Air Cargo
10. May 2021

Interview with Christos Spyrou

Mr. Christos Spyrou has 4 continents, 8 nations, and 30 years of experience within the global air cargo logistics industry in his portfolio. He is specialized in various air cargo sectors including advanced air freight consolidation management, neutral airfreight wholesale, ULDs utilization and equalization, gateway planning, networking, and to effective selling & sourcing for the professional airfreight forwarder & consolidator.
Mr. Spyrou sits on the executive board of
The International Air Cargo Association  (TIACA) and he is the founder and CEO of Neutral Air Partner – a Hong Kong based global network of air cargo architects and aviation specialists, which consists of 300+ airfreight partners in 150 countries. 
He is also the founder and CEO of 
Aero Africa – an air cargo management group dedicated to providing African air cargo logistic solutions and neutral value-added services to the global logistics and aviation community.

1. Digitalization of the air cargo logistics industry has experienced a significant boom. What efforts have been made by Neutral Air Partner in order to innovate and modernize the air cargo transportation processes?
The pandemic has reshaped many enterprises excluding technology. Third-party air cargo logistics providers have turned to technology as a way to get more efficient and leaner. Neutral Air Partner continues to stand out with an exceptional group of like-minded air cargo specialists that diligently connect the world. We are proud to partner with leading digital solutions providers providing cutting-edge technology that facilitates those connections.
We have deployed many technological initiatives representing a defining step towards modernization of the air cargo logistics industry. Combining Neutral Air Partner’s extensive experience and expertise in air freight, with our tailor-made air cargo community tools, and the technological capabilities of enterprises such as WebCargo, PayCargo, Cargo Cover, Hashmove, open up new and innovative ways for our members to procure, book, insure and pay for airfreight shipments. Those are some of the many digital initiatives we are planning to deploy within the network, which will include B2B express and airfreight consolidation portals, as well as digital solutions for cargo claims, aiming to enhance value to our members and to the air cargo logistics community as a whole. 

2. What emerging markets have shown the greatest improvement when it comes to air cargo growth?
Africa has emerged to be one of the important regions in the global arena, from an economic and political perspective. The African air cargo market is the second fastest-growing and is expected to create millions of jobs and billions in economic activities in the region. The dedicated cargo operations by African airlines are set to rise and countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Mauritius are taking a lead role in improving air cargo facilities and services. Neutral Air Partner has been very active in Africa since its foundation, covering over 35 countries and 60 airports. Its membership is comprised of leading enterprises from various industry sectors including Astral Aviation, Aero Africa, GroupAir, Mesco, and many more. 
3. In a nutshell, what are the advantages of joining a logistics network? How Neutral Air Partner differentiate itself from the crowd?
Freight is people’s business. Joining a reputable logistics network can certainly bring important advantages long term, provided that the potential member will put the efforts and time into the network in order to reach the required R.O.I. It takes 2 to tango and logistics networking is not an exemption. The days where joining a network could generate significant business immediately with limited efforts do not exist anymore.

The advantages:

  • Global Reach
  • Networking with like-minded people
  • Empower Performance
  • Financial Protection & Credibility
  • Industry recognition of excellence
  • Volume incentives with carriers and suppliers
  • Technology adoption
  • Acquire extensive knowledge from industry professionals
How Neutral Air Partner differentiate itself from the crowd?
Anyone who wants to expand their global reach within the transport industry, joins a logistics network, but often many of these are not as useful as they could be on account of their very general approach. In addition, the member’s industry experience, business specialization, and financial situation is not always assessed either.
Neutral Air Partner is the premier global network of leading air cargo architects and aviation specialists, dedicated to providing innovative air cargo solutions to the global supply chain and the logistics & aviation community.
Membership to NAP is by invitation only, and available exclusively to selected local and regional airfreight professionals. NAP partners are filtered by sub-industry specialization, sales & trade lane focus, airline procurement strength, as well as vertical and commodity expertise. Those invited, have a commanding local presence, a proven track record in air cargo operations, and are screened for their service quality, compliance, and financial status. Our ambition is to become the world’s most powerful grouping of leading and independent air cargo architects.
We accommodate the future needs of airfreight and express professionals and of those general freight & logistics providers, who are aiming to take their air cargo business to the next level. Our air cargo community tools are customized exclusively to the needs of our partners, enabling them to empower performance, optimize results, and to promote their core products and services to the international logistics community.
SME Forwarders and consolidators represent over 45 % of the global airfreight volumes, and our network is comprised by leading and independent air cargo sales agents and consolidators worldwide. One of our main objectives as an air cargo logistics group, has always been to drive buying power across the air cargo supply chain, and we recently launched our Global Airline Partner program as part of our post COVID-19 plans, aiming to explore possible global or regional BSA/CPA and VID partnership opportunities with leading carriers.
We started our networking activities from Asia ,and that is due to its unique air freight procurement model that is way different than the western world , – there are hundreds of air cargo players at each airport in Asia being specialized on a few airlines and selected trade lanes and they operate as neutral BSA consolidators and Sub GSAs to the trade – so called “ master co-loaders” That allows our concept to be better understood and appreciated, and we are seeing a significant number of local airfreight heroes globally who wish to join our group.
4. What are your predictions when it comes to the air cargo situation in the post-covid era? 
The pandemic has caused considerable damage to various industries worldwide, with the global supply chain seriously disrupted due to airfreight capacity shortage arising from international lockdowns and passenger flights suspensions. The Airline Industry has been struggling with a full reopening and getting passenger aircraft back in the air, given the current challenges. Air cargo has been playing a vital role in contributing to the operating financial targets of flights in the air, and the need to start preparing for the post COVID-19 period is imperative.
International air cargo capacity will remain low at least for the next 1-2 years, as the pandemic has forced airlines to plan their pax network expansion strategy very conservative compared with 2019, by eliminating possible financial risks, and despite an increase of freighter or P2F converted capacity, the belly and overall capacity the next 2 years will remain lower than 2019, resulting to unstable and high rates, and to ad-hoc only capacity and pricing procurement models, while the capacity demand will grow due to Increased e-commerce sales, which have been instrumental in driving the growth of the market.
The air cargo market is and will remain very fragmented due to the presence of shippers, forwarders, consolidators, brokers, GSAs, and airlines, which makes it very difficult for the supply chain to adopt during crisis or big market changes. We will witness an increased focus on freight consolidation to reduce the cost of air freight, resulting in market concentration for forwarders and consolidators, followed by faster market technology adoption aiming to reduce operating costs.
5. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in Central and Eastern Europe region?
CEE countries are among the fast growers in Europe in terms of GDP. The logistics market landscape of Central and Eastern Europe is booming and is fragmented in nature, with a mix of global and regional players and a variety of industries from automotive, pharma to aerospace. Certainly, a market that a logistic professional should focus, and prioritize.
WOF’s initiative of organizing a B2B event bridging the entire supply chain and seeking to create business opportunities within the whole “New Europe” region is impressive, and we are looking forward to supporting this initiative by exhibiting and to exploring the endless networking opportunities.
Neutral Air Partner is the premier global network of leading air cargo architects and aviation specialists, dedicated to providing innovative air cargo solutions to the global supply chain and the logistics & aviation community. The group is positioned amongst the world’s largest & top IATA air cargo logistics providers, counting over 300 like-minded experts from 150 countries.