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The Pros and Cons of Hiring and Buying Equipment

The Pros and Cons of Hiring and Buying Equipment

You may have a potentially big project in the pipeline or too many demands to meet. You may want to choose to change to a flexible working style, or want more structure when you plan your work. Deciding on whether to hire or to buy equipment will depend on the nature of your business. Here are the pros and cons of hiring and buying equipment for the industrial, manufacturing and construction industries.

The Pros:

-Depending on the length of your project, hiring equipment can be a cost-effective option, especially if you only need to hire for a short period of time.

-If you have a small working environment, hiring equipment can be a great way to help you with your project, yet free up space when it’s not needed. This will allow you to work with a flexible approach.

-When it comes to the manufacturing industry, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Buying your own equipment means you have the opportunity to customise what you buy to ensure it’s exactly what you need to suit your business. Airblast Eurospray for example, not only gives you the opportunity to hire facilities but they can also custom build blast rooms and supply equipment to suit the requirements of your business.

-Buying equipment means you’ll know exactly how to use it and its capabilities. When you hire, you have a limited amount of time to work out how to best use the equipment.

-When you hire you’re open to trying out new technologies without investing too much of your resources if the equipment doesn’t meet your requirements.

The cons

-Buying equipment outright is simple enough if you have the funds to do so. If you’re a small company, or just starting out you may not know what projects are around the corner. Because of this, buying expensive construction, manufacturing or industrial equipment could be a big risk to take.

Hiring equipment means you have to be organised. You’ll have to plan and factor in the time it takes to source the right equipment. You should also have back up retailers that you can use if you find your first option has sold out.

-Buying your own equipment will also mean you’re responsible for transporting and the cost of transportation to different sites. This is an extra cost and one you may not have thought of at the time of purchase.

-When you buy equipment, you could be stuck with the same technologies for quite some time before you see a return on investment. This could mean that you unintentionally put yourself behind new advances in technology, which may impact how well you perform against your competitors.

-When buying equipment, you’ll need to factor in any costs for maintenance and repairs. This can be less or more than repeatedly hiring new machinery throughout the year. You’ll have to look at its purpose, how many times you require it and the cost for security deposits or collateral if you were to accidentally break the equipment during a hire. From this, you can discover the best option for your company.

Illicit Trade: The Fight Continues

The United Arab Emirates is the latest region of focus in the fight against illicit trade after the The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) asked for increased efforts this week during a conference in Abu Dhabi.

The conference, hosted by Global Trade Development Week, consisted of industry leaders analyzing the illicit trade vulnerabilities in the wake of increased trafficking in the region of Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone.

The United Arab Emirates currently ranks 34th globally with an overall rank of 68/100 for structural capability to effectively address illicit trade according to 2018 Global Illicit Trade Environment Index.

“I’m not surprised that UAE has scored in the top third of our global rankings,” TRACIT Director-General Jeffrey Hardy said. “The country has demonstrated its commitment to wiping out corruption, standing up against money laundering and strengthening laws to fight against counterfeiting and other forms of IP Theft.”

With successful initiatives to-date for the region, Hardy continues to adamantly encourage the region to combat illicit trade efforts through  improved customs operations, rationalizing tax policies and overall cleaner operations in Free Trade Zones.

“Strengthening cooperation with neighboring countries and working with international organizations like INTERPOL can rapidly improve UAE’s ability to defend against illicit trade,”  Hardy said. “Similarly, the government can shift public perception and understanding of the negative impacts of illicit trade by improving public awareness and education.”



Volume Growth, Increased Gross Profit Through Third Quarter

The Kuehne + Nagel Group moves into the fourth quarter with reports showing successful volume growth and overall increased EBIT and earnings for the first nine months of 2018, supporting the hopes and anticipation of a successful end-of-year close.

The release details successes and challenges the company experienced within the seafreight, airfreight, overlan and contract logistics net turnover growth and performance snapshots from implemented business strategies.

The company increased seafrieght volume by 8.8 percent, doubling the growth as market and shipped 284,000 more TEUs than what was reported during the same time frame last year.

The contract logistics finished the first nine months strong with an increased net turnover of 10.6 percent and gross profit increase by 10.7 percent. On the business and strategy side of things, Kuehne + Nagel are moving forward with Chinese and Indonesian logistics companies pertaining to the automotive sector while continuing to operate the new digital warehouse management system.

Airfrieght tonnage increased by 16.0 percent to numbers exceeding market growth thanks to industry-pointed end-to-end solutions. Airfreight also provided an impressive 30.3 percent conversion rate and a 19.4 percent increase in EBIT.

