By Riley Kaminer
Freight forwarding ensures that cargo gets from point A to point B. Whether by land, air, or sea, it requires a series of independent companies to work together in concert to ensure your goods get where they’re going safely, quickly, and cost effectively. It’s an industry that is projected to reach $285.15 billion by 2031. But too often, freight forwarding processes are done by pen and paper.
Miami tech veteran Alan Bebchik knows this struggle firsthand. When he was working at Google and importing products from Asia to Latin America, he described a flurry of emails that had to be sent just to determine where in the world a product was at any given time.
“There can be 40, 80, 100 emails required just to track one cargo movement,” Bebchik told Refresh Miami. “So it wasn’t very efficient.”
Not anymore, thanks to Mexican unicorn Nowports. The startup has developed a digital platform to track the movement of cargo in real time, just like you’d watch your Uber come to pick you up. Nowports also enables users to get access to instant price quotes for shipments.
Alongside these core offerings, Nowports has also developed Nowports Capital, a fintech inside the company that provides inventory credit solutions – as well as an internal insurance company to provide an additional layer of security for freight forwarding customers.
The company is currently operating in seven countries in Latin America, and has just set up shop in Wynwood. Already, 12 of its 950 employees are based here, with plans to double its local headcount by May.
Bebchik left his role as General Manager of the Rounds, a zero-waste food delivery startup, to lead the startup’s Miami office as Country Manager. Bebchik, who has lived in Miami for upwards of 20 years and worked in a variety of roles at Spin, Uber, Sonder, and Capgemini, explained that the the Miami office will act as a nexus between its partners and clients in the US and in Latin America.
“Miami is the Latin American hub,” he said. “For us, it was a no-brainer to open an office in Miami to be able to support our customer base.” Bebchik also signaled that the growth in shipping to the US East Coast – and the port of Miami specifically – also made the Magic City an attractive place for it’s US HQ.
Alfonso de los Ríos, Nowports’ 23-year-old co-founder and CEO, echoed these sentiments in a statement.
“We believe that transforming the supply chain in emerging markets can fuel their economic growth,” said de los Ríos. “The opening of our Miami office is a step in that direction. We are going to see a more intertwined commercial relationship between the US and Latin America in the next few years. Digitization of supply chains will be a crucial aspect of this new era.”
Nowports became a unicorn in May 2022 after raising $150 million in a Series C round, three years after being founded in Monterrey by de los Ríos and Maximiliano Casal. In early 2019, the startup participated in Y Combinator. Since then, its list of investors has grown to include SoftBank’s Latin America Fund, Tiger Global, Soma Capital, Tencent, among many others.
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