Helping Ukraine

Oct 31 | 2022

Steve Jordan talks to Ben Schmidt about his work helping the people of Ukraine, and his new job working with Gosselin.

Ben Schmidt with bus driver friend Jack van BrummelenIt would have been almost impossible for anyone in the international moving business not to notice the work that Ben Schmidt did, and is still doing, to help the people of Ukraine.  But I was interested to find out why him?  Why was Ben driven to go above and beyond the call of duty to help get desperate people out of the country at the beginning of the war and to provide humanitarian aid to those who remained?  Why too did he leave the company he had started and now that he’s working with Gosselin, one of the industry’s giants, will his humanitarian work continue?

As always, it’s a long story.  Looking back, it seems that the universe had been preparing Ben for many years to take on this role.  It started when he was 18 working as a truck driver.  “I used to drive to Ukraine regularly,” he explained, “so I got to know the country very well.”  During his last year as a driver he drove a coach taking students on excursions to Kiev and Chernobyl. “We always stayed with host families,” Ben explained. “I would always stay with the same family.  I had a good relationship with them.  They had eight children, and my visits were always a lot of fun.  I was very impressed by their hospitality.”  Ben became so attached to the country and its people that it became a regular holiday destination for him and his family.

Ben worked in the moving industry for some time specialising in moving from Belgium and the Netherlands, to Switzerland, then started his own company in 2008.  In 2019 he sold Schmidt Global Logistics to a company he had enjoyed a close working relationship with for many years.  The intention was for him to stay on as the company’s CCO, but the relationship broke down.  Stress was taking its toll on Ben and he had to step away from the business and the industry for health reasons. 

It was during this time, when Ben was recovering from the burnout he had experienced, that the war in Ukraine started ...

Photo: Ben Schmidt (left) with bus driver friend Jack van Brummelen.

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