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Research Reveals Challenges in Route Planning for International Shipping 

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Research Reveals Challenges in Route Planning for International Shipping 

Fluent Cargo, the multimodal routing engine dedicated to the global logistics market, today unveiled its latest industry survey exploring the challenges involved in route planning for international shipping. The comprehensive study highlights the significant amount of time spent by industry professionals on web research, and the urgent need for more streamlined and innovative solutions.

The survey, which collected 187 responses from a diverse range of stakeholders including freight forwarders, beneficial cargo owners, third-party logistics service providers, carriers, consultants, buyers, and traders, delved into several aspects of route planning. Key areas of focus included tools employed, time spent on research, decision-making aids and types of shipments and cargo requiring the most research.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Over half (51%) of respondents spent more than 15 minutes per shipment on web-based research, with 10% of respondents spending over 30 minutes per shipment and 14% spending over 45 minutes per shipment.
  • A majority of respondents began their research with a Google search (49%) or by visiting websites they regularly used (40%), with only 11% using their own internal software.
  • The most time-consuming tasks were analyzing the most effective route across multiple websites (over 25% of respondents), price comparison (24%), and locating and verifying shipment schedules that matched their desired time frame (22%).

These findings point to a broad range of inefficiencies in the way logistics professionals conduct their pre-shipment research, and underline the need for more streamlined and innovative solutions for route planning, such as those offered by Fluent Cargo.

About Fluent Cargo

Fluent Cargo is an independent, mission-driven company with a vision to provide our clients with instant access to all of the information they need in order to better plan their shipments. We’re constantly thinking about schedules, port features, carrier information, port congestion, and other factors that influence shipment planning, be it on a plane, ship, or truck.

 

auto shipping

Top 8 Auto Shipping Tips for A Positive Experience

There are various reasons why you may want to move your car with an auto shipping company. Auto-shipping companies are highly reliable and convenient to use. The main challenge for people looking for auto shipping solutions is finding a company that will give them a positive shipping experience.

A car is a significant investment that needs careful handling. It helps to take your time in picking the best shipping company from the wide variety of available options. We have compiled some essential tips that will help you ensure everything goes as planned during your next move.

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Do your Research

The first and most vital thing to do when planning a move is research. As mentioned earlier, there are so many auto-shipping companies available today. The only challenge is that the market has many rogue movers who may not deliver the kind of service genuine auto shippers provide.

It is possible to find genuine companies if you do your research well. Such companies are reliable and will deliver your car to your home at a reasonable cost. They also must be holders of valid auto shipping licenses. Choosing a company with these features will help you avoid inconveniences.

Consider the Location

The picking and dropping points are essential to consider before choosing an auto shipping company. It would help if you thought about how accessible it is, primarily because auto movers use large trucks. Check how far the two points are from the main highway and the condition of the access roads.

Most auto shipping companies provide their services on a door-to-door delivery basis. This service mainly adds convenience to the move, but it sometimes may be daunting if the locations aren’t accessible. You can organize alternative picking and dropping points with the auto mover in case of such issues. 

Talk to a Representative

You must be sure about the terms of a move before committing yourself. Head on to the company’s website, then read and understand its terms and conditions. Do not shy off from seeking clarification on things that don’t seem clear on the website.

On sites like Karrycar, there is a live chat system. This feature helps you get clarification on whatever queries you have instantly. This minimizes the time you spend on sending an email and waiting for them to respond. You can also request tracking information from them directly.

Every genuine company provides a call center number on its website. Ask them to clarify their terms and also ask any questions about their quote if you have already received it. Do not proceed if the representative that picks your calls doesn’t answer your questions satisfactorily, as that may cost you in case of any issues during the move. 

Be Wary of Low Quotes

Moving a car from one place to another can be costly. You may feel excited if a company quotes a lower price than others, especially if you are working with a strict budget. The reality is that cheap can sometimes become expensive. Take your time to decide if a surprisingly low quote is genuine or not.

You should first know the standard rates of auto shipping in your area. Quotes that are too low to be genuine could reflect the shoddy service you are about to pay for. It is better to pay a higher cost than have your car arrive at the destination in an unpleasant condition.

Never Pay the Entire Price Upfront

As mentioned earlier, not every auto moving company is genuine out there. There are fake auto shipping companies that collect money upfront before vanishing into thin air. Most genuine companies collect deposits before offering their services, but then unreasonably high sums should worry you.

To be precise, the deposit should not exceed 50% of the total shipping cost. It is also vital to ask what happens with the deposit if you decide to cancel the move. Being sure about these conditions will help you have a great experience when moving your car.

Check Insurance Coverage

Insurance is another vital thing to check before working with an auto shipping company. You should check a company’s insurance policy whether you think it is genuine or not. Accidents occur whether you are moving your car with a genuine company or not.

It would be best if you were sure of the insurance coverage of the company you choose. Do not hesitate to launch a claim if you notice any defects. This way, the auto shipping company will cover part if not all of the repair costs.

