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Here’s How Dachser Peru Continues Operations Despite the Pandemic

dachser peru

Here’s How Dachser Peru Continues Operations Despite the Pandemic

Dachser Peru recently announced the successful transportation of two 180-ton locomotives from the Port of Houston to the customer’s Lima facility, further supporting advancements in the region’s railroad infrastructure efforts. Amid the challenges presented by the heavy-lift cargo project, Dachser continues to demonstrate its methods of meticulous and successful planning to keeping customers satisfied while fostering economic growth across the globe. Global Trade had the opportunity to speak with Eduardo Rey, Managing Director at Dachser Peru, on this success and how Dachser is keeping operations going during a global pandemic through careful planning and the use of technology solutions.


Let’s talk about special measures that were taken to successfully transport the two 180-ton locomotives from Port of Houston to Lima, Peru. How did these measures differ from regular methods of transportation?

To move the two locomotives as we did was a special task, indeed. These special tasks require a very detailed plan if you want a successful story. What we did is we took not only one, but several measures in order to ensure success. First, it was the right selection of our service partners. That’s always a priority we require to perform our job well. We ensure to work with reliable companies that are not necessarily the cheapest one, but the ones who offer secure operations. For us, security, especially in these times, is most important.

Secondly, we executed a very detailed plan for the transport itself. We oversaw the big picture plan from the arrival of the locomotives into the port of Houston until the end delivery in a place in Lima, Peru. We were responsible for the whole service from start to finish. While executing this very detailed plan, we considered all the possible challenges that may occur in the process. We always have a plan B. For heavy cargos like this, logistics is not a paper issue. It requires in-depth involvement in the operations. Communication is key and coordination within the processes needs to be very well planned. That’s exactly what we did.

How about the role of technology in the transport of these locomotives? Do you see it changing future processes?

Well, technology in our times is something that needs to be on top of all our activities. Last generation’s equipment has been used for these transports, especially during the last phase of the loco transportation to the final destination in Callao in Peru. A last generation heavy hauler was used to move these units where they were directly discharged from the vessel into the units and transported through the streets of Callao.

There were a lot of air cables, electricity and phone cables by the streets that required us to take care of all the height concerns of the locomotives in order not to cross or to destroy it. Again, it was a very detailed plan. In the end, it arrived at the final destination and discharged over the railroad tracks using 400 cranes, last generation as well. Technology is always on top of our activities.

How is Dachser currently navigating logistics and limitations presented by the pandemic? Has anything really changed?

Dachser is one of the largest worldwide logistic providers. During the pandemic, we have been one of the most active companies around the world. Indeed, our own airfreight charters has been great support for several countries. In Peru, a clear demonstration has been the heavy cargos transport, of course. Despite the legal restrictions due to the pandemic and all the security and safety protocols we followed, we were able to proceed this way. Dachser is acting with full responsibility, following the security procedures and the country regulations in every country we operate in. We are in the logistics business and logistics never stops, even though most of us are working from home. Yes, there are indeed limitations, but nevertheless we are able to ensure a class A logistics service.

How is the company preparing to further support rail infrastructure projects in the future?

Well, having done this latest move demonstrates our full capabilities to organize logistics for appropriate cargoes. Dachser is ready for future opportunities, of course, not only in the rail industry, but for any other industry that supports the infrastructure development in Peru. In our country, we have an infrastructure deficit in roads, ports, airports, etc. Considering the worldwide Dachser network, we are fully prepared to support these developments. To give you an example, we got a call the other day from the ministry of health in Peru because they were trying to move some special equipment for oxygen production. There are so many hospitals that have a need for more oxygen. We are always alert for those kinds of requirements and opportunities.

Dachser is well known in the local market for the perishables export for all its logistics. For example, we have a very well-known and prepared staff of people giving 24/7 service for the exports of fruits and vegetables. In Peru, those products are the main non-traditional exports from the country. That means that our service portfolio is not only focused on one specific industry like projects or trains, but it is actively bringing the best quality for logistics services. Looking at what is most important for us which is our customers’ full satisfaction.

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Mr. Eduardo Rey was born in 1964 in Lima, Peru. He attended the University Ricardo Palma, where he studied architecture.

It was later, through his working experience, that he discovered his true vocation: the logistics industry.

