The Business Year

Filipa Ferreira Mendes

PORTUGAL - Transport

An Extraordinary Vision

Country General Manager, CHEP - a Brambles Company


Filipa Ferreira Mendes joined CHEP as Country General Manager of Portugal in June 2018. Prior to joining CHEP, she led teams for over 17 years in the FMCG and distribution markets. She was a senior consultant for the non-oil business at Repsol Portugal after being director at Fnac Portugal, managing and growing the books, toys, stationery, and magazines segments. During her professional career, she played standout roles in the purchasing department of Makro, as Sales Director of Sonae, and in developing market strategies for Compal. Mendes has a degree in economics from Nova School of Business and Economics and has completed the Management and Leadership Program at AESE Business School.

CHEP is keeping sustainability and disruptive technologies at the core of its operations in over 55 countries to revolutionize the supply chain and logistics sector.

What have been the milestones of CHEP Portugal since its establishment?

In Portugal, we have the same approach that we utilize in any other country. We entered the country 25 years ago and were the first ones to bring the pooling system to Portugal. We offer customers a service that is more efficient, sustainable, and secure than the rest of the competition. We started as pallet providers, but subsequently realized our customers have a much wider variety of needs. Sustainability is also key, and we emphasize it in all our operations. In Portugal, this has been the main strength that CHEP has brought to the market.

What is the importance of Portugal for CHEP’s global activities?

CHEP is in over 55 countries, and the volume and revenue of its Portugal chapter are no longer small. From a logistics perspective, Portugal is a challenge that offers certain knowledge developments that can be applied across the entire logistics chain. The dense network we implemented in Portugal allows us to quickly respond to our customers’ demands, which is why there are many small transport companies with local knowledge. We can enter spaces using a system that other companies cannot due to their size. Thus, Portugal has been contributing to CHEP’s understanding of how a global company can work effectively at a local scale.

How would you assess the level of innovation in the sector?

CHEP is part of the Brambles Group, which has invested over USD10 million in BXB Digital, a company that Brambles created to develop technologies and analytics to benefit the business. By investing in BXB Digital, the group is focusing on the future. As a market leader and a point of reference, we want to lead the supply chain revolution by using the IoT, big data, and other digital technologies, contributing to the improvement of productivity and driving the competitiveness of the market. The supply chain and logistics sectors have a gap in terms of technological innovation, which CHEP wants to fill.

What measures has the company taken toward an eco-friendlier future?

In terms of sustainability, our business model is heavily focused on recycling. By sharing and reusing our products, customers reduce the need for natural resources and the generation of CO2 and waste. We also offer innovative sustainable solutions to our clients, like Carbon Neutral products. We measure the carbon footprint savings that a specific customer achieves by working with CHEP. For the remaining CO2 emissions, we have partnered with Natural Capital Partners who provide projects that capture the same amount of CO2 generated in our customers’ supply chains, which can then be compensated with different actions. 100% of the timber used in our European pallets comes from certified sources (FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody certified).

What are your main goals and priorities heading into 2019?

The main goal is to make sure our customers and potential customers understand how CHEP is able to help grow their business. The past five years have been the most revolutionary in the industry, and we are still only at the beginning of the supply chain revolution. Due to this transformation, there are still players in the market that do not know what CHEP is able to provide. We need to make sure our team has the right resources to truly underscore what we can deliver to customers. CHEP looks at customers’ needs and the needs of the broader industry, which allows it to continue feeding transformation. For example, our ‘blue-click’ quarter pallet is a simple yet revolutionary transformation that has allowed us to truly change the way the industry works promotions instore—inclusively, our assets can be intelligent to the point of receiving and sending data in real time and interacting with end-customers. On top of this, our Collaborative Transport Solutions are revolutionizing the way our customers and partners move their goods in Europe. CHEP has extraordinary vision and has demonstrated that it seeks to look out for communities and peoples, as well as the planet.



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