In my opinion: e-Commerce is the “next big thing” in Latin America

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Fabio Mendunekas


Fabio Mendunekas, senior vice president for Latin America, CEVA Logistics.

Where there is consumption in the market, there must now be speed of supply to match it. Today in Latin America, e-Commerce is changing our lives. This rapidly emerging logistics market segment has been growing in an ever-increasing way here over the last four years.

I remember well the old consumer mindset. We were all used to the delay and the high cost of freight connected with receiving products at home. But I also remember in mid-2017 when CEVA Logistics began working with e-Commerce customers Sephora and Mercado Livre. At the time, I was the head of sales, supporting the sourcing processes for these companies. It was a time of growth for CEVA in Latin America, diversifying market segments and adding capabilities and technologies. It was a time of growth for our customers as well, evaluating and then delivering new levels of service and connection with their customers.

More recently, the global pandemic and its lockdowns have accelerated this transformation in the market. Consumers are not leaving home, increasing their need to buy over the internet and then receive those products at home. Given this, online commerce has been growing every day, largely due to that ease and convenience provided by digital channels.

The technologies behind these new online business models typically reach a wider audience and perform processes more efficiently, increasing profit margin and driving growth. For example, our biggest customer in Brazil has more than doubled in size during the pandemic. This expansion brought the corresponding challenge to serve the country’s entire population with processes of order selection and shipping in a maximum of four hours, with next-day delivery to the consumer. These requirements demand responsive logistics solutions, often through combining transport modes like ground and air. On Black Friday alone, CEVA Logistics handled more than 600,000 packages in a single day for this customer.

For logistics providers, these changes also mean that omnichannel operation is strongly on the rise. The combination of various distribution channels brings great benefit to consumers as they can choose whether to buy from the company directly or from a wide range of partners. Accordingly, our technology team has been increasingly working on our omnichannel warehouse management system, implementing it in several countries in Latin America to deploy modules such as Fulfilment Centres, Cross Docking and Last Mile.

Our initial challenge years ago was to bring together the right group of experienced people to meet the specific demands of an e-Commerce industry still in development. Since then, CEVA Logistics’ track record has taken us to another level in serving our Latin America customers. Our focus is to offer our customers the speed they require through our acquired expertise and passion for achieving results. During the seminars and workshops that we host regularly on this topic, we often call it the “next big thing.” In reality, it’s not “next.” e-Commerce is here, now.