Borderlands is a weekly summary of developments in the world of trucking and cross-border trade between the United States and Mexico. This week: Quincus aims to grow e-commerce markets in Latin America; Watlow opens a manufacturing plant in Querétaro; Dimerco launches Asia-Mexico freight service; and $4 million worth of methamphetamine is seized at the Laredo port of entry.
Quincus targets the growth of e-commerce markets in Latin America
Aiming to tap into emerging tech infrastructure and e-commerce markets in Latin America, a supply chain optimization startup Quincus recently opened operations in Mexico and Colombia.
With more than 300 million digital shoppers in Latin America, there is a need for logistics solutions that can optimize cross-border middle-mile shipments in Latin American e-commerce, Quincus officials said.
“I think we have a market that’s very hungry for new technology, and we need to get to that very quickly because we have a big giant up north, the United States, that’s ready to do business,” Oscar said. Romero, Quincus’ head of growth in Latin America, told FreightWaves.
Romero, who is based in Monterrey, Mexico, said the company’s technology provides solutions for the “first, middle and last mile”.
“By opening offices [in Latin America] we can provide more opportunities to work with manufacturers – consumer packaged goods companies, fast-moving consumer goods companies – and then move into 3PLs, and certainly e-commerce in complex scenarios to help last mile delivery said Romero.
Quincus was founded in 2014 by CEO Jonathan Savoir and Katherina Lacey, Chief Product Officer of the company.
Quincus, headquartered in Singapore, is a software-as-a-service platform that optimizes, streamlines and automates logistics for end-to-end operations by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning.
In September, Quincus announcement it raised an undisclosed sum in the second close of its latest funding round at a valuation of over $100 million. Company officials said they would use the funds to further expand into Latin America, as well as South Korea and Japan.
Romero said Quincus works with all modes of transportation, but “the primary focus of the business is ground transportation at this time.”
“We are increasing the capabilities and the visibility that we offer with our platform with new partners who are going to be more involved and that will give us more visibility on air transport and on maritime transport as well,” Romero said.
The Mexican e-commerce market was valued at $15.8 billion in 2020, an 81% increase from 2019, according to the Mexican Online Sales Association (AMVO). There were 50.7 million e-commerce users in Mexico in 2020, a 9% increase from 2019.
AMVO predicts that Mexico could have more than 77 million e-commerce users by 2025 thanks to improvements in connectivity, better financial inclusion, streamlined logistics and increased digital literacy.
The e-commerce market in Colombia grew by 20% in 2021 to reach $18.8 billion, according to Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), a Florida-based business research and advisory firm. AMI said the e-commerce market in Colombia could reach $34.5 billion by the end of 2024.
Quincus will help facilitate up to 100,000 freight transactions per month in Latin America, Romero said.
“We have a very scalable solution, we can work with medium-sized companies, and we have opportunities in large companies,” Romero said. “We have structured our marketing and sales solutions with modularity and scalability for different scenarios.”
According to FreightWaves’ SONAR platform, the Laredo, Texas outbound bidding volume index (OTVI.LRD) was down about 8% week-over-week but up around 3% since Tuesday. Laredo is a key port of entry for cross-border freight on the US-Mexico border.
Laredo handles a variety of products from Mexico, such as machinery, electronics, and fresh produce. Over the past several months, freight volume in South Texas has been boosted by the produce season. Over the next few months, more product volume will be shipped from Florida and California than from Texas.
Watlow opens manufacturing facility in Querétaro, Mexico
Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co. recently expanded its capacity in Mexico with its fourth manufacturing facility in the city of Querétaro.
The $21 million plant employs 1,315 people and will manufacture industrial electric heaters and sensors. Watlow employs approximately 2,500 people in Querétaro, located in central Mexico.
The St. Louis-based company manufactures industrial heaters, temperature sensors and controllers for semiconductor processing, power processes, diesel engine components, catering equipment, and more.
Watlow has a total of 13 facilities in the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, according to its website. The company employs approximately 400 people in St. Louis and more than 3,000 worldwide.
Dimerco launches Asia-Mexico freight service
Dimerco’s new Air+Road carrier service aims to enable customers to ship door-to-door from China to Mexico, via the United States, in just six to eight days with increased security.
The Air+Road offering uses consolidated scheduled flights from China to Los Angeles and Dallas with cross-border bonded trucking services to deliver cargo to Mexico.
Once in Mexico, the cargo is delivered to the international airport closest to the consignee, where customs will classify the cargo as a China-Mexico airport-to-airport shipment, Dimerco said.
Dimerco, based in Taiwan, has more than 160 offices in 17 countries in Asia, North America and Europe.
$4 million worth of methamphetamine seized at Laredo port of entry
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently seized 219 pounds of methamphetamine while inspecting a tractor-trailer in Laredo, Texas.
The case occurred on March 25 at the Colombian Solidarity Bridge in Laredo. Officers were searching a tractor-trailer from Mexico with a shipment of waterproof sealant when they allegedly discovered the methamphetamine.
The narcotics have an estimated street value of $4.4 million. CBP seized the narcotics and the case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
In February, CBP seized more than 21,400 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana at ports of entry along the US-Mexico border. Drug seizures at the US-Mexico border are down 57% from the same month in 2021.
Watch: FreightWaves Carrier Update for April 1.
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