E-commerce is revolutionizing logistics in Latin America and few providers or logistics customers are prepared for the coming opportunities and risks.

LatAm Logistics 2.0 Is Here

Free trade and economic reform in the 1990s brought billions of foreign direct investment to Latin America. International logistics providers followed their customers into the region. That was LatAm logistics 1.0.

For the last 20 years, international 3PL providers focused on cross-border traffic and serving the needs of multinational clients, growing at a healthy clip. Domestic transportation and logistics providers focused on Latin American clients, who valued the domestic 3PL supplier’s lean cost structures and turned a blind eye to their loose compliance standards. Outsourcing grew, benefiting both domestic and international 3PL providers.

But digital disruption promises to shake things up and herald a new era, LatAm logistics 2.0. Today, e-commerce is growing at 20% per year across the region, and may accelerate with the expansion of Amazon, Alibaba, MercadoLibre and others. As we have seen in China — where e-commerce captures 20% of retail — total logistics spend/GDP will grow in Latin America (where e-commerce is barely 3% of retail).

However, this is a growth opportunity that few legacy 3PLs are well-suited to address. Customers demand cheaper and faster fulfillment than asset-heavy legacy players are built to service. So nimble start-ups are filling the void with delivery in hours, not days, and at prices that are ¼ to ½ the rate of traditional couriers. Emerging e-commerce merchants are focused on marketing and sales and want to outsource their entire logistics function. Meanwhile, brick & mortar retailers want to leverage their POS into omni channels.

Logistics providers must convert themselves into consultants, ready to deliver an asset-light, rapidly scalable solution while also serving more traditional customers who demand an integrated asset heavy solution.

Dive Deeper

Review AMI case studies from our Logistics practice to get a deeper sense of our capabilities.

Helping LatAm Logistics Companies Grow

Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) works with 3PLs and other providers to identify growth opportunities and adapt their market approach. Our market research and competitor best practice studies feed the product development process of our clients. Our lead generation research helps providers talk to hundreds of potential clients in a matter of weeks, weeding out prospects who are dissatisfied with their incumbent suppliers or are about to issue an RFP. Our competitor monitoring studies are usually focused on disruptive new start-ups which both threaten our clients but also could serve as a future acquisition target.

For providers who want to re-engineer their whole approach to LatAm, we can manage or support their strategic planning process. Our market research brings substance to strategic plans and our senior consultants help engineer the process, building management buy-in to the strategic plan.

Helping Logistics Buyers Streamline

In Latin America, logistics and transportation can be the most costly line items on a manufacturer’s P&L. AMI’s competitive intelligence skills and our logistics knowledge can be employed to help manufacturers lower their logistics costs by comparing them to best-in-class competitors. For e-commerce merchants and retailers looking to ramp up their logistics capabilities, our sector consultants help them objectively choose the optimal partners and structure to ensure cost-competitive fulfillment and sourcing that can be scaled as fast as their sales.

How We Can Help You

AMI consultants have conducted more than 200 studies of Latin America’s logistics sector since 1993 in the following segments:

  • 3PL
  • Cross-border logistics
  • Freight forwarding
  • Port services
  • 4PL
  • FTL trucking
  • Rail
  • Air cargo
  • Inventory management
  • Ship maintenance
  • Billing and collections
  • Heavy/bulky goods logistics
  • Last mile delivery
  • Shipping
  • Customs efficiency
  • LTL trucking
  • Logistics costs reductions
  • Warehousing and distribution

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