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Big Ships that are Coming or Already Here Present New Challenges

ships

Big Ships that are Coming or Already Here Present New Challenges

The year 2020 is almost here and customer demands, import and export trends and trade tensions show no signs of slowing down. The new year presents both opportunities and challenges for players within the supply chain to increase productivity through maximizing resources or get left behind as competitors take over. There are layers of factors for global shippers to consider in determining the best approach in remaining both competitive, efficient, and to be honest, relevant. Major factors in consideration include IMO 2020, traffic increases and vessel sizing.

Looking at some statistics reveals an interesting picture of exactly what’s going on and what shippers can prepare for based on last year’s trends. According to the 2019 North American Ports Outlook report by Cushman & Wakefield, the intermodal traffic rates saw an increase by 5.5 percent, while 90 percent of internationally shipped dry, non-bulk manufactured goods are containerized. Oh yeah, automobile imports are on the rise also.

Data make clear that big ships can not only create competitive advantages but also recreate what modern competition looks like. Cushman & Wakefield’s report shows that 79 percent of the international containership supply is dominated by the 2M Alliance (Maersk and MSC), the Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM, COSCO and Evergreen) and THE Alliance (ONE, Hapag Lloyd and Yang Ming). Not only do these alliances carry a massive amount of clout among competitors globally, but they also boast massive container vessels.

COSCO Shipping Universe, for example, sits right at 21,237 TEU capacity at 400 meters x 58.6 meters. This massive vessel holds the title as the largest cargo ship in China and the fourth largest in the world. Additionally, this vessel comes with an added bonus to further charge its performance through the support of ABB Turbocharges that enable the vessel to travel at 22 nautical miles per hour.

“The ABB turbochargers on COSCO Shipping Universe will support maximum performance and fuel efficiency, in addition to contributing to COSCO Shipping Lines pursuing green shipping practices for long-term success,” stated Oliver Riemenschneider, managing director, ABB Turbocharging in a press release announcing the vessel’s delivery in June of 2018. “We foresee the ABB turbochargers on the forthcoming mega container ships in the Universe series will contribute similar viable operational gains.”

As the vessels get bigger and better, industry players can rightfully anticipate this as a major trend to keep an eye out for in 2020. Although increasing ship sizes supporting more capacity with fewer miles in between is a win-win, shippers must consider how this impacts the ports and their size capabilities and most importantly, their access to such ports. The North American Ports Outlook report states that orders for new vessels are being placed exceeding 22,000 TEUs and that East Coast ports are beginning to see more large ships. Furthermore, the Neopanamax Locks confirmed that as of just recently, it can handle over 14,000 TEU ships, but not by much. That’s not going to cut it for the big ships predicted in the near future.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. announced a successful Asia-to-Europe voyage for the MSC Gülsün ship. The 23,756 TEU vessel holds the title as the world’s largest container ship and adds a new level of quality with its advanced engineering focused on energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption overall. The Gülsün is one of more than 10 ships to be added to MSC’s advanced fleet between 2019-2020, and it doesn’t stop there. The IMO-2020 ready vessel boasts a hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (UN IMO-approved, of course) paired with a low-Sulphur fuel and/or LNG adaptation option. Not only is this ship more than prepared for revolutionizing the approach to IMO standards, but it’s also making a big dent in operational efficiencies.

Evergreen also made news last year by confirming new vessels with up to 23,000 TEU capacity are being added to its fleet. Information released from numerous sources confirmed that five or more vessels with such TEU capacity were approved for order. These mega-ships will be built at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard and China State Shipbuilding Corp.with a price tag of roughly $1.6 billion. The order was placed back in September and current service estimation sits between 12-18 months, according to various reports.

Go ahead and add Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd to the list of super vessels to come. The Wall Street Journal reported that up to six ships with TEU capacity well over 20,000 were confirmed. Hapag Lloyd already boasts six vessels within the A 18 class with more than 19,000 TEU capacity. Overall, Hapag Lloyd boasts a total fleet TEU capacity of 1.7 million… and counting.

Even with these new massive ships on the horizon, it is hard to compare to the OOCL Hong Kong, the first of six in the G-class with a whopping 21,413 TEU capacity. One such ship went down in history as the world’s first to ever break the 21,000 TEU-capacity marks. Within months of this announcement, the OOCL Scandinavia, the OOCL Germany and the OOCL United Kingdom–all with 21,4313 TEU capacity—were also announced and christened.

“While our industry seems to have the knack to ‘outdo’ one another in building larger containerships relatively quickly these days, this project is nonetheless an important moment for us,” stated OOCL Chairman C.C. Tung in the announcement. “Faced with increasing competition and un-ending pressure on costs, we need to take the bold step in operating larger size ships of quality and high efficiency in order to stay relevant and compete effectively as a major container shipping company.”

Tung concluded, after the OOCL Scandinavia reveal, “This achievement is about working to bring people and companies of different professions and nationalities together to reach new heights, innovate, solve complicated engineering problems, and along the way, why not break a world record, too.”

Although the OOCL Hong Kong has yet to be replaced, competitors are pushing the limits of capacity to break new records the shipping sector has yet to encounter. Maximizing the capacity limits the industry is currently used to paired with the IMO 2020 regulations and changes will undoubtedly filter the industry leaders. The real question remains: Who will set the bar even higher than what it is now and how will they do it?

packaging

China’s Packaging Materials Market Is Slowing Down Due to Weak Demand

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘China – Packaging Materials – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the packaging materials market in China amounted to $69B in 2018, going down by -6.1% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Over the period under review, the total market indicated buoyant growth from 2008 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% over the last decade. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period.

