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Country Spotlight : Colombia

December 24, 2015
Blue Colombia map with blue map pin
Blue Colombia map with blue map pin

Colombia is a developing nation of widely diverse geography with one of the richest cultural traditions in Latin America and a high potential for growth and progress. It’s not a coincidence that JAS settled here 15 years ago to secure a presence in some of the most important cities and ports in the country.

JAS supplies several industries that move Colombia’s economy such as construction, food, and automotive. Two multinational companies, Kimberly-Clark and Avery Dennison, have found the appropriate infrastructure and human resources in JAS Colombia to give them the level of management and follow-up business that they need. JAS' goal in the short and long term has been to begin the exporting of perishables such as fruits and flowers, which are notoriously varied and rich in Colombia and would be highly appreciated abroad. JAS is confident that through our continued expertise and dedication, this goal will be achieved with great success.

In 2015, JAS Colombia faced two particular situations that affected several industries in and around Colombia, including the freight forwarding business. First, the rise in the value of the US dollar against the Colombian peso had a negative impact on the country as a whole. It is currently the highest it has been in more than two decades and has negatively affected imports. This has affected many companies because they have had to reduce inventory in order to maintain business against the rising costs. In turn, this should have boosted exports, as it has in many other regions, but Colombia is not a country like most and its economy does not always react as predicted. Colombia has its own idiosyncrasy and way of dealing with crises, so exports have kept steady but have not increased. JAS Colombia hopes to implement this change in the coming months, as Colombia continues to grow in-spite of the issues its economy faces.

The second situation has impacted JAS Colombia positively: the unexpected closing of the frontier between Colombia and Venezuela. In years past, the trade between both countries’ main way of transportation was terrestrial, an industry in which JAS Colombia had no participation. However, with the closing of the territory, imports and exports between the nations were forced to change to maritime. JAS has been instrumental in this change by opening a new window of a business that has boosted our productivity, and benefited the country as a whole by offering a solution to the frontier closing.

JAS Colombia is not a company that only cares about business and productivity. The JAS Colombia management team is well aware of the effects any industry can cause on the environment and communities at work around them. JAS Colombia has vowed to positively contribute to the communities and environment they call home. Until recently there were no real programs to take care of the Colombian environment, but JAS Colombia has stepped up to make the change they want to see in the world.  JAS Colombia only uses recyclable materials that are energy efficient and enforces strict policies in their offices regarding the reuse of materials and paper. Moreover, Colombia is a country that  has many social issues to deal with and JAS Colombia strives to contribute as much as possible to their society, by way of education, early-childhood care, and sports development. These three areas are close to the JAS spirit. JAS Colombia motivates its employees to achieve higher levels of education by financially sponsoring their initiatives. JAS Colombia also donates significant amounts of money to child care institutions that cater to extremely impoverished areas of Colombian society. Finally, JAS Colombia sponsors young athletes to help them receive proper training and areas to play in.

JAS Colombia is a young company in a wonderfully unique country, which contributes to interesting and original work days. JAS is a big part of Colombia’s dynamic economy and contributes to the country's growth, people, and future.

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JAS Worldwide Bruni Foundation today announce their partnership with charity: water to as they work to provide clean and safe water to those in need.

In honor of World Water Day, JAS Worldwide (JAS) and the Bruni Foundation today announced their partnership with charity: water to provide clean and safe water to those in need.

The theme of World Water Day 2023 is "Water for Life and Livelihoods," which helps highlight the importance of water for life, economic development, and the environment. The United Nations (UN) reports that 771 million people worldwide live without access to clean water, which is essential for the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

JAS, the Bruni Foundation, and charity: water are committed to making a difference in the lives of those affected by the global water crisis. The first phase of the partnership will deploy a $100,200 gift from the Bruni Foundation, which will fully fund two clean and safe water projects in India and Mozambique.

In Mozambique, this partnership will fund new community wells and handpumps across provinces in the Northeast of Mozambique and provide access to clean and safe water for more than 800 people. In India, the funds will support rainwater harvesting in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, Western India, helping to provide clean and safe water access to over 250 people.

These initiatives will make a tangible impact in the lives of those in the local communities where the projects are being funded and are just the first step in the commitment to the cause.

Maria Paula Eslava, Managing Director, JAS Colombia

Throughout March, in honor of International Women's Day(March 8), we are celebrating some of the remarkable women at JAS. Today, we are honored to highlight Maria Paula Eslava, Managing Director, at JAS Colombia.

What advice would you give your younger self?

“I would tell my younger self to be fearless and to worry less about what people think of you. Be confident in your capabilities and open to learning new things every day. Believe in your power.”

How have female mentors/role models influenced your career?

“Sheryl Sandberg former Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, wrote a great book called “Lean In.” It is a very inspiring piece of work that every female leader needs to read.”

What achievement are you most proud of while working at JAS?

“I began my career at JAS as a Country Operations Manager. Over the years, I found a way to respectfully open doors, and I became the first female Managing Director at JAS. I am proud to be leading my country and making it a successful subsidiary by building a winning team on the local level and helping the company grow within the market.”

Ewa Osowska, Sales Manger, JAS Poland

Throughout March, in honor of International Women's Day (March 8), we are celebrating some of the remarkable women at JAS. Today, we are honored to highlight Ewa Osowska, Sales Manger, JAS Poland.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don't change anything. Be stubborn, be ambitious, and be committed. Lessons from failures can be a key to success in the future. Continue keeping your promises because trust builds business relationships that matter.

From the very beginning, I have treated work as a long-term journey. I like to learn and set ambitious goals for myself. I also like being open-minded and innovative. 

When I started in November 2003 as an Airfreight Forwarder Assistant, I didn't know I would stay in the industry for the next 20 years. However, I am very happy with this choice right now. Over the years, I have had a chance to delve into the ins and outs of air freight, as well as ocean, road, and rail freight, and even contract logistics. 

What achievement are you most proud of while working at JAS?

In February 2022, the eyes of the world were watching the dramatic scenes of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Poland, as a country with a direct border to Ukraine, has naturally become one of the major countries on the logistics map for building alternative supply chains for food, medications, medical kits, and all the other important equipment.

Thanks to JAS' global experience in Aid & Relief solutions, the United Nations has asked JAS to help support humanitarian efforts in Poland, a region where JAS recently expanded. Together with my colleague Salvatore Lauro, VP Regional Manager Center and South for Italy, we quickly created dedicated solutions so aid could be delivered despite the challenging situation. As a result, we were able to make food deliveries from the very beginning. I am proud of being part of it because it matters not only to me, not only to the company but to the Ukrainian people. 

How do you #Embrace Equality? 

It is a good question because, at JAS, people make the difference, regardless of gender, skin colour, or origin. I have not even thought about embracing equality, because it is already what I naturally do every day.  

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