“There is a saying which very much applies to our company- Think globally act locally- and this is what our motto is. Transportation and logistics is a niche sector, which enables us to be connected with the world on a daily basis, learn from what other agents do, and apply it at a local level later.”
This week we interviewed Mr. Ricardo Orchansky, the Manager of Cordoba Internacional SRL, Conqueror member in Cordoba, Argentina. In this interview, Mr Orchansky talks about his early years in the logistics industry, his company’s 43rd Anniversary, its recent achievements and much more.
Q. Why did you choose a career in the freight forwarding industry?
A. While studying for a degree in public accounting at the Department of Economic Sciences, I entered the institute’s Business Administration Department after a competitive exam. While studying there I attended a course on the Exports of Cordoba which I found very interesting. Once I graduated from the university with the title of Public Accountant in 1977, I started working at a travel agency. This was when I began thinking about how I could combine foreign trade with the knowledge I acquired in the travel agency. At this time, I came up with the idea of setting up an air cargo agency.
Q. Tell us about the early years of Cordoba International.
A. More than forty years back, there were hardly any air cargo agencies in Argentina, except for a few in Buenos Aires. So I decided to travel 700 Km to Buenos Aires as it was not possible for me to gain knowledge of this industry in Cordoba. In Buenos Aires, I started talking with several airline managers who guided me on how I could set up an air freight company in Cordoba. I established Cordoba Internacional SRL when I was just 27 years old. My only asset was a counter that I rented.
Moreover, I paid the rent of the office with ‘promises’ that soon we would have enough income to pay the rent! This is how I started this company which was legally founded in 1979. Since then, we have become an agent authorized in IATA and we have been offering a wide range of services: air cargo, national and international moving services, live animals shipping, artwork shipping and packaging, warehouse and distribution and logistical services for companies in the petroleum, medical or food industries.
Q. Your company is now 43 years old. How do you feel about this? Did you celebrate your 43rd Anniversary?
A. I am extremely delighted to celebrate 43 years in the industry! Being able to withstand all the ups and downs of the country and keep serving our customers was quite a challenge. Moreover, my son Marcello, who started working with us when he was just 15 years old, has greatly helped us confront the challenges of the sector. He graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and Customs Broker, bringing a new vision to the company, in addition to the incorporation of new services. We have not been able to carry out the celebration that we had planned, because some members of our staff, as well as some of our clients, have recently had Covid. We have therefore decided to do it later.
Q. What has been your greatest success during these years?
A. It is difficult to define the success of our company with a single event. I would rather like to define our success as a combination of several events that together have allowed us to grow and continue providing our services. To begin with, we have a team who have been trained over the years and who work like an orchestra since each one perfectly knows how to carry out their activity. By listening to our clients and our collaborators we have been able to come this far. Additionally, the implementation of ISO 9001/2000 quality standards in 1999 was very beneficial for our company. Over the years, we have developed a strong network of partners around the world who allows us to increase the scope of our operations.
Furthermore, we have made massive investments in technology and in the development of new services by closely observing our competitors. We make sure to abide by the vision and mission of our company. Success is measured when you receive a new order from the same client, which implies that they are satisfied with the previous one.
Lastly, we have received several awards and distinctions some of which were granted to us by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. In 2008, we made it to a short list of three candidates for a prize being awarded by the newspaper La Nacion together with TCA (Airport Tax Authorities). There is a saying which very much applies to our company- Think globally act locally- and this is what our motto is. Transportation and logistics is a niche sector, which enables us to be connected with the world on a daily basis, learn from what other agents do, and apply it at a local level later.
|Q. What has been the most difficult shipment you have had to carry out?
A. One of the most noteworthy shipments we have handled was moving a circus to Moscow. Another challenging shipment was moving a cargo for a laboratory of blood products with dry ice exchange at each airport. We also had the opportunity to handle a shipment for the Embalse Nuclear Power Plant, in Argentina. Additionally, we coordinated shipments to Mexico from various European and American Suppliers with the purpose of moving a machinery to an Argentine factory under construction in Mexico.
“We have had the opportunity to handle very challenging shipping, like moving a circus to Moscow, or a cargo for a laboratory of blood products with dry ice exchange at each airport or shipment for the Embalse Nuclear Power Plant, in Argentina, etc
Q. What distinguishes your company from your competitors?
A. The trajectory of our company in the last 4 decades surely attests to our experience in this sector. Moreover, our highly qualified staff, our competitiveness and the list of services we offer are some of the factors that distinguishes our company from the rest.
Q. What are the challenges faced by the industry at the moment?
A. The pandemic created a change of scenarios in the freight forwarding industry that to this day the industry has not been able to resolve. Some of the changes include high costs for ocean and air freight, delays, space shortage in both air and sea freight, and higher cost of imports. Additionally, coping with the digital transformation of the shipping lines and the airlines is challenging for the traditional freight forwarders.
Q. How the Cordoba Internacional team is dealing with these challenges?
A. The important thing is to be able to adapt and manage to be responsible agents for the clients. We are providing our clients with everything we can so that they do not feel isolated or don’t know how to proceed in the face of all the challenges that I have mentioned in the previous point.
Q. Where do you see your company in the next ten years?
A. I see us offering even more services. We are currently developing Self Storage, a complementary service to the ones we have today. This service will enable us to reach new clients of sole proprietorships and SMEs that require additional spaces for their inventories, those who sell online and need to be able to have the merchandise in a suitable place, or people who must move and have not yet defined the place where they will reside. Additionally, we will continue enhancing efficiency in the existing services we provide to our clients. The world has changed a lot since the pandemic and then we had the Russian invasion of Ukraine. All of these changed the scenarios of world trade, for which we must be increasingly closer to customers in order to accompany them in the implications of these changes in freight forwarding scenarios.
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