Based on 2018 figures, packaging materials consumption increased by +17.4% against 2016 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 when the market value increased by 25% year-to-year. In that year, the packaging materials market reached its peak level of $73.5B, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Production in China

Packaging materials production in China totaled 63M tonnes in 2018, waning by -8.3% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the period from 2008 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2009 with an increase of 9.3% against the previous year. Over the period under review, packaging materials production attained its maximum volume at 69M tonnes in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

In value terms, packaging materials production stood at $73.1B in 2018 estimated in export prices. In general, the total output indicated a buoyant increase from 2008 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the last decade. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, packaging materials production increased by +24.2% against 2016 indices. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 when production volume increased by 32% year-to-year. In that year, packaging materials production reached its peak level of $77.5B, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Exports from China

In 2018, the exports of packaging materials from China stood at 2.9M tonnes, going up by 4.7% against the previous year. Overall, packaging materials exports continue to indicate a buoyant expansion. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 with an increase of 33% year-to-year. Over the period under review, packaging materials exports attained their maximum at 2.9M tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, packaging materials exports stood at $3.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Overall, packaging materials exports continue to indicate a buoyant increase. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 36% y-o-y. Exports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Exports by Country

Viet Nam (183K tonnes), Iran (136K tonnes) and Bangladesh (127K tonnes) were the main destinations of packaging materials exports from China, together accounting for 16% of total exports.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by Bangladesh, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Viet Nam ($223M), the U.S. ($158M) and Iran ($118M) appeared to be the largest markets for packaging materials exported from China worldwide, together accounting for 16% of total exports.

Among the main countries of destination, Viet Nam experienced the highest growth rate of exports, over the last decade, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the average packaging materials export price amounted to $1,073 per tonne, surging by 4.2% against the previous year. Over the period from 2008 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +1.9%. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when the average export price increased by 11% against the previous year. The export price peaked at $1,145 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, export prices remained at a lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices for the major foreign markets. In 2018, the country with the highest price was India ($1,471 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Bangladesh ($788 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to India, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports into China

Packaging materials imports into China totaled 2.3M tonnes in 2018, picking up by 3.4% against the previous year. Over the period under review, packaging materials imports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when imports increased by 13% against the previous year. Over the period under review, packaging materials imports reached their peak figure in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, packaging materials imports amounted to $2.2B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +1.6% from 2008 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2011 when imports increased by 15% y-o-y. In that year, packaging materials imports attained their peak of $2.3B. From 2012 to 2018, the growth of packaging materials imports remained at a lower figure.

Imports by Country

The U.S. (422K tonnes), Sweden (309K tonnes) and Taiwan, Chinese (168K tonnes) were the main suppliers of packaging materials imports to China, together comprising 39% of total imports. These countries were followed by Indonesia, Russia, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Finland, Canada, South Korea and New Zealand, which together accounted for a further 37%.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by Canada, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest packaging materials suppliers to China were the U.S. ($390M), Sweden ($293M) and Japan ($146M), together accounting for 37% of total imports. Taiwan, Chinese, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Finland, South Korea, Canada and New Zealand lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 33%.

In terms of the main suppliers, Canada experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to imports, over the last decade, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

The average packaging materials import price stood at $982 per tonne in 2018, remaining relatively unchanged against the previous year. Over the last decade, it increased at an average annual rate of +1.1%. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2010 an increase of 15% year-to-year. The import price peaked at $1,120 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Japan ($1,286 per tonne), while the price for Indonesia ($630 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Australia, while the prices for the other major suppliers experieznced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

DRIVER SHORTAGE & TRUCKING-CAPACITY: WHY THEY’RE NOT GOING AWAY

In the busy and demanding world of trucking, industry players are inevitably reminded of two significant challenges that show no signs of lessening now and in the near future: trucking capacity and the driver shortage. Neither issue will solve itself with current approaches. Companies are now faced with the reality that change must be embraced through improving training standards and the utilization of advanced technology solutions. 

This might not come as a surprise to some, but for others still operating with outdated practices, reality presents its own set of challenges. To look at the numbers the industry is dealing with, a report released by Insurance Journal confirmed the driver shortage figure has reached 51,000–up from 36,000 in 2016.

Some industry leaders, such as Advanced Training Systems CEO John Kearney, are confronting these issues at every angle–from a legislative, cultural, educational, and technological positions. 

“The issue is that the existing workforce is aging,” Kearney maintains. “The truck is a different piece of equipment from what it was a few years ago–it’s very sophisticated. The technology advances are significant and the regulations are outdated. Simulators are really emerging as a major change to the training field. A lot of companies are now going to simulators because there are some things they can do that are not possible to train any other way.”

Advanced Training Systems (ATS) has spent more than a decade developing cost-effective training simulators and preparing aspiring truck drivers across the United States through many of the training schools in the country. These driver training schools offer students unmatched training experiences that have propelled ATS in a leading position in the driver training field. 

“In 2008 we started the process of developing simulators because we know they are an excellent part of the training process,” Kearney says. “Today, we have simulators in a number of places around the U.S. and Mexico with operations in California where we do manufacturing and technology development while our corporate offices are in Florida.”

Among the scenarios truckers are faced with at a moment’s notice that traditional training methods can’t address include sudden road obstructions, aggressive drivers, inclement weather and truck malfunctions. These unavoidable situations present some of the most challenges in preparing the next generation of truck drivers

“Let’s take the example of a front tire blowout,” Kearney suggests. “If someone does that in a real truck, they could kill someone. There’s also the risk of something coming out on the road all of sudden and if the driver swerves, they could create an accident. These types of scenarios can be taught in a simulator.” 

He continues, “Ice is another example. If a driver is sliding on ice, what do they do? They don’t want to slide in a real truck, so what we do is have simulators that train properly so drivers know how to react if that happens. The reaction time is improved through the process of repetitive proper actions needed to teach muscle memory in the training process.”

