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PANAMA - Transport

Sandra Miró Navarro

Country Manager, DHL Express Panama

Bio

Sandra Miró Navarro has more than 25 years of experience in the Deutsche Post DHL group. She has held various positions for the group’s courier division, DHL Express. She works as a facilitator for the internal certified international manager leadership program, in which she teaches several times a year in different places in the region, directly sharing our strategy to new leaders joining the DHL family. She is an ESG Ambassador, a role in which she promotes DHL’s path toward sustainability and solutions.

"I consider DHL’s role to be key, not just because of the delivery service given to the community and the government during an emergency that no one expected, but also because of our purpose."
A leading player in the Panamanian logistics market, DHL offers companies of all sizes complete logistics solutions that include collection, packaging, last mile, digitalization, reverse logistics, storing and supplying, and distribution.
What is the position of DHL within the Panamanian logistics market?

I consider DHL’s role to be key, not just because of the delivery service given to the community and the government during an emergency that no one expected, but also because of our purpose. If there was ever a moment when I felt that we were able to deliver to the fullest DHL’s purpose of connecting people and improving lives, it was during the pandemic. We were able to deliver this promise 100%, and our people were particularly proud of wearing the uniform and being part of this logistics company. As a company here in Panama, we had a leading role in term of vaccine distribution; however, we were also still receiving daily goods since we are a hub, which posed a challenge for us because our clients were closed due to the lockdown. When the economy was reactivated, we started accelerating right away. We updated our infrastructure and capacities for this new growing demand, including aviation. Clients started diversifying and changing markets and products. E-commerce, which had been rather slow in uptake in Panama, now grew exponentially by 300%. People saw how it was the only way of doing business. Luckily, we were ready and invested all of our capacities to meet this demand. DHL’s only aviation hub in Latin America is in Panama, and we are the second-largest airline after Copa in terms of daily frequency. But we are the number one airline in Panama in terms of kilos charged and moved. Indeed, with our global network we not only cater to Panama but the whole of Latin America. That’s where our magic and strength lies.

How are DHL’s regional expansion plans advancing, and what are some of your future projects in Panama?

One of the strategies we are betting on for 2025 is retail and shops. We want to get closer to the markets. We have a corporate client, but it is maintained differently. The retail client base comprises small and medium companies. Entrepreneurs require punctuality, and we want to be close to them. One year ago, we decided to open green and self-sustainable shops with renewable energy and solar panels that don’t require a regular electricity supply. In 2021, we opened one in Clayton, which was successful. In 2022, we inaugurated one in Villa Lucre and will open another in David Chiriquí. On day one, clients came to make their first shipments and ask questions. Furthermore, we have special tariffs for entrepreneurs with new web pages and e-commerce. They often don’t know how to bring their market from place to place. The e-commerce that all Panamanian entrepreneurs want to do, we perform for certain companies. They have their inventory here but in transit to other markets. We have the know-how and the identified markets. We can approach these new clients with logistics expertise required to penetrate new markets.

What factors make DHL the main option for new e-commerce clients?

We have made great investments given that e-commerce is growing exponentially and is outpacing economic growth itself. We conducted a study on big data, robotics and market understanding. It is all about collection, packaging, last mile, digitalization, and making it easy and secure when delivering from A to B. Clients value the reverse logistics of returning something that the client didn’t need or like. Then, there is the storing and supplying aspect. We have all these strengths, and the major advantage is having both the aviation hub and all business divisions located in Panama. If a client doing business by sea requires the transporting of containers, storing them in Panama to deliver to other markets, we make it possible. We offer distribution, keeping their key operation at any of our free zones, enabling pick and pack and the entire process of cross-border commerce. We handle everything from huge boxes up to 1,000kg to smaller items purchased through e-commerce. These are complete solutions that clients value hugely.

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