2011 EMIL-SCS Class Studies Latin American Logistics

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Moving quickly through its eighteen-month program, the EMIL-SCS Class of 2011 recently completed its third residence.  This installment, the Latin American residence, began in Panama City, Panama, included a first-time visit to Lima, Peru, and then concluded with site visits in Sao Paulo, Campinas and Santos, Brazil.

The class began its residence in Panama City with a course in fundamental theory about the region.  Patrice Franko, Grossman Professor of Economics and International Studies at Colby College, presented an overview of Latin America from a geopolitical and socio-economic perspective.  Once the regional framework was set, the class heard from John Bartholdi, Manhattan Associates chair and professor of supply chain and logistics at Georgia Tech.  Bartholdi lectured on warehouse optimization, facility design, IT systems, and software to enhance order fulfillment and distribution. 

Following the two days of intense lecture, the class was ready to get out and experience Panama City and the Colon Free Trade Zone.  First visiting was Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) Logistics Park site, the class learned the importance of MIT throughout Central America with an emphasis on port operations and performance metrics, rail integration and its support of the Panama Canal and the canal railway, and intermodal truck operations. 

From the MIT offices, the class traveled to J.Cain & Company, a third-party warehouse service provider located on the campus of MIT.  J. Cain presented an overview of the facility and discussed the benefits of being located within the MIT Logistics Park and the benefits and challenges of being inside the Colon Free Trade Zone.  The last essential site visit in Panama was the Panama Canal Authority, where the students learned the rich history of building the Panama Canal, as well as the detailed future plans to expand the canal by 2014.

That evening the class boarded a plane to Lima, Peru, a first-time visit for the EMIL-SCS program.  The class began its Lima visit in the classroom with part two of Bartholdi’s warehouse optimization discussion. Following the lecture, the class made its first site visit in Lima to Ransa, an integrated logistics service provider.  Ransa provided an overview of its port operation logistics services, with a focus on facilitating trade into and out of Lima in support of the mining, retail, consumer, and cold chain industries. 

The class began its second day in Lima with a lecture from Maria Rey Marston, senior lecturer in the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech and executive director of the Center for Emerging Logistics & Supply Chains. Marston spoke on logistics and supply chain management in Latin America, with a specific focus on infrastructure needs and understanding the Latin American consumer.

That afternoon the class went to Alicorp, a company dedicated to the preparation of mass consumption products, industrial supplies, and animal nutrition food.  The company presented an overview and then took the class on a tour of the plant and distribution center.  The final site visit in Lima was to Jorge Chaves International Airport for an operational overview of their import - export processes, custom regulations, and the cold chain supply chain supporting fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The class left Lima and flew to Cuzco, Peru, where they visited Machu Picchu over the weekend to tour the Inca ruins.

The class began the second week of its residence in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Lars Meyer Sanches, PhD, LALT/UNICAMP, Laboratory of Apprenticeship on Logistics and Transportation. Sanches gave an overview of Brazil, specifically addressing logistics and supply chain challenges and opportunities, contract logistics, and managing corporate taxes in Brazil.  Later that day the class met with Antonio Grandini, Brazilian supply chain and logistics consultant, who presented an overview on tax strategies in Brazil, as well as case studies on Landed Cost Models used to offset the impact of the Brazilian Tax Regime.

From Sao Paulo, the class took a bus trip to Campinas, Brazil, to meet with Dell Hortolandia for a site visit and a discussion on logistics issues and opportunities working with customs in Brazil, outbound shipping to other countries within Latin America and to non-Latin American regions, and ocean/air inbound and outbound shipments.  Following the Dell visit, the class toured Viracopos/Campinas Airport Infraero, a customs bonded import-export facility.  As a major hub, Viracopos utilizes express lanes for courier traffic, which are exceptionally quick and less-bureaucratic for Brazilian standards.

The third day in Brazil included a visit to the Port of Santos for a harbor tour and overview of the Port of Santos and its role in support of containerized ocean cargo into and out of Brazil.  While visiting the Port of Santos, the class got the chance to board an incoming ocean vessel out in the harbor and transit with the ship into the Port of Santos.  The class also visited with ELOG-Columbia, where they received an overview of EADI Bonded Warehousing and took a look at the 3PL industry in Brazil.

On the last day of the residence, the students visited GM Automotive Industrial Complex in Sao Paulo.  The class learned about the economic foot print of GM in Sao Paulo - Brazil- Latin America, as well as: factors influencing GM’s choice of Sao Paulo as a location and the current advantages/disadvantages of being located in Sao Paulo; the participation of suppliers in the site and how that influences logistics and procurement practices; the sales process (internet vs. dealers); how the internet process influences the production processes; finished vehicle distribution including modes of transportation and tax considerations; and post sales and service, highlighting which models they run in Brazil and where and how they serve Latin America.

The next destination for the EMIL-SCS Class of 2011 is Residence IV in Asia.  The class will be traveling to Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong from February 20 – March 3, 2011. 

Click here for more on the EMIL-SCS program or contact Erin Howlette at


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