"Mexico is an important logistical hub in the Americas, and investments must keep pace."

Francisco Gálvez

MANAGING DIRECTOR, LESCHACO MEXICANA

March 22, 2024

Can you provide us with an update on Leschaco’s operations in 2023?

This year, our maritime operations in the Veracruz, Manzanillo and Altamira ports were very successful. We diversified our imported products suite and expanded our exports to Latin America. The energy crisis in Europe has resulted in a booming trade of chemicals imports from Asia and exports to Latin America. There was also an expansion of our onshore logistics trade across the US-Mexico border, and in Q4 2023, we expanded our services southwards into Central America. 

Are nearshoring investments materializing in the country?

Nearshoring is a tremendous opportunity for Mexico and is already taking shape. There needs to be more investment in essential services to accommodate increased investment. The trucker shortage is a challenge, too. US-Mexico chemical goods traffic is considerable, but we have also observed an impressive increase in the Asia-Mexico chemical trade. Companies from Asia are establishing operations in Mexico. We are also targeting the petrochemical trade with the US in central and southeast Mexico. We have a long history and extensive presence in southern US petrochemical and gas hubs. The automotive industry is also greatly benefiting from nearshoring investments. The chemical industry will reap the rewards from the auto industry's growth.

How can the country develop better logistics infrastructure?

2024 will be a decisive year, and Mexico must make major decisions to take full advantage of this historic opportunity. The security situation must be improved. Major highways can be unsafe, which is a cost to businesses. Security inside the ports is good, but once goods get out into the cities and roads in Veracruz and other places, problems arise. 

Infrastructure must be improved and expanded. Mexico has a good base of road, air and maritime infrastructure, though maintenance needs to increase and there is not enough capacity to accommodate new entrants to the market. Expanding our port capacity could significantly increase investments from Asia. Investments in rail capacity could be beneficial, as our railways are already heavily saturated with commercial traffic. Substantial infrastructure investments are taking place, including the Isthmus channel development, but more is needed. As a logistics company, we see the country's infrastructure shortfalls firsthand. Mexico is an important logistical hub in the Americas, and investments must keep pace. 

What are Leschaco’s environmental and social commitments?

We have set out a holistic growth and ESG strategy called ‘Big Picture 2030’. This strategy incorporates social and environmental objectives into our global growth and development goals, including expanding our presence to 30 countries by 2030 and our Road to Zero, which will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. It is a global directive being implemented by all of our regional representatives. Leschaco has aligned this strategy with the UN's global development goals, and as an example, we are investing in education locally, committing to long-term projects such as the construction and funding of schools and the provision of school equipment. We have reimagined our CSR commitments and want them to be sustainable and long-term, not just isolated acts of charity and donations. 

Why was Leschaco named a Top Employer in Mexico for a second consecutive year?

Like many others, we suffered from staff turnover during the pandemic, so we now prioritize talent retention. We prioritize our employees' health, training, and work balance with our In Balance program, which encourages a healthy work-life balance and includes new healthcare plans and an in-house doctor available to our colleagues. We ensure that our workplaces are well maintained and are pleasant places to work in. 

What are the company’s priorities for the next year?

Leschaco’s priority is to keep diversifying our product and service portfolio. Our maritime presence in Mexico is robust, and we are investing in expanding our air and land logistical solutions. Leschaco is not a simple forwarder of goods but provides integrated logistics solutions. That includes digital tools such as our Lighthouse platform, which is being rolled out on a regional basis in Mexico and allows our clients to unlock efficiencies through its automated order management functions. Our company is also committed to diversifying our verticals, and we are pushing into the pharmaceuticals industry, where we find many similarities with the chemicals industry and can add much value. 

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