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How Inventory Financing Makes your Organization more Resilient

inventory retail

How Inventory Financing Makes your Organization more Resilient

The global supply-chain crisis taught the business world a hard lesson: the prevailing just-in-time procurement strategy can collapse when there are widespread supply shortages and shipping delays for critical parts and materials.

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and in periodic spikes since, lockdowns in China caused port closures, slow movement of goods and higher freight costs. For companies that entirely depended on supply lines from affected areas, the disruption impacted  business sustainability.

Now, as the global economy rebounds from the depths of the crisis, many businesses are pivoting to a just-in-case model, incorporating stockpiles of critical parts and materials to better ride out future disruptions. This represents a tactical and seismic shift for many businesses.

The ongoing war in Ukraine—which has roiled energy markets and disrupted global access to Ukrainian and Russian grain commodities—is a clear reminder that the continued need to be laser-focused on supply chain resiliency is bigger than COVID-19. Preserving operational flexibility and access to critical inventories should be top of mind for business leaders, simply because no one can fully predict the next instance of volatility.

However, the just-in-case model,  can tie up vital working capital needed for expansion, growth and sustainability. In the fourth quarter of 2022,  U.S. business inventories, seasonally adjusted, were at the highest level in the past three decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Inventory financing solutions, which J.P. Morgan’s Trade and Working Capital team delivers to clients across sectors and industries, can help companies drive supply chain resiliency and business growth through: 

  • Optimized procurement for stronger purchasing power
  • Improved working capital and balance sheet ratios
  • Reduced carrying costs
  • Shortened Days Inventory Outstanding

As the current supply chain pinch eases and with consumer spending holding strong, now is the time for businesses to reassess their inventory management strategies to ensure readiness for the next period of market turbulence.

Anubhav Shrivastava is head of Trade & Working Capital for Commercial Banking at J.P. Morgan, where he leads a team responsible for helping clients access tailored financial solutions to manage their working capital, reduce cash conversion cycles and mitigate risk as they conduct business globally.

goods SAAFF future-proof supply chain carl impact operations work overhaul global peak

Overhaul Secures $73M in Growth Financing, Expands its Foothold in Global Supply Chain Visibility, Risk and Compliance Market

Funding enhances Overhaul’s platform spanning visibility, risk, compliance, and insurance solutions to help safeguard cargo and improve efficiencies

Overhaul, a software-based supply-chain visibility, risk, compliance, and insurance solution for the world’s leading brands, today announced $73 million in new growth capital including $38 million in equity and $35 million in non-dilutive debt. Growth equity investor Edison Partners led the investment with participation from strategic investors eGateway Capital, StepStone Group, and TRM Ventures. Stifel Bank provided the debt financing.

Overhaul will deploy the capital to expand globally, enhance products, and fund the recent acquisition of security services provider SensiGuard—a deal that firmly establishes Overhaul as the global leader in in-transit supply chain risk management. Previous investors Abbey International Finance, Avanta Ventures and Macquarie Capital also participated in the round.

Overhaul is expected to track more than $1 trillion in total moving cargo this year. The company has a 96% recovery rate for FTL cargo theft and an 80% loss ratio reduction as compared to the insurance industry benchmark. Overhaul operates globally and has more than 600 employees.

Global supply chain disruptions and volatile markets are creating strong demand for solutions that can stop disruptions before they occur. Unlike providers that focus on on-time arrival performance, Overhaul’s visibility, risk management and prevention capabilities give companies a real-time view into their supply chain so they can manage risk more effectively and reduce losses while improving overall performance.

In 2022, Overhaul was recognized as an Austin Inno Top Workplace, Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Company, Deloitte Technology Fast 500, G2 Supply Chain Visibility Grid, and as a Challenger on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms.

SC ports

SC Ports Offers Access to Booming Southeast Market

South Carolina Ports sees stronger-than-typical February for container volumes at the Port of Charleston as South Carolina continues to attract new business.

Thus far in fiscal year 2023, SC Ports has handled nearly 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and 978,374 pier containers, which account for containers of any size. TEUs are down 5% from the same time a year prior.

SC Ports and the maritime community handled 201,418 TEUs and 111,118 pier containers in February, which is down about 13% year-over-year.

