One to Watch: Nowports - LatAm's go-to Freight Forwarder

Álvaro Villar López, Regional MD North America & Mexico, Nowports.
Nowports Regional MD North America & Mexico, Álvaro Villar López, on how the Firm has Become Latin America's Largest Freight Forwarder in Just Five Years.

Introduce yourself and your role

My name is Álvaro Villar López and I am the Regional Managing Director of North America and Mexico at Nowports. I have 15 years of international experience in operations, strategy, and product. 

In the past, I have led expansion projects in several different industries throughout Latin America for companies such as WeWork, Marriott International, and Grupo Carso.

At Nowports, I’m currently responsible for leading the company in Mexico and the United States. My tasks include strategic planning and performance tracking, along with promoting a healthy and proactive work culture and upholding quality and service standards.

Who is Nowports and what’s your market?

Alfonso de los Ríos and Maximiliano Casal co-founded Nowports in 2018. The company was the first and now is also the largest Latin American digital freight forwarder. Our goal is to give our customers the most comprehensive set of supply chain services to grow their businesses. 

While Nowports can assist any company that wants to import or export goods, we focus on medium and large enterprises connected to Latin America. 

Our platform centralizes information about all of our clients’ maritime, air, and land shipments and provides visibility, insights, and alerts into the location and status of shipments. 

How is the logistics industry changing in the US?

With the conflicts in the Middle East and Europe now intensifying even further, more and more organizations are working to bring their supply chains closer to the United States. 

This is because recent incidents such as the pandemic, the Suez Canal blockage, and the Israel-Hamas conflict have heightened the need for transparent and agile services to get shipments to their destinations faster and more reliably. 

As a result of this “nearshoring” boom, U.S. companies are increasingly moving their manufacturing from Asia and other distant regions to countries in Latin America, mostly Mexico. At the same time, more companies are investing in or partnering with startups, manufacturing companies, and suppliers in the Latin American region. 

How is logistics changing in the Mexico?

Nearshoring is also a great opportunity for Mexico and may be the single trend influence in the logistics market today, particularly for companies in the northern states. 

Governments in the Mexican border states are increasingly interested in supporting developments to ease traffic congestion, and Nowports has become a part of that effort. 

For instance, we are working with Nuevo Leon authorities to improve crossings through the Colombia Bridge, which connects that Mexican state with Texas.

We’re also facilitating nearshoring in other ways. Companies need access to working capital to keep growing in this stage of economic recovery. That’s why we developed financing options to provide companies that have reduced or low funds with increased access to imports and foreign trade. 

Outlook for logistics in next 5 years?

First, nearshoring will take an even more prominent role in the global logistics market. As a result, investments in everything related to inland shipments in lieu of overseas shipments will increase significantly. 

We will see more Latin American and southern U.S. warehousing options, and there will very likely be more railways and freight lanes connecting North America and Mexico. 

Next, AI’s capabilities are constantly growing, and the next five years will see many new AI applications in the space of logistics. More companies in the supply chain will use AI-powered data analysis, chatbots, and other AI tools to find smarter routes, ease communication, and balance supply and demand. 

Lastly, both inland and overseas trade will become more sustainable, with eco-friendly fuels powering trucks, ships, and cargo planes. 

Also, AI-powered predictive analytics will lead to an improved use of space allowing shipping companies to better optimize load planning and route efficiency. 

All of these factors will help to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the logistics industry. 

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