He quickly understood that, in order to get a better sense of the work he was so passionate about, he needs to further his studies, so in 1987 he obtained a post-graduate degree in Foreign Trade and did other various courses related to air and cargo and in 1999 he completed an MBA.

Mr. Rey started his career within the industry as an Export Manager for a trading company that specialized in hydro-biological products. Ever since, he has been working in the forwarding business, for more than 27 years now and to today, he still feels as passionate about his work and the world of transportation, as he was when he started in this domain.

In 2003, he took on an offer to become the General Manager of a local Peruvian freight forwarder and soon was promoted to the role of Managing Director.

It was in 2016 when Mr. Rey was appointed as Managing Director for DACHSER Peru and he brought his extensive experience and deep knowledge of the industry both locally and globally to the company.

Mr. Rey appreciates his initial architectural studies and feels that they are helping him in his every day work and provide him with the organized mind of an architect, when dealing with the daily operations of the company and his team.

inventory management

10 Experts Share Tips For Better Inventory Management

Think about the online stores you buy from regularly. Do they consistently have the product you want? If the answer is no, then the business likely doesn’t have as good control of its inventory as it should. Inventory management is at the heart of any well-run, sustainable retail business. 

When a retail store owner or manager doesn’t have a detailed understanding of the inventory they have in hand, they’ll be greatly constrained in their ability to make smart reorder decisions. They cannot list items with accuracy on their online store since they don’t have correct visibility into their inventory. They could easily get stuck with too much inventory or fail to fulfil orders due to lack of product. 

If you want to get inventory management right, you’ll do well to listen to what the experts have to say. Here are 10 paraphrased tips from people who know a thing or two about successful inventory management.

1. Update inventory records in real-time and make the information available to relevant staff – Jonathan Gaunt, Managing Director, FD-WORKS

To stay a step ahead of their competition, businesses have to move quickly and accurately. Access to fresh, correct information is key in this regard. 

In the context of inventory management, tracking when the last transaction occurred, for instance, is crucial. There are costs to holding dead inventory such as warehousing, cleaning and security. Some products are seasonal or trendy. If it’s been weeks or months since a certain product sold or if there has been a dramatic decrease in its turnover, it might be financially prudent to sell it at a loss and inject the resulting revenue into an item that’s currently hot.

2. Categorize your inventory – Dan Schmidt, founder and CEO, The Emerging Business CFO

All products in your inventory aren’t created equal. If you devote equal inventory management time and resources to each product, you’ll be running overkill on some while shortchanging others. To maximize your inventory dollars and increase efficiency, divide your inventory into several categories depending on turnover, profitability and other distinguishing factors. 

3. Weigh the costs of inventory against the benefits of inventory – International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute (IPSCMI)

Successful inventory management comes down to your ability to constantly balance the costs of holding inventory against the benefits of the inventory. Small and medium-sized ecommerce stores can be especially vulnerable to miscalculating the real cost of carrying an inventory. It’s not just the money tied down in inventory but also storage, insurance and taxes.

4. Inventory requirements vary from business to business – Norm Saenz, Managing Director and Don Derewecki, Senior Consultant at St. Onge

Whereas there are principles that underpin inventory management best practices, inventory management procedures will vary depending on customer requirements and the types of products the e-commerce store sells. There will be variation in inventory management between pharmaceuticals, food, apparel, electronics, furniture, stationery, automotive, building materials and general merchandise stores. 

5. Use effective methods for calculating safety stock levels – Bain & Company, Inc.

Are you using statistical formulas that incorporate production lead times, sales forecasts, manufacturing schedules and each product’s service-level data? Or are you still using rigid rules such as all products from a certain manufacturer requiring 20 days of safety stock? 

The problem with rigid rules is that they are often applied to products with uncertain delivery histories. Use a standard or automated statistical formula that extracts historical individual product data in order to come up with an up-to-date safety stock level.

6. Align individual delivery sub-elements with overall objectives – Mani Iyer, Senior Business Manager, Genpact

Ecommerce stores often believe that order-to-delivery cycle time reduction would realize the competitive edge their business needs. However, many drop the ball when it comes to defining goals of individual cycle elements that contribute to overall lead time adherence. Inventory management must incorporate sub-targets such as supplier performance management on fulfillment, customer service satisfaction, working capital levels and more.