Even with this slight dip, last month was the second highest February for volumes in port history. February is traditionally a lighter month due to a pause in Asian manufacturing for the Lunar New Year holiday.


A slowdown in consumer spending amid rising cost of goods has softened volumes overall, including loaded imports.

Loaded exports however have been trending up for several months. In February, loaded exports were up 12% year-over-year at the Port of Charleston. SC Ports offers an export receiving window to provide more reliability and support to exporters.

Vehicle volumes are also steadying. SC Ports had 15,824 vehicles roll across the docks at the Port of Charleston.

Inland Ports Greer and Dillon have maintained strong monthly volumes for the past three months, with the rail-served inland ports reporting a combined 16,198 rail moves in February. Inland Port Dillon, which serves the Pee Dee region and beyond, had a record February by handling 3,664 rail moves.

SC Ports continues efforts to enhance intermodal capabilities by expanding Inland Port Greer and building the dual-served Navy Base Intermodal Facility, which will provide near-dock rail to the Port of Charleston in 2025.

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. Please visit to learn more about SC Ports.
technology CGS supply

CGS Issues 2023 Global Supply Chain and Technology Trends Report

While eCommerce and Sustainability Top Key Trends, Only 23% in Fashion and Apparel Industry Have High Confidence in Supply Chain

CGS, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning, and outsourcing services, today released its 2023 Supply Chain Technology Trends Report. The annual report evaluates the vital signs of customers in the fashion, consumer goods, and retail industries that CGS BlueCherry serves.

The 2023 report provided a mix of trends that have held firm and others of increased importance to respondents. Topping the results is a focus on 1) eCommerce and 2) Sustainability as the primary 2023 growth opportunities. Also notable was that only 23% of respondents admitted having high confidence in their supply chain while a majority, 70% either have or plan to implement technology to support process digitalization, such as PLM, ERP, inventory management, demand planning, supply chain tracking, and logistics management.


Key Report Highlights

  • eCommerce: remained the number one growth opportunity in 2023 as it was for CGS’s 2022 Report.
  • Sustainability: represents the year’s biggest change moving from the sixth-most important growth opportunity to the second.
  • Inflation: ranked third, which is consistent with other surveys1, which found 85% of fashion executives predict inflation will continue to challenge the market.
  • Reducing Costs: for 1/3rd of respondents, reducing costs ranked either first or second in their list of 2023 priorities.
  • Supply Chain Confidence: while a healthy 63% of respondents have moderate confidence in their supply chains, only 23% have high confidence and ~15% reported low to no supply chain confidence.
  • Supply Chain Visibility: 57% of respondents plan to improve supply chain visibility in 2023.
  • Digital Transformation: An overwhelming 70% of respondents have or plan to implement technology to support process digitalization
  • Strengthening Supply Chain Relationships: is cited as the number one action taken or planned in order to overcome supply chain challenges.

This report compiles feedback from approximately 350 top executives from the fashion, apparel, footwear, and home goods industries, including professionals from the C-suite, operations, finance, sourcing and supply chain management, product development, retail operations, IT, and e-commerce.

You can download the full report here: 2023 Supply Chain Technology Trends Report.

The BlueCherry Supply Chain Solution

BlueCherry® by CGS is an award-winning, end-to-end supply chain management solution – supporting the needs of high-growth organizations operating in consumer lifestyle products, retail, and apparel. The platform provides complete visibility and resilient supply chain management tools from planning and product development to manufacturing and sales. A robust and flexible feature set enables customers to utilize individual components or take advantage of a single, unified platform.

About CGS

For nearly 40 years, CGS has enabled global enterprises, regional companies, and government agencies to drive breakthrough performance through business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services. CGS is wholly focused on creating comprehensive solutions that meet clients’ complex, multi-dimensional needs, and support clients’ most fundamental business activities. Headquartered in New York City, CGS has offices across North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.


Soaring Demand for Electric Vehicles Worldwide to Increase Usage of Automotive Power Electronics

The global automotive power electronics market is set to achieve a valuation of US$ 6 billion by 2033, advancing at 4.1% CAGR from 2023 to 2033, as per this new industry analysis by Fact.MR, a market research and competitive intelligence provider.

