Impact International UK/Euro: Louise Smit

Louise Smit
Board Member
Pieter Smit Trucking & Nightliner

Louise Smit Pieter Smit Trucking Nightliner

This year was one for the books,” says Louise Smit, board member of Pieter Smit Trucking & Nightliner, referring to the many memorable events the company got to work on. “The unique Helene Fischer production, André Rieu, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and large scale sporting events that we moved through Europe and beyond (Israel, Faroe Islands, Iceland).”

As a logistics company, they’ve had their work cut out for them these past few years. Lockdowns, Brexit, a war in Ukraine — the team at Pieter Smit was forced to beat the odds more than once. “One of our biggest against-the-odds moment was going to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Due to the war, the waiting lines at different routes increased, and timing is unpredictable. For Kazakhstan, we found different solutions, since road transport is not an option in these times, unfortunately.” And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “our customs department got its portion of challenges in 2023.”

Throughout this intense period, Smit says they “always kept hope and good faith that it would be over soon. I’m surrounded by the people who love what they are doing. I can see and feel the passion and engagement every day. This kind of work environment creates unique, organic energy, which is very powerful fuel to drive fast through all challenges. But it can always run out. The task of leaders is to protect it.”

Pieter Smit Trucking is a family business, currently in transition between the first and second generation. “Succession takes a lot of work from all parties involved to turn it into a success,” Smit explains, “Only three out of 10 family companies make the transition from the first to second generation, the success rate is low for all kinds of reasons, but it is much more complex than it appears. There is a lot involved in the process – from emotions, family and company dynamics, tax authorities, accountants, and much more, but I will not bore you with that.”