Jorge Torres
FedEx Express México
View from the Top

Industry Evolutions Guiding Logistics Solutions

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 12:11

Q: How have you personally participated in shaping the development and presence of FedEx Express in Mexico over the years?

A: Of the 24 years that I have worked for the company, I dedicated seven to quality control and process improvements. I started as a quality specialist, and then became a quality manager for FedEx Mexico and Central America. In 1994, we obtained the ISO 9001 certification for the 52 countries and territories in the Latin America division. Our evolution led us to implement our Quality Driven Management (QDM) initiative. This concept combines the best practices of all of our operating companies’ systems and state-of-the-art methodologies adopted from other high-performance organizations, further solidifying our relationship with our customers. Every single operation in Latin America is certified to this standard.

Q: How important has Mexico’s automotive industry become to the company, and what adaptations have you made in order to serve it?

A: Automotive is hugely important for us because we have become a logistics solutions provider, assisting with the transportation of raw materials and final products within the sector. FedEx participates in the distribution of information, from the moment an idea is incepted, right up until a product is designed. Even during the prototype stages, and when raw materials come into play, we are able to act as a key partner in terms of logistics solutions.

FedEx Express México had 400 employees in 2001, today we have 5,200. Since the acquisition of MultiPack, we have developed full coverage in the country and have the ability to connect Mexico with the 220 countries and territories that we serve. For the automotive industry, this means connectivity, access, and flexibility, particularly for Mexico’s automotive clusters. FedEx has learnt a lot from the automotive industry, including the importance of location, coverage, transit time, and precision. In the past, the logistics industry was based on standard office hours, but the automotive industry works 24/7, so we adapted our approach to suit our customers.

Q: How have recent changes in global manufacturing and procurement strategies impacted the way that FedEx serves its automotive clients in Mexico?

A: Due to the necessity for us to adapt our strategies and processes to the needs of the industry, we developed new ways to benefit our automotive customers. As an example, FedEx has daily flights from Toluca, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Queretaro which arrive at 07:00 and depart at 08:00, as standard. However, when a customer requests a shipment to be delivered only a few hours in advance, we are prepared to serve them with a dedicated aircraft for these specific situations, adding the possibility of one or two additional flights per day. FedEx previously operated only in Toluca, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. However, we learned that the most important markets were in the Bajio region, so we set up a 727 flight in Queretaro in 2012. The demand in this region was so large that we increased the capacity to a 757.

Q: How closely is FedEx collaborating with governments and colleagues on both sides of the border in order to develop simpler transit regulations?

A: FedEx is working toward implementing electronic systems for transmitting information for pre-selection and pre-clearance at the borders. This would be beneficial for large companies that supply known, certified products on a regular basis. There is no need to inspect every single package and shipment when the company is well-known and its products are trusted worldwide. We have also been actively participating with the US Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Association of Express Couriers in an attempt to fast track this service.

Q: What are your plans to increase FedEx’s market share in Mexico?

A: Globally, FedEx has operations in 220 territories, but Mexico is an important location for the company for a number of reasons, one of which is its proximity to the US. In 2011, FedEx invested US$160 million in its Mexico operations, and we will continue to invest as we see automotive companies doing the same. Economic projections for growth driven by automotive investments are exponentially positive, so FedEx is open and ready to continue growing alongside the industry.