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Dominican Republic 2019 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

The Dominican Republic is set to become the main logistics hub for the region, and Caucedo Logistics Center is increasing its throughput capacity, placing it among the top-10 Latin American ports.

Carlos Flaquer
BIOGRAPHY
The former marketing coordinator of Microsoft Dynamics for Latin America, Carlos Flaquer is currently the General Manager of DP World Caucedo and the Caucedo Logistics Center. He holds an MBA from the New Southeastern University in Florida and master’s degree in management and engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain. He is currently the general coordinator of the Logistical Cluster of the Dominican Republic, board member of the Dominican Association of Free Zones, and member of the Committee for Trade Facilitation of the American Chamber of Commerce.

As the first logistics company in the Port of the Americas, what advantages does the direct access give you and your clients?

Having a logistics center within the port gives our customers a more efficient supply chain. At Caucedo Logistics, as soon as the containers are unloaded from the vessel, we bring it straight to the warehouse, which produces efficiency in time and cost. Another advantage is customs processes. Customs controls the perimeter of the port; therefore, we can create swifter interactions with customs to expedite the time between port and warehouse and vice versa.

What is the comparative advantage of the Dominican Republic?

Compared to Panama, our main competitor, our largest advantages are our strong local market, being one of the largest Caribbean economies, the fastest-growing economy, and many multinationals. The latter want to establish their logistics center in a place where they can sell their products too. The free port in the Bahamas has almost no local market; the same is true for Jamaica and its port in Kingston. We share the island with Haiti, which lacks all types of infrastructure, and many companies use us as a platform to get to Haiti. Another of our clear advantages is our extremely modern legal framework. There is minimal human intervention, with automated customs approvals and simplified procedures. DP World also sees a great deal of opportunity in the LATAM region. We recently acquired two ports in Chile and have developed ports in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina. There are other markets in the region experiencing growth. We are keen to look at economies that are growing. We see a great deal of inefficiencies in the logistics sector in the region, and with our global network we can help make it more efficient and up-to-date.

What are your future investment plans?

In December 2018, we began our expansion project that is expected to be ready by 1Q2020. That includes the addition of 420m of additional cays. Our main quay will be 1-km long, in addition to some 300 additional meters. This also includes the acquisition of three super post-Panamax cranes, the biggest available today, the expansion of our container yard, and three additional warehouses this year. We will also purchase 800,000sqm for the future development of the logistics park. This will make us one of the largest and most efficient ports in the region. We will increase our throughput capacity by about 1 million additional TEUs, making us among the top 10 Latin American ports. This will ensure the country has world-class port infrastructure that will allow for more services, such as bigger and larger vessels. We will be the deepest port in the region. In addition, we will be one of the only ports able to host large vessels, providing benefits to our local businesses and exporters.

What is the profile of your clients, and how do you see it changing?

We currently have many logistics operators. We have furniture companies like IKEA, as well as foodstuff operators using the country as a consolidation hub for all the different products they buy from around the world. We have vehicle manufactures that have stock inventory here for redistribution in the region. I do not see our portfolio changing, but rather more products coming into the country. More companies and products will use the country as a logistics platform to enter regional markets. In the first two months of 2019, we surpassed the total amount of containers re-exported from logistics centers here. This means we will be able to re-export four or five times more in 2019 compared to 2018. And in 2018, we re-exported double the figure of the previous year. There is a trend here in the number of companies using the country as a logistics hub. More companies now understand the value of the Dominican Republic.