Earlier this year, 28 vehicles were involved in a devastating truck collision in Lakewood, Colorado, that claimed the lives of four people. Since then, conversations surrounding improved training methods have taken priority among industry players, with simulators leading the position of potential solutions. 

“Technology is a big part of the answer,” Kearney maintains. “If we use technology, we use better methods of training and we’re not sending someone to sit in a classroom for too long. Change in technology expands on the number of people who can become interested in the field. The methodology of training using simulation and various other training methods available today—such as virtual reality—will provide the industry with better drivers and more people interested in a career in the field.”

Beyond technology, Kearney urges legislators to consider how current age restrictions limit the industry’s growth. Current laws only permit young adults over the age of 21 to drive a truck over state lines, limiting both driver populations and proactive education efforts. The desire to learn is there, but current laws restrict motivated and qualified students to begin training, leaving high schools with little reason to further pursue efforts in education. 

“High schools are not teaching students to drive in a truck. What’s beginning to happen is we are realizing young people are very qualified, they’re very used to working with things like simulation, and we need to allow the young driver to enter into the profession from the time they leave high school, between ages 18-21 once properly trained.”

The trucking industry is sometimes generalized as an exhaustive, demanding and less-than-glamorous profession. It’s time for a refresh of trucking culture to mirror what a career in the industry really looks like, beyond long hours and demanding schedules, according to Kearney. 

“The other part of the issue is we must educate young people to think about truck drivers differently. A truck driver today has much more involvement than just being a truck driver. The industry needs to change the name of what truck drivers are to something that better indicates what they do and what they are. The current trucking condo is actually a very nice place to live and travel around the country.”

The first step in creating reliable and effective solutions for the trucking industry begins with expanded training for existing and future drivers and elevation to a professional level. The technology available in today’s markets enable companies across the nation to improve operations and prepare the next generation of drivers for fulfilling careers. The reality is, trucking is not what it used to be both operationally and professionally. 

“The driver of today has become a manager of multimillion dollars’ worth of freight, managing the technology with careful compliance to the delivery schedule, serious regulations and changes in the method of operating a $100,000-plus vehicle and the method of driving as it develops. The driver of today can move up in the company they work for. Many drivers will be moving up in the industry from driving a truck.”

Opportunities now exist that weren’t fathomable in previous decades. The challenge now is to overcome antiquated mindsets and operation patterns to boost productivity, driver satisfaction and safety. It’s up to industry leaders to step up and initiate change. 

talent retention

How Generational Gaps Impact Talent Retention & Recruiting Strategies

Workforce development in the modern age presents a new level of opportunities and challenges to companies seeking to enhance their talent pool. Factors such as technology innovation, information overload, and new generations entering the workforce require thought leaders and experts to identify the best options to meet company needs. In order to attain this, recruiters must understand potential employees at their core and visualize the potential value and growth for both parties. This level of expertise is difficult to find. Dozens of talent recruiting websites and services exist in the marketplace with a similar promise: guaranteed results. What they don’t guarantee is the right kind of results. If a company is provided with five candidates with years of experience, but lacking the knowledge, skills, and company culture needed to thrive, the “results” go stale and the process is restarted, resulting in a never-ending cycle with a low success rate. 

“This is a relational business, not a transactional one. If you view it as the latter, you’ll surely fail long term,” explains Anthony Fletcher, President and CEO of My Future Consulting. “Whether you’re in search of a new business opportunity or an exceptional candidate, I found that organic, genuine, and empowering relationships enable businesses to build a network comprised of the most talented, knowledgeable, influential, and accomplished professionals in the world.” 

Anthony Fletcher boasts a wealth of knowledge developed over 20 years managing Fortune 100 company’s operations, manufacturing, planning and sales. Through his dedication to understanding people, Mr. Fletcher demonstrates competitive knowledge required to develop a successful approach in matching the right people with the right jobs and beyond. My Future Consulting differentiates the recruiting process through a carefully developed process that considers the needs of both employers and candidates, ultimately ensuring life-long partnerships while tackling the challenges in workforce development head-on. 

Candidates in the modern workforce come with a variety of personalities, levels of skills, experience, and expectations. Furthermore, generational gaps create complexities that can be difficult to navigate, especially for a company looking to fill a vital position quickly and successfully. The hiring process has evolved significantly in recent years and now requires a granular approach to recruiting the right people to build a lasting team. Simply put, there is no “one size fits all” approach and it takes an expert in people to successfully achieve such results. That’s the difference My Future Consulting brings to companies in eight different industries, boasting a 93 percent employee placement retention rate. 

“’Your Future is Our Priority’” is embodied in every phase of the search process. Our end goal is to make the process both seamless and stress-free for all stakeholders,” adds Mr. Fletcher. “Unlike most recruitment firms where recruiting is approached transactionally, My Future Consulting approaches it as a relationship-based business. We take tremendous pride in critically evaluating necessary steps to ensure all of our clients have a phenomenal experience during each and every phase of the recruitment process. Additionally, 95 percent of our candidates and 90 percent of our clients lack the knowledge and/or resources to effectively negotiate salary and compensation. This is another reason why our services are greatly valued as we are able to propose a competitive compensation – a package that presents a win-win outcome for both the candidate and client.” 

Taking it a few steps further, My Future Consulting focuses on presenting candidates to clients that bring results through a thorough understanding of company culture and the differences presented in different generations of employees seeking a family of companies to grow with. Among the major differences in the talent market today is the emergence of Gen Z into the mix of millennials and baby boomers. Communication, experience, goals, and skills are unique to each candidate presented. An example of this is seen with the level of experience in technology. While a seasoned Millennial candidate presents skills in communication and writing, a Gen Z candidate with less experience might present a deeper knowledge of platforms vital to a company’s audience. If an overwhelmed supervisor is tasked with the responsibility to fill a position quickly, identifying these factors could very well be overlooked and the right candidate dismissed. 

