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How to Select the Best Supply Chain for Your Business

supply chain

How to Select the Best Supply Chain for Your Business

All businesses, no matter how small, need a reliable supply chain so they can deliver their products to their customers in the shortest time possible. The delivery system needs to be accurate, prompt and cost-effective.

Standards to consider when selecting a suitable supply chain

If the existing supply chain is missing just one of the above three elements, then you should consider redesigning it. In addition, business owners need to understand that supply chains have three different classifications:

-High inventory turns and low inventory volume – equivalent to Just-In-Time inventory

-Low inventory turns and high inventory volume – applicable when you have a long lead time with suppliers

-High inventory turns and high inventory volume – if your business is in the fresh or frozen food industry, you need sufficient produce to replace any expired or spoiled goods

When creating or adjusting your supply chain, other essential elements should include:

-Location of your business, customers, and suppliers

-Local regulations and tax laws

-Logistics lead times

-Logistical costs and savings

You can also measure your supply chain’s success based on the following:

-Flow of goods

-Costs of the flow of goods

-The time needed for such goods to flow

Ultimately, you will need a delivery system that will satisfy all your customers at the lowest possible cost. To determine which supply chain is most suited to your business, consider the following factors.

The location of your typical customer

-Do you ship globally, regionally or locally?

-Do customers come to you to pick up their orders?

For example, if you have to ship your goods across the globe, it can take up to two months for buyers to receive them. Therefore, you will need to design a supply chain that can handle international freight and customs issues.

However, if your customers pick up their purchases personally, then the delivery element can be the extension of your inventory and management control.

If your business requires fast order-to-delivery lead time, you will need a high inventory but low turns. This will mean that you need to allocate more resources to your inventory, but at least this will keep your customers happy.

If your product is in high demand or is perishable, you also need to keep a high inventory and deliver it quickly before the expiration date.

Accounting for supply chains

To successfully manage your product deliveries, you will need to know:

-What exactly you have in your inventory

-Where your stocks are located

-The costs of procuring your products

-The costs of holding them until they are sold or delivered

If you have hundreds or thousands of products, you will need a warehouse management system. Alternatively, you can hire a third-party logistics provider to take care of your inventory management and sales deliveries.

However, if you are just a small business, these options may prove to be too much of an investment. Despite the lack of huge resources, you still need to know your exact inventory. Fortunately, you can keep track of this information using spreadsheets and accounting software such as QuickBooks. This accounting service provider has several resource articles that can help you decide which software is most suitable for your business.

As your business continues to grow, you will need specific software that includes a component called enterprise resource planning (ERP). This system incorporates all the internal and external data in your electronic records and departments, such as accounting and sales.

Accountants, and specifically cost accountants, use the supply management chain as a tool to improve a company’s purchasing, manufacturing and inventory processes. This is a technique that analyzes the movement of goods; for example, from the raw materials to the finished products.

Locate your suppliers

You will have a long supplier lead time if the products will only arrive after

-Two months of sea travel. Shipping them by air is much quicker, but very expensive and the costs are usually unjustifiable

-Lengthy manufacturing cycles

High inventory volume and low inventory turns are normal for businesses such as Apple, although this tech company is using its market position to reduce its high inventory costs. For example, if you are an Apple supplier, you ship the products to the company, but it won’t issue an invoice upon receipt. You only receive payment once Apple releases the products to its retail stores.

Conclusion

In the end, the supply chain you choose must satisfy all your customers’ requirements so they can receive your products whenever and wherever they want. Nevertheless, the cost to you should also be reasonable. Achieving this goal requires a smart strategy and careful planning. However, the financial side of the supply chain will entail employing the services of an accountant who specializes in cost accounting. They will probably recommend a supply management system to monitor every process in the chain.

_______________________________________________________________

Written by Nishi Patel, founder of Northants Accounting.

 

vascor

APL Logistics Vascor Celebrates 2019 with “Best 3PL Company” Recognition

As 2019 came to an end, APL Logistics Vascor was recognized for the first time as a shortlist nominee for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), earning the title as this year’s “Best Third-Party Logistics Company” award.

This recognition reiterates the Delhi-based automotive 3PL as a leader in providing bulk transportation options within the region. APL Logistics Vascor is a joint-venture between  APL Logistics and VASCOR Ltd. established in 2012.

“Our unique rail-based solutions have proven to be a great success among the Automotive companies and OEMs,” commented Umesh Bhanot, Managing Director of APL Logistics Vascor.

“This award is a testimony to the commitment and hard work our employees put in to achieve operational excellence. We are honored to receive this award and will continue to strive to provide a seamless and delightful experience for our customers,” he concluded.

Held annually, the 2019 Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence awards took place the second week in December in Bengaluru, India and highlighted leading logistics and supply chain successes from the year. Factors evaluated to determine category winners were based on four main pillars which included:

-Overall business performance

-Financial performance and stability in supply chain

-Operational supply chain performance 

-Enablers of supply chain  management through submission of case studies  

global

Global Traders on the Move

James J. White, who has guided the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore during a period of record revenue, cargo and job growth as executive director of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA), resigned effective Dec. 31, 2019. He had led operations for 18 years as the Port of Baltimore improved its national rankings, upgraded security procedures and completed infrastructure projects that made it one of the few ports in America capable of receiving the largest ships in the world.

Modern Terminals Hong Kong Managing Director and CEO Peter Levesque was confirmed in November as the newly appointed president for the largest North American marine terminal and stevedore, Ports America. Levesque, who returns to the U.S. after living and working in Asia for the past 25 years, will step into his new role starting in February when Horace Lo takes over as Modern Terminals’ group managing director.

B&H Worldwide, the award-winning aerospace logistics provider, appointed Michael Pearson to the newly created position of General Manager-Americas. From the company’s Los Angeles office, he must now develop the America’s market and drive growth plans in the States for B&H Worldwide, which was founded in the UK.

Ruan’s President and COO Dan Van Alstine was elected as the 2020 chairman of the board for the Iowa Motor Truck Association at the organization’s annual management conference last fall. Based in Des Moines like Ruan, the association was established in 1942 and has more than 600 member companies (trucking and suppliers) throughout Iowa.

Chicago-based Edsal Manufacturing announced that Scott White was appointed CEO effective Nov. 11, 2019. He succeeded Bruce Saltzberg, who retired after 47 years of leadership but served as strategic advisor through the end of last year and remains on the Board of Directors.

Laguna Hills, California-based LOCATE Inventory, a technology company responsible for developing a cloud-based inventory and order management software application, recently hired former Intuit executive Annie Terry as chief business officer.

Team Worldwide, a Winnsboro, Texas-based global 3PL, announced in October that Amy McKinney was named director of Marketing. She joins the company after having worked for Southwest Airlines and, most recently, Susan G. Komen.

The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) presented the prestigious 2019 Connie Award in December to Bruce A. Fenimore, CEO of New Jersey-based company Columbia Group, which provides US-flag barge service and landside port services to the shipping industry. Also before some 450 people at CII’s annual industry-wide luncheon at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel in New Jersey, Sara Mayes, president and CEO of New York’s Gemini Shippers Group, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam was recognized as Airline Executive of the Year at December’s annual Global Aviation Awards for Excellence organized by the Centre for Aviation in Malta.

Virginia Zimmermann, senior communications manager with Port Manatee (Florida), is the 6,000-member International Propeller Club of the United States’ International Member of the Year. She received the global honor at an Oct. 17, 2019, luncheon during the maritime industry group’s 93rd annual International Convention and Conference in New Orleans.

