Climbing the mountain

Andean topography is challenging for exporters.

The geography of the Andes – enormous mountains punctuated by deep valleys – has created one of the most beautiful regions on earth and is a major tourism draw for the region. The challenges of moving exports through such terrain however are rather less attractive – getting products to the Pacific coast and then off to market (increasingly, Asia) can be eye-wateringly expensive and the costs of developing logistical infrastructure has been repeatedly kicked into the long-grass by fiscally-constrained administrations.  

The CEO of a Bolivian logistics startup, Delta X explains, “One of the most important barriers for regional companies to significantly ramp up exports is both the lack of physical connectivity and poor technological infrastructure. We are trying to reduce costs by making transport use more flexible and more easily accessible.”

“One of the most important barriers for regional companies to significantly ramp up exports is both the lack of physical connectivity and poor technological infrastructure.”

CEO, Delta X, Bolivia

The company has built expertise around years of experience assisting companies exporting through Chile’s Port of Arica, moving Bolivian cargo to market. The company’s digital platform allows trucks to connect with the user for the movement of cargo, each time that a connection is made, a commission is charged.  

The company has recently developed an e-commerce market in the app which means that drivers can buy wheels and spare parts etc – a one-stop-shop for truckers if you will. The company has signed agreements with large distribution companies that operate in Bolivia; they are now looking to consolidate the entire Andean region – doing so could produce much-needed dynamism into the region’s ailing logistical infrastructure, critical, given the region’s dependence on commodities. 

The company already has a presence in Peru and they are now looking to expand across Latin America. Additionally, Delta X has already secured a USD 1 million pre-seed round from Magma Partners, Duro Ventures, 99 Startups, Cibersons, and the CEOs of Nowports and Nuvocargo. 

The CEO of Delta X assures there is a huge potential in the region, “According to IDB data, around 5% of the Andean GDP comes from the land freight transport sector. We are talking about a market of USD 50bn each year. And this amount does not come only from land transport operators but also from shipping companies that are multi-million dollar companies and that are interested in cargo moving faster.” Not surprisingly, the likes of Convoy, Loadsmart and Sennder are also pushing for the digital trucking revolution to take hold as soon as possible.  

A logistics expert, former manager and consultant based in Bolivia explained, “The great advantage Delta X’s new app offers in the future, in addition to what has already been mentioned, is that it eliminates intermediaries. This is something very recurrent in the logistics chain between Bolivia and the north of Chile and the south of Peru and it is something that makes costs much more expensive.”

“The great advantage Delta X’s new app offers in the future, in addition to what has already been mentioned, is that it eliminates intermediaries.”

A logistics expert, Bolivia 

Through technology, the region’s innovative logistics startups are bypassing the middleman by connecting directly with the carrier and not only reduce time but also costs.  

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