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Culture of Change, Innovation Needed in a Growing Market

Francisco Ricaurte - UPS
President, UPS Latin America


Adriana Alarcón By Adriana Alarcón | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Mon, 09/18/2023 - 11:30

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Q: How does UPS, with over a century of experience, stay up to date on the latest technologies to attend to its customer's needs? 

A: We have 116 years of experience and carry the legacy of the person who founded this company, Jim Casey, who, from the start, guided us in changing and adapting to the growing and evolving market. The pandemic forced us to adapt to changes in consumer purchasing methods, which evolved drastically during that time. It is ingrained in UPS’ culture to keep an eye on change to serve our customers better by delivering what matters when it matters most.

Q: How have you adapted emerging technologies to your supply chain operations and customer solutions? 

A: Technology adoption starts at the top of UPS, with our CEO Carol B. Tomé. The company has available training on digital fluency for everyone. We can take these courses to understand how AI can assist us. It already benefits some industries and we could lose relevance if we do not delve deeper into it. We have created groups to address this area and help our customers leverage our intelligence to restructure their supply chains.

Q: How has e-commerce transformed your business offering and what changes are still pending to support increasingly demanding customers? 

A: E-commerce has changed and it has also experienced tremendous growth, especially in the domestic sector. Technology is crucial to meet customers' needs, mainly as e-commerce opens beyond domestic markets; the future lies in international e-commerce, which involves crossing borders and requires access to global infrastructure. We also need to stay relevant by adapting local competencies and technologies, which is where digital fluency and visibility provided to the customer come into play.

Q: Beyond your partnership with Estafeta and the special rates for domestic and international shipments for SMEs, what other measures has UPS taken to support these companies?

A: We recently launched the "Ayuda PyMEs" program, which supports SMBs in areas they might not be familiar with. SMBs know how to manufacture a product but they might not have experience in logistics and distribution, especially internationally. Supporting them in these aspects has been crucial. Another program is the "Women Exporters Program," which promotes equity and has already supported 107,000 women and diverse small businesses worldwide since its launch in 2018.

Q: What are UPS' sustainable commitments and what goals do you expect to achieve in the short, medium and long term?

A: We aim to achieve 100% carbon neutrality by 2050. Other initiatives include community involvement by UPSers volunteering 30 million hours by 2030, planting 50 million trees by 2030, and reaching 40% alternative fuel utilization in our ground operations by 2025. We plan to make our buildings more sustainable and to collaborate with our clients on sustainable practices.

Q: How did UPS manage the transition to Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA)?

A: The transition involved a team of operators and engineers. We will always follow the guidelines and requests presented by the government and will continue to do so. We met the deadline without affecting three crucial components: our customers, people and shareholders. By doing things right, we offer our customers better export services and will continue working with the government to continue improving the import process. 

Q: How does UPS address customer concerns, such as safety and security, especially amid challenges like insecurity on highways?

A: We take measures to mitigate risks and we always have our priorities clear: we want to provide excellent service to our customers. UPS has an active Security function whose objective is to establish and maintain the appropriate level of security necessary to provide a safe working environment we aim to protect our customers' packages and our personnel. We utilize threat and risk analysis to determine the necessary physical security and security staffing requirements 

We are constantly monitoring the safety of our employees and training every person who interacts with a vehicle. We also have armored vehicles that are used under certain conditions when drivers may feel unsafe.

Q: What solutions is UPS providing to its customers regarding nearshoring?

A: We could not be in a better position to tackle nearshoring. The International Small Package and Supply Chain Solutions divisions are tackling nearshoring, providing customers with a broad service portfolio to help them import inventories or raw materials from Asia and export them to the US or elsewhere. We assist clients in many processes, such as packaging and customs. We are consolidating everything into a single solution. Finally, the Customer Solutions division helps clients determine ways to increase the efficiency of their supply chain.

Mexico is benefiting and will continue to benefit from nearshoring. UPS has always assessed opportunities to continue growing in strategic markets and Mexico is one of those markets.

Photo by:   UPS

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