“From a recruitment standpoint, it can be extremely challenging for Baby Boomers who may not be knowledgeable of the many social media platforms and networks that exist today, as this has become a primary connection point for most millennials, Gen Z and a few straggling Baby Boomers,” adds Fletcher. “Lack of engagement on the aforementioned could result in a competitive disadvantage in the war of talent that exists in today’s job market.”

More so than before, finding the right talent has proven to be increasingly difficult as more factors present themselves in a variety of industries. The workforce culture is changing while technology is advancing and companies are confronted with the need for change in developing a strong team. What proved to be successful previously is not guaranteed to work in the modern age. Hiring managers and business owners alike are beginning to realize addressing these challenges is best left for the experts to tackle. 

“For Gen Z and Millennials, technology is the most appealing aspect of a job and lack thereof will only lead to high turnover. Today’s candidates lean towards organizations that are always on the cutting edge of technology. For those companies that have an antiquated approach in running their organization, they are perceived to be out of touch, stifling the individual capability of the organization, thus leading to morale and performance issues – a recipe for mass exodus.” 

Understanding a candidate from a generational, cultural, and skills point of view is not something companies can rely on an average recruiting website or firm to deliver on. What many recruiters fail to understand is how to determine which candidates are ready for the next step in an industry and which candidates need some finessing for placement success. From the personalized, 10-point resume assessment services to its career transition services, the experts at My Future Consulting address recruiting from both sides to ensure the right candidates are set up for success and while companies are paired with the best option. Instead of isolating one side, both participants in the process are evaluated holistically, resulting in satisfied clients and employees. 

“Every search begins with the goal of it lasting. When uniting candidates with clients, we go into each search with the thought of it being a long-term business marriage,” adds Fletcher. “Long term viability is our end goal, so we go to great lengths to understand the needs and goals of both the candidate and the clients. Once we identify what we perceive to be the ideal candidate we begin to court them accordingly.” 

“Based on the unsolicited feedback we’ve consistently received from both the candidate and our valued client base, our unique methodology, timely and personalized style of communication clearly differentiates us from any perceived competitors. We firmly believe that effective communication is critical and serves as the foundation for our firm. It enables us to provide clear direction and impeccable service to our clients.” 

Another critical element in today’s workforce is the theme of diversity and inclusion – regardless of the industry. This directly ties in with the Gen Z and Millennial generations entering the workforce and what is expected as a standard, not a “perk.” There’s a direct correlation between company culture and employee satisfaction, quality of work, and most importantly, company reputation. If a company neglects its own culture (i.e. people), employees can lose motivation, creating more positions to fill, raising turnover rates, and restarting the never-ending cycle. If a company is known for extensive hours, poor culture, and lack of technology, a qualified candidate – particularly a Gen Zer, can become quickly disinterested and offer their skills to a competitor. Even worse is when that employee spreads the message of poor culture and working conditions to other potential candidates. Word of mouth plays an equal part in developing your company’s profile in the talent pool. 

Fletcher adds: 

“Jobs that lack an intense level of engagement from a digital space could lead to boredom, which if not addressed could result in high turnover. Gen Zers appear to be more motivated by security versus millennials, who tend to be motivated by purpose. This explains the constant job-hopping and indecisiveness when it comes to career choices among these generations of workers. This also shows how critical it is to know your employee’s career goals and motivations as well as talent opportunities.” 

“Work experience and skill set are equally critical when identifying solid talent to present to our clients. However, a vibrant, inclusive, and engaging work environment is where we expend immeasurable energy in to ensure that we’re putting candidates in a position to succeed from the moment their step on the campus of the new employer.” 

Taking it another step further is balancing the needs of both employers and employees once the right candidate has been identified and hired. This is one of the most critical steps once an employee has been selected and begins integrating into a company’s atmosphere – beyond the deliverables and daily tasks. An example of this is commonly found with Gen Z candidates and accurately assessing career paths against personal goals, expectations, and skills development. Today’s workforce requires career-mapping and consistent goal setting for success. 

“Gen Zers operate with an entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, meaning they are high energy, self-motivated, and independent in thought. This poses a tremendous challenge for most hiring managers that typically oversee more traditional operations where policies and procedures not only guide, but sometimes place a stranglehold on employees and their success. Striking a balance is the key to success,” adds Fletcher. “Studies have shown that both Gen Zers and Millennials want to be catered to quite intensely. I believe that applies to all generations, but the latter is simply more outspoken about it. This can pose a problem to hiring managers that are Baby Boomers, as their inclination is to not to coddle candidates, leading to miscommunication and unmanaged expectations which ultimately results in loss of job opportunities, career advancement, and retention rates dropping.” 

From managing expectations to providing the right amount of challenges and feedback for this generation, it takes an expert in people to ensure the match is successful in the long-term. This is another way My Future Consulting differentiates itself among talent recruiters. It’s through the extensive knowledge and expertise offered that 93 percent of their candidates thrive in their new roles, followed through with consistent checks and balances to ensure retention is achieved. 

“We identify the five most critical skills sets that are required to be successful in the role we’re recruiting for and provide a detailed analysis of each that is included in our candidate submission summary. Once a candidate is converted to employee, our firm check-in with the candidate on day 60-90-180. No other search firm in the world has a similar practice. We send congratulatory gifts to the client and candidate up signing. We also celebrate the candidates 1st year anniversary and follow-up with the candidate twice a year to discuss performance, culture, and transition.” 

