WTDC – a “company with a conscience” –for 45 years

WTDC President & CEO Sean Gazitua displays proclamation from Miami-Dade County naming Tuesday, March 8, 2022, as ‘WTDC 45th Anniversary Day’.

Miami-based, family-owned logistics business WTDC, which celebrated its 45th anniversary last month, has seen its business evolve throughout the pandemic as the world begins to return to normal.
WTDC is well-known for specializing in inventory management for Duty Free and Global Travel Retail. As a full service logistics company, it offers door to door transportation services and Foreign Trade Zone warehousing for Spirits, Cosmetics, Tobacco, and Electronics.
President and CEO Sean Gazitua says the company’s success over the past 45 years is a testament to the dedication of its employees and the willingness of the company to reinvent itself. The company was founded in 1977 as the first General Order (G.O.) warehouse in Miami, Florida. Today, WTDC is an internationally respected full-service logistics company and Foreign Trade Zone.
“Serving the logistics needs of our customers is not without its challenges in these times,” says Gazitua. “But by building better relationships, planning logistics well ahead, and putting technology at the forefront, we can still help our customers exceed their performance benchmarks.”
Gazitua tells TMI that the pandemic has caused global logistical issues, which WTDC deals with now on a daily basis.
“We are seeing our warehousing customers increase the size and frequency of their orders as the cruise industry and duty free stores rebuild their tourist traffic. While transportation volumes have resumed, our freight forwarding business operations are far from normal as we navigate issues that began in the pandemic,” says Gazitua.
“Port congestion leads the logistical issue headlines but the scarcity of available bookings, a significant leap in Trans-Pacific container rates, and drayage obstacles present daily challenges. The change in shipping rates has even eliminated some supplier business that operated on thin margins.”
The pandemic had a significant impact on WTDC’s day-to-day business as inventory that would have been processed for cruise ships and duty free stores sat idle,” says Gazitua.
“WTDC added verticals like medical supply, electronics, and renewable energy to its service mix during the pandemic. As things progress, we’ve implemented technology to work with the increased number of stay-at-home professionals and process more orders through electronic data interchange (EDI) connectivity.”
WTDC was able to do what it has for the past 45 years when the pandemic brought the travel industries to a standstill: it moved quickly and evolved, says Gazitua.
“Our company has evolved thanks to our ability to recognize trends and make changes within our organization. As a family business, we can cut through the corporate red tape to make sweeping changes much quicker than some of our corporate counterparts. The supply chain is still reeling from the pandemic with some suppliers loading up on inventory to mitigate any shortages from shipping congestion. In the next few years, we hope the trend moves back to a more fluid just-in-time supply chain at a global scale but it will be at least another year before there is much movement in that direction.”
Sean is now the third generation to run WTDC after becoming President and CEO in 2017 succeeding his father Ralph L. Gazitua, and he appreciates the legacy that his grandfather started 45 years ago.
“My grandfather Luis Rafael Gazitua started WTDC with my father Ralph and uncle John. The company started as a General Order (G.O.) Warehouse, a service to U.S. Customs and responsible for processing cargo that was denied entry into the U.S. With technological advances in documentation and changes to incoterms, the General Order business decreased over the years. WTDC for many years provided infrastructure to 3PLs as a Bonded Warehouse, processing consolidations and freight of all kinds for freight forwarders. We are a company of firsts – first G.O. Warehouse in Miami, among the first Bonded Warehouses, and the first operating Foreign Trade Zone in PortMiami’s FTZ 281 in 2012. WTDC’s added additional services over the years such as domestic transport, Customs Brokerage, freight forwarding, and Foreign Trade Zone status,” he says.
“Legacy is important when discussing the family business. My grandparents were pioneers in the logistics industry in South Florida. It is an honor and a responsibility to continue in this line of work and grow a company with a conscience. We value faith, education, community, health, and hope those values translate back into the organization.”