The New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association named David F. Adam, chairman and CEO of the United States Maritime Alliance, its 2020 Person of the Year. He will be honored at a gala dinner Feb. 6 in New York.

American Shipper Magazine founder David A. Howard passed away Dec. 15. He was just two months short of his 100th birthday.

expert logistics

The Benefits of Hiring an Expert Logistics Company

When it comes to running a business, it’s extremely important to always keep economic efficiency in mind; that’s the only way to expand your business while maintaining a profit. And in many situations, that means making sacrifices. However, if you work smart instead of hard, you can avoid most of that.

For example, it’s crucial to know when your company needs to do something on its own, and when to hire a third-party to do the job for you. If you need goods transported across vast distances, hiring an expert logistics company is probably better than doing it on your own. There are many benefits to such a move, and we’re here to lay them out clearly!

Saving Time

You probably know the old adage “time is money”. Well, there’s no field in which that’s truer than in business. At the end of the day, no matter your managerial capacity, you’ve only got so much time to deal with the important details of running a business. That’s why it’s important to have professional staff and third-party companies who will handle crucial parts of the job for you, so you’re not stretched too thin.

 To give you an example – most businesses are aware that there are many advantages to maritime shipping. However, it’s also incredibly complicated, which warrants the hiring of an expert logistics company to deal with the goods transportation for you. After all, if you were to do it in-house, that would mean tons of research, a lot of new staff, not to mention all of the compliance issues. But if you hire a logistics company to take care of this instead, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of international shipping and trade without dealing with the pesky minutiae.

Consider Cost Efficiency

If we’ve established that time is money and that hiring an expert logistics company saves time, let’s take a look at the former side of that coin. In other words – the money part of the equation. Naturally, many companies around the world have in-house logistics departments. But bear in mind, these are usually large, multi-national conglomerates – companies that can afford to avoid hiring an expert logistics company and bear the costs of transportation themselves.

 On the other hand, if you’re a medium-sized business (and on a global scale, most companies are), you should keep in mind that this will be very costly. And why do it in the first place, really? Outsourcing some of these tasks means not dealing with all of the doing-business costs of a full-fledged logistics department in a large company.

High Standard of Service

Bear in mind that, if you’re thinking of hiring an expert logistics company, you should go with a reputable one. Logically, renowned logistics companies have a brand image to uphold, just like any other firm. And that means that they have well-trained staff and tight schedules – everything you need in order to make sure that your logistics are handled the right way! If you want your end-users and consumers to have a product in their hands without delay, building an in-house logistics team just wouldn’t cut it.

 Also, if your company needs some international transportation, the details of that are definitely something you don’t want to handle on your own. There are plenty of US custom clearance issues and pesky bureaucratic procedures. And while these could seem arcane to you, expert logistics companies handle that kind of stuff on a daily basis.

Latest Technology

When it comes to delivery services and things like freight forwarding, believe us – not hiring an expert logistics company would be a huge mistake. While this might seem like purely menial labor on the outside, shipping involves far more than the loading and unloading of crates. In reality, especially in the contemporary world of global interconnected trade, any kind of concerted transport involves the usage of highly advanced software and technology.

And that kind of modern transport tech is more expensive than you might think; adding a further reason to not bother with logistics on your own. If you hire a specialized company to do it for you, there will be no further investment in logistics that you’d have to make. And that’s definitely important from the cost-efficiency side of things. That’s right, you’re beginning to see why even the biggest product-oriented companies in the world opt for using external logistics experts. At the end of the day, if you’re not a company solely focused on logistics, they’re complicated enough to warrant leaving them to a company that does. 

So, what can you take away from this small outlook into the world of transport logistics? There’s really no other conclusion you could reach, save for the fact that it’s best to leave logistics to the experts. In other words – hiring an expert logistics company to handle all of it for you. That gives you ample time to focus on issues that deserve your attention more, like growing your business and improving the revenue streams.

And that’s something you’ll be able to do if you don’t spend your valuable time on logistical details. More specifically, it would also be fiscally irresponsible to spend money on managing and developing an in-house logistics team, when outsourcing is a much cheaper option. Sure, outsourcing isn’t always the obvious solution, but if you ask us, in this case, it’s a no-brainer.

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 James Greene is a freelance journalist, most often providing insights into topics related to international commerce. He also advises people on topics ranging from global shipping solutions to how to transport your vehicle in no time from Saudi Arabia. When he’s not writing articles on trade, he likes playing chess and hiking on Appalachian trails.

technology

Competitors Link Arms and Embrace Technology’s Promise

Overcapacity. Low freight rates. Security problems. Data inadequacies. Stringent environmental regulations. When it comes to moving containerized freight around the globe, third-party logistics companies (3PLs) have a lot to deal with.

However, like a guardian angel, blockchain has arrived to solve all these issues and more for the 3PL industry, which stands to save billions of dollars annually through increased efficiency, improved processes and a digital transformation.

Blockchain technology, while still in its innovative infancy, has “a lot of potential” to facilitate trade, according to a report by Christine McDaniel, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, Hanna C. Norberg, the founder of Trade Economista and the university that was released in May.

In “Can Blockchain Technology Facilitate International Trade?” McDaniel and Norberg explored blockchain technology’s usefulness in easing trade finance, improving customs procedures and tracking the provenance of goods. Their conclusion: “Adaptability, interoperability, and a policy environment that welcomes experimentation will be essential if the U.S. economy is to realize the potential benefits of blockchain technology across the international trade landscape.”

They also point out that numerous private- and public-sector efforts are underway to explore the benefits of blockchain technology. Financial institutions are experimenting with blockchain to increase access and decrease trade-finance costs.

The shipping industry is working with those along the supply chain and with customs officials to see how a distributed digital ledger can facilitate the transparent movement of goods across borders and seas. Companies and retailers are exploring ways to track their own supply chains so they can communicate tracking and origin information to consumers who increasingly demand such information.

Among those that are all-in with blockchain is Blockshipping, a Danish concern that was launched in May 2018 with a goal of developing the world’s first freight container registry. The startup claims its blockchain-based Global Shared Container Platform, which provides a real-time registry of 27 million containers, could save the industry $5.7 billion annually. For that to work, parties across the industry must apply sensors to all containers.

The same month that Blockshipping announced its arrival, global shipping giants CMA CGM and the Mediterranean Shipping Co. joined TradeLens, the blockchain-based digital shipping platform developed three years ago by A.P. Moller-Maersk and IBM. TradeLens is an open and neutral blockchain platform that promotes an efficient, transparent and secure exchange of information to improve collaboration between different stakeholders within the supply chain.

Ironically, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd had criticized the workings of TradeLens in 2018, stating that for a blockchain-based platform to succeed within the industry, it would need to have a common standard. With CMA CGM and MSC now having joined TradeLens, the platform accounts for shipping data of over half the number of container lines that sail across international waters.

Surgere is a North Canton, Ohio-based digital supply chain and packaging specialist whose clients include Nissan and CEVA Logistics. In June, Surgere announced it had joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (Bita), a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based organization with nearly 500 members in more than 25 countries that collectively generate more than $1 trillion annually. The alliance helps develop industry standards, encourage the use of new solutions and educate its members who are mostly drawn from the freight, transportation and logistics sectors.

“Blockchain enables instant visibility of inventory transactions, captured by Surgere’s extremely accurate RFID solutions, which can be immediately and collectively processed throughout the supply chain,” said Rusty Coleman, Surgere’s vice-president of Digital Transformation, in the Bita announcement. “That visibility can remove artificially created demand patterns and make visible smooth and continuous demand for tier [suppliers] near real-time.”

