30 years in freight forwarding by accident, the story of Stavros Paraschos, Fairplay Forwarding
People of the industry

30 years in freight forwarding by accident, the story of Stavros Paraschos, Fairplay Forwarding

Photo: Fairplay Forwarding

It is not unheard of that we land on some great discoveries by accident, or stumble upon certain solutions. But one could say it is unusual to land in freight forwarding industry by accident and stay there for almost 30 years, like Stavros Paraschos did, sales manager, Fairplay Forwarding, a member of the Cosmatos Group of companies. 

“It was purely by chance. I joined a company early in my career and I am here for almost 30 years now,” said Paraschos. As sales manager, he oversees the administrative requirements of the office while also managing company sales and customer success.

Average days are varied, Paraschos tells Project Cargo Journal. “Tasks include daily interaction with customers  and agents, preparing project offers and dispatching to clients and agents, contact with shipping lines for resolving issues and discussion of sales inquiries, pricing of import / export shipments, supervision of sales reps including any tutoring and coaching requirements. Finally, providing support to accounting dept if necessary.”

Throughout his years he pointed out that John Cosmatos was a key figure in his development. Paraschos also mentioned Craig Coffey who was of help in developing professional skills and talents unknown to Paraschos at the time. Coffey was Paraschos’ manager during his time as country and cluster manager at Safmarine Container Lines, an affiliate company of Maersk.

More tasks performed online

Within almost 30 years in the industry Paraschos has witnessed the automation and digitalisation of the industry. “Automation and digitalisation are the main areas where significant inroads have been made,” he said, adding that the expectation is is of more tasks to be performed online as the development continues on the same track.

Going further, Paraschos is looking forward to the accomplishment of carbon neutral transportation.

It is also a versatile job with almost every day filled with new encounters and experiences, and sometimes challenges. One of the challenges is attracting the younger generation into the industry.

“There should be a stronger correlation between those studying and companies operating with the shipping industry, i.e, universities and institutions in close contact with the recruitment agencies and companies when there are new position openings,” Paraschos said.

“Other incentives of attracting the next generation might include better salaries (compared to other business sectors), provision of benefits such as health / life insurance, as well as to ensure opportunities for personal development within the industry.

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Author: Adnan Bajic

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