Move It, Move It

Third-party logistics services

The FM Global Resilience Index 2014, which ranks 130 countries according to their business resilience, and aims at helping businesses to better manage supply chain risks, lists the Dominican Republic […]

The FM Global Resilience Index 2014, which ranks 130 countries according to their business resilience, and aims at helping businesses to better manage supply chain risks, lists the Dominican Republic as a country still highly susceptible to supply chain disruption.

Yet even though the Dominican Republic is located on an island exposed to natural disasters, the country enjoys constant GDP growth, political stability, and robust socioeconomic development.

According to Jonathan Hall, FM Global’s Executive Vice-President, supply chain management is “becoming more global, complex and interdependent,” and “it is essential for decision makers to have concrete facts and intelligence about where their facilities and their suppliers’ facilities are located.” Both the Dominican Republic’s authorities and the private sector representatives have already realized the importance of having well developed and competitive infrastructure and are fully dedicated to transforming the country into a regional hub.

Angel Terrero, Yobel’s Regional Director told TBY that his company “operates within a supportive environment of political and economic stability, which greatly impacts both economic development and international trust.

Alexander Schad, Schad’s Executive President, believes that the Dominican Republic has “adequate and comparatively modern infrastructure, namely ports, airports, and roads.”

Olman Castillo, DHL’s Country Manager, is also pleased by the quality of local infrastructure, “roads, subway and ports are remarkably good, as well as the quantity and quality of airports for passenger traffic.” According to Castillo, the Dominican Republic holds the potential to become a hub in the Caribbean, but “must improve warehouses and security infrastructure, and ensure that a constant source of electricity is available.”

Local third-party logistics providers are conscious of the importance of introducing new technologies and innovations in their operations and are set to take advantage of new opportunities. Luis M. Bogaert, Caribe Trans’ President told TBY that his company’s “aim is to become an IT company that provides third party logistics services, not the other way around.”

Caribe Trans is not the only third-party logistics services provider to invest heavily in technology. Schad, one of the market leaders, is currently implementing an automated warehouse management system controlled by radio frequency, providing immediate data and inventory visibility, as well as an electronic document storage and retrieval system, which aims to improve the company’s overall process efficiencies.

In order to meet the challenges coming from the expansion of the Panama Canal and be able to compete in the global marketplace, the Dominican Republic has been focused not only on raising the quality of trucking services and strengthening its policy coordination, but also on improving its intermodal road and port network infrastructure. Overall, Post-Panamax vessels will profoundly transform the dynamics of international freight transportation, as ports are now expected to handle grater cargo volumes in a more efficient and timely manner. Instead of handling small cargo loads in multiple locations, the Post-Panamax vessels will now be serviced in larger hubs.

Rising to the challenge, one of the most important ports, Caucedo, which neighbors Las Americas Airport, will soon start the construction of a Logistic Free Zone (LFZ) in order to further facilitate supply chain management. According to Karsten H. Windeler, Maritima Dominicana’s President of the Board of Directors, the new Logistic Free Zone will help the Caucedo Port to, “become a hub for the supply of materials and merchandise to the eastern Caribbean for both ships and aircraft.”

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