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Pierre-Antoine Rohr, AgriCompa:

“We solve collaboration and save time for all import and export partners in the value chain”

What are the biggest challenges for everyone involved in exporting? The countless emails and mounds of documents generated per container or shipment, together with how to keep track of it all. A nifty new solution to these frustrations, while saving a lot of time, has been designed by AgriCompa in the US and Mexico, for use in most markets around the world.Pierre-Antoine Rohr, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of AgriCompa, explains the pain points they are working to solve through their online collaboration platform. "What we noticed is that people in offices, on both sides of importing and exporting, spend several days of their week chasing other people. The pain point we are trying to solve is how to improve collaboration around shipments and import-export documentation. We built a platform that is like Dropbox, but focused on exporting and importing, that allows for much better collaboration. It is a platform where any company can upload documents for exports, validate them, share them, and then invite partners to collaborate in a more efficient way. Information is always consolidated. It is a layer between email and company systems, but horizontally connecting several companies in the chain. Companies might have other systems to track shipments, but those are really only for internal use."

He says they researched and spent two years developing various pieces of software for the industry. "We discovered three things: First, the system has to be cheap, as most companies operate with low margins. Second, in most companies, people are extremely busy. It has to be something easy and ready to use from day one; no one has time to integrate software systems. Finally, for import and export to be successful, you have to collaborate with 10 other companies, share tens of documents and create endless email threads that are very inefficient. It often creates the situation when the load reaches the customs; if the paperwork does not match, it leads to costly delays and charges. It is not just the charge, but you lose shelf life, which in the produce industry, can lead to a claim where whole containers are rejected. Claims have gone up massively. So too have logistical delays, due to global warming and other factors," explains Rohr.

AgriCompa is incorporated in the US, with offices in Mexico and Latin America. "Our focus initially was on the Americas, with Canada and the US. Now we have clients in Europe and Asia. Our platform is used a lot for US near-shoring with Mexico. It is also used for tons of imports from China to Mexico to the US, etc. Also between Africa and Europe and Latin America and Europe. This is because geo restrictions don't apply to what we do. Most of the routes we covered initially are between Latin America and the US, which exploded. But now, one of the major ones is between Latin America and Europe, which is concentrated between Rotterdam and the UK."

Rohr says the potential is huge, while their system is gaining initial traction with exporters and importers, freight forwarders, and shipping lines. "Even if they don't want to use our system, they will still send and receive emails that are connected to our tool for our clients to see. Ideally, we want everyone to collaborate on our platform, but some might not use it, so we have to be flexible. We do have some companies that collaborate with their providers as well, like farmers, who sometimes hold key information like Fairtrade certificates. Any company that uses the AgriCompa platform leads to another three to four companies using it. It is a network that's growing exponentially at this point. From day one we see usage; there is no integration and no customization required. Every day we onboard a bunch of companies. As a network, it is taking off very quickly, even surprising us."

AgriCompa offers a 1-month free trial. "The basic pricing is charged per user per month, and companies only pay for their internal users. Every company pays for their own employee who uses the system. The system allows you to collaborate better with your clients and partners during your export and import process. We want to foster collaboration and make it easier for everyone by saving time and reducing mistakes," concludes Rohr.

For more information:
Pierre-Antoine Rohr
Tel: +52 55 4776 0452
Email: [email protected]