The My Future Consulting difference speaks for itself through satisfied clients and successful employees the firm has placed in a multitude of industries over the years. The unmatched knowledge found within the team of experts at My Future Consulting goes beyond addressing recruiting and retention roadblocks and spotlights the importance of company reputation. Not only does the firm take pride in connecting companies to candidates but takes the time to prepare the next generation of workers for their ideal job while growing businesses nationwide. 

“Over 95 percent of the candidates that we look to present to our industry leading clients are passive professionals, thus not actively searching for a new opportunity. We are often referred to them by trusted associates, both past and present. New business opportunities tend to arise from satisfied clients and business partners who refer new clients to our firm. In fact, 80 percent of our new business is a result of unsolicited client referrals. This data point, as you would imagine, makes us very proud as an organization,” Fletcher concludes. 

______________________________________________________________

 

Anthony Fletcher, Sr. (@Real_AFletcher) is the owner and president of My Future Consulting and Integrity Sports Agency. Drawing from over two decades of Executive Management experience in leading innovative solutions, staff building and talent recruitment, Mr. Fletcher founded My Future Consulting (MFC) in 2007. Working towards innovation based on his experience of matching the right person with the right job, this innovative staffing company has revolutionized how organizations meet their need with experienced and high-potential talent. My Future Consulting was founded on the principle that people are an organization’s most important asset and was ranked as a Top 20 Employment Agency in Chicago by Expertise.com in 2018 and 2019. 

Mr. Fletcher is a popular keynote speaker and can often be found sharing his story and insights on leadership, empowerment, and the importance of people with professional, civic, and community organizations. He is also a lecturer and visiting professor at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. 

Anthony lives in Orlando Park, Ill. with his family. He is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer, serving as a chairperson and fundraiser for many area nonprofit organizations. Mr. Fletcher has raised over $54,000 for MS Walk and volunteers as an executive advisor to organizations, 

including the American Diabetes Association, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Feed Our Starving Children. 

new york

Executive Getaways: New York

Business trips and New York tend to go hand-in-hand for travelers. From its major convention centers and expo arenas to its breathtaking skyscrapers and rooftop bars, New York is truly a treat for the business traveler; just make sure to bring an extra pair of shoes for walking and an appetite for adventure, regardless of what part of the state you end up in. 

New York is known for hosting some of the most notable annual trade show events, boasting an international presence in sectors including fashion and retail, global logistics, business expos and more at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, Brooklyn’s Expo Center or one of the many luxurious hotels in the region. 

In the Empire State, there’s a plethora of transportation options to choose from. But make sure to always know your options as you navigate various parts of the city and don’t limit yourself to one means of transportation. All in all, the subway and occasional Uber will most likely be your best options; travelers will walk a significant amount either way. 

Upon your arrival, expect to be greeted with the cliché hustle and bustle atmosphere paired with crowds of people trying to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. You’ll find there’s so much to do compact in one state that it would take a couple of weeks to check them all off the list. This quick reference list is for business travelers seeking adventure in between business. The best part is, this list doesn’t require more than a couple of days to knock out. 

BAR 54

There are few rooftop bars that deliver the experience found on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Centric Times Square. Bar 54 offers some of the most fascinating photo opportunities while providing a modern and relaxing atmosphere guaranteed to help one forget they are in New York for business. If you’re seeking a delicious meal, elegant cocktails, upbeat tunes and views that don’t disappoint, Bar 54 is the perfect place for you. Take in the views of the Chrysler Building and take a peek at Times Square from the top, minus the crazy crowds and stuffy streets. Bar 54 is the ideal environment for business networking if you’re seeking an untraditional and exhilarating environment to talk business in. And if you’re simply seeking asylum after a long day of meetings and conferences, Bar 54 has a spot ready for you and you alone. Either way, you’re bound to connect with someone on the rooftop terrace. Also, if your curiosity peaks, a rooftop telescope supplies up-close views of the dozens of buildings and views surrounding the region. Get ready for some unmatched photo opportunities here!

THE VESSEL AT HUDSON YARDS

Yes, you read that correctly–it’s literally a vessel comprised of one giant spiral staircase offering unique viewpoints paired with magnificent river and city views. Let’s face it, if one visits New York and doesn’t relish the views, it’s not really a trip to New York. The Vessel features 154 flights of stairs equating to roughly 2,500 individual stairs. And it gets better: Admission to experience this Thomas Heatherwick/Heatherwick Studios masterpiece is free on the same day. So, spontaneity is fully supported and encouraged. Again, brace yourself for remarkable photo opportunities and an experience you won’t find anywhere else. It’s ideal for those who might have a fear of heights but still crave some high-towering adventure. Don’t worry, there is an elevator that goes straight to the top if the thought of climbing 154 flights of stairs makes your feet hurt. However, we highly recommend taking the stairs due to the intricate and funky mirror images one experiences on the way to the top. 

THE HIGH LINE

We promise we’re not trying to add more steps to your New York adventures, but The High Line is simply a must-do exploration of a different side of New York. In short, this is an all-in-one experience combining the best and most beautiful aspects of nature, art and design throughout a 1.45-mile stretch of elevated rail track showcasing the city’s history and beauty. Owned by New York City, The High Line delivered meat to the Meatpacking District and agricultural goods to local warehouses and factories from 1934-1980. Nowadays, it offers residents and visitors an open invitation to wander and explore its path of various viewing spurs, crossroads and natural scenery. If you happen to catch an appetite on the trail, there are a variety of food options depending on the time of year visited. Throughout the year, Santina serves some of the tastiest Italian-themed dishes that are sure to satisfy the hunger. The High Line is ideal for unwinding and de-stressing and is sure to satisfy one’s need for adventure and wandering or for those seeking a healthy dose of tranquility and a glass of wine.  

