By providing freight forwarding and logistics services for textile maker Incalpaca, DB Schenker is supporting a time-honored tradition that dates back to 5000 B.C.
South American ruminants that live high in the Andes, Alpacas have coats that produce quality fleece that can be spun and woven into garments. They are often bred for their high-quality, fluffy fleece that comes in 22 different colors. The end products are usually hard-wearing, soft, lightweight, water-resistant, and hypoallergenic.
The textile tradition in Peru dates back to 5000 B.C. According to luxury clothing maker Incalpaca, each one of its Alpacas represents the work and progress of thousands of Peruvians who live far away from modern life. “For them, breeding alpacas means preserving a remnant of ancient history,” the company states on its website. “For us, it is keeping history alive and making it every day our reason for being.”
As part of that mission, the company is aligned with “Pacomarca,” their experimental station in Puno, the most important alpaca-producing fiber in the south of Peru. Through this effort, the company contributes to the sustainability of alpaca production through the improvement of fiber quality, which leads to higher market prices and keeps farmers interested in raising the animals.
Situated 4,000 meters above sea level, Pacomarca has been the home to more than 2,000 alpacas, each of which was selected and valued as part of an advanced genetic improvement program. “We collect data and improve the fiber, so it can reach its utmost quality,” the company states. “Today, Pacomarca has the largest and most comprehensive database of alpacas in the world.”
Continuing a Sustainable, Time-Honored Commitment
By honoring the Inca tradition of preserving and extending the life of the alpaca (and not killing the animals for their coats), Incalpaca has created a sustainable enterprise while also building a thriving business. For 20 years, the company only exported yarn. In 1996, it decided to expand its product offerings.
With about 1,300 employees, the company is a leading, local maker of the mystic alpaca fiber—offering wool with a beautiful luster. It is also a source of other production lines that include fabric, knitwear, accessories, outerwear and products for the home.
Since early-2019, DB Schenker has been supporting Peruvian culture by providing airfreight and logistics services for Incalpaca. Handling exports to different areas of the world, and helping Incalpaca develop its worldwide business, DB Schenker handles the cargo, provides competitive rates from carriers, and then offers 24/7 supply chain visibility as the shipments move from origin to destination.
When called into action, DB Schenker has to act very fast to provide Incalpaca with tailored logistics solutions.
A Fast-Growing Industry
With production increases of 24.7% in 2018, alpaca textile fibers represent the fastest-growing segment in the textile industry. The textile and clothing sectors have become the main generator of employment in the country’s manufacturing industry, with around 400,000 people currently working in the sector. DB Schenker contributes to the industry by providing efficient logistics solutions, connecting people and products of Peru with the rest of the world.
To achieve this, DB Schenker’s air department generates competitive solutions that meet the expectations of our customers and relies on its solid relationship with airlines to provide fast, efficient, and flexible transportation alternatives at the best available price. It also helps ensure space for the shipment of cargo and timely visibility for shipment. Currently, Incalpaca exports around 200 tons of textile products annually to the U.S. (45%), Italy (15%), and Chile (10%).
More Growth Ahead
Moving forward, DB Schenker plans to continue working with Peruvian exporters of textiles and clothing and sees good prospects ahead for the industry as a whole. As Peruvian exports continue to grow steadily, the industry as a whole incorporates new, high-value manufactured products that respond to the needs and trends of the global market.
Those traditions have led to the growth of Peru’s textile and garment industry, which has been modernizing and diversifying its methods in recent years (49% of production goes to the U.S., followed by Brazil, Chile, Colombia, China, Japan, and Italy, among other destinations). This important industry represents 11% of Peruvian non-traditional exports (the second largest non-traditional export in the country after perishables). It’s a strategic market with ample opportunities for the services that DB Schenker offers.
Javier Cuadros, Incalpaca’s Foreign Trade Coordinator, also sees more positive momentum ahead for the Peruvian textile market. “We’re very positive about the future,” he says, “and about the prospects of working more deeply with DB Schenker to build out our worldwide supply chain.”