Logistics operators reaffirm stake despite economic stagnation

Companies that have invested in new distribution centres and sophisticated logistics operations to meet the demand created by the expansion of e-commerce in the pandemic remain optimistic despite signs of economic stagnation.

"E-commerce was already one of the pillars of our growth before the crisis, and we had to speed up to keep pace with the sector's development in the country", says Luiz Roberto Vasconcelos, vice president of operations at FedEx in Brazil.

Investments were needed to supply small and medium-sized Brazilian companies that increased exports to the US, Argentina and Mexico through internet sales. FedEx increased the number of flights between Brazil and the US and replaced the aircraft on the route for a larger one.

The multinational opened seven logistics centres in the country and adapted to the pandemic's changes, says Vasconcelos. Used to unloading her trucks in stores, she started using smaller vehicles, including motorcycles, to deliver small orders to final consumers.

Technology companies and large retail chains invested in their own logistics operations, increasing competition in the market. Amazon opened four more distribution centres in Brazil this year, increasing it to 12. The company says it set sales records in 2021.

The frustration caused by the results achieved with Black Friday this year has not cooled the spirit of companies. "E-commerce has definitely entered the lives of Brazilians and still has room for growth", says Luiz Vergueiro, director of Mercado Livre, with eight distribution centres.