Eduardo del Riego ’82, CEO of PayCargo, received the International Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of International Business (AIB) fellows. The award recognizes an outstanding business leader who has helped his or her firm reach new heights in reputation and performance on an international stage.
As CEO, del Riego has transformed PayCargo—an online overnight payment system for invoices between shippers and carriers—into a powerhouse in the global freight industry. This year, the Coral Gables-based company is on track to process $10 billion of freight-related payments, a 250 percent increase from 2020.
“To release cargo quickly you need connectivity, integrating different platforms, tracking cargo, warehousing,” del Riego said during a talk he gave after receiving the award during AIB’s Annual Meeting in June. “PayCargo connects payments via application programming interfaces, which help companies digitalize and simplify payments, reduce manual processes and streamline operations.”
One of the drivers of PayCargo’s fast-growing expansion was the COVID-19 pandemic, a catalyst for the global e-commerce explosion. In May 2020, customers spent $82.5 billion shopping online, a 77 percent increase from the same month in 2019 said del Riego in his talk.
He described this as a “game-changer” in the shipping industry, resulting in increased booking activity and limited supply. Combined with the demand for a paperless and contactless solution, PayCargo’s business accelerated.
“Adaptation and flexibility are critical when borders are closed and flights are grounded,” said del Riego. “Digitalization lets you work online from anywhere. It’s more hygienic than cash, accessible for small businesses.”
Technology is the key to the shipping industry’s future
Founded in 2005, PayCargo’s cloud-based technology enables virtual payments for air and ocean carriers, maritime ports, ground handlers, freight forwarders and customs brokers, resulting in quicker cargo release for businesses.
Based in Miami, PayCargo has a network of payers and vendors from top companies in the industry, including Kuehne + Nagel, FedEx and DHL. Del Riego’s team has also built partnerships with trade associations such FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) in order to create a more efficient payment settlement system.
In June 2021 PayCargo completed a $125 million Series B investment round backed by Insight Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm headquartered in New York. The investment comes nine months after the firm invested $35 million in PayCargo’s Series A round.
AIB is the world’s oldest and largest association of academics from diverse disciplines who have common research and teaching interests in topics with international implications.
FIU Business is the host institution for the organization’s 2022 Annual Meeting in Miami. Widely recognized as the top conference in the field of international business, the AIB Annual Meeting takes place at a different location around the world each year and is attended by 900 to 1,200 delegates.