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UPS survey of Latin American SMEs reveals their best exporting practices

MIAMI, Fla.–The UPS Business Monitor Export Index Latin America (BMEI), the latest study commissioned by UPS and conducted by RGX Global Export Network, surveyed the leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America, analyzing the segment’s best practices for exporting. 

The eight countries surveyed in the study included Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Peru. The report highlights the following insights used by successful SMEs.

The majority of survey respondents indicated the importance of choosing the right logistics solutions to meet the requirements of international buyers. Teaming up with a logistics partner that has international capabilities and a proven track record on comprehensive supply chain management, including brokerage, multimodal transportation implementation, and contract logistics, among other solutions, will enable SMEs to grow their business, the survey said. Additionally, they can build more efficient supply chains, manage customs requirements and tax structures that apply to exports, which are considered by SMEs as barriers for their international growth.

“SMEs are at the heart of Latin America’s emerging economic market, stimulating fiscal growth through international expansion. UPS championed the BMEI to provide SMEs deeper insights into the behaviors that are moving the needle in export penetration,” said Romaine Seguin, president for UPS Americas Region. “The report underscores the importance of an effective supply chain management process to help SMEs gain new ground in exporting to foreign customers. By relying on UPS for its logistics needs, SMEs can focus on their business to conquer international markets.”

As a strategy to enter new export markets, most SMEs surveyed conducted some form of research analysis to evaluate business opportunities. The BMEI found that the majority of SMEs created an in-house department specifically dedicated to managing exports within their organization. Additionally, as a way to minimize cost and leverage existing market resources, most survey respondents partnered with private and public sector entities to attain industry data.

The BMEI found that discounts and competitive pricing are a powerful tool to boost product sales. The majority of the survey respondents noted offering discounts based on volume purchased and advanced orders placed. Discounts foster additional incentives for customer loyalty and future purchases.

According to the BMEI, in order to conduct export business successfully, most SMEs attained product certifications from external entities to manage product quality standards and provide value-added services. Product certifications help to attest fulfillment of sales requirements for their products in local and foreign markets.

SMEs in need of private financing may consider reaching out to local exporting organizations which typically have access to reputable financial resources.

Successful exporting SMEs recommend having an intermediary in the destination country that can promote services and gather contacts to drive sales. Also, establishing a presence on social media platforms is considered an effective strategy for additional promotion. Furthermore, attendance in key global conferences can help increase brand and product services exposure among targeted audiences.