Power electronics is a general term that refers to a category of solid-state devices used for power regulation and conversions, such as silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs), diodes, thyristors, power MOSFETs, gate turn-off thyristors, and many others. They have a significant role in the control of automotive electronics. Automotive electronics is a sophisticated term formed from power electronic devices and their applications in modern electric power steering, seat control, braking systems, central body management, HEV main inverters, etc.

Increasing acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) is the main factors driving the global automotive power electronics market. Electric vehicles are seen as a critical transition toward modern mobility solutions, providing a cleaner and more efficient method of transportation than traditional automotive. Depleting fuel resources and public uproar over rising pollution levels have fueled the demand for electric vehicles worldwide.


Compliance with safety and vehicle emission norms, as well as rising demand for vehicle connectivity, infotainment, and powertrain electrification, is expected to propel the global automotive power electronics market over the forecast period. The usage of electronics in powertrain systems is predicted to expand at a higher rate throughout the forecast period due to growing efforts by regional governments and environmental agencies to reduce emissions levels through the use of environmentally-friendly automobiles (i.e., hybrid and electric vehicles).

Key Takeaways from Market Study

  • The global automotive power electronics market amounted to US$ 4 billion in 2023.
  • Worldwide demand for automotive power electronics is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2023 to 2033 (forecast period).
  • The market is forecasted to reach a size of US$ 6 billion by 2033.
  • Asia Pacific accounted for 38.7% share of the worldwide market in 2022.
  • The passenger cars segment is predicted to evolve at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period.

“Global automotive power electronics market projected to witness considerable growth due to increasing modernization of vehicles, expanding demand for vehicle electrification, and rising need for connected car devices,” says a Fact.MR analyst.

Regional Analysis

Asia Pacific is leading the global automotive power electronics market. Japan and South Korea are aiding the market growth in Asia Pacific due to the increasing production of automobiles.

The North American market is expanding significantly. The United States is ruling the North American market due to the presence of major electric vehicle makers such as Tesla. Furthermore, Germany is contributing substantially to the European market growth due to the growing adoption of electric vehicles.


Market Report Identifies Hiring and Sales as Top Challenges in Trucking Heading into 2023

Survey fielded by Rose Rocket finds leveraging technology to impact key challenges found to be a top 3 investment for both carriers and brokers

Rose Rocket, a market leader in cloud-enabled TMS software, today announces the release of its market research report featuring proprietary research data, market data, and aggregate Rose Rocket TMS usage data to inform a comprehensive outlook on trucking industry trends. A proprietary survey was fielded to carriers and brokers aiming to identify their experienced challenges and approaches to solving them, the industry’s most time-consuming tasks, top investments, top technology used, and the leading industry news and research sources.

Between labor shortages, global supply chain disruptions, and skyrocketing fuel prices, the trucking industry has experienced unprecedented volatility since the pandemic began. 53.5% of respondents from both carriers and brokers found hiring and retention to be a top challenge heading into 2023. While carriers are projected to face higher employee churn than brokers, turnover is not isolated to drivers. Aggregated product use data shows an increase in turnover in broker organizations, suggesting that companies are facing retention concerns in all positions, including sales and back-office.

Of the survey respondents who called out hiring retention as a top challenge heading into 2023, 36% felt that improving hiring programs is the preferred approach, 18% felt improving company culture would help, while 11% opted for improving pay and incentives. While the transportation industry has certainly felt the impacts of COVID and economic uncertainty, many of the top challenges have remained constant from pre-pandemic times.

In 2023, inflationary pressures and reduced market demand are significant considerations for sales teams. When asked how they plan to remedy slower sales amid market volatility, 29% of respondents feel that acquiring new customers through cold calling is the top approach to building business, followed by 18% feeling that better communication with existing customers will increase revenue, and nearly 10% are looking to retain current customers through improved service performance.

The resulting analysis provides a benchmark that teams can use to measure themselves against, understand the current market conditions, inform future technology decision-making, understand challenges with companies of various sizes, and better plan future technology investments.

Click here to access the entire Challenges, Trends & Technology In Trucking: 2023 Outlook Report.

About Rose Rocket

Rose Rocket is a leading provider of enterprise-grade transportation management software (TMS) for trucking companies and 3PLs. Its network-driven TMS allows trucking companies to leverage their network of drivers, customers, and partners to unlock visibility and capacity. Additional product offerings include industry-leading driver mobile app, customer and partner portal technology, and an open architecture that allows for native integrations, EDIs, APIs, and more.

