Direct Intercontinental – Brazil

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Interview with

Mr. Rudiger Glanzel
Managing Director


First of all, Rudiger, which nationality are you, and when did you arrive in Brazil?

I am of German origin but left my mother country at quite an early age, heading southwest to Spain where I worked in different areas of freight forwarding for two decades. Perhaps this is the best way to integrate the innate German analyzing spirit into the rather temperamental Latin logistics world. My trend to settle in new realms (heading again southwest) continued in 2010 when I moved to Brazil.

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What can you tell our readers history-wise about Direct Intercontinental  and its ownership?

DIRECT Intercontinental was built from scratch, based on know-how, experience and a large amount of faith in God. We are a family business with my wife Viviane as second managing partner, leading the financial and administrative part of the Company. There is no interference from investment partners. Hence, we have been able to develop freely in our core business—that is project, ro-ro and oversized cargoes.

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I have heard that Brazil can be a difficult country regarding customs clearance. Is that so, and what can you tell our readers about it?

Absolutely. Most of our local representatives are long-experienced customs brokers. This is also why we cannot allow any overseas partner to make out a BL without giving us room to approve it, not even for prepaid shipments. Brazil’s Customs rules are extremely meticulous. As specialists in intercontinental transports of heavy machinery and equipment, let us say that you can not even dream of shipping loose parts of a project on a breakbulk vessel and containerized cargoes belonging to the same lot, on a container-line vessel because this could make the importer lose the long-sought import tax reduction of up to 18% over the cargo value.

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There are many ports in this huge country. Without naming them all, could you elaborate a bit about the main ports being used for import/export nowadays?

We should differentiate between breakbulk/multipurpose vessels and containerized business. For the first, we have Vila do Conde, Itaqui, Fortaleza, Vitória, Açu and São Francisco do Sul, among others, whereas the second group will need to include at least Pecem, Suape, Salvador, Rio, Paranaguá, Itapoá, Navegantes and Rio Grande with SANTOS being the most important of them all attending all types of vessels through several terminals.

Do you have experience in handling OOG and oversized cargoes?

These kinds of cargoes belong to our core business. They drive our development and constitute our passion for logistics.

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Are you capable of arranging inland transport in Brazil? 

For sure. We are non-asset based, and for this very reason, we have long-standing relationships with truckers specialized in oversize and heavylift cargoes plus vertical logistics asset-holders as well as with rather ordinary container or flatbed truck focused companies. For the latter, it is obvious that competitiveness on a rather rate-driven market is required, but for heavy machinery or oversized parts, it will be essential to have access to the most suitable equipment. A trucking partner specialized in railway wagon deliveries, including putting them on rails, will not necessarily be that competitive when it comes to transformers or heavy turbines to be collected from an exporter.

It is not a secret nowadays that many shipping lines wish to also offer logistics and inland services, thus depriving the freight forwarder of their role. What is your view on this?

We do see shipping lines offering inland trucking, but this is rather limited to regular standard container business and does not interfere that much in our core business.

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

You can reach out per e-mail at or use my WhatsApp number +55 27 98127 3131.