7. Keep customer satisfaction at the centre of inventory control – James Ellis, Assistant Professor, Business Department, Central Oregon Community College

Avoiding excess inventory is certainly a desirable goal. However, getting overly fixated on minimizing inventory levels can take away your attention from the thing that matters most of all—customer satisfaction. If the inventory is running too low or running out, that will lead to lost sales and, ultimately, lost customers. Therefore, inventory levels should constantly be compared to customer satisfaction levels.

8. Put one person in charge of inventory management – David Wheat, Materials Manager, Krausz USA

Many ecommerce stores are small enough to be a one-person operation. However, if your business has grown to the extent that you have 2 or more full-time staff, assign the role of purchasing and inventory manager to one person. The designated individual should keep track of inventory and be the first person informed if there’s any change in supply requirements. They’ll negotiate discounts for volume purchases or early invoice payment.

9. Invest in inventory management training – Jaymison Haeussler, Warehouse manager, Graphic Packaging

#1 is absolute attention to detail when training and developing your inventory management staff and system. In several different scenarios, I’ve seen excellent staff and processes fall short of their goals because the training and implementation weren’t cohesive.

It’s hard to row a boat across the ocean when everyone is paddling in different directions.

10. Incorporate lead times for your peak sales seasons – Andrew Chritton, Head of Account Management, Stitch Labs

Most businesses have a seasonality to their sales. Q4 is crucial for many ecommerce stores thanks to the holiday season but different stores will have different peaks depending on the product they sell and the market they sell to. The peak season is critical for many businesses ‘ annual profitability so careful planning and management of inventory are needed. 

If you don’t own your means of transportation, which is the case for the overwhelming majority of ecommerce stores, transfers and shipping of products can be unpredictable. Build lead times early into your peak season inventory for shipping optimization and to ensure products are available in sufficient quantities.

11. Implement Inventory sync, Chris Crane, Advisor, Excelsior Integrated

Startups often run lean with minimal software layers. These companies should check which channels they can sync inventory to, or just rely on manually setting inventory themselves. For larger merchants with many sales channels, keeping inventory in sync across them all can become a challenge. When a sale happens on one channel, you want the other channels to be aware of it. Plus, if you’re selling with Amazon and using FBA, you’re responsible for maintaining enough inventory so you can quickly replenish FBA. There’s a point at which channel complexity justifies adopting an ERP system. Look for one that can handle inventory syncing to all your possible future channels, and if you’re using a 3PL, make sure they can integrate to it. 

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Will Schneider is the founder of insightQuote, a match-making service for B2B services, and writes informative posts about fulfillment services at Warehousingandfulfillment.com. He is passionate about helping businesses find the right solutions to improve their operations. When not working, Will enjoys coaching youth basketball.

retail

E-Commerce’s Newfound Role in Stabilizing and Expanding the U.S. Retail Sector

Kenny Tsang, Managing Director of PingPong Payments, comments on the impact of the pandemic on the retail sector, and how global online marketplaces are providing a lifeline to businesses with thousands of new sellers.

In recent months, online marketplaces have taken a huge step forward to become the primary option for consumers with the pandemic forcing traditional retailers to digitally adapt to consumers. As these lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many businesses and retailers are increasingly finding value in utilizing digital marketplaces to support further disruption.

Worryingly, the existing retail space still lost a shocking 1.3 million jobs from February to June with data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in August[1] showing little signs of recovery for the retail industry. With retail being the primary outlet of the U.S. economy supporting one in four U.S. jobs [2] businesses utilizing the e-commerce sphere are experiencing significant growth by recording an 18 percent increase in online sales[3] this year.

Retail businesses that have been sustainable during the economic slowdown over the last few months are showing increased utilization of online marketplaces as alternatives to traditional retail services. Many who have explored, or been forced to adapt to digital avenues, are seeing the potential for temporary digital measures to become permanent as the U.S. continues to demonstrate a seismic shift in shopping habits. Online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Rakuten are leading the way, with Amazon more than doubling its valuation so far in 2020 – gaining a staggering $570 billion in market capitalization. eBay has just reported a record eight million new active shoppers, resulting in year on year revenue shooting up 18 percent.