With Rose Rocket, trucking companies and 3PLs add efficiency and automation at every step of the transport process, allowing for growth through network optimization. Rose Rocket operates in the United States and Canada, catering to carriers and brokerages that have LTL, FTL, hybrid, and multi-division service offerings. Rose Rocket is proudly headquartered in Toronto.

World’s Textile Industry Attempts a Spirited Post-Pandemic Comeback at Frankfurt Trade Fair

World’s Textile Industry Attempts a Spirited Post-Pandemic Comeback at Frankfurt Trade Fair

After suffering a massive slowdown during the two years of the devastating Covid pandemic, when global supply chains were also disrupted, the world’s textile industry attempted a spirited comeback at the recent four-day international Heimtextil 2023 of Frankfurt. 

Heimtextil, the world’s largest trade fair for home textiles, attracted a large turnout of international exhibitors and visitors, albeit the numbers were lower than the pre-pandemic levels.   The Heimtextil show was, in fact, the first full-fledged event in three years although a “mini” Heimtextil edition, combined with the technical textile show TechTextil was held in June 2022.  

The event, showcasing a wide range of products – from raw materials, technology, upholstery and decorative fabrics, outdoor fabrics, artificial leather and wallpaper, technology and recycling with its emphasis on sustainability, etc. – made a “powerful return”, and provided “all the signs for success as a barometer for the trade fair business year”, as Detlef Braun, the executive board member of Messe Frankfurt, put it. 

Sustainability was the key word at the show. To save the planet’s increasingly shrinking resources, greater emphasis will be put on recycling.  Innovative material developments from natural raw materials such as mushrooms, plant fibers or recycled waste products provide impulses for the future of home textiles; a special “Future Materials Library” at the show provided pointers in the future direction, flanked by special guided tours and high-profile lectures.  Caroline Till, a textile technology specialist and co-founder of the London-based Franklin Till studio, explained that sustainability and, with it, the circular economy had become imperatives for the industry.  

Turkish companies, reeling from business losses under the Ukraine crisis – both Russia and the Ukraine were their major markets before the outbreak of the war – and the absence of Chinese buyers because of the Covid, made a strong attempt to woo international customers at the show. 

The 315 exhibitor strong Turkish contingent, up from 304 in 2020, displayed a wide range of products – from curtains and curtain fabrics through blankets, rugs and bed covers to upholstery, furnishings and decorative materials – and while the first day appeared slow for some of the exhibitors resulting from the low numbers of visitors, they were satisfied with the overall result. 

Omur Isiki, a representative of the Istanbul based Turkish Home-Textile Association, popularly known by its acronym TETSIAD, maintained that Turkish companies were aware of the growing importance of recycling. “Some companies are trying to acquire recycling technology.  Recycling, as a corollary of sustainability, will play an important role in the global textile industry,” he said. Turkey is Europe’s largest home-textile exporter, supplying to 118 countries. 

Haluk Hocaoglu, the sales director of Flokser Textil San. of Arnavutkoy/Istanbul, which supplies artificial leather used for upholstery, interiors of vehicles, garments, bags, etc., said in an interview with Global Trade that he was, initially, unsure of the response his company would get at the show because of the Covid and the Ukrainian crisis.  Hocaoglu and his team had come with “realistic expectations”, anticipating very few Russian and Ukrainian buyers, but “then our expectations were exceeded when we received some very promising business enquiries from buyers from other countries.  In short, we can’t complain!”  

Flokser had has an annual turnover of US$ 75 million, with exports amounting to $ 15 million. 

Another Turkish exhibitor, Ipeker Tekstil of Bursa, which showcased its weaving, dyeing and printing services as well as its products such as fashion fabrics and bedding, presented its “unique fiber” cupro. “Our product is recycled but it is strictly vegan in character … our fiber is known as cupro (it is also known as vegan-silk cupro). Cupro is used for women’s and children’s clothing but also for men’s shirts,” Recep Eller, a company representative said.  Ipeker received “good business enquiries” from potential buyers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe.  “Indeed, we received an order right at the show from a Portuguese buyer,” he said.