Overall earnings for the period displayed a +7.4% variance from 2017, providing additional support that implemented strategies, planning and acquisition efforts align with industry success.

For more information on the report, visit: Kuehne + Nagel

Source: Kuehne + Nagel

Third Party Logistics To Improve Supply Chain Management

One of the oldest heritage brands and a leader in the lawn and garden category, The Jobe’s Company, has officially partnered with third party logistics provider Transplace to support efforts in logistics optimization and operations. The focus for improvements involves reducing costs, creating greater visibility while creating and supporting efficient operational practices, according to an announcement this week.

Transplace mentioned some of the elements to leverage include the use of the TMS for all incoming and outbound shipments as well as providing digital solutions for all processing, payments and reporting.

“As transportation costs continue to rise, we recognized the need to partner with a logistics provider that would improve our processes and give us greater supply chain visibility,” said Chris Allen, CEO, The Jobe’s Company. 3PL“Transplace brings extensive experience along with robust logistics technology and capabilities that give us greater control over our transportation operations and help us to improve customer service. From the beginning, the Transplace team worked diligently to understand our business and customers, and develop a solution customized to meet our unique needs as well as the business requirements of our retail partners.”

About The Jobe’s Company
Headquartered in Waco, Texas with additional manufacturing facilities in Paris, Kentucky, The Jobe’s Company specializes in home and garden products with a commitment to giving consumers better products that deliver better results. The company is the nation’s #1 organics fertilizer brand and produces over 1 billion square feet of consumer and commercial-grade landscaping fabrics, annually. Additional innovative products include plant spikes, soils & potting mixes, fencing & netting, as well as sun shades and accessories. The Company is represented by a robust portfolio of brands including Jobe’s Organics, Ross, WeedBlock, PowerGrid, Sun Sail, and others. With over 200 products at retail, Jobe’s brands are available online and at leading home improvement, garden, hardware and discount stores across North America and Mexico. For more information and to view the entire line-up of products, please visit


About Transplace
Transplace is the leading provider of transportation management services and logistics technology, helping manufacturers, retailers and distributors optimize supply chain operations and increase financial performance. Offering a complete suite of transportation management, strategic capacity, and cross-border & global trade services, Transplace’s customizable logistics solutions and best-in-class technology gives businesses greater control of their transportation operations and enhanced visibility of shipments and overall supply chain performance.

With deep expertise in key vertical markets, including consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, retail and chemicals, Transplace works to strategically design and manage customer networks in the most efficient, cost-effective manner. As North America’s largest transportation management provider, Transplace leverages its entire network to solve large-scale, complex supply chain problems for its customers. From small-to-medium businesses to global brands, Transplace delivers the optimal blend of actionable business intelligence and operational excellence you need to manage your supply chain with certainty. Learn more at

Source: Outlook Marketing Services


The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners on Sept. 11 unanimously approved the port’s 2018 Strategic Plan, which includes a new vision statement and outlines 20 goals and 66 strategies to guide the port’s activities and budget for the next decade.

The plan was developed over 11 months with broad public and stakeholder input, including advisory panels, public open houses, commission meetings, public workshops and hundreds of public comments.

“We appreciate all the time and energy our community has put in as we’ve created our new strategic plan,” says CEO Julianna Marler. “We heard from hundreds of people, both within the port and across our community. Their perspectives helped us develop a balanced plan so we can continue to advance as an organization while achieving our state-directed purpose and our mission of creating economic benefit through leadership, stewardship and partnership in marine, industrial and waterfront development.”

The port first developed a strategic plan in the early 2000s and updated it each year as necessary. By 2017, the port needed a new plan to address organizational change, including completion of many key initiatives; marine and industrial business growth; identification of new projects; and changes in staff and elected leadership.

The 2018 Strategic Plan is available at





Budding Signs of Trade Diversification a Welcome Sign for Canada’s Trade

There’s been much ado in Ottawa as of late regarding the promotion of free-trade ideals and the pursuit of a globalist agenda in economics.

The recent handshake agreement on a rebranded United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has understandably been the preeminent focus of business and political observers. But setting aside momentarily that historic détente in Can-Am relations, there’s been a great deal of work taking place in Ottawa to establish the conditions that will enable and empower not just globalism but genuine trade diversification.

Most Canadian businesses – particularly those for which trade across the 49th parallel is integral to their livelihood – have been alarmed by how quickly trade relations between Canada and the U.S. have regressed over the past 18 months, and how closely the USMCA negotiations came to leaving Canada without a free trade agreement with the U.S.