While these numbers may be considered unsustainable in the long term, the 565,000 new merchant signups Amazon has already reached this year suggests the significant growth of online marketplaces will continue to exceed expectations. Many forecasters are estimating the business growth of e-commerce will to continue to reach unprecedented levels in the U.S. – with 1.1 million new sellers expected to join Amazon by the end of 2020.

Accessibility has long been a question for merchants hesitant to embrace the digital market and step out of their comfort zones into new mediums. Online marketplaces that are experiencing the most growth such as Amazon and eBay are increasingly finding ways to engage buyers and sellers to leap into the digital sphere. Thousands of sellers are experiencing natural growth, and the demand for consumer confidence while shopping on digital platforms has never been higher. E-commerce platforms cannot emulate the shop floor, however, we are seeing community-based marketplaces driving international consumer merchants to offer a quality service that delivers high customer satisfaction on primarily review-based models.

Sellers should capitalize on the opportunity to adapt and strategize against the current situation while focusing on understanding how their customer buying patterns were changing, to adjust quickly to demand, PingPong Payments identified the most popular selling categories in the e-commerce space during the pandemic to be groceries, toys and games, educational material and home and garden, while swimwear, travel-related products and consumer electronics such as cameras were no longer in demand.

With more consumer-centric additions, comes more growth, and the need for personnel to respond to the demand has heightened. For many e-commerce sellers, this is unprecedented ground, and it highlights the need for e-commerce sellers to have the right systems in place to facilitate these changes. Traditionally, a bulk of merchants’ operating internationally would spend their time minimalizing cross-border payments in unknown markets that would often lead to unforeseen expenses, long shipping times, and unreliable products. E-commerce sellers partnering with the right cross-border payment companies that specialize in convenient, quick money transfers can take this hassle away while lowering costs with these systems in place.

As consumers return to retail spaces – sellers should continue to utilize the flexibility that e-marketplaces have provided for businesses over the last few months with organic innovation increasing through competition for buy share. From the supply chain to customer-centric models – digital marketplaces are providing a platform to rival in-person sales with a significant expansion focused on retaining customers.

Admittedly, there will be consumers who continue to use traditional methods of shopping, and that will remain an open market for retailers as lockdown restrictions ease. Merchants with better familiarisation of the e-commerce industry should be able to continue to put the right systems and partners in place to maintain a continuous flow of sales worldwide. With added expansion in the industry, economic recovery in the U.S. can help propel pre-existing successful retail foundations into the future.

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[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

[2] https://nrf.com/retails-impact

[3] https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-ecommerce-will-rise-18-2020-amid-pandemic

3PLs

10 3PLS KILLING IT WITH DISTRIBUTION LOGISTICS

The third-party logistics (3PL) industry did more than $200 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2018, according to Armstrong & Associates. That figure is double what it was just a decade ago. Rising labor costs, tight shipping capacity and a general need for companies to cut distribution costs are all fueling the growth.

Here are 10 3PLs that are making noteworthy advancements in the world of distribution logistics.

C.H. Robinson

Already one of the largest 3PLs in the world, C. H. Robinson is in the process of acquiring Prime Distribution Services, one of the nation’s leaders in retail consolidation services. “Prime Distribution Services is a high-quality growth company that brings scale and value-added warehouse capabilities to our retail consolidation platform, adding to our global suite of services,” said Bob Biesterfeld, C.H. Robinson CEO, in January. Prime currently operates five distribution centers throughout the U.S., totaling about 2.6 million square feet. With nearly $20 billion in freight under management and 18 million annual shipments, C. H. Robinson earned the top slot in Armstrong & Associates’ Top 50 U.S. 3PLs for 2018.

Holman Logistics

Headquartered in Kent, Washington, Holman opened in Portland back in 1864. Today, it’s one of the leading logistics firms in the Pacific Northwest, though it also manages facilities throughout the nation. The company offers public and contract warehousing (with 7 million square feet of warehousing space), manufacturing logistics, plant support, transportation, collaborative logistics and order-fulfillment services. In terms of distribution, Holman handles both truckload and LTL deliveries, as well as spotting and shuttle services. Some of Holman’s biggest customers are Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Kimberly-Clark, General Electric appliances, Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Dole Pineapple, Kerry Foods, Cargill and Morton Salt.

