Maersk looks at Brazilian start-ups as digital revolution spreads in Latin America

Lars Nielsen, Maersk Line chief executive for Latin America & the Caribbean, told delegates at last weeks TOC Americas Container Supply Chain event in Cartagena: We havent so far invested in any Latin American start-ups, but we have been looking at Brazil, where there are some digital-first freight forwarders that are using artificial intelligence so it is very localised but there are some interesting projects.

We have also made investing in the cold chain a key priority, but there are two things lacking in Latin America tech investment and investment in physical infrastructure, he added.

However, the digital revolution is beginning to spread across the region, according to Maximiliano Casal, founder and chief executive of what is claimed to be Latin Americas first digital freight forwarder, Mexico-based Nowports.

The firm was part of Port of Cartagenas Delta X Ventures accelerator and recently raised $5.5m in funding from Silicon Valley investors.

Mr Casal told delegates the firm used AI and predictive logistics to help lower shippers costs targeting SME customers in the e-commerce, automotive, perishables and construction industries.

Shippers are not very tech-friendly in this region so we need to provide a super-simple experience for them.

In this region their choice of freight forwarder is either very large multinationals or SME forwarders of these, the multinationals are doing their own digital projects, while the traditional family-owned forwarder often understands it....

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