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Down Mexico way

Jun 11, 2018
An interview with Rick Hosea from Dewitt in San Diego, as he launches his new service into Mexico from the USA. By Steve Jordan.

Rick Hosea has recently joined Dewitt Move Worldwide in San Diego. His brief is to increase the company’s international traffic and he has Mexico clearly on his radar.

Rick joined Dewitt in May last year having migrated 500 miles south from Crown Worldwide Moving & Storage in San Francisco. He believes that San Diego is a place with potential. He said it is beginning to get a reputation for the technology industries, has a great workforce and is less expensive than Silicon Valley. “It’s home to 15 major Fortune 500 companies,” he explained. “Silicon Valley is a mature market but I see San Diego as having a lot of growth potential. It’s exciting to be part of that growth.” Mexico too is on an upward trend according to Rick. “Mexico is doing a lot to train people,” he said. “There is a lot of talent there, especially in Tijuana.” Tijuana is, of course, on the Mexican border only a 20-minute freeway drive from San Diego.

It is to Mexico that Rick is looking for potentially the biggest growth in his international business. He said that the trade to Mexico is a tough market that needs specialist knowledge and close partnerships. Of course, in choosing his partners Rick is looking for reciprocal business in the USA as well.

“The border crossing poses challenges,” said Rick, explaining that the rules were very often interpreted differently at different crossing points. It can also be necessary to go through additional clearance procedures as vehicles pass across the boundaries between any of its 32 states. “We are offering American corporations the services of a strong US carrier with close connections to first-class Mexican partners to handle their moves, to and from Mexico, in a consistent, reliable and secure way,” he said.

Having a consistent relationship with partners helps with imports to the USA too. “We need to work together to share our knowledge of the customs requirements at each point of entry,” he said. “If a shipment is flagged for inspection into the USA, inspection time could go from three days to 12-14 days depending on the level of activity in the port. Consistent partners help to mitigate the lack of control, save our customers a lot of time and expense and meet their service expectations.”

He explained that there are manufacturers from Korea, Japan, China and Europe that are setting up in Mexico and moving their engineering and management staff into the country. Airbus, for example, has just opened a new door manufacturing plant in Mexico. Mexico is attractive partly because it’s possible to set up a manufacturing facility very quickly, it has an affordable workforce and favourable tariffs.

“Using an American-based company is a little more comfortable for them,” he said. “They like the quality and are seeking out companies in The States to handle that back and forth traffic.” Rick said that the language was easier for them, US companies tend to be more process based, and the legendary US customer service is important. Rick also explained that he works closely with Nippon Express in the city, that provides a weekly service to Mexico, to provide an exclusive service for Japanese customers.

Being independent is important to Rick; his company is not part of a van line. “I think that’s why for the last 90+ years Dewitt has been so strong,” he said. “We’ve played in the

sandbox with everybody and we have played well.” Today Rick does not operate vans and crews from San Diego, but has a trusted network of providers who deliver the operational services on his behalf. “I am careful to define what my value is,” he said. “Companies want to reduce their number of suppliers and I can manage their moves, make sure they come in on budget and ensure that every client’s needs are met.”

Dewitt is a member of IAM and has recently joined PAIMA to extend its network of agents worldwide.

Photo: Rick Hosea.

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