Anchor 3PL

For customers that deal with hazardous materials, logistics can be a tricky, even dangerous proposition. If it’s going the 3PL route for distribution, it’s imperative that it find a company that thoroughly understands the demands of hazmat logistics. While not a large firm, Anchor 3PL operates a 140,000-square-foot warehouse that has 40,000 square feet dedicated to hazmat. Based in Salt Lake City, Anchor regularly deals with chemical and hazmat storage and distribution, works with fire and safety departments, stays on top of the thousands of legal requirements for storing and transporting hazardous materials and maintains relationships with all the regulating authorities.

Kanban

Even with the Trump Administration’s 2018 tariffs on imported photovoltaic panels, the solar industry is booming. Located in eastern North Carolina, in the heart of domestic solar energy production, Kanban is using its thorough knowledge of the industry and logistics to help customers with warehousing and distribution of solar panels. With a million feet of warehouse space, Kanban was able to both assist customers with high-volume warehousing before the tariffs took effect, and then offer solutions for companies that had to change course once the tariffs started. The company also offers logistics assistance for aerospace, food processing and automotive industries.

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions

Moving pharmaceuticals around the country requires more than simply a cold chain distributor. In 2011, Cardinal began using a special non-toxic, environmentally friendly insulated tote to keep products between 2°C – 8°C (36°F – 46°F) during shipment. The result keeps the supply chain safe as well as prevents possible spoiled or adulterated products from re-entering the supply chain. For vaccine storage and shipment, Cardinal’s commercial refrigeration units are only calibrated using devices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It’s no surprise that Cardinal Health moves one out of every six pharmaceutical products in the country.

Cerasis

Since 1997, Cerasis has specialized in less than truckload (LTL) freight management. In fact, close to 95 percent of the company’s business has been in the LTL realm. Not only does this make sense for those wishing to move smaller volumes of freight, but it’s also perfect for e-commerce shipping. Cerasis is based in Minnesota but maintains offices in Oklahoma and Texas. GlobalTranz acquired Cerasis in January 2020. “Combining with GlobalTranz allows us to continue this history while providing our customers with increased service offerings and access to capacity,” said Cerasis President Steve Ludvigson shortly after the acquisition.

Expeditors

Based in Seattle, Expeditors operates 322 locations in more than 100 nations. Though it handles logistics for a variety of industries, Expeditors has considerable experience and expertise in the automotive world. Its customers include both original equipment manufacturers and tier suppliers, and it uses its sprawling global network—which includes more than 25 million square feet of warehouse space—to track items at the part or vehicle identification number level. Expeditors’ distribution services even include light manufacturing, labeling, product localization, inspection and product rework and compliance.

BDP International

Moving oil and gas around the world is complex, even in the realm of international logistics. No shipment is the same, and regulations are often changing. But BDP has long specialized in moving fuel, so it understands pricing, procurement, heavy lift and turn-key rig mobilization. In terms of distribution, the company operates facilities all around the world (including Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia), and uses extensive barcode scanning technology to keep track of everything. The company even offers its own BDP Smart Tower application, which allows customers to monitor asset locations, maximize asset utilization and coordinate maintenance and repairs to keep equipment downtime at a minimum.

Qualex

In 1990, Qualex opened as a dock-to-dock delivery company for Southern California furniture makers. Since then, it’s evolved into a full 3PL firm with tightly integrated warehouse and transportation services, though it still specializes in the furniture industry. For each customer, Qualex sets up an Electronic Data Exchange (EDI), which channels replenishment orders directly into its own Warehouse Management System (WMS), making logistics practically invisible.  Full distribution services include confirmation receipts, the automatic emailing of proof of delivery, inventory status reports, installation job status and even emailed photos of product condition upon delivery.

United Natural Foods, Inc.

Since grocery profit industry margins hover around just 2 percent, outsourcing logistics is practically mandatory. With its 2018 acquisition of Supervalu Advantage Logistics, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) became a leader in grocery industry logistics. In fact, it’s the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in the nation. And its warehouse facilities are cutting edge—some have radiofrequency devices that guide selectors to stock, while others are completely automated, ready to deliver aisle-ready pallets to retail stores. SuperValu also ran all the logistics for four regional warehouses belonging to Krogers, the second-largest grocery chain in the country.

amazon's

What Logistics and Warehouse Businesses Should Learn From Amazon’s Mistakes During the Pandemic

Amazon has dominated the COVID-19 news because of its ability to get some medical supplies and the reliance of people on ecommerce to protect them as they shop. It’s been a good time for the company’s financials, with significant increases in sales and secure positioning for its other services.

