Press Release

Gerdau Next expands operations in logistics with a strategic partnership with Vector

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 17, 2022

By Gerdau

This is a machine translation of the press release originally published in Portuguese. 

As a result of the entrepreneurial and innovative vocation of the largest Brazilian steel producer, Gerdau, with an eye on market opportunities and challenges, entered into a strategic partnership with Vector, a joint venture between Bunge and Target for the digital contracting of freight and other services, for the creation of Vector Cluster Industrial. Closing of the deal is subject to approval of the transaction by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense ( CADE ).

Vector is a digital platform for contracting logistics solutions that aims to facilitate management, through digital transformation, for shipping companies, and maximize productivity and gains for truck drivers, especially self-employed ones. Vector Cluster Industrial, which will have the same concept and the same service offer, but with a focus on the industrial sector, will be part of the portfolio of companies of Gerdau Next, Gerdau's new business division, whose mission is to diversify the portfolio of the Brazilian multinational with businesses complementary to steel.

The technology developed by Vector, which will be used in the industrial cluster, is a pioneer in the market with a focus on end-to-end process integration, integrating the shipper's operating system with the loading and unloading locations. This allows not only the scheduling of freight but also the distribution, via the system, of all transport documents, guaranteeing the load to the driver without any need for contact between the parties. The solution also eliminates a face-to-face step in the process, as the loading order is issued digitally, when freight is accepted in the application.

“The Vector Cluster Industrial will be born big. The platform, in addition to serving Gerdau's own logistics processes, expands its services to customers in areas such as steel, cement, pulp and paper, among others. Technology, sustainability and high productivity are the pillars of the operation, which projects growth of 120% by the end of 2023 and will operate throughout Brazil”, says Luiz Medaglia, executive leader of Vector Cluster Industrial. “Through the digital transformation, we will bring greater productivity and competitiveness in the contracting of freight for shippers in the industry, as well as offering cargo and a better quality of life for self-employed transporters”, he adds.

Vector Cluster Industrial reinforces Gerdau Next's mission to diversify the business portfolio of the largest Brazilian steel producer in strategic segments such as mobility. The initiative will also help boost synergies between the companies that already make up Gerdau Next's mobility vertical, including logtech G2L, which will expand its base of self-employed truck drivers, and Addiante, a joint venture between Gerdau and Randon Companies, which will work on solutions and heavy vehicle leasing services.

Vector has been operating in the agribusiness sector for more than a year and, in the period, the application reached superlative numbers: there were around 120 thousand downloads, 98 thousand registered truck drivers, 700 thousand trips made possible and more than R$ 4.4 billion in freight transactions. Currently, the volumes contracted via the application represent 97% of the volume that Bunge transports by road in the country. “We are uniting Vector's technological and logistics know-how with Gerdau's deep expertise in industrial handling to, in addition to entering a new segment, create an operational model that generates value for future users in the industrial sector -- both truck drivers and as well as shippers”, explains Javier Maciel, CEO of Vector.

The platform developed by Vector not only creates efficient collaboration between companies and drivers, planning the driver's entire journey throughout the trip, but also improves the truck driver's quality of life, productivity and income, which is one of the main focuses of the application. The initiative aims to benefit and serve the truck driver, who is a user of the system, whose information is shared online and on-time , optimizing time and cost and, therefore, more gains for drivers. In addition, it also offers financial services, including financing for working capital, insurance for cargo and means of payment. By integrating this collaborative ecosystem, the driver becomes part of a community and with more opportunities than when acting alone.

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