Well-Chosen Networks LEad to Logistical SuccessMon, 09/01/2014 - 16:39
The network of offices put together by logistics company Sea Cargo has largely been motivated by the evolution of the Mexican automotive sector around the country. Its CEO, Eduardo Velez, explains how the company has identified specific objectives for each of its bases of operations. For example, a big presence in Aguascalientes puts Sea Cargo in a prime position to cater to the Asian automakers that have set up production facilities there. The Aguascalientes office has formed strong partnerships with mechanical and auto parts companies like Donaldson that can be trusted suppliers to OEMs. The Queretaro office covers the automotive and aerospace industries alike, Chihuahua and Monterrey focus on the automotive clusters in those regions, and Ensenada Baja California takes care of the opportunities that exist in serving the massive Californian automotive market. “The automotive industry and its suppliers are considered one of the most demanding markets in Mexico. The rapid flux of the automotive production chain requires trustworthy partners and we are very focused on being one of them,” he says. This ambition is shared by many logistics companies, and Sea Cargo is battling them in the Mexico’s northern and Bajio regions. Velez explains that Sea Cargo’s supply chains services in the Bajio revolve around stockpiling supplies that can be used to partially assemble auto parts within the main plants. These parts then go on to other companies for further assembly, using more sophisticated technical processes, before going on to final assembly. Sea Cargo is involved in overseeing the storage, the timing of the entire operation, and delivery to the final assembler. Mastery over this stage of the process has seen Sea Cargo find clients among OEMs like Volkswagen and direct suppliers like Continental. This heavyweight client list helped Sea Cargo stretch its logistical tendrils around the world. “We are active members of diverse networks in the US, Asia, and Europe, through which we interact with reliable partners. Such partners are important due to the variety in how supply chains can be structured,” says Velez. The globalized nature of the industry means that automotive components could be brought into Mexico from France or Germany, having been originally manufactured in South Korea, China, or Japan.
“On a more local level, the trend of automotive companies investing in the Bajio region has been beneficial for Sea Cargo, particularly given the area’s reputation as the safest in Mexico,” says Velez. In other regions of Mexico, physical safety has been a prime consideration for most companies, as much as fiscal and infrastructural security. “Given how a stolen truck can cause severe interruptions to firms’ distribution flows and production, Sea Cargo attempts to control the value chain as much as possible to ensure the highest degree of safety possible,” says Velez. The company is making strides to get certified on the security side, which Velez is counting on to gain even more credibility among its customer base. Building up this credibility is key in a market where more logistics companies are jostling for position. “We will be serving all industries, but Sea Cargo’s main priority is the automotive industry. We are looking to expand into the ports of Manzanillo and Altamira for that very reason. It is not an easy market to enter, but once you are in, the synergies carry you forward.”