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PBL – Santos Brazil

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Interview with

Mr. Philipe Costa de Lima

First of all, can you tell our readers about the history of PBL?  When was the company established, who owns it, and where have you got your headquarters? 

The company has been in business since 1987. The name PBL is my father’s name: Pericles Bastos De Lima. He’s the owner, and I am a minor partner. Our headquarters are now in Santos – São Paulo. My father founded the company with only one customer at that time – a big hospital here. Since then, we have been working hard to expand.

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Brazil is a huge country and a vast logistics market.  What does PBL do to make sure that you are the preferred GO TO logistics provider?  What are your strengths? 

We have been with PBL for nearly 38 years and with SCH (our port operator) safecarhandling.com.br for 20 years. One company complements the other, allowing us to offer a complete door-to-door service, including procurement, freight, customs, road transport, port operations, delivery, and more. We have more than 25 inside brokers in our company. Recently, we have been certified as a partner of the Brazilian Federal Revenue as a Port Operator, which ensures less bureaucracy in customs procedures by proving that we are a low-risk company regarding the security of the logistics chain. We are also pursuing the same certification as a Freight Forwarder, which will give us a significant advantage as our entire group will be certified.

Another essential point that sets us apart is our process optimization and automation sector, which ensures greater productivity. Continuous improvement, corporate governance, and compliance are our foundations. We are heavily investing in information security, IT infrastructure renewal, and staff training for new customs laws and regulations. In summary, we are always moving forward to face future challenges.

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Customs clearance in Brazil.  Is that a problem generally? I was always of the impression that it continued to be one of the major headaches in trading with Brazil? 

That’s our major difference here at PBL: heavy experience in customs clearance. In addition, my father has been a broker himself for 50 years. Also,we have more than 25 brokers inside supporting the freight department. Customs in Brazil is very tricky but we can handle it.

Brazil has one of the most detailed and stringent customs legislations in the world. This includes a wide range of regulations, standards, and procedures that must be strictly followed. The legislation is frequently updated, which requires us to be constantly up-to-date with the changes.

The Federal Revenue Service has implemented several initiatives to simplify and expedite procedures, such as the Single Foreign Trade Portal, which aims to integrate and harmonize import and export processes. Although these initiatives are promising, the full implementation and adaptation of companies to these changes will take time.

Having a well-trained and experienced team can make a significant difference. Additionally, working with qualified and experienced customs brokers like us can help navigate the complexity of the system. Automation and the use of technology are also essential to ensure that all documents and procedures are managed efficiently. That is why we invest in tecnology, governance, process optimization and automation.

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How do you view the service offered by the shipowners and their offices nowadays?  How do they treat you as freight forwarders in your experience?

In Brazil, we do have a good relationship, but we are not living the best life now. There are  many changes, and they are lacking people also. They use their size to put some pressure, and they could provide better service.

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What is your headcount currently?   Is it generally difficult to find good and solid logistics people in your area?  We hear from many that shipping and logistics is not so high on the list of youngsters’ career choices nowadays. 

We have 160 people at PBL and 270 at SCH 270. Yes, it is tough to find people. I mean not people who know the job, but hard working people. Once we find someone like that we try very hard to keep them.

At our company, we take this matter very seriously. We have a dedicated program for Young Apprentices, in partnership with CIEE (Center for Company-School Integration), a pioneering and leading institution in the process of selecting, hiring, including, managing, and developing young people through apprenticeship and internship programs. This collaboration allows us to offer valuable opportunities for low-income youth to enter the job market.

At PBL, we are proud to have several success stories of individuals who started their journeys with us as young apprentices and, over time, have risen to important and highly responsible positions within the company. These examples are testimonies to the positive impact our program can have on the lives of these young people and in strengthening our team.

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What ports in Brazil are generally used for moving project cargoes? 

There are three: Santos, Paranagua, and Suape.

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How is it best for our readers to get in touch with you? 

Email: philipe@pblcomex.com.br
Tel: +55 13 3226 6455
Mob: +55 13 99771 2090 (WeChat, Whatsapp, Signal, Telegram)
Web: https://pblcomex.com.br/

Web: https://safecargohandling.com.br/

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