Civil Engineering Research Seminar Series

Guatemala's Logistic Resilience: The Case of the Sugar and Banana Industries

September 13, 2022
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
101 Engineering Administration
(Pizza and drinks will be provided.)

Central America, particularly Guatemala, has one of the worst averages of logistic efficiency, infrastructure and quality indicators of the world (per various Logistic, Infrastructure and Competitiveness ratings from the World Bank, IMD, and WEF among others). Below them ranks most African countries, Venezuela and Cuba. The USA, most of Europe and some Asian countries, always position themselves among the top 10 globally. The publishings score a wide range of strategic activities that are supposed to be the backbone of a country's competitive infrastructure. Even having one of the worst qualifications, Guatemala has two industries that thrive in the complex global markets: The Banana and Sugar (sugarcane) production and international exports.

In recent years, the Guatemalan banana industry has ranked as one of the World´s top two producer/exporter. The quality and sustainability of its business is so high, that it is also positioned as the number one supplier to the US market. All these results can only be obtained if logistic efficiencies and the supply chain processes are managed at the highest levels possible. On the other hand, the sugar industry ranks as the 11th producer/exporter in the world. It's interesting that the top 10 list involves countries that due to either super competitive infrastructure and institutions or huge land extensions, get the most out of their volumes and economies of scale. Guatemala is then, the first place and better positioned among other countries with better public and private infrastructure such as highways and roads, ports, and airports, and even railways for cargo movement. Guatemala´s logistic resilience, specifically in these two world leading industries will be exposed in the form of a seminar within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Memphis.

For more information, email mgkolias@memphis.edu.

lecture series speakerProfessor Tirso Córdova Pacas
International Transport, Logistics and Competitiveness,
Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala, Central America

Professor Tirso Córdova Pacas, has more than 25 years of international experience and a lifetime passion for all the subjects involved in the logistics,  infrastructure, agribusiness and international commerce sectors. He has a two-year BA common area on Industrial Engineering, a BA in Business Management from Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala, and Strategy and Innovation executive courses at MIT, Boston. He is currently planning a two-year PhD Research Project in the Logistic Efficiency area and establishing the foundations for a Central American Region Logistic Efficiencies Research Center. Among a combination of multi-industry private business and public private international and national institutional experience, for the last 18 years he has been doing logistic efficiencies and infrastructure consulting at a personal and institutional level. For the past 11 years he has been the chief academic lead on Management and Supply Chain courses at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City. His most recent academic milestones are the founding of the Minor of Global Supply Chain Management and principal professor on the closing course on International Transport, Logistics and Competitiveness.