Saturday, March 17, 2012

Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Group Expands LCL Coverage

Latin America is Latest Target for Swiss Specialists
Shipping News Feature

LATIN AMERICA – Freight forwarding and logistics group Panalpina, another of the world’s asset light supply chain providers, has launched four new direct Less than Container Load (LCL) services through its in-house carrier Pantainer Express Line. The new guaranteed weekly and bi-weekly services will connect Buenaventura (Colombia) with Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Colon (Panama) as well as Santos (Brazil) with Colon and Veracruz (Mexico) with La Guaira (Venezuela). Transit time from Mexico to Venezuela is reduced by 15 days against the groups previous routing.

Buenaventura to Guayaquil and Santos to Colon are weekly services to Colon and Veracruz to La Guaira are bi-weekly services. The new direct service from Veracruz to La Guaira allows for a 12 day transit time, a reduction of 15 days from the previous routing. Direct transit from Buenaventura to Colon and Guayaquil takes four and six days respectively and transit time for Santos to Colon is 17 days.

All the ports that are served by the new services play an important role in the region. Santos, less than 100 kilometres away from Brazil’s economic powerhouse São Paulo, is home to Latin America’s busiest port and the port of Veracruz, less than 400 kilometres away from Mexico City, is crucial for cargo flowing in and out of the Mexican metropolis. Buenaventura in Colombia represents the most important port on South America’s west coast. It plays a key role for trade on the west coast of South America and for imports from the Far East whilst the port of Guayaquil is at Ecuador’s economic heart handling 93% of the country’s container traffic. The port of La Guaira is the closest port to Caracas lying at the foot of Venezuela’s central highlands just northwest of the capital.

Panalpina themselves place great store on their hub in Panama which has been in place for three decades as it allows access to Central America and the Caribbean with its geographic location, the Panama Canal and the ease of doing business in Panama making Colon a natural transhipment port according to Markus Jornot, the company’s Country Manager who says:

“The two new services into Panama offer our customers’ access to numerous existing services that Panalpina operates out of Colon to Central America and the Caribbean. The service from Santos to Colon is a great example. It connects Brazil’s booming economy with Central America.”

Frank Hercksen, Global Head of Ocean Freight at Panalpina makes the point that the Central and South American services were due for an overhaul with much of the group’s recent development having taken place elsewhere commenting:

“Customers want simplicity and global reach. In 2011 alone, we launched more than 50 new LCL services, the majority of them involving Asia. The four new services in Latin America are part of Panalpina’s long-term growth strategy and the latest example of our continuous effort to connect the right dots.”