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C.H. Robinson–known as the “Original 3PL”–lives up to its reputation of taking market challenges in stride through predictive and proactive approaches so their customers don’t have to. If there’s a better way to operate, C.H. Robinson is determined to propose a strategy to its customers with their success as the forerunner, eliminating costly mistakes and wasted time. The company boasts an impressive global network of more than 124,000 customers who depend on the expertise of C.H. Robinson to navigate the ever-changing marketplace while providing clear visibility from start to finish. The leading third-party logistics provider offers a full suite of global logistics services and understands the importance of gauging market risks and evaluating the best solutions to continue operations.

“We are constantly trying to keep our ears on the market to know what’s coming and what’s to be expected and how we can navigate those waters,” explains Vince Santinello, Business Development, Ocean Services at C.H. Robinson. “Specifically, in relation to the ocean market, we are looking at how the tariffs themselves are going to impact the market this year. And second, looking at the IMO 2020 and what that overall impact could be.”

While the recent tariff concerns and quickly approaching IMO 2020 regulation spark global concerns for many carriers and customers, C.H. Robinson continues utilizing proactive research to provide cost-effective, strategic solutions for its customer base. The company takes the value of market challenges and evaluates what factors can be modified for a better and more successful future in the ocean market.

“The incremental volume changes that came with the last tariff announcement impacted the ports and when that happened, we talked to our customers about moving forward with port diversification and clear visibility of transit times while looking through their supply chains,” Santinello says. “It’s important for us to understand what’s happened in the past, then we can start putting models together to help move forward.”

IMO 2020 continues making news headlines as industry players consider next steps and potential roadblocks. C.H. Robinson continues leveraging its broad network of carriers and manufacturers, analyzing trends to determine the next best course of action to successfully predict the impact the regulation will have.

“Carriers today don’t know what that financial impact will be,” Santinello concedes. “The difference between high-Sulphur fuels and low-Sulphur fuels right now is an average of $250 more per ton. This will have a cost impact on our customers’ business.

“We’re working to understand how it’s going to impact the bottom line and it all goes back to us looking at alternative routing so we can reduce that overall impact of cost. Additionally, looking at when their cargo is moving and possibly shifting lead times to avoid potential impact as much as possible.”

C.H. Robinson takes its additional services portfolio and carefully evaluates how they can expand it to not only exceed customer needs but to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to innovative, strategic and proactive solutions in an unpredictable market. Instead of limiting customers to traditional approaches, C.H. Robinson employs global alternatives to keep businesses going.

“Port diversification is a major point for us to discuss this year and looking at moving cargo inland via Los Angeles, Canada and the East Coast,” Santinello says. “We see value in utilizing the multiple services C.H. Robinson offers, such as air, ocean and surface transportation, in order to best serve our customers. We’re continuing to look at what other services that we can offer within our network.”

C.H. Robinson takes pride in its unique, innovative and comprehensive technology platform, Navisphere, taking scalable global technology to new depths. The all-in-one solution provides customers with unmatched visibility and accurate data immediately, conserving time and creating efficiencies across the board–from ocean, air and domestic shipments. Not only does this platform provide streamlined operations for C.H. Robinson’s customers, but it directly impacts the level of quality received by the customer’s clients.

“Technology is always going to be a key factor and it’s something that C.H. Robinson has seen for years,” Santinello says. “We continue to invest in our own platform because at the end of the day, it’s about visibility, it’s about accurate data and we can assess that at a moment’s notice.”

Considering day-to-day improvements needed, C.H. Robinson takes proactive measures one step farther with Navisphere as they use past experiences to address current issues while predicting market challenges and potential solutions.

“Real-time visibility through Navisphere allows our customer to see where their freight is at any given moment so they can adjust manufacturing as need-be and due dates for their own customers,” Santinello says. “Once we have an accurate depiction of what real market transit times are, we can assess what other issues might be present and address those further upstream.”

Vince Santinello joined C.H. Robinson in 2015. He brings 15+ years of ocean logistics experience. He grew up through the ranks with previous NVOCCs, taking on the responsibilities of negotiating pricing, terms and developing superb ocean carrier relationships. As part of the C.H. Robinson family, Vince is the Ocean Business Development & Route Manager focusing on the Transpacific Eastbound Trade.  He primarily works with all North American branches to help ensure success and collaborates closely with C.H. Robinson’s Carrier Management Team to guarantee the expectations of offices and customers are represented