Representatives from NBSF Railway, Daimler, Delta, J.B. Hunt, FedEx, Transplace and UPS are on the Bita board of directors, whose Standards Council chairman is Dale Chrystie, FedEx’s business strategist and blockchain fellow. “This is not a process improvement initiative; this is a breakthrough discussion,” Chrystie said from the stage of the Blockchain Revolution Global conference in Toronto on April 25. “This is a different way to think about how global clearance looks in the future.”

The notion that competitors are joining hands when it comes to the promise of blockchain was demonstrated by the fact that the FedEx executive was joined by Eugene Laney, head of international government affairs for DHL USA and Mahesh Sahasranaman, principal architect at UPS Supply Chain Solutions, in a discussion with Don Tapscott, executive chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute. Each agreed there is a common interest in embracing uniform standards for blockchain and getting governments on board with the technology.

“This is an issue that must be looked at with a global viewpoint,” Chrystie said. “These dots are going to connect. The question is how are you going to accelerate that process.”

Here is a deeper dive into ways blockchain can revolutionize the industry, according to the “Can Blockchain Technology Facilitate International Trade?” report from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

Trade and Finance

Blockchain could reduce the expense and time required to facilitate trade that depends on third-party lending or insurance. Such trade accounts for about 80 percent of global trade. This reduction of expense and time will be especially important for small and medium-sized enterprises that may face restrictions to accessing credit or for firms in countries with less developed finance markets.

Customs Procedures

The technology could reduce costs associated with obtaining import and export licenses, creating and verifying the accuracy of cargo and shipping documents, and making customs declarations. Blockchain could make a positive contribution to expediting customs procedures. The total impact of those procedures on global trade volumes and economic output is estimated to be greater than that of tariffs.

Tracking the Origin of Goods

Blockchain could improve how producers and retailers manage their supply chains by providing real-time information on the movement and origin of goods. Blockchain designed for trade should disallow anonymity. If such a design were to be widely adopted, it might improve detection of illicit trade flows and help deter illegitimate efforts to circumvent trade rules. A design without anonymity could aid customs and law enforcement while easing the flow of legitimate trade.

logistics

6 Ways to Enhance Your Logistics Efficiency and Improve Customer Relations

For any business that relies on transferring physical goods and valuable data on a daily basis, perfecting logistics processes is an absolute must. Failing to address this important aspect can hurt both the other internal processes at a company and negatively affect the business’s relationships with customers.

When perceived from the position of a customer, this makes perfect sense. Everyone has probably had at least one bad shipping experience in their life. As it turns out that, poor shipping options and bad service can lead to alienating customers and even causing them to order goods from competitors’ websites instead.

So, what can companies do to improve their logistic efficiency and maintain the desired relationship with their customers, whether they’re loyal or new? Here are a few tested and proven ways to stay on top of the situation.

Begin with your logistics staff

Bruce Vaughn, a top paper writing services reviews contributor and a former logistics manager in a large food supply chain, testifies that many shipping mishaps and mistakes begin right at the very beginning of the route: Your own warehouse. 

It all begins and ends with your employees. You can have state-of-the-art software, best vehicles, and finest products on the market, but if you’re constantly understaffed or your employees in the logistics department aren’t properly trained, all other efforts can (and probably will) easily go to waste. Educate your staff and make sure there are always enough of them to handle the growing needs of your business.

Modernize the logistics processes

The times when inventory management and all other processes in your logistics department needed to be done by hand are long gone. Failing to modernize these procedures doesn’t only make your business appear outdated to the outside world: It also slows all shippings down, aggravating your customers as a result.

Business analysts from dissertation writing services advise investing in customizable information management systems that will allow you to handle inventory, statuses of all orders, shipping options, and all other related logistics aspects. This way, your staff will save valuable company’s time and money while also making fewer errors in the process.

Manage supply and demand

One of the most important lessons every retail business owner needs to learn is how to assess the inventory and keep everything neatly stored. This is especially challenging for small businesses, as lack of storage space often prevents them from keeping large amounts of goods close and ready to ship at any time.

Even if your business can’t afford to store thousands of items at the same time, nothing prevents you from educating your staff on how to make the best use of space you do have. Additionally, tracking and analyzing orders can give you a good overview of when your customers typically order more, so you can prepare adequately and in time.

Cut the costs by going green 

As consumers are becoming more aware of our impact on the environment, the time has come for retail and other businesses to start seriously considering going green to cut shipping costs and respond to the wishes of their customers. Thesis help and grademiners analysts assess that more than half of people ordering goods online care about social or environmental benefits, and the results of a study conducted by Cone in 2017 support these claims.

Reducing the consumption of fuel, streamlining driving routes, and investing in eco-friendly packaging are only some of the ways for your business to contribute to saving the planet and strengthen the bond between your brand and its customers.

Partner with reliable shippers

If your company doesn’t ship the goods but instead partners with other shipping services, make sure that your partners are professional and serious when it comes to their end of the business. Your customers expect the entire experience, from ordering to receiving, to be error-free, and if your shipping partners fail to do their job, it’s the image of your company that will suffer as a result.

One of the factors businesses often put in focus when choosing their shipping partners is the price, and this should come as no surprise. However, price should never be the only one, let alone the decisive aspect. Take time to inquire about your potential partner’s delivery and delay rates, insurance, and statistics about their customer support. 

Rethink your refund policy

Even when everything is done right, mistakes can happen. More often than not, however, errors will not affect your business’s reputation as much as your actions to take care of them and prevent similar mishaps in the future.

Remember that trust is what bonds you and your customers as much as the quality of your products. Uk-dissertation.com and essayshark reviews business expert Christina Green emphasizes that designing a respectful refund policy is one of the most important aspects of your retail business. 

Logistics management is one of the crucial components of business operations. Fixing mistakes and maintaining these processes always begins with creating a sustainable plan that should serve your company at the given moment and in the future.

Don’t hesitate to invest time, money, and other resources to make logistics processes work optimally, and your business will soon experience the benefits. Customers will appreciate your efforts, rewarding you with their trust and recommendations, while many other internal processes in your organization will also take a turn for the better.

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This guest post is contributed by Kurt Walker who is a blogger and college paper writer. In the course of his studies he developed an interest in innovative technology and likes to keep business owners informed about the latest technology to use to transform their operations. He writes for companies such as Edu BirdieXpertWriters and uk.bestessays.com on various academic and business topics.

global

GLOBAL FORWARDING: BIGGEST, FASTEST SAVINGS FOR GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

Increasingly complex omnichannel business models are resulting
in correspondingly complicated global supply chains. Maximizing
efficiencies for time and cost in moving freight around the world
is mission critical. This paper takes a high-level look at three
opportunities for optimization: cargo consolidation, cargo risk
management, and customs management.

The multichannel retail business model, along with increasing levels of global sourcing, have created staggering opportunities for importers and exporters around the world, whether huge multinationals or small companies shipping globally for the first time.

Global supply chains are becoming longer and more fragmented,
presenting significant new issues for logistics professionals. In one
survey, 104 global supply chain executives reported that visibility
(21.1%), fluctuating consumer demand (19.1%), and inventory
management (13.2%) were their biggest challenges (1).

Many factors add complexity to global supply chains, including longer lead times and lead-time variability and an increasing number of suppliers, partners, carriers, customers, countries, and logistics channels. Contrary to what you might think, global freight forwarding can offer relief for these concerns and when people, processes, and technology are leveraged, can even offer competitive advantages.