Pakistan’s textile industry, the mainstay of the country’s exports, put up a brave front at the show despite the pessimism that had descended on the industry following political and economic turmoil, and the devastating floods that destroyed a large part of Pakistan’s infrastructure and cotton crop. 

Aftab Gauhar, the director of Gohar Textiles, a leading textile mill in Faisalabad, Pakistan, said in an interview that many producers had sustained heavy losses in production because of the floods. Pakistan’s cotton production is about 9 million bales, of which 2.5 million bales were lost as a result of the floods. The country traditionally requires about 15 million bales of cotton; the difference between its production and actual requirement is met through imports from Brazil, the United States, etc. 

“In some cases, prices of locally-produced cotton are higher than imported cotton,” he observed. Gohar Textiles, which had an annual turnover of about $ 135 million in 2022, up from $ 120 million in 2021 and $ 95 million in 2020, received a “good response in Frankfurt, completely exceeding our expectations”, Gauhar said. However, he felt that the four-day trade fair should start on Monday, instead of Tuesday, which will make visitors come on Thursday, the last day.  “If the fair starts on Tuesday, then visitors tend to stay away on Friday, the last day.  This makes considerable difference to exhibitors who can get maximum benefit from their participation.”

An elated Olaf Schmidt, the vice president of Messe Frankfurt, the show organizer, said in an interview that after two difficult years, “we’re back in business”.  “It is the first show in 2023 at our trade-fair ground. The numbers have been promising for us … we have had 2400 exhibitors while the number of trade visitors exceeded 44,000 from 130 countries. The international attendance touched 82% of visitors at the show, reinforcing Heimtextil’s status as a really global platform. The show has been good and cleared any doubts in the global textile industry. We are confident that the next show in 2024 will be even better and head towards the level of 2900 exhibitors of 2020,” Schmidt said.

According to Messe Frankfurt, China presented the largest contingent of 429 exhibitors, followed by India (382), Turkey (321) and Pakistan (269).  

Asked about the growing realization among foreign companies to move out of China to other production sites such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, etc., Schmidt said that Vietnam was strong in shoe production but was now also growing in the garment sector. “Vietnam is gaining importance .… global changes are affecting supply chains but China will still remain the largest textile producer in the future,” he predicted. 

Managing Landed Costs in the Global Supply Chain logistics

Best Practices in Global Trade with Thomas A. Cook: Managing Landed Costs in the Global Supply Chain

Personnel managing their global supply chains according to recognized best practices will manage their total costs of good purchased or sold through modeling the “landed costs.”

Landed cost is the total cost of a product once it has arrived at the buyer’s door. What follows are the components that are needed to determine landed costs, including the original price of the item (converted to U.S. dollars, all custom brokerage and handling charges, complete freight and shipping costs, custom duties, tariffs, taxes, insurance, packaging costs and surcharges.

  • Purchase price of goods (acquisition cost) – variable depending on unit price and quantity (converted to USD)
  • Buying agents fees – variable depending on level of service
  • Consolidation – securing LCL shipments into larger shipments and coordinating freight from several suppliers
  • Local trucking and international freight – variable, depending upon choice of mode, carrier, freight rate negotiation and surcharges
  • Duty – variable percentage of the value Customs put on your goods … typically origin and HTS# factored
  • Tax (goods and services tax or value added tax) – $ variable percentage of (The Customs value of cost of goods + freight + insurance + Customs duty)
  • Insurance charges, typically referred to as cargo insurance
  • Customs clearance, ISF, CBP 7501, courier and handling charges, etc.
  • Storage and deconsolidation
  • Inland freight– from inbound gateway to final destination
  • Demurrage – if applicable when potential delays occur. (Note: this became a more impactful expense and concern through the pandemic.)

Every supply chain will have some unique factors and variables that impact landed costs that must be taken into consideration. However, the above generic model will serve as a base template for landed cost calculations.

I firmly believe that senior management and a “best-practice mindset” warrants paying attention to this critical detail in global trade and supply chain management.

In an international trade, both parties enter into a purchase agreement that will include either named or by default an “INCO Term,” as defined by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, subscribed to by most trading nations of the world that belong to the United Nations.

As an example: Importers into the United States by ocean freight typically buy FOB outbound gateway. In China this might be written as FOB Shanghai.

