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Growth in Logistics Depends on Investment in Training, Drivers

Luis Morales - Zinergia
Executive Director


Adriana Alarcón By Adriana Alarcón | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Wed, 09/20/2023 - 16:00

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Q: What were the reasons behind rebranding Grupo Nor y Caribe into Zinergia?

A: The new name and branding follows the company’s evolution. The company has reached its 50th anniversary and its founding partners want Zinergia to be a brand that can continue to transcend over the long term. We wanted to change our management model from a family-owned company to an institution with corporate governance and measurement standards for our people. 

We have four pillars. The first is commitment and culture. The second pillar is financial discipline, as safeguarding our long-term strategy means taking care of our finances. The third is customer focus. The last and most important pillar is our people, as it is crucial to incorporate the best talent continuously. Zinergia will become a holding company that consolidates all our businesses and brands.

Q: How does your GPS system contribute to adding value for your customers compared to other alternatives?

A: To continue growing, it is necessary to invest in technology. A few years ago, we started developing an ERP within the company, which provides us with real-time information to make informed decisions. We also use Power BI, which provides real-time data on sales, allocation, operations and operators. Furthermore, we created specialized software for our company that led to the creation of SPL Track, a company that serves all of the group's companies. 

SPL Track enhances security during the customer’s journey and its predictive capabilities anticipate certain issues, truly setting our service apart. SPL Track originated from a monitoring center that tracked all trips in real-time and we later added other technologies. Our goal is to ensure that there are no limitations on technological innovation.

Q: What hurdles have you encountered while adapting to shifting customer demands driven by nearshoring?

A: The main challenge is the need for more workforce and talent. Another important issue has been security; we have continued investing in technology, people, security protocols and training. The best technology will not achieve results if the people are not aligned behind a common goal. We also made a strong commitment to certifications. All the companies in the group have CTPAT, ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 certification, which reflects our focus on reducing accidents.

Q: What strategies has Zinergia implemented to address the truck driver shortage? 

A: To address this situation, we invested in an operator training institute: the Nor y Caribe University (UNYC). A significant percentage of operators come from the institute. Besides training them as truck operators, the institute also focuses on imparting values and a sense of family. We feel an obligation to provide skilled operators. We have invested significantly in the institute, training between 80 and 100 individuals each month.

Q: What strategies has Zinergia implemented to enhance the working conditions and well-being of its drivers? 

A: The main goal is to make the operators’ conditions more dignified. We have invested in a psychology department to provide guidance and make operators feel more valued. We always strive to have good clients and good routes. We provide operators with a decent salary and incentives, such as scholarships, grocery vouchers and productivity bonuses.

Q: How does Zinergia address customer concerns, such as safety and security, especially amid challenges like highway insecurity? 

A: Safety involves many aspects, including social responsibility, mechanical conditions and trained operators who can respond to mechanical issues. We implemented internal changes to put safety first. We have had a safety committee for four or five years and it is always assessing new technology, situations or risks. Safety is an important KPI that must be monitored within the company.

Q: How has Zinergia demonstrated its commitment to social responsibility?

A: Our approach to social responsibility focuses on many issues, including employees, our clients’ operations, our suppliers and the communities we support. We continuously renew our fleet by bringing in the latest technology to reduce emissions. We also have a reforestation program.

Q: How do you envision the future of Mexican logistics and transportation and what role does Zinergia play in it? 

A: Logistics and transportation companies need to be more professional as a significant amount of foreign investment is coming into the country. To be competitive, suppliers must be their true partners. Another issue is continuously training operators and consolidating small companies. Owner-operators and small companies will continue to exist but there might be opportunities for collaboration with larger companies, especially given nearshoring.

Q: What are Zinergia's plans for further expansion and growth in Mexico's logistics sector? 

A: The company is investing in growing its assets. We grew significantly this year and we plan to continue growing and generating employment opportunities. What will set this company apart is its people. Its talent will remain committed, aligned and inspired by a common purpose. Within the group, we have recently established a culture committee where we aim to truly harness our talent and invest in our people.

Photo by:   Zinergia

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