9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM

In true patriotic style, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is an unmatched experience, taking its visitors through one of the most devastating events in our country’s history and reiterating the importance to never forget the service and sacrifice given by America’s first responders and the lives lost so abruptly that day. Interestingly enough, what some don’t realize is how the early 1990s World Trade Center bombing is also remembered along with the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, paired with the world’s response. Although this is a much heavier and serious place to visit, anyone who claims to be an American needs to pay tribute to the beautifully developed memorial, Survivor Tree and museum. If you already know the dates of your upcoming New York trip, take a glance at the Events Calendar to see if you can pencil-in a visit to experience a critical part of America’s history and learn to pause and appreciate the more important aspects of what we do and what we stand for as a united country. 

Wando Welch Terminal

SCPA’s Wando Welch Terminal Confirmed for Sustainable Crane Upgrades

RTG cranes at South Carolina Ports Authority’s Wando Welch Terminal will soon operate on sustainable and eco-friendly engines thanks to a $2 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Through a great partnership with DHEC, we have secured EPA funding to upgrade our 12 least efficient RTG cranes with high performing, environmentally friendly battery/genset hybrids,” said Stephen Brisben, Mechanical Technical Specialist for SCPA’s Heavy Lift Maintenance Department. “This aligns with our efforts to upgrade equipment to both improve air quality standards in the Lowcountry and enhance terminal operations.”

The grant was issued as part of the  Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program supporting the upgrading of various fleets from school buses, transit airport buses, long and short-haul trucks, marine engines, locomotive replacements, and more for cleaner environments and an overall reduction in harmful emissions.

“For the past 10 years, the DERA program has played an important role in helping to reduce harmful emissions from diesel engines while simultaneously creating opportunities for economic growth and development in South Carolina,” DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality Chief Rhonda Thompson said. “We are excited about this new opportunity to work alongside the South Carolina Ports Authority — an entity whose work is crucially important in supporting both our state and regional economies.”

SCPA’s Chief Operating Officer Barbara Melvin confirmed the 12 rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTG) upgrades are part of the overall vision to implement sustainable and efficient equipment solutions. Additionally, the upgrades were reported to support reducing fuel consumption while cutting up to 96 percent of particulate matter, air toxins, and nitrogen oxides.

CarrierGo

Blume CarrierGo Provides Motor Carriers with All-Encompassing Business Solutions

This year’s Intermodal Expo in Long Beach, California featured some of the latest solution offerings disrupting the transportation sector. Among leading industry experts including logistics and supply chain solutions provider, Blume Global unveiling their latest product offering, Blume CarrierGo. Blume Global boasts over 25 years of transportation solution offerings in the cloud enabling international multimodal operations including shipment planning, execution, visibility, invoicing, invoice processing & settlement.

“Blume CarrierGo is a product we created that offers our global network of 7,000-plus carriers more than just execution, adding more value for both the carriers and the drivers,” explains Glenn Jones, GVP Product Strategy at Blume Global. “CarrierGo is localized in 22 languages and utilized by customers around the globe, so it’s not limited to the United States. This solution enables carriers to increase turns per day while reducing empty miles and maximizing efficiencies.” 

The days of manual processes are becoming a thing of the past, particularly in transportation and carrier services as automation continues setting a new and more improved standard of streamlining operations. Blume CarrierGo solution identifies processes such as appointment scheduling for carriers lacking levels of automation needed for optimization. Another example is opportunities with street turns found within the Blume import and export-heavy freight forwarding customers.

“We have insight into what independent freight forwarders might not be able to see, such as import and export maps leading to an opportunity for a street turn recommendation or automatic allocation. Dwell times also provide an opportunity for automation. We may have 20, 30, or even 50 carriers trying to pick up containers out of the same terminal. By leveraging our visibility across multiple freight forwarders we can either make recommendations or we can delay making appointments through the insight we have into marine terminals with delays,” Jones adds. 

And how about invoicing? Blume covers all bases for carriers in terms of accessorials and eliminating the element of surprise when it comes to unpredictable charges backing up processing times. The Blume solutions process requires carriers to gain approval for accessorials before they even happen. 

“If a carrier needs to get to a port and they’re unable to, there might be a demurrage charge or there might be a carrier in a dwell time charge situation unexpectedly. They can gain approval from the buyer for that accessorial and when it appears on the invoice days – or hours later, there’s no surprise and the invoice will be processed faster,” Jones adds. “This is particularly useful for carriers in 3rd world countries, where the carriers tend to be much smaller and require payments quicker than what the freight terms offer,” Jones adds. 

Processes like these are found within the CarrierGo solution, providing maximized efficiencies and reducing costly and time-consuming overhead freight audits and manual payment processes. Carriers are not only paid on time, but have increased opportunity for invoice factoring discussions in international markets. This is a major differentiator found within the Blume solutions structure impacting global scale capabilities across the supply chain, creating seamless flows between all players and competitors in the multimodal sector. 

For more information about how Blume CarrierGo can improve your cargo needs, please visit booth 512 at Intermodal Expo or visit Blume Global on the web. 

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Glenn Jones, GVP Product Strategy, Blume Global

 Glenn has a proven track record of growing businesses by building and leading product management/marketing and R&D organizations to define, develop, position, and sell highly innovative and high value enterprise solutions delivered in the cloud. He was formerly the COO of Sweetbridge and the CTO of Steelwedge Software. He also held leadership positions at several other companies, including Elementum and E2Open.

lean supply chain

LEAN OR AGILE? FOR A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN, THE ANSWER IS BOTH

Maintaining competitive advantage in the global logistics playing field is no easy task. There are hundreds of companies striving to earn the loyalty and business of global and domestic clients and the competition is becoming more intense with each passing day. Thanks to technology, companies are now able to take a step back and truly evaluate what structures make the most sense to meet customer demands in unpredictable markets.

