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Pandemic Will Continue Transforming Logistics

Christophe Milhères - Rombo


Alfonso Núñez By Alfonso Núñez | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 13:18

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Q: What features set Rombo apart in the Mexican last-mile logistics market?


A: We are a young Mexican company with about a year of operations and devoted to two main businesses: last-mile logistics and transporting private sector personnel, both of which were growth opportunities that emerged from the pandemic. We have a national coverage with significant presence in cities like Mexico City and San Luis Potosi. What distinguishes Rombo from its competitors is that we do not just offer one mass-market solution. We adapt to the needs of each client through integrations or whatever they need. We also provide a personalized service that goes beyond our app. If someone wants to place an order through a call center, they can do that, as well through the portals that we’ve designed exclusively for clients. This has allowed us to grow our B2B customer base.


Q: How has the company handled the growth in e-commerce?


A: We work with many companies, such as Mercado Libre, Walmart and even other couriers, such as Red Pack. Early in the pandemic, we recognized the high demand and exponential growth in e-commerce, so we had to adapt. We work with our clients to ensure that routes are logical and optimized, meaning efficient. Not only do we deliver as quickly as possible, which is what consumers now demand, but we provide the best service possible with a minimum number of incidents. That is evident with our platform operators’ management process. We are also now seeing a strong return from our services in the transportation of personnel.


Rombo has adapted to the pandemic, provided the best services from our two lines of business.


Q: What other benefits and challenges has the pandemic brought for the last-mile logistics industry and Rombo specifically?


A: The last two years have been about adaptation and learning how to improve certain areas of the market because there is a great deal of potential. At the beginning of the pandemic, we still were not making last-mile deliveries, so we had to speed through the necessary steps without skipping them. Many last-mile delivery clients also were not ready for last-mile through their e-commerce platforms, so we have had to grow together. The immediate term will be about working with clients to add structure and organization to last-mile deliveries.


Q: How does Rombo use route optimization software?


A: Our app uses route optimization software to make sure the route is coherent, allowing for delivery of the maximum number of packages in the minimum amount of time. But every operation is very different. In fact, we have clients that work with their own apps and we provide our operators with the necessary training to work with those apps. Clients can review deliveries in real time and we offer proof of delivery through our portal where clients can request photo proof of a storefront, the delivery itself, the package that was delivered or all three. If something happens, we have all the processes established to help the client at every stage. We also have commercial teams at a national level to assist our clients at all times. Through the portals we provide to our client, they can access statistics about the effectiveness of their last-mile deliveries as well as the coverage and punctuality of personnel transportation services. This gives them better control over their logistics strategy. The logistics industry is complicated so we need to make it as simple as possible for the client.


Q: What larger trends in last-mile logistics do you expect for 2022?


A: Adaptation and the issue of waybills will continue in 2022. Waybills will require us to be really integrated in terms of communication with clients to provide much more information and transparency over what is being transported. This has not been easy for everyone in the logistics industry, especially for smaller companies that have less access to technology. In the case of Rombo, we had to hold more meetings with our clients but now we are ready to comply with the necessary documentation as needed. I think this is something that will change the market because it will cause logistics companies to be much more structured, although the changes are not so easily implemented. There will need to be much more communication with clients so that both parties can handle this new process.


Another issue is the pandemic leading to demand for faster deliveries. Final users of those e-commerce products realized they could replicate a physical experience online and receive their products on the same day. That is a good thing, but it also requires a great deal of quality and coherence in making logistics routes as efficient and consolidated as possible, while also remaining environmentally conscious. All of those themes are still being developed and I think more and more companies are taking action, which should continue.

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