The opening of new Distribution Centers of Amazon and Mercado Libre in Jalisco is not only important for the amount of jobs and investment it represents, but also because they boost projects such as the expansion of the Guadalajara International Airport and give the state the potential to project itself as the logistics hub of Mexico.
With the purpose to respond to the increase of ecommerce in Mexico, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies such as Amazon and Mercado Libre opened new Distribution Centers (DC).
In 2020, Mercado Libre, the ecommerce platform, announced an investment of USD$27.1 million for the construction of a warehouse and distribution center in the municipality of El Salto, Jalisco, located in the Vesta Park industrial park and is in addition to two other logistics facilities it already has in the State of Mexico. In the first stage, this infrastructure will have an area of 678,126.36 square feet, to total 861,112.83 square feet in 2021.
Amazon's new DC is located in the municipality of Tlajomulco, Jalisco, where associates will collect, pack, and ship customer orders, enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reduce time and marketing costs.
It is worth mentioning that along with the State of Mexico, Mexico City, Veracruz and Guanajuato, Jalisco is one of the states that makes more purchases online, according to a study prepared by Mercado Libre to know the preferences of each state of the country, both in purchases and categories. Among the most purchased products are smartphones, computer accessories, auto parts, pharmaceuticals, and footwear.
Mrs. Claudia Villaruel, director of Foreign Trade of Jalisco, highlights that the logistics platform and business environment of the entity are two factors that have attracted investments from companies such as Amazon and Mercado Libre. "It is important to recognize that we are working to take care of the business environment in the state.
Businessmen live and transmit this business juncture, especially foreign investors usually talk, recommend, and share their experiences in Mexico. The efficient logistics management profile is also a factor that is privileged; we have a comprehensive business environment and the right ecosystem for the industry to settle with an efficient supply, with a protected soft landing, with specialized logistics actors at national and international level. We have an ecosystem ready to operate quickly and logistics for efficient foreign trade, in addition to a positive relationship between business chambers, entrepreneurs, and universities."
She comments that the quadrant identified as the Distrito Sur, where the Guadalajara International Airport and Guadalajara customs are located, is attractive for investments in the industrial and logistics sector. "Amazon, Mercado Libre, and Walmart are setting up their entire structure here, precisely because of the road and rail connections and because of the proximity to the airport and its air connectivity. Meaning that this quadrant will continue to grow."
The official mentions that in addition to Distrito Sur, other important industrial corridors are Manzanillo-Acatlán de Juárez and Los Altos de Jalisco; the latter area, close to Bajío, is of interest to Jalisco because of its industrial parks and its vocation linked to the automotive, auto parts, and aerospace cluster. "These three nodes of leverage allow businessmen to optimize their operations and help investors to look to the state."
Historically, Jalisco has been a recipient of suppliers, in addition to being a geographically favored entity, which has allowed it to be conceived as a meeting point for solutions, products, and services. "Over the years Jalisco has generated a robust structure as a logistics hub, so what we as a government have done is to complement, strengthen, and conceptualize. In other words, Jalisco was already a logistics hub and all we have done is unite the parts, create a specific guiding axis with leverage that potentiates everything it has as a state and allows us to generate better business connections," explains Villaruel.
High level customs operation
Jalisco currently has three customs points: a railroad and two airports, the Puerto Vallarta International Airport and the Guadalajara International Airport.
With the finality to strengthen the railroad's customs operation, a customs complex is currently being developed in Acatlán de Juárez, Jalisco, which is expected to begin operations in 2022. "This customs office will be located in a quadrant that will generate a logistics corridor between Manzanillo and Acatlán de Juárez. We are going to strengthen the strategic customs operation, since we are the most important user of the Port of Manzanillo, so we are going to help it face important challenges so that it continues to grow in a systemic way and we take advantage of this natural trade and logistics corridor, which we are going to enhance to serve Jalisco and the entire Bajío and Central-West region of the country," says the director of Foreign Trade of Jalisco.
The official reveals that this is an important customs complex because it will not only have customs, but also a multimodal yard and a strategic bonded warehouse. "There is a direct connection with the Manzanillo highway so that security in the logistics chain can be privileged. It will be a high-level customs office in terms of security and efficiency, which will be able to materialize thanks to the alliance we have with the Federal Government through the Port of Manzanillo. I believe that by the first two months of next year we will be starting these operations with vocation, rail, and land."
Logistics companies, cargo consolidators, and even shipping companies have expressed interest in the customs complex. "We know that when the opening of this new customs office and the strengthening of the industrial corridor are announced, very important things will happen in terms of attracting logistics investment. In this quadrant we are also going to receive companies with a vocation to work with the Port of Manzanillo, since they will have the opportunity to operate at a shorter distance, with customs facilities and with highway infrastructure such as the Macrolibramiento highway (beltway) and other roads that allow them to move to other cities in the country and avoid passing through the Guadalajara Metropolitan Zone," she adds.
Villarruel also reports that in December of this year the Government of Jalisco will launch the first nationwide portal that will offer local and international logistics solutions. "This portal will have influence in the West of the country and the port community of Manzanillo, although the benefit will be national because many of the suppliers that will be part of this digital project have operations in various parts of the Mexican Republic. Through the Federalist Alliance or Bajío group we will be able to extend to other states, that is the intention, that the platform will be used by all the states of the country."
The Federalist Alliance is made up of the states of Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.
"With the new customs office, the logistics services portal, and the expansion of the Guadalajara International Airport, we will undoubtedly be the most important and comprehensive logistics hub in Mexico. We are very close to the Port of Manzanillo, we have the best air cargo and passenger connectivity, I believe we will compete with Cancún and Mexico City. We have communication routes, there are projects to improve all urban mobility, promote environmental education, and strategic bonded warehouses or small free trade zones that are characterized by their great competitive advantages," concludes the director of Foreign Trade of Jalisco.