Fedex (NYSE: FDX), formerly often known as Federal Categorical, has been current in Colombia for 25 years, however has not been thought-about a dominant player in different markets. Fedex needs to reassure us that a change is coming. A delegation of senior executives has been in Colombia this week to meet key shoppers, and the corporate is investing closely in Colombia and different Andes. Fedex has opened a refrigerated transport facility on the José Maria Córdova Worldwide Airport in Medellín and increased flights six days every week, immediately between Colombia and Miami. Fedex additionally broadcasts further commitments to other Andean nations.
Loren Moss, a Colombian financial journalist, sat down with Juan Cento (above, left), President of the Latin American and Caribbean Fedex, to higher perceive these new commitments and Fedex's intentions toward Colombia.
Finance Colombia: You’re right here in Colombia at present to announce the large information. FedEx apparently already has a presence in Colombia and most nations all over the world, but I have not seen FedEx as a mandatory dominant courier, so tell me about this new initiative you have got, it seems to be such as you at the moment are wanting to strengthen your presence within the area, but especially here in Colombia.
Juan Cento: To start with, thank you in your interest in speaking to us, that is exciting information, it is a chance for us to penetrate a enterprise we’ve not likely aggressively involved. We started in Colombia 25 years ago, and our foremost focus in Colombia has all the time been to present Colombian importers and exporters with the perfect and best transit time and aggressive costs so that they will export their goods to the markets they need to do business with.
Obviously, we all know that the USA is Colombia's largest buying and selling companion, however there are other alternatives. As a FedEx company, we operate in 220 nations around the globe, with the most important fleet of almost 690 and shifting 15 million packages a day, combining all 220 nations, so over time, the normal firm that FedEx has been involved with has accomplished so in Colombia, profitable, we now have a big market share in columbia, but at FedEx we’re all the time in search of opportunities to understand what a customer's needs are and the way we speak about those needs.
Our firm aim is in step with my aim in Latin America, we would like to develop into a pacesetter within the domestic, worldwide and logistics business both inside and out of doors Latin America, so to achieve that I am not simply saying "Wow, I have significant market share in one segment" constant in all of them. We began our domestic service in Colombia in 2011 and we consider we will definitely cover the most important cities in Colombia, however the perishable goods sector is where we deliver sure export shops on schedule, principally B2C (Enterprise to Shopper).
With regard to recent flowers in the USA, we’ve got definitely not been involved in cold transport, which everyone knows is that Colombian flowers are the most important airfreight activity in all of Latin America.
So what have we purchased? We take the flight we've used for 25 years and transfer it to a time that meets those needs, because those occasions usually are not [typical] weekdays, 5 or 6 within the afternoon. Now we depart Medellin at 4 within the morning, we depart Bogota at 2 in the morning, so we fly six occasions every week with the Boeing 767, which operates Miami-Bogota-Medellin-Miami. Why Miami? Because it’s the gateway for every to share. It’s really a gateway to Latin America.
But for everybody, it's obtained the infrastructure, and with this aircraft we will do it. Now it is the first of the few plane we are going to introduce to achieve a robust presence within the perishable goods market. The subsequent plane we are going to introduce is going to serve Quito, Ecuador.
Once more, Miami-Quito-Miami, and then the third aircraft we have now, I'm only speaking about for the subsequent 12 months, goes to be Miami-Santiago-Lima-Miami.
So we would like to be sure we have now the presence that our clients are asking us for in perishable business. Our perishable companies, number one, flowers from colombia, espresso from colombia, textiles.
Colombia: Right here in Medellin.
Juan Cento: In Medellin, proper. So, actually, we have been simply in ColombiaModa, an occasion that happened two or three weeks ago, so you understand we are committed to it, but I feel one other essential incontrovertible fact that opens up opportunities is the main target that we’re specializing in. small and medium sized corporations.
We all know what necessary monetary contributors to Latin American economies are PYMEs. [PYME is Pequeños y Medianos Empresas, or Small and Medium Sized Businesses] Properly, conventional PYME or micro-PYME, what are they specializing in? I want to begin a business, I might succeed in the Medellin market. Perhaps we should always increase to different elements of the nation. Nicely, perhaps you recognize what, it might be great to present my product to my neighbors?
Finance Colombia: Proper.
Juan Cento: You recognize, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, different markets, right? Properly, when it will get a bit of more difficult, once we are available and companion with them, they will perceive the convenience of export, using us as a reputable international transportation firm that provides them credibility, but in addition by using the various instruments we provide them. Just one: I don't go into all the small print, however we allow them to log on, www.FedEx.com, and acknowledge: I'm sending right here to South Africa, what do I want? Transportation costs, duties and taxes, monitoring options, you understand that giving all of them whereas sitting behind this pc is very easy.
Finance Colombia: And that's essential, particularly since I feel an enormous hurdle for small businesses is the actual or perceived complexity for shoppers and how to do it, and other people don't understand how this works.
And they don’t perceive either the position of the forwarder or when it’s needed or not. We’d like, or how to ship things from right here to abroad market. In the 1990s, I was exporting pc and telecommunications gear, similar to circuit boards and memory chips, from the USA to Central America and the Caribbean, and I had no concept how things have been transported properly: insurance, customs, delivery, and so on. So I simply gave up: and I flew to Nicaragua or Panama or wherever … However at present it's so much easier to do.
What do you want? What are your requirements? We'll work collectively, tell me what you need, I'll inform you what I can do, so you can also make your personal decisions.
