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The hunt for local airfreight heroes



The organisation Neutral Air Partner, founded in Hong Kong recently, has the world’s largest cargo airport behind it. There is no ­shortage of networks in the world, but NAP is dedicated solely to the mission of bringing more airfreight expertise into the logistics industry. Three of the group’s leading thinkers and doers explain what is at the bottom of this ambition.

NAP was established by a group of air cargo entrepreneurs who share the common goal of setting up an innovative platform for airfreight experts at the service of the logistics industry. «We aim to build competitive advantages through tailor-­made air cargo tools, as well as by setting up new standards of excellence for the air cargo business,» chairman Peter Whitfield said right off the bat (see also ITJ 5-6?/?2016, page 12).

Less general approach

The industry veteran, who has more than 50 years of experience in airfreight wholesale and consolidation in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the Americas, often found that networks had an overly generalized approach, which is why he became convinced that this segment needed a forum for exclusive and advanced airfreight experts and service providers.

NAP founder and CEO Christos ­Spyrou has the ambition of making the organisation «the world’s most powerful grouping of leading and independent air cargo architects.» The expert, who in turn has 25 years of experience in logistics networks and advanced airfreight consolidation management on four continents (see also ITJ 11-12?/?2016, page 19), also has some concrete ideas of how he wants to achieve these targets.

«Our members are by invitation only, and are defined and filtered by specialization and airline, trade lane as well as by commodity expertise.» To increase the overall awareness of Neutral Air Partner, Spyrou has kicked off a marketing offensive, which will culminate in NAP’s Air Cargo Summit, held concurrently with Air Cargo China in mid-June in Shanghai. After that, the network will present itself in Abu Dhabi, and then convene more than 100 independent airfreight service providers for the first time at its Neutral Air Partner global meeting at the end of September.

Taking an active role

«We are not just a networking facilitator; one of our prime objectives is to engage airlines, GSAs, express wholesalers, as well as charter brokers and carriers to take an active role in our group,» says Paul Woolley, explaining the group’s strategy for the future.

The head of aviation and airline cargo management at NAP, who has spent the last 15 of his 35 years in the industry in Shanghai, believes he knows why Asia, of all places, is the right ­starting point for the concept. «There are ­hundreds of air cargo players at every Asian airport that specialize in a few airlines and select trade lanes.» These neutral consolidators and sub-GSAs, who Woolley calls «the local airfreight heroes», are the focus of Neutral Air Partner’s collaborator-­acquisition efforts.

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  • It was a refreshing event also from airline prospective in regards to the quality of the delegates gathered from around the globe, the industry expertise in airfreight ,and consequently the buying power such a group of smaller sized market players can bring to a carrier. The innovative approach , linked with a platform of air cargo community tools tool can deliver added value to the supply chain, and differentiate themselves from the mass .We as Air Bridge Cargo are supportive to innovation in our industry to every single customer, and we are looking forward to the positive developments of NAP together with ABC as their carrier.

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    • Georges Bewer
    • VP EMEA for Airbridge Cargo
  • We as Aerotrans ,are offering neutral freight services to the trade and our customers are airlines , IATA agents and general freight forwarders .Neutral Air Partner is the right platform for our company to explore partnering opportunities with like- minded air cargo experts around the world ,and to develop new services and innovative products for our customers, We are allready seeing the results interacting with a number of members and we look forward to a long term relationship with NAP.

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    • Michael Jaench
    • Aerotrans Germany
  • Universal Global Logistics, S.A.U., attended the NAP kick off meeting in Abu Dhabi last September. UGL is one of the leading Spanish Freight Forwarders and belongs to Noatum Logistics, the logistics division of Marmedsa Noatum Maritime, present in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco and Chile. “ We had the chance to gather another companies also specialized in airfreight industry, as well as in the different topics which this business include, such as cool chain service, AOG, dangerous goods, etc. As forwarding company we have strong presence in our market, being part of a freight purchasing pool stated in the 3rd position in Spanish IATA ranking , we find NAP network as a chance to develop every kind of air transport business among other specialist companies” says Sergio Escobar –Business and process coordinator for UGL.

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    • Sergio Escobar
    • Business and process coordinator for UGL.
  • I had the honor of attending the first NAP annual meeting held in Abu Dhabi, the organization, network and the topics addressed, fully satisfied our expectations, our group participated the event with 3 executives and we ve decided to support Neutral Air Partner in nine countries in Latin America where we have our own offices., we are looking forward to grow our air cargo business together with NAP in this new experience “ says Carlos Madama , VP of Grupo RAS - a leading freight & logistics group based in Latin America with 45 offices in 10 countries and 800 members in 5 divisions.

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    • Carlos Madama
    • VP of Grupo RAS
  • Attending the NAP global meeting in Abu Dhabi has been a great success . It has been a great pleasure to meet so many airfreight professionals whom understand the importance of being Neutral, whilst offering your service towards the forwarding industry.Within 2 months, we already have seen the benefits of our membership , and we are now able to offer more neutral freight services and consolidation solutions to our European customers “ says Ronald Sierat from N.F.S Airfreight ( Neutral Freight Service BV ) a leading and independent neutral airfreight wholesaler & consolidator based at Schiphol airport ( AMS ) main gateway for Europe.

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    • Ronald Sierat
    • N.F.S Airfreight
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