Inspect the Car Before Pick-Up

An auto shipping company can only be liable for damages that happen during the move. That is why you need to start by inspecting your car before handing it over to the mover. Both you and the mover need to thoroughly inspect it to be sure of its condition before starting the move.

You also need to inspect the car on arrival at its destination. You should check its condition against what you recorded before starting the move. One tip you can use when inspecting the car is to take pictures that show its initial condition.

Book in Advance

It is vital to book your move with an auto shipping company early enough. This is because these companies have to drop several cars along the way before reaching their last destination. They may assign your car to a truck that will take a longer route if you book late.

This means that you will have to wait longer before receiving your car. It also exposes the car to various risks such as getting damaged. Therefore, you should talk to the shipping company early enough and pay the required amount of money in time.

Conclusion

Finding the right auto shipping company isn’t easy. Many factors can determine how successful it turns out, including how well you prepare for the move. The amount of preparation you put into preparing for the move can determine the kind of experience you get from it.

You need to research deeply and consider different auto shippers before picking one. It is also vital to check for insurance to ensure your investment will be safe if anything happens. Above all, inspect the car before and after the move to be sure that everything is intact.

cargo ECS charter

Air Cargo Trends in a Pandemic World

Previous predications in pharmaceutical transportation trends, highlighting declining air passenger numbers and air freight demand increasing, have been pandemic propelled. Coronavirus continues causing worldwide disruption, as it is anticipated its industry impact will continue throughout 2021 and beyond.

Pandemic Response – Preighters Take Off

Pre-pandemic passenger numbers were already on the downturn, however, the COVID-19 crisis significantly accelerated that trend.

The crisis capacity crunch came as passenger flights plummeted and the ensuing scramble to transport pandemic payloads saw the deployment of hundreds of passenger planes as freighters, known as preighters, take off.

Pioneering Portuguese charter operator Hi Fly led this trend and was the first to convert an A380 for freight, taking out the majority of seats to provide more cargo capacity.

Despite the sector seeing the grounding of hundreds of passenger planes, earlier than had been initially forecast, which led to a reduction in the availability of cargo space in the bellies of these passenger aircraft, we’ve seen more planes undergo conversions to freighters.

The preighters prevalence looks set to continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Although the air cargo industry faces continuing challenges, IATA predicts an anticipated 25% rise in freight tonne-kilometers this year.

Boeing projects growth in the global freighter fleet with the number of cargo aircraft in service forecast to increase more than 60% over the next two decades, resulting in 3,260 operational aircraft by 2039. (1)

However, the ongoing drastic downturn in travel means the loss of a lot of capacity in passenger aircraft and while freighter aircraft are still present and working hard, fleet growth takes time, so there will be a slower response to replacing some of the capacity lost from the passenger side of the industry.

Some of the 747s which have comparatively low hours on their airframes will undoubtedly become 747 converted freighters and will be flying as freighters just to try to backfill some of that loss in capacity from the passenger numbers.

Large Widebody Aircraft – Grounded or Retired

Before COVID-19, it was predicted airlines would start cutting flights from schedules, mothball larger aircraft, decline production options, and look to utilize smaller, more efficient aircraft in the future for environmental and economical reasons. All of those decisions have been massively accelerated.

The forecast to park some of the larger, widebody aircraft has been brought forward significantly, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The ongoing impact of the pandemic has meant the majority of all 747 freighter aircraft have or are being retired. The A380, which Airbus had previously announced it would stop deliveries of in 2021, has also been retired across the board by numerous airlines, except Emirates.

Increasingly airlines are globally grounding their A380s in favor of more modern, smaller jets, which can fly more efficiently than their four-engine aviation counterparts.

With far fewer passengers flying in a pandemic world, the travel downturn has ramped up decisions to park planes, some permanently, further impacting the already dwindling resource of global air freight capacity.

What we will continue to see is a lot more interest in leaner aircraft, like the A220, the Canadian Bombardier aircraft Airbus produced in North America.

Sea Change in Modes of Transport

There will be ongoing developments in the sea freight sector, which has an estimated 17 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) serviceable globally, of which six million containers are routinely turning and carrying freight.

Put in perspective, at its lowest level of trading during the onset of coronavirus, there were 135,000 TEUs a month traveling from China to the US. However during peak months, when the US retail sector’s stocking up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, this increases to 900,000 TEUs a month. This equates to 8% of the global free flow of sea containers just crossing the Pacific from China to the States.

Any delays will see a huge build-up of sea containers, which lead to availability issues, and rate rises, as seen during the pandemic when China stopped producing. What we saw with the initial emergence of COVID-19, China stopped producing, so wasn’t pushing out those sea containers so there were availability problems in the rest of the world because all the sea containers were piling up in China.

When China returned to approximately 98% of its production output in April other countries were then in lockdown, with some like the US, holding containers for two weeks in ports to quarantine them, compounded by shorthanded workforces operating in the docks.

