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Cargo

Rising star – Nina Hampel

Nina Hampel, 32, was nominated by LUG aircargo handling
 

What’s your job title?

Manager sales and customer service.

 

Do you have training or any under or post-graduate education in this area?

I did an apprenticeship in aviation administration and then studied for a bachelor degree in transport management and operations.

 

Where did you start in the air cargo industry and how did you get into it?

I had worked for many years with airline passengers in various roles, including the ticket desk, at the ramp, and as the commercial manager for a handling company. I then came into contact with LUG aircargo handling, more or less by chance. I was most impressed with this family-owned and managed company, the team spirit in the firm and how the owners’ and management’s vision helps to drive the daily operations. LUG drew me into the air freight world.

 

What were your first impressions of this industry – and have they lasted?

The air freight industry is a very exciting, global industry. The work is very varied and there is never a dull moment – this was my first impression and it still holds true today.

 

What interests you about air freight?

Variety is the spice of life – air freight offers plenty of this. I also love the global aspect of the work.

 

What do you think the industry needs to be better at?

The air freight industry is very conservative and male-dominated; many of the work practices are outmoded; it is still a paper-driven industry, one that has yet to arrive in the digital age. The focus remains on manual processes and personal relationships, which would not be critical if yields were not so poor and many participants were not haemorrhaging cash. I firmly believe change is needed.

 

New business models need to merge digital and physical transactions to form a seamless whole. Simply put, the successful companies will be those that capitalise fully on technological innovations that make it possible to conduct business electronically, instantly and more efficiently, without sacrificing the important element of human interaction. The air cargo industry must start to move at the speed of the internet.

 

Why do you think you have done well so far in your job?

I learn quickly and am a good communicator. Air freight is a people business, which is something I enjoy. If you like your job this transmits to others.

 

What are you doing this week?

I have quality assessment meetings with several clients to identify process weaknesses and pinpoint the changes needed to enhance performance and customer satisfaction. Our aim is to further improve cost efficiency and service quality. In addition, I have a meeting with a potential client, a sales meeting and a management meeting on liability regulations.

 

What have you been putting off?

Some manual administrative jobs and some less vital tasks that have no deadlines.

 

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I do love the face-to-face contact, selling LUG to potential clients.

 

And your least favourite?

It has to be the administrative work.

 

What are your aims for this year?

I want to continue learning from my peers in our industry. I have recently been asked to join IATA’s Cargo Operations Advisory Group (COAG). Although I am the youngest member and the only woman, I would really like to leave my mark in this organisation. I also want to help LUG aircargo handling expand its customer base in the Americas.

 

Do you expect to stay long term in this industry? Why?

I love my job and the industry I am in. Why change? I still have a lot to learn from all the old hands in the industry!


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