"One of our main targets is diversifying our participation in different industries. We aim to grow in various verticals, such as automotive, health and home care, as well as minerals."
What is Leschaco's current vision on a global and regional level?
MS: In 2022, we have launched the Leschaco Big Picture 2030, an ambitious strategy plan which strives for fast growth on a regional and global level. Leschaco´s Big Picture is to unite all our employees, customers and business partners behind the same values, the same strategy, the same purpose and the same vision, while relying on who we are and focusing on the strength and well-being of our people. We already have initiated 8 strategic initiatives which build the core pillars of our Big Picture 2030.
How do you develop talent for your workforce?
MS: In Mexico we have always invested heavily in young talent by partnering with local universities. We hire 10 to 12 young apprentices yearly who get approximately two years of training in addition to their university studies, and we plan to double this number by next year. Our model successfully finds capable employees for the organization at an early stage. We are looking to export talent developed and trained in Mexico to other markets, such like Latin America, or even to our headquarters in Germany.
How has Leschaco Mexicana performed in 2022?
FG: 2022 was a good year for us and for the entire logistics industry, with a growth rate in in the double digits. All our products contributed positively to this growth. We were facing a lot of challenges due to the overall logistics disruption. In Mexico the main concern was the shortage of trucks and truck drivers, a problem which will continue in 2023. We currently have around 220 people in Mexico, and we are using Mexico more and more as a regional service center.
How has the challenging macroeconomic situation impacted your operations?
MS: The economy started to slow down, and we have seen a clear drop in orders at the end of 2022. The general outlook for 2023 is challenging due to high inflation rates, slow economic growth, and the various global political turbulences. At the same time, we have seen significant improvement related to logistics disruption. The transport sector is stabilizing more and more, and the freight rates in the main markets are decreasing. We expect a difficult first half-year 2023 with stagnating volumes, and a clear recovery during the second half-year of 2023. Despite of the concerning environment, we see good chances to grow our market share through aggressive sales campaigns and innovative products.
What is Leschaco doing to digitize its processes?
FG: In 2023, we will continue with the global implementation of a new transport management system and expect to provide productivity gains between 20% and 25%, once fully implemented. We are also proud to announce that we will install a regional control tower for our customers in the first quarter of 2023, which will be located in Mexico. This control tower will offer our customers import and export order management, adding technology and visibility tools to a process that is currently largely carried out by people. This control tower will utilize technology provided by our sister company, Logward, who is focused on digitized supply chain solutions.
What is your overarching strategy for next year?
MS: One of our main targets is diversifying our participation in different industries. We aim to grow in various verticals, such as automotive, health and home care, as well as minerals. We also strive to further increase our market share with the chemical industry. Over the next 4-5 years, we expect to open one additional warehouse per year in Mexico. We also want to re-open our own operation in Laredo, Texas. On regional level, we want to further grow our geographic footprint in the Americas region. As part of this strategy, we already opened in 2022 new companies in Peru and Colombia.
How are you planning to celebrate your 25th anniversary?
FG: We are incredibly excited to celebrate 25 years in Mexico, sharing that milestone with our employees, customers, and business partners. It will be a year-long celebration, not just one event. The highlight will be our 25th-anniversary celebration in October. We will also organizing again our own logistics symposium in Mexico-City in May 2023, for the first time since the pandemic.