10 Approaches to Savings in the Global
Forwarding Supply Chain

EASY

1. Align shipping activities to leverage benefits of consolidation
services.

2. Minimize financial impact of cargo loss and damage by
purchasing marine cargo insurance.

3. Take advantage of transportation providers’ TMS to create
visibility and take control of the supply chain.

MODERATE

4. Develop strategies to match service modes with inventory
planning and sales forecasting.

5. Create a risk management strategy—identify and understand
risk types, probabilities, and potential costs.

6. Integrate with a single transportation provider’s TMS and
connect with suppliers and carriers globally.

DIFFICULT

7. Effectively use Incoterms® when negotiating with suppliers to
impact unit price, cash flow, inventory levels, and logistics costs.8. Actively engage with a customs professional to deploy best
practices in customs management.

9. Leverage transportation provider’s business intelligence
reporting and analytics to improve supply chain performance.

10. Utilize PO management to control the purchase order lifecycle;
go upstream to supplier order fulfillment logistics activities.

CARGO CONSOLIDATION

What it is
Few companies can fill an entire ocean or air container with their
own freight. Both ocean and air carriers require shippers to work
with freight consolidation services to accommodate small volume
shipping needs. These freight consolidators accept complementary
freight from multiple shippers, and consolidate freight all kinds
(FAK) containers for ocean shipping or unit load devices (ULD) for
air. This results in better freight rates and cargo security measures.

Why it’s important
One of the biggest areas for savings in a global supply chain is
taking advantage of space. Companies of any size can use freight
consolidation services, but it’s particularly useful if you have a lean
supply chain or operate in a just in time environment. Using logistics
efficiencies from freight forwarders, consolidators, and third party
logistics providers (3PLs), you can choose to move smaller quantities
of material more frequently. In doing so, you make a strategic
decision to spend more on consolidation shipping services and less
on inventory, storage, returns, and other costs.

Ocean versus air
Whether air or ocean consolidation is the right choice for you
depends on the required service level and transit time. Globally,
ocean is the less expensive transportation method. That cost
advantage must be carefully weighed against longer transit times, as
well as potential delays caused by adverse weather conditions, port
strikes, or other issues.

In addition, there are faster and slower ocean options. Some ocean
freight goes directly to the port of call. Other shipments can stop at
multiple ports of call, which is less expensive, but takes longer and
is more prone to unexpected disruption. Working with a reputable
freight forwarder can help reduce unexpected supply chain failures
and delays, and provide options if disruptions occur.

Air freight consolidation service is a faster, more expensive option
than ocean, but here, too, there are faster and slower options that
determine the cost. For example, if you don’t need direct service
(next flight out), choose a slower transit time at more favorable
pricing.

Best Practices for Cargo Consolidation

Choose a forwarder with:

-Sufficient freight volumes to effectively consolidate without delays and to aggressively negotiate rates with ocean and air carriers.

-Dedicated space allocations for capabilities when they are needed.

– Work in major markets with high flight capacity.

Generally, in any type of transportation, the more time there is between pickup and delivery, the less you pay. In air, for instance, use providers with gateways (vs. a hub and spoke approach)
to get cost-efficient options that meet your deadlines. Use consolidation schedules if you can for more savings.

CARGO RISK MANAGEMENT

What it is
Global shipments are exposed to risk from a wide range of human
and natural forces. Yet, global shipments are subject to a unique set
of international laws and/or treaties that limit the liability of carriers. Whether you import or export, you should understand the various types of risks that cargo could face and how you can help protect the value of the goods shipped globally.

Why it’s important
Even with proper packing, stowage, and securing of containers on
a container ship, severe weather and rough seas can cause rare but
catastrophic events like ship groundings, structural failures, even
collisions, any of which can result in loss of cargo. On average, the
World Shipping Council estimates that there were 1,582 containers
lost at sea per year between 2008 and 2016; 1,012 of these
containers (64 percent) were lost due to a catastrophic event.2 Theft, counterfeiting, hurricanes, floods, political unrest, labor disputes, documentation errors, or mechanical problems can also delay or ruin delivery of the most perfectly planned global shipment. Protecting the value of products while they are in transit across the globe can have a significant impact in protecting the bottom line.

Air and Ocean Carrier Liability

When events occur, companies are often dismayed to find that not
all risks or damages are covered by carrier liability.

Air carriers are not liable if damage was caused by:
-An inherent defect, quality, or vice of the cargo
-Defective or insufficient packing of the cargo
-An act of war or armed conflict
-An act of a public authority carried out in connection with the
entry, exit, or transit of the cargo

Even if an air carrier is held legally liable for damages, they pay the
value of the goods or 19 SDRs3 per kilogram, whichever is less.
If a ship experiences an extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure at sea,ship owners may declare general average. The concept of general average hearkens back to the days when a crew tossed cargo overboard to lighten the ship in a storm. During the emergency, there wasn’t time to figure out whose cargo should be jettisoned. After the fact, to avoid quarreling, merchants whose cargo landed safely would be called upon to contribute a share or percentage to the merchants whose goods were tossed overboard to avoid imminent peril. Today, general average declarations still mean that all the merchants with freight on the vessel are required to share in the cost of the expenditure before the goods are released.

General average is a growing risk and concern for many risk
managers and insurance experts. In recent times, there has been a
rise in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events that
have led many vessels to become grounded, causing container loss
and/or vessel damage. In addition, fires on container vessels are
more common now than in the past.

Today, when these events occur and general average is declared:

1. Ship owners have a lien on the ship’s cargo. At the time
the voyage is completed, the level of sacrificial losses will not
normally be known. Ship owners will usually call for security
from cargo interests, against which the assessed contributions
can be enforced. The amount of the claim is usually calculated
by average adjusters, appointed by ship owners. Each cargo
owner’s contribution is calculated on a percentage of the cargo
owner’s interest or commercial invoice value, ranging from
1 to 100 percent.

Ship owners have a lien on the cargo until each cargo owner’s
contribution or security is satisfied. Unless a shipment is secured
with all-risk marine cargo insurance, the cargo owner will be
required to post their contribution or security in cash before
their cargo will be released. As the frequency of general average
declarations has increased, so has the amount of the required
securities—from about 12% a year ago to about 50% today.

2. Ocean carriers are not automatically liable for loss or
damage to your cargo. The U.S. accepted the Hague Rules in
1936 through the passage of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
(COGSA). The rules expressly remove the ocean carrier’s liability
for loss or damage to cargo that arises from one of the 17 stated
liability exclusions. Legal liability claims are often met with
resistance by carriers.

Even if the ocean carrier is found liable at the end of a legal
process that can take months to settle, their limit of liability
under COGSA is $500 per package or customary shipping
unit, or the actual value of the goods, whichever is less. In other
words, the onus is on you to assess and minimize your
risk exposure.

Best Practices for Cargo Risk Management

-Buy the appropriate amount of marine cargo insurance for ocean or air shipments.

-Ensure the valuation clause for a given shipment defines the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for a loss. Most valuation clauses include the commercial invoice value and any prepaid charges associated with the shipment, such as freight, customs clearance, or duty. This clause can be modified to include other charges or profit margin—if requested and approved by underwriters.

-Choose an insurance intermediary with experience or specific training in international logistics and transportation insurance.

Calculating Costs to Determine Risk Exposure

The risk of lost cargo is real. Yet, without a crisis to motivate
action, most companies place risk management at the bottom of
the priority scale. The most common method used to protect the
value of goods from physical damage, theft, or other calamity is the
purchase of marine cargo insurance.

The first step you can take is to understand your risk exposure
by tying dollar values to varying types of risk. The challenge is
quantifying the potential cost. You can brainstorm to gather that
information, or can work with a logistics provider that has in-house
risk management professionals to help uncover potential liabilities
in the supply chain.

