From managing complex supply chains to addressing transportation and warehousing risks, Latin American companies face a broad array of logistics challenges. However, forward-thinking businesses are partnering with their service providers to reduce overall costs and gain a competitive advantage in their markets.
"Companies with complex logistics challenges should work long-term with their transport providers to optimize the processes and cut costs out of the entire logistic chain," says Poul Hestbaek, senior vice president, commercial for Hamburg Sud, Caribbean and Latin America West Coast. "We are seeing a shift away from annual contract negotiations towards a broader, longer-term approach."
Ferdinand Kurt, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel S.A.--South & Central America, says effective supply chain management should be part of a company's high-level strategy. "Logistics should not be an isolated department trying to find immediate solutions without a clear medium and long term vision," he says.
This spring, logistics providers from around the world will be showcasing their latest services and solutions at Intermodal South America, April 10-12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A leading hemispheric conference, the event puts a spotlight on the key issues facing the logistics sector, such as the need for more efficient transportation infrastructure in Latin America.
"In 2012, new emerging geographies, technology's constant evolution and a stronger emphasis on greener methods will enhance the list of supply chain variables to be managed," says Alexandre Cecolim, managing director, logistics, FedEx Express Latin America and Caribbean Division.
Kurt adds that the acceleration of global supply chains will continue, pressing logistics providers to find new ways to reduce costs and add value. "This is of particular importance in emerging markets like Latin America where infrastructural and bureaucratic hurdles still hamper the efficient and predictable flow of goods," he says. "Professionals will need to spend more time with logistics planning to better organize their inventories and avoid potential disruptions to the supply chain."
ADDRESSING SUPPLY CHAIN COMPLEXITY
As global manufacturing has shifted to developing regions like Latin America and Asia supply chains have become longer and far more complex. "Multiple sourcing of parts for manufacturing has also dictated a much more advanced approach to the logistic challenges,"...