2012 EMIL-SCS Class Studies Latin American Logistics

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The Executive Master’s in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS) class of 2012 recently completed their third residence in September traveling through Latin America.  This installment began in Panama City, Panama, stopped in 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 lecture from Patrice Franko, Grossman Professor of Economics and International Studies at Colby College, who presented a review of Latin America from a geopolitical and socio-economic perspective.  After receiving a solid foundation of the region, the class traveled to J. Cain & Company, a third-party warehouse service provider located on the campus of Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT).  The students were presented with an overview of the facility, and the benefits of being located within the MIT Logistics Park and the benefits and challenges of being inside the Colon Free Trade Zone. 

Following the J. Cain visit, the class toured the MIT Logistics Park site. There they 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.  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.

For the next leg of the trip, the class traveled to Lima, Peru.  There, John Bartholdi, Manhattan Associates Chair in Supply Chain Management and professor at the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, lectured on warehouse optimization, facility design, IT systems, and software to enhance order fulfillment and distribution.  Following the lecture, the class visited Ransa, an integrated logistics service provider, where they learned about port operation logistics services, focusing on facilitating trade in and out of Lima in support of the mining, retail, consumer, and cold chain industries. 

The class began its second day in Lima with part two of Dr. Bartholdi’s warehousing lecture.  The class also visited Alicorp, a company dedicated to the preparation of mass consumption products, industrial supplies, and animal nutrition food.  Company representatives 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 look into  their import - export processes, custom regulations, and the cold 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 hike and explore the Inca ruins.

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

From Sao Paulo, the class took a bus trip to Campinas, Brazil, to meet with representatives from Dell Hortolandia to discuss 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 an overview of the Port of Santos and its role in support of containerized ocean cargo in and out of Brazil.  While visiting the Port of Santos, the class got the chance to board an incoming ocean vessel and transit with the ship into the Port of Santos.  The class also visited 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 class listened to 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 participated in the online supply chain strategy simulation game “Fresh Connection”, which they first began in Residence II.  Teams were formed and challenged to collaborate and employ a supply chain strategy to rescue a virtual fruit juice manufacturer from its downfall.  Using the knowledge obtained during Residence I and the experience gained during Residence II, they were to return this company to sound financial performance.

The class will meet again February 19 through March 2, 2012 for Residence IV in Asia.

For more on the EMIL-SCS Program, contact Erin Howlette at or visit


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