You can apply subjective probability to calculate possible losses. In
other words, you can estimate the chances of a risk event happening
and multiply it by the cost if it did happen (see below). Once the
dollar amount is calculated, the next step is to reduce the expected
loss by reducing the probability of the occurrence, or the cost of the
occurrence.

Armed with subjective probability estimates, you can effectively
buy the appropriate amount of insurance. While insurance is readily
available, it is your responsibility or the consignee’s to ensure the
coverage purchased best fits the unique exposure.

CUSTOMS MANAGEMENT

What it is
Most companies choose their customs broker for the long term.
That’s because the customs broker must truly understand your
company and products. They must also know how to navigate each
country’s compliance requirements with their own specific set of
customs rules, governmental regulations, VAT, duty rate calculations, and payment plans.

Why it’s important
Even simple trade-related mistakes, such as an incorrect spelling on
a declaration, can result in fines, penalties, or even cargo seizure.
Penalties for transgressions can be severe, depending on the
seriousness of the infraction.

For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) imposes
fines of up to $10,000 per entry for recordkeeping infractions.
Non-financial costs, such a shipment delays, the diversion of staff
resources to correct problems, and in rare instances, the loss of
trade privileges, can be detrimental to an importer’s business.
When you work with Trusted Advisor® experts in customs, you can
learn where the most common mistakes occur and implement best
practices to avoid them. In addition, CBP can conduct a customs
focused assessment—essentially, an audit—with any U.S. importer. A
customs expert can help your company prepare before, during, and
after a focused assessment to minimize risk exposure.

Compliance programs and options that are worth investigating
Not every compliance option will fit or resonate with every business.
Discuss specific issues with an attorney or Trusted Advisor® expert
in customs compliance and learn which elements might be the most
useful. Always seek out an expert opinion.

-Customs bond sufficiency. If you import into the U.S., you must
have a customs bond, generally 10% of the duties and taxes
you expect to pay to CBP for import transactions throughout
the year. CBP can shut down all imports if they discover you
have an insufficient customs bond. Since tariffs (and duties)
are increasing substantially, existing bonds may no longer
be sufficient. Bond insufficiency will lead to additional costs
and delays if not monitored or addressed in a timely manner.

Consider the increased duty amounts well before the bond
renewal period comes up. If the customs bond will need to be
significantly higher, the surety company may require additional
documentation—including financial statements and possibly
letters of credit—before they issue a new customs bond, all of
which will take time to get into place.

-Duty drawback programs. Duty drawback programs refund
99% of certain import duties, taxes, and fees for goods that are
subsequently exported; this supports both U.S. manufacturing
and foreign export sales. Before 2018, duties might only have
been in the 1% to 2% range, and since there is paperwork to file
to get the refund, many companies did not bother with it. Today,
those 1.2% duties have jumped up to 25% in some instances,
making duty drawback programs a potential game-changer for
your business. The downside: duties must be paid up front; your
company may wait for 1 to 2 years to receive the refund under
the current drawback environment, which can become a cash
flow issue for some companies.

-Foreign trade zones (FTZs). Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) are
secure areas located in or near CBP ports of entry, and are under
CBP supervision. Unlike duty drawback programs, companies
don’t have to pay duties when goods enter an FTZ. Instead, FTZs
enable duty deferment; the duties are paid when the goods
enter CBP territory for domestic consumption. At that point, the
importer pays the duties at the rate of either the original foreign
materials or the finished product.

-Exclusion requests. If a company thinks their product should
be excluded from Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs, they can
request an exclusion. When filing an exclusion, make certain that
the classification used is the best classification for the product.
Also, work with a trade attorney; they can help you navigate
the law and apply it to a specific product so the exclusion isn’t
rejected on a technicality.

-Changing sourcing locations. It’s not always easy to change
suppliers, but some companies are looking at it in a new era of
tariffs. Yet, suppliers for some materials are only found in China,
and even if you locate a source in another country, there can be
issues. Can they supply at the necessary level? How long will it
take to test the new supplier against specifications? The more complicated the product, the more challenging a switch will be.
Also, keep in mind that if the cargo ships from Singapore but its
origin is China, U.S. tariffs may still apply.

-Incoterms®. Incoterms®, or International Commercial Terms,
are published by the International Chamber of Commerce.
They are the rules that define the responsibilities of sellers and
buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts, and
they establish where the transfer of risk takes place. However,
they vary from situation to situation. For example, if a container
being moved across the ocean from Shanghai to the United
States falls overboard, who is at risk? The Incoterms® tell the
story. If the U.S. buyer purchased the product FOB (free on
board), the importer took responsibility for the risk as soon as
the freight was loaded on the vessel in Shanghai. If the same
product was purchased DDP (delivered duty paid), the shipper
would be responsible until the product reached the purchaser’s
door in the United States. You can save money if you ensure
your purchasing team understands how Incoterms® rules will be
applied to freight.

Best practices in Customs Management

-Buyers are not transportation and compliance professionals who understand Incoterms®—they choose suppliers based on favorable pricing. You can establish internal structures or education to help buyers understand how Incoterms® impact risk management and pricing.

-Rely on a customs professional to leverage U.S. Customs data. They can combine a company’s unwieldy historical shipping data into usable trade reports to reveal whether an organization is taking proper advantage of free trade agreements around the world.

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY CAN TIE IT ALL TOGETHER

As companies large and small continue to expand internationally,
they can no longer afford to single-handedly manage the countless
details and nuances of global freight forwarding. Shortened lead
times, the use of multiple transportation modes and carriers to
deliver product efficiently across continents, and an environment
fraught with risk requires both worldwide and regional management
of cargo flows.

Many companies rely on a transportation management system
(TMS), hoping to keep their fingers on the pulse of their global
supply chain providers. However, TMS products were developed
initially to track domestic or regional truck shipments and to
automate tedious, low-value processes performed by an enterprise’s
transportation staff. Today, few TMSs can enable global visibility to
every shipment, or can interconnect disparate systems on multiple
continents to provide the level of visibility to show where products
are at any given point in time.

A truly global supply chain network has a single TMS architecture
that spans all continents. Global visibility enables your organization
to clearly see the entire supply chain. Utilization reports for multiple
services and modes (air, ocean, rail, and road) on all continents
confers specific strategic advantages:

-Continuous improvement to supply chain logistics in real time

-Access to business intelligence, crossing all freight and spend.categories to strategically understand the impact of decisions

-Access to a centralized network of multiple providers–without
integrating individually with each provider

Work with a logistics provider that offers a full suite of services,
manages service performance, consistently communicates
performance metrics, and offers strategic optimization to gain
distinct advantages in the marketplace.

A case in point: purchase order management

-Purchase order management (POM) within a TMS delivers end to end visibility throughout the purchase order (PO) life cycle. POM enables you or your provider to manage shipment windows, work
with overseas vendors to coordinate bookings, manage exceptions,
collect and distribute documents, and provide reporting at the shipment and PO/line item level.

-POM options include PO tracking and visibility, reporting, online booking, document management, check and verification process, vendor self-service, vendor management, exception management,
and PO and shipment analytics.

5 Questions to Ask a Potential Global Freight Forwarder

IS YOUR TMS TRULY GLOBAL? There should be one system architecture that works across regions and covers all types of transportation.

CAN YOU PROVIDE CAPACITY OPTIONS?
They should ship goods by ocean, air, rail, and truck,
choosing the option that best aligns with the business
need. Ask about their consolidation programs to
optimize spend, routings, and transit time performance.