This means that the buyer will assume all risks and costs once the goods are placed onboard the ocean-going vessel in the port of export from overseas. The key words being “risks and costs.”

A potential additional cost in the import or export transaction will be the cost of marine cargo insurance and typically would be considered a necessary component of reducing the risks involved in international transportation.

Marine insurance, when thoroughly written, offers “All Risk,” “Warehouse to Warehouse” coverage for the buyer at specific terms and a rate of premium to be agreed.

Exporters also need to be concerned with landed costs:

  • They need to make sure that the final costs to their customers are competitively structured, which would mean the accumulation of costs to get from the origin to destination, and everything included.
  • The choice of INCO Term may require them to bear all the logistics and customs charges such as in a DDP (delivered duty paid) transaction.
  • Areas such as quality customer service, profitability, margin impact.
  • The exporters freight costs may be less expensive than what the importer would pay.
  • To accommodate foreign customer needs.
  • In e-commerce transactions, the INCO Term DDP is a very likely option in an export sale, which the shipper (exporter) would cover in the COGS.  Thus, obtaining competitive freight costs (international and last mile) will help reduce the overall landed cost.

The following recommendations should be considered: 

  • Learn how INCO Terms impact cost and risk in every transaction and learn to leverage the best INCO Term between you and your supplier and/or buyer.
  • Review all areas of cost in the landed cost model to determine where savings might exist. It might be negotiating better freight rates, or service provider fees.

For example, it might be from sourcing from a country that we have a free trade agreement with, thereby eliminating the duty and tariff.

Companies that import from China are greatly impacted by the 301 tariffs, which added as much as 25% additional cost due to the duty surcharge, which was implemented during the Trump Administration and continued with President Biden’s policies.

By considering another country as a manufacturing source could greatly impact the calculation of duty and tax.

Near-shoring and friend-shoring have grown over the past six years and will likely continue to expand as the risks tied into costs on goods originating in China have created significant exposure to sustainable supply chain management.

Another area would be the HTS number utilized, impacting duties and tax rates.  Keep in mind that it is the country of origin and the product HTS number outlined in a matrix within customs regulations that determine the duty rates.

Mode of transportation will impact landed costs. Many times, air freight is utilized, when ocean freight could be a less expensive option. This means better demand planning and coordination between purchasing/sales/sourcing and the logistics department handling the transportation choices.

Included in this area is control over the suppliers with setting more realistic expectations, tighter control over order status and communications, contractual obligations, and penalties for non-performance.

  • Inland freight expenses can be included in the ocean freight, where there is an opportunity to leverage the larger ocean freight spend to obtain a better inland freight cost.
  • Utilization of technology and reducing “paper” in the transaction can reduce ISF, Customs clearance and handling charges when automation replaces repetitive human handling of import and export documentation.
  • When freight does not have to be consolidated or deconsolidated and can be shipped in units direct from suppler to point of end use, will also reduce costs.

The pandemic took witness to unprecedented increase in freight pricing all over the world. Through 2022, we saw a normalization of freight pricing take hold.

In 2023, the pricing is moving toward pre-pandemic levels and there are signs that demand is diminishing, which might impact pricing to even more competitive levels.

For companies with larger volumes, negotiating certain incidental costs in a soft freight market is available. Surcharges such as PSS, GRI’s and BAF will also impact landed costs favorably.

  • Another option is to minimize the number of service providers and carriers where you can better leverage your freight spend.
  • Freight forwarders, customhouse brokers, 3PLs and other forms of service providers when chosen wisely can be a very critical partner in your global supply chain to both assist in reducing risk and spend through their resources, knowledge, and skill sets.
  • The pandemic forced supply chain managers to pay attention to detail to a much greater extent. This scrutiny brought magnification of all the components of an international transaction.
  • Make sure the risk of loss and damage during transit is managed with a marine cargo insurance policy, written through a qualified insurance broker and underwriting company. And guarantee the terms are customized to the unique risks associated with your supply chain model.
  • In purchasing, when we strive to negotiate a competitive price, we should be wary of “cheap pricing,” as the “cheapest” may have trade-offs on timeliness, safety, and security.