Juan Cento: So it's obviously a terrific opportunity for PYME, it's the identical worry of you. simply described, you already know, we'll meet them, speak to them and say, "listen, it's very simple, think big, think you can grow your business to a much higher level if your product distribution was wider anywhere. 220 countries, and it is very, very simple. "It takes the export and considering of worry:" Oh, I'm too small, I can not penetrate it, "however now you possibly can
Finance Colombia:. Yes, I do know somebody who truly works in Deloitte here in Colombia, and sivutoimintanaan he makes crafts, crafts, belongings you would see on Etsy.com back within the states. And he does these crafts and starts making them in English. You understand? One individual says, "I’ve my day job, and perhaps I do this stuff, these really cool things, and You understand, PayPal is here, and PayPal has gone via numerous iterations in Latin America. We have now Mercado Libre, Mercado Pago, and it's fascinating how these distracting platforms evolve.
Juan Cento: Yeah.
Finance Colombia: They Need Supply I had an eBay account for over twenty years I would like to sell additional stuff, like your previous digital camera supplies, nevertheless it's fascinating because it's simply stuck right here now and I feel we're at first of a growth where a small business, micro enterprise, micro enterprise entrepreneur right here – and Colombia now have a free trade agreement with the USA and 15 other free trade agreements, and individuals are just starting to see their potential. Certainly, the younger era in Colombia is rising with this. They’re used to going to either an internet site or an app or, “I would like to monitor my package deal, where is my order?
Juan Cento: In order that worry, that worry has been removed. Our aim is to continue to increase our present business, proceed to discover totally different decisions, proceed to grow on the correct path and infrastructure.
You realize, it reinforces what we hear from our clients, It reinforces our dedication to the country, reinforces our dedication to making the suitable selections and places it here for this group of extra movements.
We reinforce our commitment by bringing these kind of plane to Colombia; The sweetness is that with our FedEx philosophy, our objective is to match demand with capability. If you get 690 aircraft, every thing from 777 to smaller, you understand what we do? We go to the market, and Eduardo, who is our CEO here, can say, "Hey Juan, we're full, could you bring me more capacity?" Give me thirty days and change from 767 to 777.
But important objective: What is the buyer in search of? How do we provide them a special factor? Now there are a whole lot of rivals in Latin America and particularly in Colombia who’re only here for a short time. What is the major purpose why this is occurring? They act on their mindset: I have to maximize my revenue on each flight, so when a flower farmer arrives late to the airport, they comprehend it.
When there’s something in Latin America that creates disruption, they modify their schedules.
Pay attention, it's quite simple, assume huge, assume that you can develop your enterprise to a a lot greater degree in case your product distribution have been wider in any 220 nations,
Financing Colombia: They don't have the monetary power, the lasting power to deal with these disruptions .
Juan Cento: Completely. For us, our aircraft leaves Medellin at Four:05 am. If it isn’t full, we’ll handle the difficulty after the plane has left, but the aircraft has commitments on its means to 220 other nations and must depart early.
In order that reliability has not been seen. We had an occasion in Bogota yesterday, and every one in every of our shoppers we talked to stated, "I'm glad you guys are now in the industry because of your reliability, your guarantees," the security that comes with understanding that "again with FedEx.
Finance Colombia: I keep in mind those "absolutely positive" commercials!
Juan Cento: We’re very excited about this chance, we’ve got a terrific workforce in Colombia with about 300 staff and this added 50% extra to the payrolls here and you already know I feel it’s just a very robust commitment to the country and our clients.  Financing Colombia: You understand we now have roosters going from Colombia to espresso and the like and I hadn't observed this earlier than, however they're actually beginning to export fruits in addition to bananas, avocados at the moment are accepted, and There are such a lot of various things, other thing issues that we haven't even commercialized or exported, and things we don't even see in the Caribbean, belongings you don't see within the Antilles.
Juan Cento: Proper.
Financing Colombia: And that's fascinating, so I’m wondering concerning the flowers … You understand there’s all the time a marketplace for flowers, however I might imagine FedEx …
Juan Cento: Valentine's Day, Mother's Day …
Financing Colombia: One curious thing, The equivalent of Valentine's Day in Colombia is September, and I understand it’s because in February they exported all the flowers and this provides them six months to grow them back!
But I’m wondering if FedEx clearly has a superb fleet, is that this a logistical challenge? When the flowers depart, are the machines operating empty or are there loads of imports?
Juan Cento: Obviously more than what's coming, however once more we’ve 20 years of strong enterprise, we have now loads of corporations from Europe, or corporations from america or the Far East that have to fly by means of america by way of Miami, so we're good at that. This yr, we’ve introduced in additional planes for Valentine's and Mother's Day.
Undoubtedly, we're already talking to the client and we perceive that they want to make that decision now to allow them to make commitments in area. planes, so what are we doing proper now, what do you want? What are your necessities? Let's work together, tell me what you need, inform me what I can do, so you can also make your personal decisions.
Finance Colombia: On earth, regionally you recognize, we consider FedEx and different international couriers like "I go there for export." DHL has robust enterprise, especially in Europe, however you seem to say that FedEx is a participant on the sector. Is it due to a partnership with native or nationwide corporations or is there a technique to unfold FedEx on the ground?
Juan Cento: It's a mixture, we now have some issues we will do ourselves, certainly in the 12 largest [Colombian] cities we have now individuals of our own, but at this point in FedEx we’d find a way to contract a few of that transportation. In immediately's world, bodily control of goods all through the a hundred percent course of: good, however not crucial, as a result of you’ve got the suitable companion, so long as you’re dedicated to transportation and sure actions, OK, so we have now succeeded in doing so.
Finance Colombia: Nice. Thank you in your time, you've been very generous.
Photograph ID: Pilar Mejia López, Lapic SAS