Steve Leondis

Ship Shape

As Seen In Forbes & Fortune
The Future of Business in New York City

The following story was released in Forbes & Fortune in June 2024.

Global logistics company Horizon Air Freight specializes in providing supply chain solutions for spare parts and supplies to maritime vessels while working to make the world a better place

Since 1970, Horizon Air Freight has been delivering spare parts to ship owners and managers worldwide.

From chemical and oil tankers to container and dry bulk vessels, “if your ship is traveling around the world, you have a constant need for replacement and spare parts,” says Steve Leondis, CEO. Horizon’s clients know they will receive their orders in an efficient and timely manner, no matter where they are in the world, avoiding loss of time and money.

Leondis’ father, a Greek immigrant, started Horizon with a handful of contacts in the Greek maritime industry. “He was a self-made man and entrepreneur,” Leondis says fondly.

After graduating from Yale University in 1983, Leondis joined his siblings at Horizon. He worked his way up the ranks, from warehouse to operations, accounting, and sales, eventually to CEO. During his tenure, Horizon has become a global leader in marine logistics, as one of the top five companies in their sector.

Expansion has been the name of the game for Leondis, who has overseen Horizon’s evolution into trucking, air transport, warehousing, and total logistics services—including delivery of food and beverages—for the luxury cruise market.

Exponential Growth

Headquartered in New York, Horizon handles logistics for over 6,000 vessels and makes roughly 60,000 deliveries globally each year. A truly international company, Horizon operates in offices across the world including Singapore, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Miami, Athens, Ushuaia, and Houston. After co-investing with ICV Partners—a specialized private equity firm—in 2019, Horizon’s revenue has grown roughly 600%, and their staff has grown substantially from 28 to 400.

“Our clients are a blue chip roster of ship owners and publicly traded companies,” says Leondis. “We are constantly reinvesting in our company to improve our infrastructure, hire more staff, and upgrade our technology to better serve our clients.”

What differentiates Horizon from competitors is staffers’ “can do” attitude and dedication to white glove customer service. “We are nimble and knowledgeable in our space and move fast while being competitively priced,” says Leondis. “Our staff is what makes Horizon unique among its competitors.”

Future Forward

Blessed with a 38-year marriage, three children, and recognition as an Ivy League basketball legend in 2022, Leondis isn’t slowing down in his aspirations. He and the senior leadership team have forecasted a growth of at least 250% by 2029 as they propel Horizon to become the No. 1 marine logistics provider worldwide. In addition, he dedicates much of his free time to supporting Project Nyame Nsa, a nonprofit he and his daughter co-founded that provides holistic care for orphans in Africa.

Those goals, and more, inspire Leondis to focus not only on Horizon’s legacy, but also to continue growing the business in a powerful way. “It’s a way of ensuring that Horizon employees like my son Alex, who joined the family business in 2020, have a solid and meaningful future ahead,” Leondis concludes.