And yet, it was with little fanfare that Canada’s Parliament recently gave royal ascent (the last step in the ratification process) to the Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP. For the uninitiated, the CPTPP is a multilateral free trade agreement involving 11 Pacific Rim countries. Originally, the agreement (then dubbed the Trans-Pacific Partnership) was a 12-nation pact that included the United States. However, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement via executive order on his third day in office.

Fearing the proliferation of protectionism and looking to solidify strength in numbers in Asia against China’s rising hegemony, the remaining members of the TPP relaunched trade talks in a rather expeditious manner in 2017. One year later, not only have those talks concluded, but also the required six signatory countries formally ratified the agreement, allowing entry into force on December 30, 2018.

For Canada, participation in the CPTPP represents a further bet on multilateral trade and the pursuit of a free trade agenda that is meant not only to provide greater import/export options for Canadian businesses, but to reduce Canada’s dependence on trade with the United States. That agenda has reasonably been pursued with increased vigor given Washington’s hyper focus on Buy American trade policies, bi-lateral trade, and the elimination of trade deficits.

To be sure, Canada’s globalist trade agenda predates the era of Donald Trump and the rise of trade protectionism. It is evident in the 2016 signing of the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union; an agreement that took seven years to negotiate under an air of cynicism and opposition on both sides of the Atlantic.

Some have argued that Canada-EU trade data under CETA is indicative of Canadian businesses’ vulnerability to compete in a multilateral environment. These detractors note that since CETA’s provisional application in September 2017, exports to the EU increased only a modest 3.3 per cent versus a 12.9 per cent increase in imports from the EU.

But a closer look reveals one-fifth of those new imports are made up of machinery, indicating  the buds of economic diversification, rather than a sign of global non-competitiveness. Machinery is most often imported to enhance production efficiency and make businesses more innovative and internationally competitive. The fact that this taking place in a less-than-favorable exchange rate environment for Canadian businesses is all the more encouraging.

Far from driving job loss, the imports are spurring employment growth. In the year following CETA’s implementation, Canada’s unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to 5.9%. Furthermore, employment in some of the sectors most affected by the top imports from the EU, such as, mining and health care has risen 4.13% and 0.75% respectively. Granted, employment in manufacturing did drop 1.37% during that period; however, that figure is likely made up of job losses due to automation as much as job losses due to lost business.

It is also reassuring that trade growth with the EU hasn’t been limited to the UK, traditionally Canada’s largest European trading partner. According to a CBC report in September, exports from Canada to European countries other than the UK, grew 6.9%. This is yet another sign that Canadian businesses are looking outside their traditional comfort zones for both sourcing and selling opportunities.

Precisely how widely used the CPTPP will be amongst Canadian businesses is anyone’s guess at this point. Like the CETA countries, the CPTPP group is made up of diverse economies. And, like the EU, trade with the CPTPP group will require a reliance on ocean freight, multi-lingual communication and packaging, as well as multi-cultural considerations for how products are marketed.

The path of least resistance for Canadian businesses would be to breathe a heavy sigh of relief that the North American bloc has been salvaged by USMCA and revert to tried and true trade relationships with existing supply chain partners. No one would blame them for doing so. And for many businesses – particularly smaller ones – keeping trade within North America might be the only realistic approach.

For many others, the CPTPP and CETA represent a historic opportunity for businesses to diversify their sourcing and selling markets, but also to plant seeds that will grow sales, encourage innovation and productivity, expand product portfolios and serve as insurance against current and future trade disputes. For those reasons alone, businesses should be setting their sights on leveraging Canada’s newly acquired free trade prospects.

Cora Di Pietro is vice president of Global Trade Consulting at trade-services firm Livingston International. She is a frequent speaker and lecturer at industry and academic events and is an active member of numerous industry groups and associations.







China International Import Expo Kicks-Off with Tariff Talks

The first China International Import Expo gathered 2800 companies from over 130 countries and regions to meet with over 150,000 buyers in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10, 2018. This event is now anticipated as an annual event that provides success initiatives and strong performance, according to Chinese President Xi.

The conference  kicked-off with China’s president stating that he will cut tariffs and expand China’s economy in a speech today addressing changes to come, including an overall drop in anticipated imports, according to reports.

In his address, he stated he aims to “help friends from around the world to seize opportunities presented by China’s development in the new era and offer a platform for us to deepen international business cooperation for shared prosperity and progress.”

In addition to expanding China’s trade efforts, Xi explained how openness and cooperation are at the center of dynamic international economic trade activities and how the current economic state calls for such actions and cooperation on a global level.

Xi also stated that his goals moving forward include efforts to ” lower tariffs, facilitate customs clearance, reduce institutional costs in import, and step up cross-border e-commerce and other new forms and models of business.”

