UPS is expanding its premium air freight service into Nicaragua and Honduras, as the parcel giant taps the growing economies that share the U.S. as their top trading partner and are benefiting from nearsourcing.
The company said the launch of its day-definite guarantee, door-to-door service, which includes customs clearance, will benefit from the shift of manufacturing from Asia back to North America. The UPS Express Freight service connects the two Central American countries to cities in 27 countries, including those in Asia and Europe.
“The combination of low labor costs and the geographic proximity to the U.S. market make Nicaragua and Honduras well-positioned to compete in today’s global marketplace,” said Scott Aubuchon, director of international air freight. “These export factors, combined with the growing demand for U.S., European and Asian consumer goods among the young populations in these countries, position them for substantial growth over the next few years.”
Both countries have benefited from the 2006 Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
Nicaragua's exports to the U.S. have grown 21 percent annually in the last two decades, and in all 58 percent of its export commodities, including seafood, apparel and precious metals, are shipped to the U.S.
Honduras, the third-largest exporter of automobile wiring harnesses to the U.S., in the last decade has diversified its export offering from predominantly agriculture goods to industrial products. About 65 percent of its exports head to the U.S., and Honduras imports roughly 51 percent of its goods from the U.S.