Lemon Queen – Cargo & Other stories with for Air Cargo Week – 25.06.20

This week, I wanted to get back to the future, and Luc is its perfect embodiment. Luc is rekindling the heritage that belongs to us all as air freight stakeholders by putting our roots at the heart of our future. It’s just the kind of beautiful story of air freight that I love. But this one is particularly dear to me because Luc is one of the challengers who stood out in the first NexGenLeaders challenge. In 2019, Luc Larrieu-Sans presented his project, “A consultancy and IT solutions firm that aims to bring innovation to the oldest and most traditional aspect of air freight: mail”. As Luc says, “mail needs experts just as much as other special products do. No-one would dream of going without experts in DGR, AVI or Pharma.” And with good reason! Luc knows what he’s talking about. He fell into the industry from an early age: “it’s an everyday family story of a passionate father who encouraged his son to spend his summers working in warehouses and back offices. The smell of kerosene, the red carbon copies of the AWBs, and the noise of dot-matrix printers did the rest.” And after that, like many of us, he fell in love with cargo: “You can’t simply reduce freight to goods that move from one point to another. It’s the smell of jasmine freshly unloaded from Tunisia, the feeling of pride at being an essential link in the global economy, and the knowledge that you’re sharing identical challenges and issues in common with thousands of people all over the world”. And then, says Luc, he “was lucky enough to spend a third of my career working at an airline and another in the world of post.” is the next big step, and one that he’s been preparing for three years now. “To be precise, since 16 March 2016. I was speaking at a conference, explaining just how much postal systems and airlines needed each other, despite the fact that they had enormous difficulties understanding one another.” When something so obvious knocks at your door, you let it in… And Luc has produced the goods. What I like about his project is his love for mail. It’s a passion for him. I’ve always had a soft spot for stories about love – and Luc talks about post as the oldest love story in our industry. “Mail shipments aren’t just cargo – they’re a legacy. A legacy of commercial aviation, which really took off as a result of post, a legacy of the Aéropostale pioneers, who risked – or lost – their lives to ship mail, and a legacy of the passions of the men and women who used letters to bring themselves closer together.” Luc’s project aims to maintain this link between people all over the world. “Aviation and mail had a shared destiny to live – it was simply not possible for them not to come together.” Luc’s in-depth expertise of mail products, his ingenuity, and his love of all things postal mean he’s now able to offer the industry a tailor-made service. And while the postal sector continues to be governed by the Universal Postal Union Convention, cargo is subject to its own rules. Airlines’ mail specialists have disappeared, and postal product specialists are almost non-existent. And it’s clear that “the recent expansion in e-commerce has created the need to align mail and air freight as much as possible – at a time where both sides lack the key skills.” I love Luc’s optimism – and his way of seeing the crisis as a driving force for creation is clearly key: “There’s only one way of emerging from this: keeping our positivity and imagination to transform this crisis into new opportunities. Mail is a part of this. With the explosion in e-commerce – a trend that has continued in recent months – it has absolutely huge potential. Postal services continue to have very high expectations in terms of air transport, and there are much better ways of meeting those expectations than are currently in place.” As a forward-looking businessman who knew just how to make an avant-garde company out of our history, Luc is, to my mind, the perfect embodiment of the new talents to whom our industry is opening its arms. And I think it’s fantastic! is “the only company that allows bridges to be built between the two interdependent worlds of mail and air transport. They conquered the skies together, but they haven’t grown in the same way or at the same pace, to the point where each knows almost nothing about the other. It’s time to bring them back together.” I really like love stories – and our industry truly is the sweetest of muses…

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