Creating a world-class business environment from enforcing and respecting international laws and implementing fair practices were mentioned during his address.

“Countries need to improve their business environment by addressing their problems. They should not just point fingers at others to gloss over their own problems. They should not hold a “flashlight” in hand doing nothing but to check out on the weakness of others and not on their own.”

As the expo continues on, nations around the world watch closely for global leaders responses and comments on the speech and how things moving forward will be impacted by Xi’s statements and plans of action.



Advancing Global and Regional Trade in Africa through Intra-African Trade Fair

December 11-17, 2018 at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo, all 55 African countries will converge for the first edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF). This is an initiative of the Africa Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and supported by other partners around the world including the World Trade Center Miami.

Afreximbank, the convener of the trade fair, intends to use this platform to address the market information gap which in part is responsible for poor regional trade in Africa. Building a platform which provides access to the exchange of trade and market information will support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) currently being negotiated aims to establish an open market for goods, services and business persons within the continent. Even though the CFTA agreement has been signed by about eighty percent of the countries in Africa, the road to its full implementation is still far ahead.


The process of market and economic integration is complicated everywhere in the world and particularly in Africa where poor levels of industrialization and openness, lack of dispute management mechanisms and intellectual property protections remain major roadblocks. Nevertheless, market integration is extremely important and in fact, a survival strategy for Africa. From Cape to Cairo, the continent is too fragmented in many ways – the economy, landscape and logistics, to make any meaningful improvement on economic development and hinterland connectivity.

The good news is, despite all the challenges associated with doing business in Africa, economic integration is already happening through African corporate entrepreneurs and multinational corporations. A report on “Pioneering One Africa” by the Boston Consulting Group named 150 companies, 75 African companies and 75 multinational companies who are driving the Pan-African market and economic integration.

African airlines, financial institutions, telecoms operators and media companies are accelerating intra-African connectivity and market integration by expanding their operational network to many countries across Africa. Over the last decade, Africa has seen growth in the number of air routes by local airlines, bank branch network and telecommunications operations. For example, Ethiopian airlines serves about 40 destinations in the region while the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has branches in 19 African countries. The progress being made by these companies shows that a continental single market for Africa is not impossible.

To continue the market and economic integration pioneered by these local and multinational companies, a multi-dimensional approach is required by all stakeholders. One approach which has proven to be an effective tool for trade development is trade fairs where businesses engage face to face. The Intra-African Trade Fair will help African countries to develop closer economic ties and harmonize their regulatory procedures thereby leading to increased global and regional trade.

The multi-sector Intra-African Trade Fair anticipates over $25 billion worth of trade and investment deals from 70,000 attendees featuring country pavilions for African and non-African countries. Other sideline events include engagement sessions with leaders and top government officials.

The trade fair is a gateway into the African single market of over one billion people. It will not only boost trade within Africa, American companies and other global market players can leverage this unprecedented market entry opportunity to grow their network and expand business interests to Africa.


 Kemi Arosanyin is a Global Trade contributor and Director, Africa Trade Expansion Program at the World Trade Center Miami. She writes, speaks, and advises on trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.



The trade association for UK freight forwarding companies and logistics service providers says that whilst it welcomes some of the announcements in yesterday’s UK Budget, it feels that the issues covered are all overshadowed by the ongoing uncertainty over the shape that the UK’s exit from the EU is going to take.

Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) says, “Whilst the investment in road transport infrastructure might make a difference to our members, we should not forget that back in November 2015, the Government announced that funding would be provided for the largest road investment programme since the 1970s.

“I am not sure that the country’s network of A roads and motorways has become any less congested since that announcement.

“BIFA has said repeatedly that it is imperative that new road building and road reconstruction projects are not only implemented, but developed in such a way as to maximise their functionality to the BIFA members, which as freight forwarders, use them to move Britain’s visible domestic and international trade.

“Hopefully this talk of infrastructure investment will cease to be just talk and we will see some spades in the ground.

“Our members will also welcome the news that the freeze in fuel duty would remain, but would have preferred to see an outright cut, the introduction of an essential user rebate and some form of fuel duty stabilisation mechanism.”

Notwithstanding any of the above, BIFA is concerned by Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s assertion that the spending commitments outlined in yesterday budget statement would not be affected in the event of a no-deal, hard Brexit.

Keen adds: “If that is the case, why would Mr Hammond feel the need to also state that his Spring statement might need to be upgraded to a new hard-Brexit budget?

“Speaking on behalf of BIFA’s members, which facilitate much of the movement of the UK’s visible exports and imports, we believe that any new tariffs and delays that could result from a no-deal Brexit would make today’s announcements unsustainable.”