To improve the landed cost model, you must first identify the areas of cost and which ones can be impacted favorably. This will work best in a collaborative process internally with all your stakeholders and externally with all your service providers and consultants.

The assessment process should lead to strategies followed by tactics that develop into action steps creating favorable results in reducing “landed costs” in your global supply chain.

Thomas A. Cook is a seasoned global supply chain professional, author of more than 20 books on global trade and managing director of Blue Tiger International. He can be reached at or (516) 359-6232. 

economic mapping Global supply strains that started to ease in early 2022 are worsening again as headwinds strengthen from the war in Ukraine and China’s economy

Supply Chain Finance: Uncertainty In Global Supply Chains Is Going to Stay

Citi has launched its latest Global Perspectives & Solutions (Citi GPS) report titled: Supply Chain Finance: Uncertainty in Global Supply Chains Is Going to Stay. Its findings indicate that in an environment of stabilizing trade flows and cooling goods demand, disruption remains top of mind for businesses reliant on global supply chains.

The report, which follows last year’s report titled: The Complicated Road Back to “Normal”, draws insight from Citi Research’s propriety Global Supply Chain Pressure Index, trade flows and survey responses from multinational corporations and their suppliers globally.

The Citi Global Supply Chain Pressure Index, outlined in the report, continued to ease on the back of a slowdown in global consumer’s demand for goods. Core goods inflation is expected to alleviate in the coming months as heightened supply chain pressure has been a key driver of price pressure. The report cautions that while the decrease in demand is an important driver of loosening supply chain pressures, these developments are also a sign of mounting recessionary risks across countries and globally.

By analyzing the $4 trillion of average daily payment flow that Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions division processes, the report finds that flows have largely stabilised after multiple disruptions in 2021 and early 2022. It is against this backdrop of stabilisation, that Natural Resources and Clean Energy Transition (NRCET) trade flows grew 65% through the first three quarters of the year as energy prices have soared globally.

Citi and its research partner surveyed 2,327 global corporates for its Supplier & Large Corporate Survey as part of this report. This survey garnered powerful insights into the challenges facing companies large and small around the world, from which five themes emerged:

  • Rising prices and rising interest rates have had impact as corporates take steps to boost financial supply chain resilience
  • Corporates and their suppliers want to strengthen relationships and broaden their supplier base to mitigate further disruption
  • Pandemic disruption has given way to geopolitical tension as the primary threat to supply chain funding stability
  • Despite economic headwinds, respondents remain optimistic about the prospect for export growth
  • ESG remains an area of focus, but lack of clarity has impeded meaningful progress.

About Citi

Citi is a preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in its home market of the United States. Citi does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions, providing corporations, governments, investors, institutions and individuals with a broad range of financial products and services.

india's logistics

India’s National Logistics Policy: What Next?

An overview of India’s National Logistics Policy. Why, What and Next Steps. By Raghu Ramachandran, Business Analyst and Founding Partner of 13 Colony Global.

“At a time when the opportunity exists to be an alternative to the Chinese market, India requires a government more attentive to the country’s infrastructure needs and active deregulation to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the economy to grow at projected pre-pandemic rates in the near future. Only a nationwide structural – including labor and licensing – and consistent long-term reforms, along with spending on infrastructure will attract investments into India.”

This excerpt was taken from a whitepaper, written[1] in November 2020, discussing the Indian Logistics Market which was coming up for air after the pandemic induced shutdown of March 2020.

I quote this as a pre-amble to the National Logistics Policy of India – outlined as a need to reduce logistics costs by the finance minister in her 2020 budget – that was unveiled in September 2022.

Over the past several years (pre-pandemic), the Indian Government rolled out a series of measures starting with a nationwide Goods & Services Tax (GST) and electronic waybill for transportation providers who crossed state borders, which reduced corruption and expedited transit times. Along with those, doors were opened for additional funding including foreign direct investment for the logistics industry, by highlighting its dependence on basic infrastructure.

In 2017 a Logistics division was formed within the Department of Commerce, with an explicit mandate to develop an “integrated logistics sector.” This meant policy changes, improvement in existing procedures, identification of bottlenecks and gaps, and the introduction of technology in this sector. There have been sector specific development initiatives introduced for roads, highways, ports, and better air connectivity.

