sales and Operations departments, in which I keep track of our clients. As a Procurement Manager, I take care of the centralized purchases of our departments, with the exception of the ocean freight. I mainly spend my working hours physically at the office. The job itself is extremely versatile and varied, since you always have to be able to shift gears in an ever-changing world that continues going.”
Would you describe your job to be more orientated towards Antwerp of rather on an international level?
“Most definitely internationally orientated. Our Antwerp port is a global turntable and international player when it comes to the import and export of goods. The larger part of our clients are also internationally active. In addition, we are affiliated with WCA (World Cargo Alliance), which is the world’s largest network of agents in the expediting industry.”
In what way and how did you see Sealogis Freight Forwarding Belgium grow and further develop?
“In a continuously rising and straight line, even though we have had a minor setback in 2008 due to the financial crisis. I notice this growth in a variety of things, such as the increase in business, the larger number of employees, the diversity in profiles, the investments that are being made towards digitalization and technological tools, and so on.”
How would you describe Sealogis Freight Forwarding Belgium’s DNA in one word?
“Diversity. We are not a single-product player, since we are active in a variety of domains and industries, such as e-commerce, chemistry, food, projectindustrie, art, supply chain, logistics, customs, … We are able to manage an extreme diverse stream of goods. This can go from a small shipment for an SME to large project transportations for multinationals. Our employees are of all trades, because everyone has a specialization in one or multiple areas. So it is safe to say that our strength lies within diversity.