DO YOU HAVE “BOOTS ON THE GROUND” IN KEY
GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS?
Your global freight forwarder should think globally, act locally.
That is, they should know global transportation, but also
have deep knowledge of the local population, infrastructure,
languages, politics, economy, customs, currencies, tax laws,
and tariffs for each country your shipping routes touch.

CAN YOU HELP ASSESS CARGO RISK?
They must adequately help you assess and mitigate cargo
risk to help protect your bottom line.

DO YOU OFFER CUSTOMS ADVICE?
They should be experts in leveraging customs information
and programs to your company’s advantage.

 

_________________________________________________

1. “What is the biggest challenge you are facing in your supply
chain?” eft Supply Chain & Logistics Business Intelligence,
April 2018. Accessed at https://www.statista.com/
statistics/829634/biggest-challenges-supply-chain/.

2. “Containers Lost at Sea-2017 Update,” World Shipping
Council, 2017.

3. SDRs, or Special Drawing Rights, refers to a basket
of currencies designed to iron out currency exchange
fluctuations in International valuations, now used to express
the limitation under the Hague-Visby Rules and the MSA
Limitation Convention.

4. “Global Trade, Trade Statistics,” World Shipping Council,
2018. Accessed at http://www.worldshipping.org/about-theindustry/global-trade.

5. “Containers Lost at Sea-2017 Update,” World Shipping
Council, 2017.

6. Larry Kivett and Mark Pearson, “Understanding risk
management in the supply chain: Using supply chain data
analytics to drive performance,” Deloitte, 2018.

USMCA

THESE COMPANIES KEEP CROSS-BORDER CARGO MOVING, EVEN WITH USMCA UP IN THE AIR

Our trilateral trade bloc is in a sort of limbo, stuck between the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, and the floundering United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which the countries’ leaders signed on Nov. 30, 2018, but has only been ratified in Mexico.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has pushed for more ease of free trade among the three nations for years, about $1.7 billion worth of goods and services flow between the U.S. and Mexico borders every day. That’s about 2 percent of the GDP in America, where, according to the United Nations’ International Trade Center, Mexico and Canada are the two largest trading partners for U.S. manufacturers and shippers after China.

Despite these uncertain times, there are North American cross-border traders that continue to thrive. Consider the collection that follows. 

AVERITT EXPRESS

One of the nation’s leading freight transportation and supply chain management providers, Averitt is celebrating 50 years of service. The company cites customized, cross-border transportation solutions among its many, many specialties. Five years ago, Averitt slashed less-than-truckload (LTL) service times from the U.S. Midwest to Ontario, Canada, in recognition of the province’s rise as a manufacturing hub. Averitt’s strategically placed border service centers in Laredo, El Paso, Harlingen and Del Rio provide easy access to all points throughout Mexico, by rail, truck or expedited air. 

BNSF RAILWAY

One of North America’s leading freight transportation companies, BNSF boasts a.32,500 route-mile network covering 28 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. The railway utilizes multiple strategies to make international shipments easier for customers. These include market experience, customs clearance know-how and participation in special North American rail service alliances. The BNSF network also includes five U.S.-Mexico gateways (San Diego, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo and Brownsville) and operations in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico. Service options include carload, transload and intermodal (Mexi-Modal) that allow for shipments of all major commodities into and out of Mexico.  

CG RAILWAY

Picture in your head a railroad line extending from the American South to southern Mexico. You can imagine the track snaking along the contour of the Gulf of Mexico, extending west from Alabama through Mississippi and Louisiana before reaching Texas and turning due south through the border and beyond. What you did not picture was a shift from rail at Alabama’s Port of Mobile to an ocean ferry making a direct route over water to Puerto Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz, Mexico. That’s what CG Railway (CGR) has been doing since 2000: providing a faster, more cost-effective route between the eastern U.S. and Canada to central and southern Mexico. CGR offers C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) certification, bilingual customer support, proactive port security, reduced mileage and wear and tear on equipment and direct interchanges with the CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and Kansas City Southern railroads, the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway and Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks and their Mexican counterparts. 

CN NORTH AMERICA

Canadian National is based in Montreal, Quebec, and the Class I freight railway’s network is the largest in that country by physical size and revenue. Established in 1919 and formerly government-owned, Canada’s only transcontinental railway spans from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia, across about 20,400 route miles of track. But you’d be mistaken to think CN, as it has more commonly known since 1960, is strictly a Great White North concern. The railway also serves the U.S. South and Midwest and, having gone private in 1995, it now counts as its single largest shareholder Bill Gates. Through the ’90s and 2000s, CN North America has acquired multiple lines passing through several U.S. states.

CROWLEY

The private, Jacksonville, Florida-based corporation is the largest operator of tugboats and barges in the world. Crowley American Transport provides ocean liner cargo services between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. Its American Marine Transport unit delivers local, over-the-road, and commercial trucking services in the continental U.S. Crowley Marine Services provides worldwide contract and specialized marine transportation services, including petroleum product transportation and sales, tanker escort and ship assist, contract barge transportation and ocean towing, logistics and support services, marine salvage and emergency response services, spill-response services on the West Coast and all-terrain transportation services.

CSX TRANSPORTATION

The subsidiary of CSX Corp., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, CSX Transportation is a Class I freight railroad operating in the eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates around 21,000 route miles of track. While its lines blanket the east coasts of Canada and the U.S., you don’t have to be located on railroad track for CSX to help you, as it has access to 70 ports and nationwide transloading and warehousing services.

DB SCHENKER 

The global logistics and supply chain management giant has 93 branches in every U.S. state, Mexico and Canada. Schenker of Canada Ltd. provides logistics services, airfreight, custom brokerage, custom consulting, sports events, land transport and courier services. DB Schenker Mexico celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017, having begun down there with a single location and 40 associates and now boasting of 500 employees in its corporate office in Mexico City as well as in Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Cancun, Ciudad Juarez and various other branches. DB Schenker Mexico offers air freight, ocean freight, land freight, customs brokerage, over-dimensioned projects, warehousing and contract logistics.

KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN

The KCS North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a NAFTA railway system linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. “KCS is just one interchange away from every major market in North America,” boasts the railroad. KC Southern de Mexico offers unique rail access to the Port of Lazaro Cardenas on Mexico’s Pacific coast, which is an ideal spot to avoid congestion in U.S. West Coast ports. KCS also has access to Gulf of Mexico ports, including Altamira, Tampico and Veracruz in Mexico and Brownsville, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, Houston, Gulfport, Lake Charles, Mobile and Port Arthur in the U.S. 

LIVINGSTON INTERNATIONAL

Billed as North America’s No. 1 company focused on customs brokerage and compliance, Livingston International also offers international trade consulting and freight forwarding across the continent and around the globe. Headquartered in Chicago, Livingston operates along the U.S.-Canada border, with regional air/sea hubs in Los Angeles, New York and Norfolk. Livingston employs more than 3,200 employees at more than 125 key border points, seaports, airports and other strategic locations in North America, Europe and the Far East. Livingston is a customs brokerage leader in Canada, and the company also promises to move goods seamlessly into Mexico.

LOGISTICS PLUS

Whether it is working as a 3PL or 4PL partner, the Erie, Pennsylvania-based company specializes in total logistics management, LTL and truckload transportation, rail and intermodal services, project cargo and project management, import/export services, air and ocean freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, global trade compliance services and logistics and technology solutions. Logistics Plus serves small and large businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area, with an office in the zone that has access to the Port of Toronto and expertise in shipping in and out of Canada though the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Bilingual logistics experts help customers with intra-Mexico, cross-border, or international shipping using air, ocean, ground or rail transportation. 

