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Ricardo Quiroga

ECUADOR - Transport

A Remarkable Tale

General Manager, Correos del Ecuador E.P.

Bio

Ricardo José Quiroga was born in 1964 in Guayaquil. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad de los Andes of Colombia. He is an expert in IT, logistics, manufacturing, and operations research. He ha driven the development of four successful companies in the logistics sector. Ricardo was a postgraduate teacher abroad and has held various key positions in both the public and private sectors. In the Ministry of Telecommunications he was Vice-Minister of Information Society and Knowledge, where he led the Infocenters Project and the Infocentros’ Strategy 2.0. Currently, he is General Manager of Correos del Ecuador.

"My main objective has been to implement initiatives to decelerate the global decay of postal services."

TBY talks to Ricardo Quiroga, General Manager of Correos del Ecuador E.P., on the turnaround of the firm, Ecuador’s transport infrastructure, and the outlook for the logistics sector.

How has Correos del Ecuador developed over the decades?

Correos del Ecuador had virtually ceased to exist by the end of 2006; we had no turnover and its services were poor. At that time, the company was set to be sold for $16,000. However, we reversed the entire situation, going on to generate income of $42 million in 2013. At the beginning of 2007 Licentiate Roberto Cavanna took over and has been the main driver of our success since then. He managed to earn the trust of all Ecuadorians through a highly secure postal system and nationwide service, which has become one of the best postal services in the entire region. We also have, for example, a CCTV network at all branches and a control center equipped with the latest technology, as well as three software programs to track parcels and packages. We are the most secure Ecuadorian logistics company, and are able to detect narcotics parcels. Last year, Correos del Ecuador faced a tough challenge due to the fact that postal services are in decline by 25% globally—we saw an 8% turnover decrease worldwide in 2014; that influenced us to shift our global strategy, which had essentially been based on public service bills and e-services—electronic messaging and e-commerce. Today, we have a strong focus on packaging and logistics.

What have been the company’s main projects and objectives over the past two years?

I took over in October 2014, since when my main objective has been to implement initiatives to decelerate the global decay of postal services and recover from that 25% decrease in turnover. However, this is a challenge. For example, we started providing new logistics services to our customers. We currently perform the distribution of all books and school uniforms for Ecuadorian public schools, which consists of almost 16,000 schools, amounting to 32,000 tons of books. For this service we have two logistics centers in Quito and Guayaquil, which together exceed an area of 10,000sqm. We have plans to open a new warehouse in Manabí­. Another of our upcoming projects concerns the distribution of induction cookers, with some half a million units in the initial stage. Among our main competitive advantages are logistics capacity, human resources, and synchronization, which put us at an advantage compared to others participating in tenders. Over the past few months, we have also boosted investment in new technologies thanks to new logistics services. These new technologies have enabled us to optimize our logistics network and capabilities across the country, since we develop in-house software and management capabilities. We have also invested in our fleet. In 2015, we expect to generate more income from the logistics segment ($40 million) than in postal services ($26 million).

“My main objective has been to implement initiatives to decelerate the global decay of postal services.“

How would you assess Ecuador’s transport infrastructure today?

It has its pluses and minuses. For example, we have an excellent road infrastructure, although we still cannot reach the entire country. The road system currently reaches 85% of Ecuador’s population. There are problems inherent in the logistics market, and a rather small transport offering. For example, it is difficult for me to find trucks to provide full service to our clients. I believe that this tendency is now changing, but most logistics companies are obliged to have their own fleet, with all the costs this implies. I also hope that the number of warehouses and their availability increases in the near future.

What is the balance between public and private companies in your customers’ portfolio?

We currently have more than 80% of our capabilities booked within the public sector; however, we are set to implement an aggressive strategy to target the private sector starting from 2016. I think we have much to contribute to in this segment, and as long as we devise a comprehensive offering, no other company will be able to meet our offer and services. We also have international expansion plans in the near future.

What is your outlook for the logistics sector for the coming years?

It is extremely hard to make a forecast of how business will develop in two or three years’ time. We rather lag behind neighboring countries. At the same time, we face many interesting opportunities ahead of us. For example, one of my main immediate intentions is to start airfreight services to the Galápagos. Nevertheless, another problem facing the logistics sector is limited storage capability and air and road transport offering. I also want to launch maritime transport between the islands. These developments are driven by the productive sector’s national growth, which has expanded notably over the past couple of years and is set to take a massive step forward shortly; the logistics industry is set to increase its capabilities to meet the demands of Ecuadorian industry, the needs of the public, and private efforts to diversify the production matrix. I also think that within five years we will see a notable rise in outsourcing services in the logistics industry.

© The Business Year – May 2015

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