Unfortunately for Amazon, it was also in the news because of product mishaps, fulfillment concerns, worker illnesses, and poor handling of concerns. What the brand did, and didn’t do, can be a useful guide for smaller warehouse and logistics companies to follow.

The best lessons are from Amazon’s mistakes because few 3PLs and service companies are big enough to survive similar mishaps.

Take care of your partners

Amazon faced a tough situation, just like all of us. We all got some things wrong. The hope is that they won’t turn into long-standing issues. For Amazon, it’s unclear if that’s the case, but the thing with the most significant potential for prolonged harm is how it communicated and worked with its partners.

The biggest misstep from a partner standpoint would be when it announced a halt to accepting shipments from some third-party sellers and gave little guidance on what this meant. Sellers flooded Amazon’s forums to ask questions, and rumors spread just as fast as valid answers. People were upset, scared for their businesses, and frustrated that Amazon might not be a viable marketplace in the future.

While Amazon did eventually move back to allowing all third-party shipments for its FBA program, some harm has been done. Companies are looking at moving to do their own fulfillment — which was rewarded by the Amazon AI at some points during the pandemic — to prevent any future move from Amazon bringing an entire small business to a halt.

Amazon may be trying to tackle some of that relationship harm with efforts like waiving some storage fees or supporting more fulfillment operations. Still, it’s unclear how much harm happened.

Diversify and simplify when you can

An estimated one-third of top Amazon sellers are in China. It is believed to source some of its own products from China, and many of its smaller sellers also get products or drop-ship directly from the region. The spread of the pandemic and closure of factories, as well as shipping issues, then hit Amazon and its sellers quite hard.

Different points at the supply chain all ran out of goods or production capabilities, which started limiting what was available and hurt revenue for everyone involved. Diversifying sources and partners, both in goods and location, could have mitigated some of this risk.

Logistics professionals should look at regional needs and concerns right now. Identify where your product lines could struggle and if there are potential replacements for materials. If you’re a 3PL or providing other warehouse services, consider expanding to multiple locations. This can help you get goods to the end-customer faster as well as protecting fulfillment operations during COVID and similar black swan events.

Safeguarding people is just the minimum

At least seven of Amazon’s employees have died from the coronavirus, and the company has been very unclear about how many others have become ill. There is a new lawsuit by employees around the company’s contact tracing and potential exposure of employees — worth noting that the lawsuit doesn’t seek damages, just an injunction forcing Amazon to follow public health standards.

Throughout the pandemic, Amazon has taken heat for how it has treated its workers. This covered safety equipment and protections, sick leave and sending people home, and how it responded to labor demands. And, much of the anger is deserved.

The pandemic is scary and should be taken seriously. It was Amazon’s responsibility to make its employees feel like they were taken care of and protected.

Hopefully, this has served as a wakeup call for logistics and warehouse businesses. Your people matter, far beyond just what they contribute to the health of your business. There’s also a good chance your business will be judged by how you treat your teams. The world now makes much of this information public, too, if you need that extra layer of fear to get going and ensure your teams are safe, protected, and following the right policies.

Protect long-term customers and your business model

Consumers are spending more money on Amazon and shopping more often, largely due to the pandemic, but they’re not as happy about it. People saying they were either “very” or “extremely” satisfied with Amazon’s service fell from 73% to 64% from June 2019 to now.

The biggest frustrations have been delays in shipping and unavailable products. People view that they’re paying for the service, and its interrupted supply chain is still creating waves. Prime shoppers aren’t able to get the fast, two-day shipping on all purchases, despite being the most lucrative customers. Amazon has actually seen a decline in customer satisfaction over the last five years, according to that same report.

Growing discontent is a threat. Logistics and warehouse businesses don’t have the size of Amazon or the weight to throw around. If your customers aren’t getting what they’re paying for, they’ll move on to another service provider. The same is true if you’re late, damaging goods, or getting orders wrong. There are few real alternatives to Amazon, but there are many alternatives to all of us.

That’s perhaps the most important lesson in all of this for the logistics profession. Amazon needs to learn it before a genuine rival rises to compete, but it’s a good focus for warehouses starting today.