LYNDEN

Seattle-based Lynden not only delivers to, from and within Canada, the company does business there. Its long-established Canadian presence allows it to provide complete coverage for any transportation need. They can help with warehousing and distribution or 3PL in Canada, where Lynden boasts of knowing “the ins and outs of customs brokerage, duties and taxes, imports and exports.” From its offices in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Lynden offers scheduled less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) service to points in Alaska and the Lower 48.

LYNNCO

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company optimizes customers’ supply chains coast-to-coast in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. LynnCo manages businesses and determines how and when ground, international air/ocean, spot/capacity, procurement and expedited services are the best options. For instance, LynnCo helped a U.S. manufacturer determine if shifting units to Mexico was profitable. The answer was no after factoring in the risks of moving, poor facilities, added shipping costs and product quality. 

POLARIS TRANSPORTATION GROUP

Billing itself as “an American company headquartered in Toronto,” Polaris has a quarter century of experience in scheduled LTL service between the U.S. and Canada. The company knows both countries’ customs rules and participates in every border security program, including C-TPAT, PIP (Partners in Protection), CSA (Customs Self- Assessment) and FAST (Free and Secure Trade). The company’s scheduled service connects Ontario and Quebec markets with the U.S. through a combination of its fleet and facilities along with those of its long-established partner carriers.

PUROLATOR INTERNATIONAL

The U.S. subsidiary of Canada’s leading provider of integrated freight and parcel delivery services, Jericho, New York-based Purolator International seamlessly transports shipments between the U.S. and Canada and manages the respective countries’ customs processes with aplomb. They pick up/drop off at every point in the U.S. and boast of a distribution network that extends to every Canadian province and territory. What truly takes Purolator International over the top is a commitment to continue improving, as evidenced by a recent $1 billion growth investment that includes two new hubs that will allow for faster fulfillment for both courier and e-commerce shipments from the U.S. throughout Canada, where consumers also will be seeing more access points, including upgraded retail pickup locations.

R+L GLOBAL

“Shipping to Mexico is facil,” according to Ocala, Florida-based R+L Global Logistics. Its qualified network of premium carriers in Mexico provide secure door-to-door Less than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) services. They cover the entire Mexican territory and move cargo across all major U.S./Mexico border gateways. They also move intra-Mexico shipments. 

SCHNEIDER

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based giant specializes in regional trucking, long-haul, bulk, intermodal, supply chain management, brokerage, warehousing, port logistics and transloading. Decades of cross-border freight experience means customer cargo moves without question or delay. Once goods move across the border, Schneider has the assets and personnel in place to deliver it safely and securely. “Here’s the simple fact: No one makes shipping to Canada and Mexico easier or more efficient than Schneider,” the company boasts. “By road or by rail, your freight is in the best hands possible.”

SENKO 

The Japanese logistics giant has offices in the U.S., where their own trucks and warehouses work with a network of vendors. The 3PL/4PL supply chain solutions provider uses its own IT technology developed in Japan to help arrange liquid tank transportation, flatbed, drayage, refrigerated, dry, expedited shipping and freight broker services. Senko Logistics Mexico is the company unit south of the border.

SUNSET TRANSPORTATION

The St. Louis-based company has offices and agents across the country, and customers whose shipments are moved around the globe. Sunset arranges freight for a wide range of industries, from wholesale food distribution to specialized construction equipment. “Cross-border solutions” include customs clearance for land, rail, air and ocean, LTL, TL, intermodal, rail, air, expedited and specialized freight, contracted lane and spot market, C-TPAT compliance, multimodal programs, a Laredo, Texas, warehouse and distribution facility and 24/7 bilingual, bicultural support.

SURGERE 

Headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, Surgere is a leader in linking OEMs, tier suppliers and logistics providers through an automotive data system that provides visibility on returnable containers at every stage of their movement between supplier and vehicle maker. The supply chain innovators, whose clients include Nissan and CEVA Logistics, recently opened Technologias Avanzadas Surgere de Mexico in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which has more than 1,300 suppliers and automotive plants within 200 kilometers of the location. “Central Mexico is the automotive hub for Latin America—making it a natural progression—and a welcomed challenge for us,” explained David Hampton, Surgere’s vice president for International Operations, in announcing the move. Surgere hopes to have the Mexico office fully staffed before the end of this year.

TQL

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Total Quality Logistics (TQL) was founded in 1997 and is now the second-largest freight brokerage firm in the nation, with more than 5,500 employees in 57 offices across the county. Known for combining industry-leading technology and unmatched customer service, TQL boasts of providing competitive pricing, continuous communication and “a commitment to do it right every time.” They move more than 1.6 million loads across the U.S., Canada and Mexico annually through a broad portfolio of logistics services and a network of more than 75,000 carriers.

USA TRUCK

The Van Buren, Arkansas-based company provides customized truckload, dedicated contract carriage, intermodal and third-party logistics freight management services throughout North America. USA Truck has nearly two decades of experience servicing Mexico, which has allowed the company to expand its presence south of the border and partner with many Mexican carriers. USA Truck’s Capacity Solutions coordinates transportation into and out of Mexico with a vast carrier network, and they service most major Mexican markets and consistently maintain C-TPAT certification. USA Truck also has a select fleet of third-party carriers providing service into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

UTXL

Launched in 1997 by four founders with more than 100 years of combined asset-based trucking experience, UTXL started with this goal: to be the safest, most reliable and cost effective niche capacity resource to customers in support of their core carrier programs. UTXL has served thousands of shippers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including some of the largest shippers in the world. One of their mottos is: “Any point in the U.S., Canada or Mexico … any length of haul.”

WERNER ENTERPRISES

“We keep America moving” is the motto of this Omaha, Nebraska-based company that has one of the largest transportation services to and from Mexico and is a premiere long-haul carrier to and from Canada and throughout North America. Werner has offices in Mexico and Canada as well as experienced and knowledgeable staff engineer solutions. PAR documentation allows for quicker access through customs into Canada, and their network of alliance carriers can manage entire supply chains within Canada and Mexico regardless of equipment needs.

WW SOLUTIONS

The unit of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics participates in Mexico’s automotive industry not only as a carrier and logistics provider. WW Solutions specializes in processing solutions at ports and at OEM plants, providing services that include pre-delivery inspections, accessory fittings, repairs, storage, washing, vehicle preparation, quality control, inventory management and the procurement of technical services.

YRC FREIGHT

Yellow Transportation (founded in 1924 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) merged with Roadway (founded in 1930 in Akron, Ohio) to create YRC Freight, which is the largest subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc. based in Overland Park, Kansas. A leading transporter of industrial, commercial and retail goods, YRC Freight offers solutions for businesses across North America and is the only carrier with on-site, bilingual representatives at border crossing points in Mexico to expedite customs clearance.

Shipping

Five Important Ways to Negotiate Better Shipping Terms

The final price of your product or service depends on a wide range of factors. Shrewd people in business know there is more to making profits than keeping your buying price low and selling price high. Additional business expenses can reduce your final margin. These include shipping, marketing, storage, and a range of legal expenses.

Negotiating a low price from your manufacturers is just the beginning. Supply chain negotiation training seminars can teach you several ways to gain value before your products reach your customers.

The shipping industry can offer you notable savings opportunities. To identify these, you have to have a keen eye. In this article, we look at five ways you can apply negotiation training skills to obtain better shipping rates.

Understand the Shipping Terms

Global trade has thrived on the back of shipping and logistics companies for hundreds of years. As a result, the shipping industry has developed a unique culture and language. Whether you are dealing with local or multinational shipping companies, there is a range of terms that you should know.

