A Sobering Crisis After 41 Years of GrowthBy Ingo Babrikowski | Fri, 12/04/2020 - 09:18
In 2020, Estafeta turned 41 years old. Over the years, the company has not experienced a period of setback even though we have faced deep economic recessions, like everyone nowadays. The company's ability to grow consistently is a result of the union of the talent of each and every person who has been part of the team, but mainly, I am sure, it is due to the legacy of our founder, Gerd Grimm.
Estafeta was born on Aug. 8, 1979. With one vehicle and two employees, almost 100 shipments were delivered in our first month. Gerd Grimm was a visionary. He was convinced that freedom and innovation are sources of growth and wealth. Mexicana de Estafeta then offered the first door-to-door courier service in Mexico. Effectiveness, hard work and strong finances were the main components that left a deep mark on our history and continue to be the basis of our superior purpose: Bringing people closer and connecting businesses. This is what moves us.
We have taken the necessary steps to become a logistics integrator. Our infrastructure consists of warehouses, operational and exchange centers throughout the country, 5,000 ground vehicles and our own cargo airline with a fixed itinerary to serve the entire value chain. We established synergies with widely influential logistics companies such as UPS to reach more than 222 countries and territories. Our subsidiary, Estafeta USA, has 25 outlets and our trademark is registered in China with a representation in that country, where we offer import and export services delivering record transit times for that market.
Today, we can generate tailor-made solutions for our customers with operations that fit their supply and demand projections and help streamline their business relationships. In 2019, Estafeta was recognized in Mexico with the National Logistics Award, for its service model designed for the distribution of automotive spare parts nationwide. With our own technological solutions, hybrid routes, air and ground links, we were able to connect all the distributors of the brand in record time, we trained our operators to understand the terms and specifications of the automotive sector, which added agility to the service and we were able to minimize the damage that previously generated significant losses for the customer.
I am excited about the flexibility we have achieved. The health crisis of 2020 has pushed many business models and hundreds of thousands of companies around the world to the limit. The situation has required responsiveness in terms of strategy and resources that, unfortunately, many have not been able to overcome.
The essential role of our activity has taken on greater relevance as telecommuting and forced confinement have pushed people to online shopping. Many barriers have been overcome to establish a new ways of doing things. In just a few months, e-commerce reached the growth projected for at least the next three years. Finally, most of the population that stayed at home still needed all kinds of products. While this increase in demand for a service plays in our favor, it can also be an element that leads an organization to collapse.
For weeks, we faced a critical saturation of our operation and had to make the decision to continue and do whatever it takes to deliver each shipment to its destination or simply put a limit on our service. We decided to take the first option. In just six months, we opened nine operational centers and carried out the reengineering and relocation of 14 more, acquired the necessary vehicles and our workforce grew by 3,000 new jobs.
Thousands of new customers are enjoying our line of service and require more communication channels. Today, information is literally as close as a smartphone. Logistics 4.0 is providing us with countless tools that help us be more efficient and allow us to generate new delivery options. At this time, it is necessary to prepare for post-pandemic scenarios that take into account not only the health prevention measures that are here to stay, but also issues such as sustainability, high levels of pollution and environmental crises due to global warming. Demand is growing, and even though consumer habits have definitely changed, it is clear that products are still moving. Our industry is more valued than ever. In fact, as a connector of the economy and, above all, as a link in the value chain, from the seller and/or producer to the final customer and its after-sales service, our industry is essential.