High demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic has everyone from shippers, importers and exporters seeking real-time visibility and more control over international shipments, said Nicolás Portenza, president of freight forwarder Eternity México.
Portenza said Eternity México’s digital freight tracking platform ELIS (Eternity Logistics Intelligent System) has been a hit with clients and has helped the company weather the coronavirus outbreak.
While Eternity México saw a decline in the shipment of cross-border auto parts during the first quarter of 2020, there was a surge in the shipment of medical care products from Mexico to Central and South America.
“The reception to ELIS by our customers was really amazing. The engagement between them and the platform was really fast due the easy-going interaction that the platform offers and the rapid speed to receive an immediate answer to the common daily activities that our customers need to keep an accurate supply chain operation,” Portenza said.
Eternity México, which is based in Mexico City, launched ELIS in July 2019. The cloud-based software is aimed at companies in Asia, Latin America and the United States. ELIS is a digital platform for real-time visibility of shipments that allows monitoring international purchase orders from start to finish, officials said.
As freight forwarders, Eternity México uses everything from container ships, airlines, trucks and rail to create intermodal and multimodal solutions for clients, Portenza said.
“One hundred percent of our customers are using ELIS, from all types of shipping modes – sea, air or land are covered and useful for our customer base,” Portenza said. “Fortunately for us, the COVID-19 situation found us ready to boost our potential during this adverse moment, thanks to ELIS.”
With the help of ELIS, Portenza said Eternity México’s business grew 28% during the first quarter compared to the same period in 2019.
“The growth was expected due to the aggressive commercial push created by the company in the Mexican market, but one of the other major reasons was certainly ELIS,” Portenza said. “The Mexican market valued the digital solution we offered and the customer experience was far beyond expectations.”
Air freight, which represents about 25% of Eternity México’s annual business, rose 5% during the first quarter with a boost from medical supplies across Latin America, officials said.
While air freight was up for Eternity México, there was a 20% decline in container ship cargo from Asia because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The decrease in cargo volumes from Asia during the first quarter was approximately 20% for Mexico. In terms of Eternity México’s performance, the worst month in terms of import volumes from Asia was March,” Portenza said.
Portenza said while Eternity México has many customers in the automotive industry, “our vast customer base is composed of many different industries.”
“Just to name some of the cargo moved, there are still a lot of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) cargo, industrial, foodstuff, home appliances mostly supported by big local companies and global accounts,” Portenza said. “However, the best-performing area in terms of a trend during the first quarter was our exports.”
Portenza added the company’s strategy for the rest of the year will be to add users for ELIS and its Asia-Mexico (EAX) Index, which shows the average cost of shipping an FEU (forty-foot equivalent unit) from Asia to Mexico based on spot rates and short contracted rates
“Our strategy is to maintain our performance by giving support to reliable customers, and promoting a better customer experience through technology,” Portenza said.
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