Caribe Trans is a member of several associations, including FIATA, IATA, and ADACAM. How does the company benefit from this, especially in terms of exchanging expertise and know-how with other associates?
We are members of FIATA and IATA, and these two organizations were created long ago in order to regulate business activity in the air cargo transportation (IATA) and freight forwarding (FIATA) segments. These associations offer regular training and education programs for their members, and also lobby governments to recognize the association's concerns, initiatives, and proposals. Throughout the years, both have become leading institutions in their areas. With the Dominican Association of Air and Maritime Cargo Agents (ADACAM), we tried to take the best from both of these organizations and integrate it internationally as an association that will look after all of our associates involved in the supply chain management industry. The Dominican Republic's logistics industry lacked such a common vision, and as the country raised its profile as a third party logistics provider clients required a complete and fully integrated logistics service. One of the goals of the association is to make of the logistics service a one-stop shop where clients can find everything, and at the same time tailoring all the services to the need of the clients. Our company provides third party logistics services, but we also handle air cargo in collaboration with American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Air France, Air Canada, and Amerijet. We handle air cargo with these companies mainly in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata, and Punta Cana. We also have a project forwarding division. More recently, we have focused on green energies, especially wind energy, and we had a major contract with one of the largest suppliers. We also have customs brokerage services as an Authorized Economic Operator (OEA), and we offer a team of experienced technicians to perform all the processes related to imports, exports, and logistics in general. We also have our own warehouses operating in the major airports in the country. In addition, we are part of a larger logistics project for the development of the new Haina logistics center. Lately, we have noticed that customers are starting to understand they could have a lean management model implemented in their companies by reaching out to third-party logistics providers, who already have the warehouse and personnel capabilities. In this sense, we are able to go to our customers and offer them an integrated third-party logistics solution thanks to our partnerships and capabilities. We have the technology and know-how, which makes us one of the most reliable and strongest players in the industry.
What role do technology and innovation play in Caribe Trans' operations?
Our aim is to become an IT company that provides third party logistics services, not the other way around. This is something I try to highlight to all our employees. In this sense, we invest heavily in IT. This year we are facing a major challenge with the revamp of our IT system in the company, this step will make us stronger for the benefit of our customers and principals. In general, we like to work with consultants, as they teach you how to better implement processes and systems for the benefit of the company and customers alike. In this sense, we are always keen to achieve international industry standards such as the ISO 9001:2008, BASC, ISSAGO, and the OEA.
What is the significance of the $5 billion investment in the expansion of the Panama Canal for Caribe Trans, and for the overall logistics sector in the Dominican Republic?
The Panama Canal is a crucial gateway to our part of the world, and its expansion will mean an influx of greater cargo volumes into the region. The Dominican Republic has much to offer, with the Caucedo Port serving as a hub targeting South America, Europe, and Haina Port which handles a great volume of the US cargo plus having the great advantage of being inside the city and closer to the logistics centers that currently operate. Our connectivity is one of the most competitive in the region. We have a 10-day transit time from Europe, and less than three days from Panama and the US, which is extremely competitive. The government is aware of the country's potential in this area, and has publicly declared support for its development. We need to work swiftly, otherwise other countries will take that position before us. We have the infrastructure in place, with a strong network of ocean ports and airports between Punta Cana, Santiago, and Santo Domingo, and we also have the capabilities and the potential.