In the past year the federal government rolled out a master plan (Gati Shakti) to reverse the chronic delays and abandonment of major infrastructure projects by coordinating the development and rollout of them across different departments and in collaboration with the states. All these reforms – fiscal and process – laid the foundation for the roll out of the National Logistics Policy.

A key catalyst is the post Covid re-alignment of the supply chain and the very real possibility that India would be left behind the Southeast Asian countries as most manufacturers and multi-nationals moved towards a China+1 strategy. An ambitious multi step approach to reduce the logistics costs and improve India’s logistics performance index ranking to those of the developed countries was the basis for a logistics policy. While most developed countries have a low logistics cost to GDP ratio, the Indian costs have been in the 14 to 18% range for years.

The Indian government provided several incentives for increasing manufacturing and invested in road, air, and port infrastructure. However, with a lack of a coordinated end-to-end supply chain and logistics perspective, and the siloed investments, there remained huge challenges and increasing costs for the growing number of multinationals who had established operations to meet the Indian consumer’s needs.

Apple, with its global supply chain, is increasing its manufacturing outside China, and with India being an untapped market, saw it fit to expand operations in country. Auto manufacturers from Japan and Korea started this trend years earlier, and along with them, the parts suppliers. The early entrants improvised their logistics while the more recent manufacturers like Mercedes seek to reinvigorate the supply chain network to developed country standards.

While the pandemic exposed the challenges with cross border just-in-time replenishment, India faced an internal challenge with a supply chain network on different technology and communication platforms with minimal integration. The comprehensive plan of the recently unveiled logistics policy was influenced by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) strategic vision and key enablers for a successful logistics sector.

The main thrust of the plan is to provide a unified digital platform that the logistics sector can leverage and ease the processes for manufacturers including exporters and importers. The objective is to ensure end-to-end visibility to all parties and reduce inefficiencies. A forum through an ease of logistics services (e-logs) platform is also part of the plan ensuring that any operational issues are flagged for government agencies to resolve.

Besides the digital thrust, the logistics plan addresses, and encourages leveraging an integrated multi-modal network. A greater emphasis is placed on a shift and an increased use of an underutilized rail network, built with an emphasis on passenger transport and less for freight movement. Along with rail, inland water transport, coastal shipping, and use of pipelines to move bulk liquid is also part of the plan.

Along with transport, specific plans to meet the needs of 15 of the largest users of transport and logistics are being addressed with an effort to build a national grid of multi-modal logistics parks, with private investments taking the lead, around the key manufacturing and port locations. In sync with the logistics parks, standards, and guidelines – including clearances, for the expansion and development of warehousing industry and a system to rank and rate them – the plan also seeks to ensure there is an adequate pipeline of skilled resources to achieve the reduction in logistics costs and improvement of the LPI rank.

To paraphrase, the logistics plan is composed of

  1. Unified digital platform
  2. Integrated multi-modal network with an emphasis on using rail, inland ports etc.
  3. Standardization of physical assets including warehousing and containers
  4. Supply Chain Skills development

While there is uniform appreciation for the logistics plan, the challenge remains in the execution and rollout of the policies. The Indian logistics market suffers from mediocrity in comparison to the markets they compete with for attracting suppliers and manufacturers. The average turnaround time of the Indian ports is 20 to 40 hours behind the global average and the existing port infrastructure, not to mention the inland port structure, must be upgraded.

The business structure of the railroad is geared towards passengers and unless more freight corridors with greater high value goods, rather than bulk commodity cargo, and better transit times are established, they will continue to lag the fragmented road freight market. Only around 25% of freight, almost all bulk commodity, moves via rail currently. For an institution for whom customer experience has never been a priority, the Indian Railways needs to be fast, reliable, and flexible to accommodate the enterprise customers.

Admittedly it is difficult to assess the impact of Gati Shakti, Bharatmala, Sagarmala and myriad other efforts related to streamlining Infrastructure and lowering the logistics costs as a % of GDP. However, the combination and coordinated execution of these policies while removing bureaucratic hurdles is the key to a successful implementation of the National Logistics Plan[2].

[1] Economy, e-commerce, Growth: The Indian Logistics Sector, Sept 2020 Raghu Ramachandran, 13 Colony Global

[2] The information in this brief was gathered from Government Press releases, briefing documents, news articles