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Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

shipping

BR Williams Trucking Shares Step-by-Step Guide for Shipping & Receiving

When it comes to a seamless and efficient process for managing the movement of goods, BR Williams Trucking knows what it takes. From accurately managing inventory, meeting timelines, and maintaining streamlined communications among workers, the below step-by-step process for shipping and receiving highlights why these steps are critical to supporting the health of the supply chain and developing a competitive advantage.

The Shipping & Receiving Process: A Step-by-Step Guide Infographic
Graphic provided by BR Williams Trucking

CTB Certification: Why it Matters for 3PL

BR Williams is the latest company to receive the Certified Transportation Broker certification from the Transportation Intermediaries Association. The certification is a game changer for 3PL. Three team members from the Alabama-based supply chain company completed the complex course to leverage the competitive advantage it provides. The team of newly certified members consists of TK Bardwell, Kenton Sprayberry, and Chris Nester.

“The CTB course was challenging but rewarding. The material provided insight into many industry topics that I had encountered but never fully understood,” said Kenton Sprayberry.

The CTB certification takes more than just a fee, however, as the Transportation Intermediaries Association describes the home study and exam program as “rigorous.” Those who attempt the exam must pass three sections covering principles for brokerage, traffic management and contract services, as well as legal and regulatory issues in a four-hour, multiple choice testing setting. If the test is failed, candidates have opportunities four times a year to re-take it (tianet).

When a company boasts the CTB Certification, the level of professionalism, industry expertise, and integrity that places them in an advantageous position over competitors and provides customers with assurance needed to develop life-long business relationships, especially for third party logistics companies. As explained by the TIA, holding this certification provides marketing advantages, professional recognition, and career advancement.

To learn more about the program, visit: TIA.net

Source: EIN Presswire, Transportation Intermediaries Association 

Hermes Logistics To Optimize Cargo Capabilities for Dubai World Central

Dubai World Central has decided to implement and designate Hermes Logistics Technologies and their Cloud H5 variant to ensure full optimization of cargo handling for logistics specialist RSA National’s new flagship air cargo terminal, according to a release this week.

Benefits the cargo management system provides stems directly from the joint venture between US-based National and UAE-based RSA Global. The integration of resources enables companies to utilize recommended supply chain solutions for e-commerce, perishables, government, humanitarian, and retail.

“RSA National is very pleased to partner with Hermes to provide a best-in-class platform, through which we can continue to provide seamless solutions to our customers,” said Abhishek Ajay Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of RSA Global. “Our steadfast goal is to steer our operations with utmost visibility and control, and to extend the same facility to our customers.

This Cloud H5 variant “Hermes 5 SaaS” offers high-performance and functionality along with a user interface and user experience all through the cloud-based system. This can also be utilized for messaging compliance, customs management and revenue accounting.

“This will be a full SaaS Hermes 5 implementation and we anticipate a quick implementation of fewer than three months from contract to go-live,” said Hermes Logistics Technologies CEO Yuval Baruch said. “We are particularly proud that RSA National selected Hermes after they identified our close fit to their vision and strategy as well as the high level of Hermes responsiveness.”

For more information, visit: meantime communications

Source: meantime communications

 

Tariff Turbulence

Whether you endorse or decry the strategy, it’s clear that the escalating exchange of tariffs between the U.S. and other countries is not going away anytime soon. The unpredictable roller coaster of tariffs in the last year has led to growing trade tension and shifting trade dynamics with countries like China, Canada, Mexico and Turkey.

For third-party logistics providers, the current state of affairs presents both new complexities and new responsibilities—but also new opportunities. While this trade instability persists, logistics providers’ ability to serve as true counselors and problem-solvers for their clients will be essential.

With new tariffs constantly emerging, third-party logistics professionals must think on their feet. They need to understand and appreciate what products (and in what forms) are subject to tariff taxes, and be willing and able to help their clients identify opportunities to recapture some of those taxes to lessen the impact on the organization’s bottom line. Clients expect their logistics partner to mitigate the extra cost of tariffs through other means, as well, such as localizing products in lesser amounts. Providers need to continue to get smarter and more strategic with respect to production and distribution locations as well.

