Interview: Aby Lijtszain Chernizky

How important is the logistics sector to corporate strategy, and what developments in infrastructure can improve efficiency and productivity?

ABY LIJTSZAIN: The logistics and transport industry is important to many companies in Mexico. Consumer goods companies, for example, have increased activity since improvements were made to delivery timing and network capacity. Manufacturing companies are using this as an opportunity to strengthen supply chains and reduce their inventories. Previously, they relied on fast-track logistics and transport processes that significantly decreased requests and delivery timing for raw materials. Every improvement to infrastructure enables logistics operations to become more efficient and fosters economic development throughout the country. Consistent investment in road, port and airport infrastructure, as well as the development of logistics centres, are necessary for the ongoing improvement of commercial and logistics networks in the supply chain.

Furthermore, the continued application of new technology to existing processes and structures is key for successful infrastructure development. Companies must develop the systems to connect clients with relevant service providers, increase the quality of those services, and reduce the costs and number of investments required to stay in operation.

In which ways will the United States–Mexico– Canada Agreement (USMCA) affect the country’s logistics and transport industry?

LIJTSZAIN: In a globalised world, trade is one of the most relevant and dynamic economic activities, and a number of industries in Mexico have been favoured over the past few decades. These include the automotive sector, electronics, aerospace, consumer goods and manufacturing. In addition, the USMCA will have a positive impact on Mexico’s transport and logistics industry. The updated agreement covers some sectors, such as energy and e-commerce, that were not previously included. The agreement will provide Mexico with an opportunity to strengthen its strategic commercial position within North America and connect it with the rest of the continent, resulting in high growth potential and giving companies the chance to expand their businesses. However, this can only happen if competitiveness is a priority for management teams, and if policies and initiatives are implemented to reinforce their capacity and efficiency.

To what extent has Logistics 4.0 contributed to transport efficiency and productivity, and how has it affected the growth of e-commerce?

LIJSTZAIN: Recently, Mexico’s transport efficiency and productivity has undergone substantial improvements as a result of the so-called Logistics 4.0. These advances have been aided by systems integration, data mining between customers and suppliers, the use of freight or delivery platforms, and cargo and equipment monitoring, among others. While there remains room for improvement, a solid foundation for growth has been established.

Nevertheless, ongoing investment in infrastructure and suitable processes are needed to make better use of our technology capacity. Additional cost-efficient solutions and a better return on investment will allow small and medium-sized enterprises to continue investing in improvements. Furthermore, current delivery timing and quality standards can be enhanced without compromising economic sustainability, while companies must invest in developing modern logistics solutions in order to meet market demands.

Development of logistics infrastructure is critically important to nearly every sector, especially for the penetration and growth of e-commerce, which currently represents around 2% of all commercial activity in Mexico, and it is expected to considerably grow as the logistics and transport infrastructure develops.