Technology offering features such as predictive analytics are enabling logistics leaders to employ proactive measures for even the most complex of disruptions. However, readily available technology does not prove successful without careful consideration of the right platform and what supply chain management structure will meet the needs for specific company goals and customer demands. Company A might require a lean approach, while company B requires characteristics of both lean and agile supply chain structures. Before diving into which one benefits the most, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. 

An agile supply chain structure focuses heavily on layered benefits including visibility, predictability, and speed in terms of reaction times. Lean supply chain focuses on the most cost-effective options, ultimately reducing costs and recovering what’s been spent. Both are extremely important and attainable, but the trick is finding the right balance between the two while recruiting the best partners fit to support meeting the needs of customers. This element is critical in maintaining competitive advantage and ultimately makes or breaks customer relationships. 

“Everyone is striving to find that balance between having an agile supply chain and a lean supply chain because logistics and transportation costs fall to the bottom line,” explains Matt Castle, vice president, Global Forwarding Products and Services at C.H. Robinson. “These costs need to be recovered at some point in time, regardless of what business you’re in. There’s always going to be a focus on ensuring a lean supply chain in terms of cost and the economy, as well as how to find that balance of also maintaining flexibility based on the needs of the business. Having that agility can be a major differentiator in delivering on customer expectations.”

Castle adds: “Another question to think about is how to approach diversification in your supplier base. There can obviously be restraints based on a particular importer or exporter in terms of where they’re sourcing or buying product and availability, but I recommend ensuring you have an outlet from a secondary supplier. It’s worth the front-end legwork from a planning perspective to ensure you have a multitude of choices.”

The advantages of agile supply chain go far beyond mastering efficiencies or recovering costs and requires taking a holistic look at all the moving parts of your business. Implementing this type of approach relies heavily on planning and thinking differently in approaching the management of customer expectations while ensuring your business can offer a level of flexibility your competitors can’t offer. 

“When I think about an agile supply chain, I think about having flexibility—the ability to adapt at a quick pace, speed and the ability to recover from a certain level of uncertainty,” Castle says. “I believe it’s important to collaborate with a company that has a diverse portfolio of services. This is so businesses are able to adjust quickly from an ocean service to an air service, from an intermodal to a truckload, or even breaking down at a warehouse facility, LTL or small parcel.

“Having a provider that can seamlessly move from one product to the next is extremely important. It’s also important to ensure you’re engaging with a provider that has a global footprint. There are different scenarios playing out in different countries, so your ability to have a presence that can engage a global environment is critical.”

Any business implementing an agile supply chain approach must ensure supporting providers and partners are a good fit. Choosing the right third-party logistics provider can determine just how quickly your business can recover from an unpredictable situation and continue operations. Uncertainties cannot be completely eliminated, but they can be managed in a way that your business and customer relations do not suffer with the right partner. Without this, an agile supply chain structure is limited. 

“When thinking about uncertainty in the supply chain, having a third-party logistics provider that’s multimodal or that offers a variety of products allows you to seamlessly move from one product to the next,” Castle advises. “That is one of the best defenses against being able to navigate any level of uncertainty–from speeding up or slowing down products. It comes back to having some level of a global presence, as it’s something a lot of importers and exporters are trying to navigate today.”

Technology is equally important when aligning operations with an agile approach. This also requires careful consideration of what works in terms of what kind of products and the regions associated with operations. The technology needs to provide a level of visibility that enables your business to react to a variety of disruptors–from weather to policy, disruptions can come in different forms and require proactive, quick solutions to mitigate additional risks. 

“Put simply, it’s a matter of having product available–whatever your business may be, to either sell or have within the production cycle so that you’re not ending up with a plant shutdown,” Castle says. “An agile supply chain creates an opportunity to deliver product on the shelf that a competitor isn’t able to.”

“For C.H. Robinson, Navisphere is our technology platform. Managing any kind of supply chain is about how you bring visibility to what’s happening with the movement of your goods. What’s changing in terms of expectations around technology is how do you start to weave different factors in so that it starts to align with more predictive elements.”

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Matt Castle is vice president of Air Freight Products and Services at C.H. Robinson. He joined C.H. Robinson in 1996 and has 25+ years of experience in the transportation industry. Castle is responsible for driving growth through global airfreight product. He received his degree in Aviation Administration and Management from the University of North Dakota.

ATLANTA OFFERS DELIGHTS FOR THE EYES, MIND AND BELLY

Rich in history, food and culture, Atlanta is a city that never seems to disappoint visitors. You’ll discover a variety of things to do if you’ve found yourself in Atlanta with time to kill in between meetings and conferences. Bring your appetite, a comfy pair of shoes and plenty of camera space as Atlanta boasts some of the most beautiful things to eat, see and experience. Global Trade magazine took time to vet the best spots to visit while maximizing your Atlanta experience after-hours—whether you’re seeking fancy cocktails, thrills at new heights or simply wanting to learn more about the city’s robust history. 

Centennial Park District

Take the time to unwind while taking in breathtaking views at The Glenn Hotel’s SkyLounge. This distinguished rooftop experience is among the top 23 in the world, as voted by ABC.com, and among the top five in Atlanta according to Forbes Travel Guide. Located in the heart of the city in Centennial Park District, SkyLounge offers unmatched views paired with a refreshing variety of perfectly crafted drinks to satisfy any cocktail lover’s taste buds. If you’re seeking more sustenance during your visit to The Glenn, stop by Glenn’s Kitchen for a tasty meal doused in Southern style for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Seeking more heights? Take a stroll over to the SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel on Luckie Street. Towering 20 stories high, it boasts 42 gondolas with temperature-controlled features. Feeling fancy? Take advantage of the VIP gondola and enjoy Ferrari-style seats and a glass floor to enhance the experience. 