The following tips will help third-party logistics providers achieve some of those goals, navigating today’s rapidly shifting tariff landscape and mitigating the financial impact of the current trade war. In the process, both clients and providers will be better able to position themselves for continued flexibility and resiliency going forward.

 

Open negotiations

Now is the time for clients to head to the negotiation table with their supply base. We strongly advise our clients to use the current circumstances as a negotiation tactic to try and get as many pricing concessions as possible. Approaching a steel supplier in Canada, for example, and informing them that you can get a better deal here in the U.S. might secure those concessions without requiring costly and complex adjustments to your existing supply chain.

 

Make exceptions

Look closely at any available duty exceptions, and identify opportunities to leverage those exceptions to your clients’ advantage. The high-profile 25 percent tariff on raw steel imports from Canada and the EU might be avoidable if a manufacturer purchases the steel and ships it to an outside processor before bringing it into the U.S. Modest changes to a product or tweaks in the supply chain may make it possible to bypass tariffs that would otherwise be costly or prohibitive.

 

Conduct an audit

In today’s environment, it makes sense to conduct a full-blown audit of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes that apply duty rates globally to different commodities. Third-party logistics providers need to ensure that, whether the product is steel or potatoes, the HTS codes applied by U.S. Customs are accurate and valid. Within the category of steel alone, for example, there are literally thousands of different HTS codes. Errors are surprisingly (or perhaps, depending on your perspective, unsurprisingly) common.

 

Utilize duty drawback programs

Another strategy is to make efficient use of duty drawback programs, especially with respect to temporary bonds. When material is imported, processed or altered and shipped back to its country of origin within a certain time frame, clients can file through a temporary import bond instead of a their standard continuous import bond. Logistics providers should be diligent about ensuring that all clients with a supply chain that ships freight back are doing so through a temporary bond. If not, they can apply for a duty drawback—essentially a refund from U.S. customs. Duty drawbacks can also recoup funds in the event of mislabeled/mischaracterized material or misfiled documentation. Mistakes are all too easy to make, especially when dealing with massive volumes of  customs import entries.

 

Go direct

Finally, advise clients to create a direct ACH (automated clearing house) account with U.S. customs. Duties can be paid one of two ways: either through a contracted customs broker who makes payments on your behalf and subsequently invoices you/the importer of record, or through a direct ACH account with U.S. customs. With the first option, importers are typically paying a disbursement fee (typically 1-3 percent). While this wasn’t usually a significant sum with the modest to minimal tariffs in the past, it can now add up to a painful chunk of change.

 

While these practical and specific steps can all be impactful, third-party logistics providers should remain cognizant of the big-picture, recognize the value of staying nimble in the current environment. With circumstances changing constantly, maintaining strict record-keeping and regular audits is essential. None of these measures should be a one-time check list item. Navigating turbulent times requires a full-blown maintenance program that should continue indefinitely. Taking the time and investing the resources to set these systems up correctly before mistakes happen or circumstances change can help you avoid missteps and missed opportunities in the future. Don’t scramble and patch holes when your vessel springs a leak in the rough seas of a trade war—instead, do the proactive work and ongoing maintenance that it takes to make your operation seaworthy for years to come.

 

 

Drew Janney is Vice President of Operations at Michigan-based Argus Logistics, a non-asset based, third party logistics management provider with operations across the globe. To connect with Drew, email djanney@argussolutions.net.

 

ROAR Logistics Opens New Florida Distribution Center

Buffalo, NY – Global third-party logistics provider ROAR Logistics Inc. has opened a new operations center in Clearwater, Florida.

The new Florida facility is the company’s sixth US location and continues a run of strategic acquisitions and expansion that began more than 18 months ago.

The new office “provides the company and its customers direct access to myriad shipping opportunities through Port Tampa Bay, which handles nearly 40 percent of all cargo moving in and out of the state of Florida,” the company said.

Founded Oct. 1, 2003, ROAR Logistics is a subsidiary of global food manufacturer Rich Products Corp. and offers a broad range of logistics services to an array of local, national and global customers.

In January 2013, ROAR opened its first office on the US West Coast in Temecula, California, extending its reach into Mexico and positioning the company in proximity to the most-active ports in America, including Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In May 2014, ROAR purchased Phoenix-based Legend Transportation Group, a full-service, third-party logistics provider known for its managed solutions model and online, Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipment solutions.

10/14/2014