How Brazilian conglomerate Cotriguaçu cut costs for its poultry and pork customers by connecting its supply chain in new ways.


The background

For a number of years now, Brazil has been one of the biggest exporters of poultry in the world. Despite Covid-19, Brazilian poultry exports have increased 5.1% compared to the same period last year, according to an ABPA report.

Needless to say, competition is fierce. And Cotriguaçu needed to cut costs to serve its customers better and get an edge in the international market.

They developed a strategy that aimed to transform their logistics in two years, shifting mainly from trucking to railway transport. To this end, they set up a cold store depot and partnered with a railway terminal close to their facility, located in Cascavel, Brazil.

The challenge

Rather than investing in trucks, Cotriguaçu decided to move most of their cargo via rail even though rail services between Cascavel and Paranagua Port are not as fast as trucking. Their driver was cost.

However, as an exporter that moved approximately 2600 containerised loads every month, they began to have challenges repairing Reefer containers and managing the depot. This, in turn, affected the availability of containers and overall inland logistics.

As a result, Cotriguaçu had to use trucking transportation to collect empty containers in Paranagua Port and truck them back to the production facility for stuffing. These extra legs of trucking led to an additional cost that put their strategic transition to rail at risk.

The solution

When Cotriguaçu turned to us for help, Maersk Group conducted a deep analysis. The identified need was Equipment Maintenance and Repair (EMR) but to provide them this, while lowering costs, required a creative solution for the continuous row of containers.

That’s how our mobile container depot was born.

This depot is located within the premises of Cotriguaçu in Cascavel, Brazil and consists of a flexible, mobile structure with an office, spare parts division, washing area, and more. It is managed by our team which speeds up all operational processes to ensure that quality Reefer containers are available at all times.

Before and After

These empty containers then move efficiently from Paranagua Port straight down to the Cotriguaçu facility via rail. Here we repair and wash the containers in our mobile depot before they are stuffed and then railed back for loading. This solution saves two legs of trucking (one each way), making costs highly competitive - exactly what Cotriguaçu needed.

The Results

The results

Our innovative depot not only provided effective EMR services, it also contributed to an efficient flow of containers arriving by rail. This means that an empty container is always available for export, facilitating operational and cost improvements for Cotriguaçu. Additionally, our solution made costs competitive by cutting down on trucking.

As Cotriguaçu passes these benefits on to its customers, interest and demand are growing so much so that they have already begun to invest in expanding production capacities. And why not? They can now move greater supply chain volumes without additional complexity.

The chances to have a successful project increases a lot when you have a partner really eager to innovate and make the difference… Our customers are very satisfied and we already see future opportunities coming soon, enabling such partnership to become even stronger and innovative. The project is already considered a solid success and together, we will become even stronger.

Gilson Anizelli
Cotriguaçu Managing Director

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