If you’re a sports fanatic, look no farther than the College Football Hall of Fame located just off of Marietta Street. Be fair warned, however, and bring yourself dressed appropriately with a comfy pair of shoes if you dare give the Indoor Running Field a try. Test your skills by kicking a field goal or challenge yourself to the obstacle course. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t demand your inner athlete, take your college football team pride to the next level at The Quad, where you can register your team of choice and watch it light up on a three-story helmet wall. There’s also the “Game of Your Life” 4K feature film showing at the Game Day Theater, bringing the big screen to life with all the college football action your heart desires. 

Old Fourth Ward

If you’re a history buff and seeking a region rich in history and heritage, exploring the sites and monuments in the Old Fourth Ward are well worth your time. Established in the 1800s, Old Fourth Ward boasts the very historic birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitors get the opportunity to experience the very home he grew up in and the church he preached at, Ebenezer Baptist Church at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, also known as “Atlanta’s Top Tourist Destination” by the National Park Service. Take a moment to appreciate the Behold Monument unveiled by the civil rights martyr’s wife, Coretta Scott King, or the beautiful World Peace Rose Garden featuring themes of peace and non-violence through 185 different kinds of roses with unique colors and scents.

Once your craving for history is satisfied, take your appetite for a trip to the Ponce City Market Food Hall, where you can find options ranging from Indian street food, Szechuan-style cuisine, Asian favorites, traditional American dishes, Southern favorites and an impressive elevated craft beer garden at Nine Mile Station. Boasting views that pair well with the beer or cocktail of your choice, if you’re in town on the right day, you might even be able to catch the weekly cult classic film featured on the rooftop. You won’t regret visiting Ponce City Market and might even find yourself going back for seconds. Did we mention there’s also a wine tasting room? 

If the weight of a business trip starts to get heavy, what better way to alleviate it than with laughter? Head on over to Dad’s Garage Theater in the Little Five Points neighborhood for some uniquely showcased humor from classic improv to sketch. It goes without saying, there’s a lot to do in this part of the city. 

Buckhead District 

Buckhead is sure to please those seeking a fancier Atlanta experience–from shopping and fine dining, to historical sites and classy cocktails–all paired with modern landscapes and a refreshing atmosphere that can’t be overlooked when in Atlanta. 

If you have an appreciation for a fine bourbon and fancy atmosphere, be sure to check out the Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in Buckhead. Southern Art takes a different approach to cooking and boasts a fresh cuisine experience with the finest versions of Southern favorites that rely on the seasons to determine their character. Considering Southern Art was founded by Art Smith–known for serving as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for a decade–this choice spot is definitely worth a visit that will leave guests satisfied and impressed. If you’re stuck wondering what to do on a Friday or Saturday evening, Southern Art has you covered through its weekly featured “Bourbon Bar Unplugged” with live music and entertainment up until midnight. 

For another taste of history, be sure to give the Atlanta History Center a visit and plan to spend a generous amount of time exploring attractions such as the 1928 Swan House, the Smith Family Farm, the Margaret Mitchell House, and 33 acres of breathtaking gardens, woods and nature’s beauty at the Goizueta Gardens. 

Finish off the night with an elegant cocktail atop the W Atlanta’s Whiskey Blue Bar that sits 125 feet above the city skyline, where you can take in the scenery at one of the two offered patios. If you’re curious about what’s inside, head over and enjoy a cozy yet chic experience at the W’s Living Room Cook Hall or lounge area. 

With Southern hospitality at the forefront of ATL culture, you’re bound to find some interesting and kind folks to mingle with. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. 

TeleSense Addresses Global Grain Ecosystem Challenges

Grain spoilage may soon be a thing of the past for global grain operators and transporters. IoT tech innovator TeleSense recently announced its acquisition of Danish wireless sensor technology company, Webstech. Through this acquisition, TeleSense announced it will amp up IoT efforts as it now has access to the largest global remote-sensed dataset and plans on integrating Webstech’s industrial automation capabilities, solar/battery power functionality and sensor spears to its current solution.

“Spoilage and energy optimization in drying grain continue to be multi-billion dollar issues; TeleSense provides the data insights needed for players throughout the global grain ecosystem to improve safety and profitability,” TeleSense CEO Naeem Zafar said. “The acquisition of Webstech greatly accelerates our entry into the European market and provides millions of additional historical data points to further refine our machine learning technology and predictive algorithms.” 

The TeleSense GrainSafe™ AI platform serves the grain supply chain as a scalable solution through monitoring temperature and humidity levels and providing real-time view of the stored grain to ensure quality conditions are maintained. With this innovative, portable, and wireless solution, the company is ready to expand its presence beyond the U.S. and Australia and make its entry in the European regions.

“How grain is stored, handled and traded in the years to come will change as new IoT-enabled technologies take hold throughout the supply chain,” added Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen of Maersk Growth Ventures. “We think that this acquisition by TeleSense will accelerate the mission of higher sustainability and efficiency in the grain supply chain.”

The company also confirmed it will expand with a new Denmark office and onboard two new additions to the team. Maersk Growth Ventures’ Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen will serve on the Board of Directors of the newly created TeleSense Europe ApS subsidiary and Webstech’s CEO Thomas Kylling will serve as managing director for TeleSense’s European team.

“After operating in the European remote sensing space for almost a decade, I was absolutely blown away by TeleSense’s integration of data science with an IoT solution for grain,” noted Kylling. “I think that TeleSense will help drive the automation of the grain supply chain, and I’m excited to help lead the effort in Europe.”