Meet our colleague: Rudy Vanderheyden, Customs Expert at Customs Square

With no less than 40 years of experience in customs and logistics, Rudy Vanderheyden thought he would take it easy professionally. But that was without Linda Fierens of Customs Square! She thought it would be a shame to let Rudy’s enormous practical knowledge and network go to waste. Especially since driven customs professionals are so hard to find these days….

Tons of field experience

Rudy is not afraid of hard work, on the contrary. “I graduated in the late 1970s, a period when our companies were hit very hard by an economic crisis. So at that time it was not easy to get a job. It was a matter of rolling up your sleeves and looking for a suitable employer. Exactly forty years ago, in 1982, I started as a warehouse supervisor at Damco Air at Brucargo, after which I slowly but surely worked my way up in logistics and customs.”

“Fascinated by customs, I then joined SDV Belgium, a freight forwarder specialised in air freight. Within this company, I had the opportunity to expand my operational knowledge by drawing up customs documents and dealing with customs-related questions. Thanks to this job, I quickly learned what concrete and practical customs issues companies can face.”

Large network

Rudy took that practical experience with him to Geodis, where he started out in 2007 as a customs clerk. “Before that – from 2000 to 2002 – I had spent a few years in Thailand as a sales associate at SDV Logistics (Thailand) Co., Ltd” indicates Rudy. ” That international work experience I also found very enriching. At Geodis, I came under Linda’s wings from 2010. Even then I was very impressed by her enormous theoretical and practical knowledge in customs. In my job I was able to tap into my extensive network at Brucargo. I maintained very good contacts with the customs services.”

Transparent communication

With a large network comes communication, and Rudy is very adept at that too. “I like to communicate with people in an open and transparent way” he says. “If you show empathy and communicate correctly, you often have an edge with your interlocutor. For example, when dealing with customs claims, I was always able to contact the customs services at Brucargo smoothly. In my opinion, those short lines of communication are worth their weight in gold, and they can also serve me well at Customs Square.”

Familiar new colleagues

Linda was looking hard for new employees to join the Customs Square team. She had a strong preference for employees with enough professional customs miles on the clock. “Several months ago, she contacted me asking if I was interested in coming on board. Despite the fact that I had officially retired as of September 2021, I gladly accepted her offer. In mid-August, I started working at Customs Square.”

In addition to Linda, Klaas De Schepper and Bert Van Bosch were also familiar faces for Rudy. It is very pleasant to be able to work with them again. But I have the most contact with colleague Kirby Van den Bosch, since we work together on the same client at Brucargo. Our tasks are well divided according to our own expertise: Kirby assists the customer in everything related to declaration management. She draws up both procedures and work instructions. I handle practical customs issues, assist the customer’s team in daily customs operations and handle customs claims. Education and practical training on the job we usually do together. Plenty of work to do!”

A solid team

Rudy is looking forward to new assignments at Customs Square. “I will be joining a team of bright customs experts. Even after all these years, I am still learning new things about customs. Every month we get together for a nice lunch, where we exchange experiences and ideas. I find it very instructive to discuss customs and excise topics in a relaxed atmosphere. I am really looking forward to working with colleagues and clients. With Customs Square, we are completely ready to serve our clients at Brucargo in the best possible way and to relieve them of their customs worries from start to finish!”

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