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Knowledge broker establishes contact Europe-Latin America

"For big companies, direct import is a good option, but for smaller companies, it's often a costly endeavour," says Martijn van der Velden of Eimskip Netherlands. The investment in contacts and building relations takes a lot of time. In addition, a new relation's trustworthiness could be in doubt. The Icelandic shipper and Costa Rica Carriers (CRC) joined hands five years ago, and established a "knowledge broker".

The idea is simple: to establish contact between European importers and exporters from Latin America. "For instance, last year, we introduced a mango grower from Mexico, who wanted to export, to a number of Dutch importers," says Martijn. "That very season, this grower started exporting to the Netherlands."

"Many small companies buy or sell the products from a large enterprise," adds Keilor Quiros of Costa Rica Carriers. "We try to explain that for those companies, it might be cheaper to take purchasing or sales in their own hands." Through the partnership between Eimskip Netherlands and CRC, companies can get information about potential buyers or suppliers at no charge, Martijn emphasizes.

The CRC network spans several countries in Latin America, and is still being further expanded. The logistical partner can handle door to door shipping with their own means of transport. In addition, CRC also has wide knowledge of things like import rules and customs limitations. "On the import of onions in Costa Rica, for instance, there's a 43 percent tax, because we also have our own production. Export of papaya to the US isn't allowed, for example. We have that know-how."

And although the internet poses competition, a list of exporters of products is only two mouse-clicks away. Still, Martijn and Keilor see added value in this service. "In Latin America, it's really still about relationships. You can't build those online. We have those connections. In addition, many companies do not have a website yet." Keilor illustrates this with a melon grower who has forty years of experience, and wanted to take up export to Spain. "He asked us to make contact, but when I asked about his website, it turned out there was none."

Eimskip Netherlands started about five years ago with a move toward diversification. The focus was shifted from fish to fresh produce. "Then we did ninety percent fish. Now it's about seventy percent fish and thirty percent fruit and vegetables," says Martijn. In that move toward diversification, the Icelandic shipper got in touch with CRC, which in turn was looking for a partner in Europe: the partnership was born.

More information:
Eimskip Nederland BV
Martijn van der Velden
Waalhaven Z.z.21
3089 JH Rotterdam
+31 (0)10-75 177 64
+31 (0)6-51 66 47 34

Costa Rica Carriers
Keilor Quiros
Centro Comercial Avenida Escazú
Edificio AE 202
Escazú, San José, Costa Rica
506 2208 9000
506 6056 5977

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