I Ship It


Improvements in infrastructure have helped logistics players in Ecuador expand and diversify as the country seeks to offer better transportation services throughout the country and region.


In 2012, Ecuador saw the expansion of cargo terminals and the opening of a new airport in Quito. The International Airport in Guayaquil also recently upgraded its cargo facilities, offering 14,000 sqm of space. Following an investment of $4.7 million, larger cargo aircraft can now land and access a 48,000-sqm platform to load and unload. Meanwhile, as the Panama Canal is being widened, the Ecuadorean government is investing in increasing capacity for the country’s four main seaports and dredging the channels to accommodate the larger vessels that will now have access to South America. Port Authorities are also working to better integrate the port system for the 50+ enterprises involved in the country’s trading sector.

Ecuador’s road network currently covers over 43,000 kilometers across the country, including part of the Pan-American Highway, to provide access for land transport. This helps companies such as DHL and other carriers move goods throughout the country. As these developments progress, Ecuador is quickly becoming a country that can offer modern transport facilities to the local population, visitors, and logistics companies alike.


Cotecna is a foreign trade facilitator that entered Ecuador in 1994. Its main activities in the country are providing inspections for banana exports and trade finance services. With almost 100 affiliates worldwide, and nine offices in Ecuador alone, Cotecna’s international coverage provides it with a strong competitive edge in the supervision market.


Citikold is a leading logistics group, focused mainly on maritime activities. In 2012, the group chartered 15 ships and imported about 35,000 cubic meters of machinery. Citikold serves several major shipping lines with its empty container yard of nearly 7,000 units and 30,000 sqm of available storage. With a large capacity and numerous facilities, the group can bring in much more than just containers. Citikold is already involved in several developments within the oil industry, as well as projects with Chinese firm Coca Codo Sinclair. “There is a lot of investment in new projects, like refineries and hydroelectric dams, and this means that there is a growing demand for many different raw materials and equipment that is not widely available in this country,” the Director of Citikold, Xavier Game, told TBY. The company’s cargo tracking software allows clients to access real-time information on their cargo at every step of the shipping process. In addition, the company guarantees its own insurance for all vessels it handles.


With annual sea and air traffic revenues of approximately $200 million and $100 million, respectively, Grupo Transoceanica is one of the largest agencies in Ecuador, representing Hapag-Lloyd, LAN airlines, and several others. Transoceanica owns container depots and repair facilities, and also offers warehousing and distribution services. The company also boasts new containers that can hold the shelf life of bananas longer and also has several new e-programs that greatly facilitate imports and exports.


Capitalizing on the multiple interactions and opportunities between neighboring countries, Ransa Logistics entered Ecuador from Peru in 2004. Between 2011 and 2012, the company invested $9 million in distribution centers in Quito and the same amount over 2012-2013 in Guayaquil. Ransa is now capable of storing over 15,000 units in Quito and another 28,000 in Guayaquil, making it one of Ecuador’s top logistics companies. Ransa has a $12 million turnover in Ecuador, with hopes to double that within three years.


Servientraga is another foreign company that took the decision to move into Ecuador upon witnessing the country’s impressive growth. With an expected $30 million turnover for 2013, Servientraga has a strong position in corporate mailing and premium cargo, and an important market share in mass delivery of newspapers and other publications. The company’s experience and activities in Colombia have assisted its operations in Ecuador, as Servientraga conducts multiple other delivery services, and develops new information systems, which keep a constant eye on inventory. New in 2013, the company plans to expand into the goods storage segment and hopes to begin exploring the transportation of hazardous materials by 2014.

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