Photo of Alejandro Esperanza

Internet & web

Alejandro Esperanza

Democratizing access to international logistics for small and medium-sized enterprises, eliminating the middlemen

Year Honored

Latin America

Hails From

"After eight years of experience in the naval logistics sector, Alejandro Esperanza knew that there was a problem that was limiting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME): access to international freight services at competitive prices. So in 2013, he decided to create Gurucargo, a company that offers more affordable prices and a sufficient amount of information to SMEs to allow them to select the most appropriate service to satisfy their shipping needs.

""Large shipowners do not have access to the end customer, and vice versa, which creates an asymmetry of information between the real freight costs and what the intermediary charges the customer,"" Esperanza explains. Gurucargo eliminates this asymmetry by allowing users to access the prices offered by different wholesalers according to the requested conditions. Thanks to this advance, Esperanza has been named as one of MIT Technology Review, Spanish Edition´s Innovators Under 35 Argentina and Uruguay 2016.

The key to obtaining the best possible price resides in his clusterization algorithm, an artificial intelligence tool which ""groups the requests of several users with similar needs without their knowledge, giving them greater purchasing power,"" the young Uruguayan explains. ""This helps shipowners to optimize their routes by utilizing empty space,"" he adds. This has allowed Esperanza to reach agreements with several shipping lines whose commercial offerings reach the end users, who in turn can choose the most advantageous option.

""An SME does not have time to access all of the cost information for each cargo, and therefore has to trust in the price offered by the intermediary"", Esperanza points out. ""This means a loss of competitiveness for the small actors in comparison to those who do have access to greater information,"" he adds.

""In logistics it is difficult to generate disruptions like Uber,"" Esperanza says. In his opinion, no one can take the place of ""the airplane or ship operators, but there is space for innovation in the access to information."" And thanks to Gurucargo´s innovation, 3.000 companies from five different countries already receive these services and have placed orders to the tune of 10 million dollars (approximately nine million euros) over the past year.

According to the cofounder of Digbang and Digital House and a jury member for the Innovators Under 35 Argentina and Uruguay 2016 awards, Mariano Wechsler, ""Gurucargo has great potential,"" thanks to the fact that Esperanza ""offers a concrete and implementable solution in a vertical in which there are no other similar actors."""