Economic resurgence and e-commerce are the twin drivers boosting Brazil's logistics sector, and ECU Worldwide Brazil is perfectly placed to tap the emerging opportunities in the promising South American market
A shining example of economic prowess at the turn of the century, Brazil has since faced its worst economic downturn over the past few years, and the Latin American giant is now finding its feet again before it sets off on a new journey of growth and progress. After a recession of years, Brazil's economy turned a corner in 2017 and registered its first positive GDP marker with a 1 per cent upturn. Despite the fiscal and socio-political challenges, the country is on course to up the growth in the years to come and its logistics sector will be one of the key drivers of this growth journey.
Like all companies with a presence in Brazil, ECU Worldwide has had to re-invent itself from time to time as the Brazil economy goes from feast to famine and back to feast. "E-commerce, new products, the swing of focus between imports and exports, currency volatility and the impact of politics on trade, are all part of the waters that need to be navigated when doing business in Brazil," says Tim Tudor, Regional CEO for Americas, adding that ECU has done an exemplary job of navigating all situations over the years. "We are looking forward to the next boom business cycle in Brazil, and are very well prepared to service our customers’ needs as demand increases," says Mr Tudor.
The current cost of logistics in Brazil is twice the average of developed countries, accounting for a high 8-10 per cent of the nation's annual GDP. While one way of looking at it is that the high cost of logistics puts the country at a big disadvantage on a global competitive scale, another point of view is that there is that much scope for reducing the costs and yielding efficiencies, which in turn will give a tremendous boost to the country's logistics sector. Infrastructure development and logistical planning will be at the core of this drive over the next decade, ensuring a sustained boom for Brazil's logistics market for years to come. "At ECU Worldwide Brazil, we have been focusing on scaling up with the twin synergies of talent and technology, bringing in web tools and other customer service products to overcome the physical difficulties in the market," says the Sau Paulo-based Roberto Puppo, Country Manager for ECU Worldwide Brazil.
Although there is an air of uncertainty in the wake of national elections slated later this year, the country is clearly on the path to greater efficiency and transparency. "The federal government has announced some concessions and investments in infrastructure, which will create greater demand on efficiency in logistics and our company sets the benchmark in this aspect on a global scale," says Mr Puppo.
Even as the brick-and-mortar part of the Brazilian economy is still negotiating the sharp downturn of recent years, the country's e-commerce market has zoomed in the past few years, registering double digit year-on-year growth. Brazilians are making purchases from overseas like never before and for logistics companies, this is one big emerging opportunity. "This is where a trusted local partner like ECU Worldwide can make a big difference for e-commerce operators. Being a global player in the logistics sector, our expertise extends from shipping to Brazil and import enabling, right to the last mile delivery," says Mr Puppo, adding that given the huge internet penetration in Brazil and the popularity of e-commerce among its consumers, once the economy recovers fully, the e-commerce segment in the country will explode. "This is a big opportunity, and we are prepared for it," says Mr Puppo.
Relationship, transparency, regularity, compliance, integration on information rendered, neutrality and centralised operations with qualified staff in Santos for nationwide servicing these are the tenets on the basis of which ECU Worldwide Brazil has made a strong name for itself in the Brazilian logistics sector, emerging as a partner of choice for global clients.
Carrying on Econocaribe's legacy of over 40 years, this strong brand equity translates into stronger market share for ECU Worldwide. While Econocaribe is a solid brand, ECU has also created its new brand visibility on the US/LatAm SB trade lane. With ECU Worldwide having 25 offices across four neighbouring regions — USA, Central America, South America and Canada, the company's solid network in the region is a big differentiator for ECU Worldwide Brazil. "Owning our own network across Americas gives us a big advantage. ECU Worldwide USA has a unique information structure with modern e-tools and accurate information, in addition to years of hands-on experience serving these markets. We act as One in Americas," says Mr Puppo, adding that the company's global network, flexibility and transparency associated with fast solutions is the game changer in the market. "Our specialised team, with a passion for what we do and the willingness to deliver the best quality to our clients, enables us to deliver the best operational service in Brazil," says Mr Puppo.