“Our business sector is an accurate barometer of the nation’s trading performance, and wants to see a Brexit deal as closely aligned with the EU Customs Union as possible.

“Our members remain concerned about the potential impact on infrastructure plans, labour shortages and border delays of a no-deal Brexit, and want to see much more progress with the agreement on several key processes if a frictionless border is to be achieved.

“Our members want to see the government achieve an agreement on trade and customs as an urgent priority. That will be of much greater importance to the work of our members than anything announced in yesterday’s budget.”


What corporations should know about operating in Abu Dhabi

Economists have long debated the effectiveness of laws enacted to spur economic development. But cities continue to try to create jobs and wealth, and some like Abu Dhabi seem to be doing something right.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates in 2015 created a financial district where it relaxed tax and regulatory requirements to attract foreign investment. In three years, the Abu Dhabi Global Market has emerged as a vibrant business community featuring financial services companies and professional advisers.

Writing laws conducive to growth has secured Abu Dhabi’s place as a global financial center. It’s ranked 25th in the Global Financial Centres Index, just behind better known European financial hubs Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Paris.

Governance and law in the Abu Dhabi Global Market was modeled after its UAE neighbor, Dubai. Using its newfound oil wealth in the 1970s, Dubai started upgrading its infrastructure to become a commercial center in the Middle East. The fundamentalism of Gulf Coast countries, though, was a deterrent to foreign investment in the Middle East. Leveraging a concept called “free zones,” Dubai developed economic areas that waived corporate taxes, allowed 100 percent foreign ownership and simplified start-up processes.

It took the idea a step further in 2004 by opening a free zone called the Dubai International Finance Centre with its own legal structure, financial regulator and courts. The DIFC, as it’s known, is governed by British common law rather than Sharia law. A transparent legal regime aligned with international best practices offered certainty and familiarity to global financial institutions and foreign investors.

The legal changes combined with business-friendly regulations, political stability and modern infrastructure have turned Dubai into a favored city for business in the Middle East and Africa. It’s also at the center of trade between the East and West, connecting the region to the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas. The DIFC has a working population of more than 22,000 people and 2,000 companies, according to its website. It has attracted many of the world’s largest banks, as well as multinational corporations.

The DIFC now has healthy competition from within the UAE. Abu Dhabi seeks to exploit its oil wealth –estimated at 6 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves – to transform its economy and global competitiveness.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market is in the capital’s shiny new Al Maryah Island, a half square-mile piece of land being developed by Mubadala, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Taking a page from the Disney corporate playbook, Abu Dhabi has carefully planned the growth and development of the island. The first phase was the financial district, a shopping mall, a luxury hotel and the world-class Cleveland Clinic hospital. Another shopping center, featuring department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdales, is expected to open later this year. Al Maryah is poised to become one of the world’s most luxurious neighborhoods.

The financial center, known as ADGM, is housed in glistening new towers and a low-lying central building shaped like an upside-down trapezoid. Like its Dubai counterpart, it has an independent financial services regulator and a court system built on English law.

The ADGM’s legal approach is more progressive than the DIFC’s by adopting specified English laws and related jurisprudence. It also reaches out to its community or to experienced advisers on new considerations or initiatives before launching white papers for public comment. This allows any new laws or regulations to be carefully considered, which is unique in the market.

The ADGM has also reduced the need for laborious notarization and legalization processes, which add time and significant cost for any new company entering the market or expanding. It is the only jurisdiction in the Middle East offering this.

While ADGM permits a range of financial services, from banking to insurance to wealth management, it has also launched several firsts in the region, including a private real estate investment trust regime, a new venture capital framework for fund managers and an aviation financing scheme.

The existence and interaction of federal laws, individual emirate laws and free zone laws can be quite complex and confusing, making it essential to seek out a local expert. For example, a foreigner wishing to conduct business outside the free zone must have a local partner owning 51 percent of the business. Other challenges include a small domestic market, risks of speculative bubbles, geopolitical instability in the Middle East and dependence on oil.

Foreign investment in Abu Dhabi and Dubai allowed the UAE to weather the slump in oil prices that began in 2014. UAE saw the inflows of foreign direct investment increase by nearly 8 percent last year, to $10.3 billion, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. In sharp contrast, inflows of foreign direct investment to the region, excluding Israel, fell by 16 percent in 2017.

The UAE’s favorable business climate, led by the ADGM, had a lot to do with that.


About Stephanie Williams:

Stephanie, who joined TMF Group in 2013, has been working in the Middle East for 10 years. She’s a specialist in business structuring and corporate governance, as well corporate secretarial services and communication. She has helped set up businesses in the UAE and has broad knowledge of the local complexities.