Future 50
A New Generation of Leaders Has Arrived

For modernizing the notoriously staid shipping industry

When Alfonso de los Rios set out to make his mark on the world, he didn’t have to look any further than the family business. He grew up in Monterrey, Mexico (one of Latin America’s most industrial cities), watching his family run a small, traditional logistics firm. Nearly 90 percent of the world’s goods are transported by sea, yet the industry is fraught with mishaps and miscommunications—leading to half of all containers delayed or lost due to disorganized and outdated processes. 

The industry was ripe for digital disruption. So de los Rios, who was working as a full-stack developer, teamed up with Maximiliano Casal to cofound Nowports in 2019. Billed as the first digital freight forwarder in Latin America, the startup uses technology to chart efficient shipping plans for imports and exports, track shipments in real time, deliver digital reports and harness artificial intelligence to offer market insights to business owners. 

Since de los Rios and Casal graduated from Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, Nowports raised US$92 million, opened nine offices across Latin America and North America, and hired 300 employees. Despite all the wins, de los Rios shared on Instagram that the company is "just getting started."