Terms such as CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) and FOB (Free on Board) are used freely in the shipping industry. If you are new to the business, you can learn shipping terms by attending a seminar on the essentials. If you don’t understand the industry’s regular terms, you risk making a deal that can be negative for your business. 

Negotiation training seminars can teach you how to prepare before sitting down to make a deal. You can improve your position by researching the industry before meeting companies. Also, you can carry out mock discussions with shipping company agents. This can give you a feel of the language and questions that may come up during a real negotiation.

Research Possible Hidden Costs

One of the things that can diminish your profits is hidden logistics costs. The final price for your products should factor in all the costs you expect to incur before delivery. Talking to the different authorities that can come into contact with your products in transit can clarify your overall costs. Knowing the factors affecting your shipping rates can help you negotiate to reduce hidden costs.

By working closely with your shipping company, you can identify smart ways to cut down your costs. Many companies have different shipping rates based on weight as well as box dimensions. If you use the standard boxes the shipping company provides, you can save a few dollars on each load.

Develop Your Negotiation Strategy

Once you have understood the market and options available, negotiation training can help you plan your strategy. Writing down your strategy and goals can give you an overview of the entire process. The points listed below are some of the elements taught in negotiations seminars that can help to strengthen your strategy.

Budget

Based on your business model, you should have a price you are not willing to go above. Your strategy should include the ideal and maximum price you are willing to offer for the shipping service.

BATNA

A BATNA is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. It refers to a set of alternative options you can take if you cannot reach a viable deal in your negotiations. A well-planned BATNA can help you to recognize a bad deal and give you the confidence to walk away.

Timelines

Time constraints can have a significant impact on your negotiations strategy. The earlier you start discussions with shipping companies, the less pressure you will have to close a deal. Beginning your negotiations early can give you more time to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

The Urgency of Delivery

Your strategy should state how fast you need the products to be delivered once ordered. Same day deliveries often cost more than two or three days of delivery. The delivery time constraints depend on the nature of your products and promises made to your customers.

Payment Terms

Although one-off payment offers come with attractive discounts, they can also be quite risky. Making payments in installments is safer and keeps the shipping company committed until the final payment. Offer well-balanced payment terms that enable your shipping company to deliver your products on time while limiting your financial risk.

Concessions

Well-trained negotiators plan the concessions they are willing to give before discussions begin. In your research, find concessions that can create value for the shipping company and present them in your meeting. The negotiation process can become very challenging if you are too rigid.

Use Third Party Logistics Providers (3PL)

According to the World Shipping Council, the intermodal shipping network plays a significant role in the cost and rate of service delivery. An intermodal network is made up of ships, airplanes, trucks, and trains. The connection points where cargo is transferred between modes of transport are also part of the network. Many companies depend on intermodal networks for the inland dispersal of cargo from harbors and airports.

Third Party Logistics Providers (3PL) provide a useful service by shipping your cargo via their own intermodal networks. A trusted 3PL provider can save you time and money while allowing you to focus on your core business.

3PLs allow you to negotiate with one service provider who can manage all the regulatory and intermodal networking issues you may face. Further, your 3PL can help you connect and share shipping costs with other dealers in your vicinity.

Negotiate with Other Shipping Companies

Before signing off on a deal, make sure you have exhausted your other options. If you only deal with one shipping company, you may miss a better option. In a comprehensive negotiation seminar, you can learn how to leverage competitive bids to secure better deals.

Additionally, training to negotiate with multiple companies feeds into your research. It teaches you more about the existing challenges in the shipping industry. The knowledge you acquire can help you create value as you deal with the shipping companies.

Round-Up

The shipping industry presents smart people in business with a wide array of chances to negotiate better deals. The techniques in this article are not exhaustive. However, they can set you on the right track and feed into your strategy.

Negotiation training seminars are designed to maximize your potential and spur you into action. However, there is no strict rule book that is applicable in every case. As you grow in business, you can develop your own strategies based on your training and personal preferences.

logistics professionals

5 Tips for Supply Chain & Logistics Professionals

How can supply chain and logistics professionals continue to survive in the business now and in the future?

As technology continues to evolve, the business environment is also changing. To stay in business, supply chain and logistics professionals need to adapt fast, invent, and solve problems in order to survive in today’s competitive business world.

In this article, uk.superiorpapers.com shares five tips to help supply chain and logistics professionals survive in business now and in the days to come.

Let’s get started.

 

Get a Serious Partner

It is said that no man is an island and that no man can stand alone. Similarly, in business, a company that works with a serious logistics partner will have high odds of withstanding lows and taking up opportunities when they arise.

According to Nerdywriters, these days’ customer needs are not easy to predict, and companies need to find a great logistics partner who can offer solutions to customer problems.

Working with a great logistics partner, companies will be able to get guidance when joining new global markets, predict any business dangers before they can hurt the business, and find solutions to problems before they get out of hands.

It is, therefore, important for businesses to find logistics partners who are friendly, guarantee the quality of service, easy to partner with, and can provide extensive solutions to problems.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

With the competitiveness in the business environment, it’s not enough to take on challenges as they occur. As a supply chain and logistics professional, you need to understand that change must happen before it is triggered.

As you will see in velvetjobs, changes in the logistics have happened and are going to be happening every day even in the future. Therefore, companies need a strong partner who can guarantee sustainability today and in the future no matter what challenges occur.

As James Longman, the author of academized reviews and papers owl reviews puts it, working collaboratively and innovatively can help companies develop new and more efficient approaches to lower costs and add value. In addition, a strong partner will help their clients to stay ready for future changes in the sector.

Create a Strong Relationship with Colleagues outside Your Industry

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in supplier quality, logistics, procurement or whichever field you are; supply chain is aimed at making a product accessible by customers.

For that reason, creating and sustaining a strong personal and professional relationship with colleagues in other sectors such as manufacturing, product development, finance, and engineering will boost the effectiveness of a supply chain team.

Find time to build a close relationship even if it means having short discussions once a week.

Mentor Others

As aussiessay.com puts it no one can master a skill by learning and reading but you can become an expert by teaching others. Identify your exceptional supply chain, knowledge, abilities, and tools you have that can be helpful to others in your team and start mentoring them. 

They say if you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, go together. Unless you want to go alone, the best thing to raise your team’s collective performance is to train and encourage them in something you know.

Don’t Stop Reading

Learning never stops, it stops when we die and who knows there could be learning after death but this is something that cannot be established. However, if you want to continue to survive in business today and days to come, you must read and expand your knowledge.

According to best paper writing services when it comes to reading, don’t limit yourself to books only, there are plenty of audio materials out there you can listen to even when on the go. Just make sure you read every day even if just for 10 minutes.

Get Certified

Attaining an industry certification is also a great way to invest in your professional education. Getting certified does not only open you to greater opportunities in the workplace but also helps to drive value to companies.

Besides being industry certified, keep learning. Explore every possible avenue that puts you and your company up for success.

Write down Your Goals and Revisit Them Every time

Supply chain and logistics professionals at Assignment helper, a firm that offers assignment help to students argue that to make sure you are working toward achieving your goals, write them and keep them in a visible place (your desk is the best place to write down your goals so that you can see them every time you are working).

Life is busy and for supply chain professionals, it can’t be better and accomplishing sizable strategic initiatives that aren’t laid down can be tricky.

Set goals for the first 60 to 90 days of the year and revisit them regularly. This way, you will not wander when working on achieving your goals and in the end, you will celebrate the results.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. And the list is not comprehensive. These are just a few of the effective tips for supply chain and logistics professionals. Since the industry is extremely dynamic and evolving fast, every key player needs to stay updated on the latest trends and development.