Kleber Fontes, Director of CASCO SOLUCOES LOGISTICAS LTDA, began his freight forwarding career 10 years ago. Since then he has taken the company from a small business entity to one of the leading freight forwarders in Brazil. Kleber recently spoke with us about the journey his company has been on over the past decade, its secret to success as well as how it deals on a daily basis with the challenges facing the freight forwarding industry.
Q. Can you tell us a little of the history of CASCO SOLUCOES LOGISTICAS LTDA?
A. Founded in 2005 by Paulo Henrique Leite Ferreira, Grupo Casco began as a custom clearing company and started its activities proper the following year offering international agency service charges and customs clearance. In 2007, a new division was initiated with the formation of a specialized operating team. In a year of great challenges for the company, Grupo Casco achieved significant growth and a stronger customer base. In 2009, start up projects focused on Total Quality! The entire management of Grupo Casco has become strategically committed by utilizing the Quality and Standards program that best fits each of its customers’ needs.
By 2011, Grupo Casco had consolidated its place in the market, maintained growth rates and received recognition of all work done. We were granted the Aster Award for being an ‘Outstanding Company’ in the category ‘Entrepreneurship’ and ‘For the continued growth of Grupo Casco’, we were awarded by ESIC Marketing & Business School.
2012 began with the strengthening of the company’s equity elements: Customers and employees. Special programs of training and integration were developed for a direct and functional channel of communication that focuses on building relationships with our customers. In 2013, we started the project to develop the internal management system aimed at the complete management of the company anywhere in the world, and real-time information. This is the desire and the focus of the entire board and Grupo Casco team, transforming the credibility and strength of a large business.
Q. What distinguishes CASCO SOLUCOES LOGISTICAS LTDA from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. Customer service is our main focus – our experienced team suggests solutions to customers that at times are not obvious giving us clear credibility and customers’ confidence.
Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in Brazil at the moment?
A. There is a lot of competition in Brazil amongst small and medium sizes companies – maintaining the status quo is not enough, solutions need to be creative. Growing your business by leveraging your strengths, exclusively, is challenging so we need to operate with a sound business strategy in order to succeed.
Q. How is the freight forwarding industry tackling these challenges?
A. Innovation. There are other ways, but the process of innovation is evident and must be continuous and well aligned with the company’s objectives. Everything depends on the business model and ambition of the company.
Q. How is CASCO SOLUCOES LOGISTICAS LTDA dealing with these challenges on a daily basis?
A. It’s challenging, but motivational, both mistakes and successes happen often. The important thing is to recognize and leverage the successes and learn from our mistakes. Currently, Group Casco has dealt with these challenges by optimizing the operational process development team, investment in industry events, staying on top of the latest news in the market, investing in marketing and always being creative, both in in-house solutions and the vision of the business.
Q. What attracted you to apply for membership of the COOP?
A. The credibility and the possibility to expand Grupo Casco in this sector with large companies and also expand our business based on member’s need by offering great service which in turn will build strong relationships with members.
Q. What benefits are you seeing as a member of The COOP?
A. Trust is a big benefit for us. As a member of The Coop, we carry a credibility and reliability which is evident to all our fellow members and vice versa, which can then be passed on to customers. In addition, our membership is allowing us to provide a truly worldwide service to our customers and prospective clients. Grupo Casco has always worked within Brazil, but after our joining The COOP, we started working with the whole world.
We invite members with shipments in Curitiba to get in touch with the team.