Aervaro and her leadership: women in logistics

Aervaro and her leadership: women in logistics

The logistics sector has always been characterized, in Italy and worldwide, by the presence of some large global giants and a myriad of ultra-specialized small entrepreneurs, with specific and advanced services, depending on the type of product to be handled.
Another prerogative of this sector is the overwhelming male presence, especially in managerial positions.
Many women work in logistics, but very few are leaders in these companies.
Aervaro srl, an Italian logistics and supply chain company, strongly committed on the Italian territory, but able to provide international services (by air, land, sea), very focused on temperature-controlled services, goes against the current.
In fact, it is managed by two women: Mascia La Porta, managing director, and Benedetta Stoppa, commercial and business development manager.

1975: Aervaro and his future CEO are born

“In 1975 my father, Albino La Porta, bought the shipping company Aervaro 2 sas, in 1975 I was born” says Mascia who, he continues, considers working in the logistics sector as “the most man-made job that there can be”.
At 12 Mascia begins to accompany his father on the farm. “With the calculator I made very long random numbers with swipes that I tore off and went to him and I said to him: dad one day we will earn this !!”.
At the age of 20, giving up university, Mascia enters the company to follow in his father’s footsteps and learn the job he has always wanted to do, sometimes clashing with difficult and complex situations, as a woman: to run a company you must first of all know all the operational aspects, often hard and tiring. And then you have to deal with other entrepreneurs: customers, suppliers, competitors, not always inclined to treat a female entrepreneur as their equal.
But as often happens when a woman sets ambitious goals and wants to achieve them at all costs, these difficulties do not scare Mascia, on the contrary they push her to always give her best and to carry out every type of activity that her job entails, even the most tiring, such as loading or unloading heavy goods from trucks.

The foundations of a leadership

“My father taught me everything there was to know, from being an entrepreneur to unloading the goods, he trained a woman who completes all the tasks that there may be in a shipping company and which are usually covered by men. I learned accounting, the operational part of shipments, transport regulations and customs; I use the forklift, unload and load the trucks, I make and check the packaging “.
I am pleased to report directly his testimony, which encompasses the spirit with which Mascia manages his company: to know all aspects, from the most operational to the most strategic, and to face all the challenges with preparation and courage.

Strategic choices and innovation

“My father and I were and we are a single figure, where he did not arrive, I arrived and vice versa”.
At the end of 2011 the company was sold by Albino to his children: Mascia and Luca. Aervaro srl was born. Mascia collects Albino’s legacy and adds his personal perspective and leadership.
For some years now, the market has been changing: international markets are getting closer and more accessible and companies and consumers expect that goods will arrive all over the world in a short time. E-commerce is developing and consumers are becoming increasingly demanding, not only towards ever faster delivery times (Amazon teaches) but also towards high levels of quality of the goods.
Mascia comments on this finding: “the market is changing, it is also diversifying in this sector, and I realize that if I want to get to the numbers I was typing on the 12-year-old calculator I have to diversify and change something in traditional business management”.
A branch is opened in Bussero, with a large warehouse that allows the introduction of diversified logistics services, including a large cell at controlled temperature + 15 ° / + 25 ° C.

A motivated and winning team

The economic period is among the most difficult. We need new resources and people able to bring new ideas and find new markets and business opportunities.
Join the Benedetta team, a friend and immediately Mascia’s right-hand man.
Benedetta takes charge of all commercial and business development activities, and manages to offer Aervaro’s services even in seemingly impossible situations.
For her, logistics is a new sector, but thanks to her skills and her character, the first goal of diversification and development is achieved: to create logistics for the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharma Supply Chain

Benedetta succeeds to identify the best partners to develop logistics services for the pharmaceutical sector and creates contacts with potential customers.
When transporting drugs, specific skills are also required in the logistics field: patient health also depends on the effectiveness and integrity of the drugs and therefore on their correct storage, even during transport. Aervaro thus enters into agreements with the most important airlines for Cool Pharma services at temperatures of + 2 ° / + 8 ° and + 15 ° / + 25 ° C.

Innovation and digital

The second step of this path of innovation and diversification passes from the decision to introduce an integrated digital marketing strategy.
A new multilingual site was created, with online management services for quotes and digital payments. Digital and social marketing campaigns are also implemented which make the company even more visible and accessible online.

New warehouses in the logistic hub Milano Est

Thanks to these first strategic choices, the business grows, to the point that it becomes necessary to find new spaces.
After two years of research and vicissitudes, Mascia finds the right location in Pioltello, just 5 minutes from Linate airport and less than an hour from Orio and Malpensa. A strategic position that favors a rapid and immediate connection with air and road networks.
At the end of 2019, the purchase of the warehouse was completed and the work needed to enable it to store raw materials for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry began: non-breathable flooring, insulated walls, temperature-controlled cell + 15 ° / + 25 ° C again bigger, space for inserting more cells in the future.

The world stops during the lockdown: what to do?

In March 2020, the move from the Bussero headquarters to the new Pioltello headquarters is planned. In the same period, Italy (and the world) stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What to do? “The world stops, but we can’t stop and we keep working and moving.”
Mascia, Benedetta and the whole team manage to obtain permits to complete the move and start operating in the new warehouse, with more determination and determination than ever.
“We backed up at all times: I pulling on her and she pulling on me. The strength of two women led the company to face the worst and have the best … we are getting there for the impossible. ”
Italy that starts again needs women like Mascia and Benedetta, and we soon expect new projects on ever more ambitious and innovative fronts.

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