Puerto Rico government to set up warehouse for local SME exports
SAN JUAN – Small and midsize Puerto Rico enterprises that sell online will be able to package and ship their products from a facility the government is expected to open in April to help foster exports.
The announcement was made by Ricardo Llerandi, executive director of the Trade & Export Co. (CCE by its Spanish initals) in an aside with Caribbean Business during the 2018 Puerto Rico EXPO event.
The new facility in Guaynabo comes about at a time when, due to the passage of Hurricane Maria, federal officials have virtually taken control of shipments at the ports.
Llerandi said the warehouse is a follow-up to the public corporation’s initiative to provide training and a platform for small and midsize businesses to “establish an online store” and be able to export their products, whether they are books, coffee or handicrafts.
“It is an initiative tied to digitization,” Llerandi said. “The business people are selling, and with each sale they have to choose the package, they have to go to the post office and send it. If they take it to the fulfillment center, leave the merchandise there and from there the product is sent to their customers.”
During the event held Wednesday in the Puerto Rico Convention Center hundreds of local business people were able make more than 900 appointments with purchasers such as Apple, CVS Health, Honeywell and NASA. Llerandi estimated that some $20 million in transactions were made.