As sea containers started to pile up in their markets and with exports to China impacted, shipping lines cut sailings from schedules, which saw sea freight prices spike by up to 50%.

Uncertainty in sea freight and air freight availability saw pharma companies initially ship everything they could, by any mode of transport available, to get it out to the markets.

Following months of disruption passenger airlines eventually started flying passenger aircraft with cargo in the lower decks and loose load cargo on the upper decks.

We are now back in the situation where that backhaul from the US and Europe, following seasonal shipments for Christmas retail demands, China now has availability issues again with reduced sailings, so there will not be any kind of normal flows until March 2021, at the very earliest.  However as the UK is currently back in another national lockdown, with all non-essential retail effectively closed and production affected, and if this trend spreads further into Europe and possibly the US, then that will further affect the backhaul. So whereas I was hoping things might be back to some kind of normality in March, I am now inclined to add another quarter to that. So, I now think there will be exacerbated sea freight and sea container availability issues throughout the first half of 2021.

Given the sea freight situation, we will continue to see the utilization of air freight to transport pandemic payloads. When it comes to economics, without the passengers on the main deck it is a much more expensive operational option, however pharma customers are prepared to pay those premiums to move their product.

The volumetric efficiency of air craft is critical at the moment because it is such a scarce resource we need to ensure the best use is made of it.  With air freight capacity a dwindling resource, it is even more important to have the very efficient packing density of temperature-controlled products on such limited air freight resources.

Vaccines vs. Virus – Rapid Response

As the development of successful COVID-19 vaccines continues at a rapid rate, the world’s first approved vaccines are already being administered as part of ongoing mass vaccination programs worldwide.

Temperature-controlled packaging manufacturers continue to play a pivotal part in the global deployment of these approved vital vaccines, including those developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford University/AstraZeneca, and Moderna.

As COVID-19 vaccines fall into different families of technology, some have frozen and deep-frozen temperature requirements, leading to a scramble to qualify existing solutions for shipping at those specific lower temperatures.

In a rapid response to the logistical cold chain challenges involved in the deployment of these potentially life-saving vaccines, we have adapted our shippers to meet those temperature requirements, as have other providers in the market.

There has been an impetus for innovation to support these temperatures in volume. Suppliers stepped up to meet the vaccine temperature requirements by adapting existing shipping solutions and the capacity is there, so I don’t anticipate it will be an issue going forward.

The focus is reverted back to the capacities in the transport modes and given the nature of these drugs people are paying whatever it costs to ship them, with rates rising sharply from $2.5 a kilo to $23; however, that’s starting to calm down.

Beyond all of the current vaccines being approved, there will be the need to provide boosters. It is going to create a recurring step up in the volume of vaccines being shipped, alongside the flu vaccines being transported and other pharmaceutical payloads every year.

There will not be a continuous crisis, it will be a continuing trend of smaller aircraft, with reduced airfreight capacities, moving that pharma product at temperatures that sea freight cannot do. It really can only fly.

However, there’s not going to be a modal shift from air to sea because sea cannot meet the temperature requirements necessary for these shipments. You get a displacement, whereby COVID-19 shipments, whether vaccines, test kits, and reagents or some of the therapies which help with recuperation, like Remdesivir, are flying at almost any cost on a dwindling resource.

The pharmaceuticals which have more normal temperature shipping requirements, like 2 – 8C degrees or 15 – 25C degrees, get displaced and in that situation, when the air freight rates get so high, sea freight would normally be seen as a shipping solution.

However, with all of the sea freight challenges, coupled with the fact that their transportation rates have also doubled, there has been some displacement but not as much as pharma companies would have liked, which is what has kept pushing the prices up in the region of the $23 a kilo figure for air freight we had seen previously in the market.

Sea freight will improve in the first six months of 2021 so some of that displacement can take place more efficiently. But aircraft will still be full of COVID-19 related products.

2021 will see the industry learning to operate in the new norm with everyone getting used to that new norm. Next year we might start to see some improvements and efficiencies but I think this year is about adjusting our planning, our capacities, and our operations around this spike in demand and the gradually improving capacity picture. Almost like wearing in a new pair of shoes.

_________________________________________________________________

Dominic Hyde is Vice President Crēdo™ On Demand at Pelican BioThermal

freight

EXCLUSIVE WHITE PAPER: International Freight and Trade Compliance Key Management Considerations for 2021

Overview:

Manufacturers, Dealers and Distributors that are engaged in global trade… Importing, Exporting, Buying, Selling and distributing various products worldwide.

The ability to move goods in the international arena will make or break sales or even maintain a client relationship.

The ability to deliver products on a timely and loss-free basis is a critical component to the companies operating with a global footprint.

This “white paper” created for the readers of Global Trade Magazine addresses “Six Steps” to follow to help reduce risk and cost in the area of international shipping, freight and logistics.

Supply Chain Spend in 2021

We should all keep in mind that the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020, brought significant increases in logistics costs and supply chain spend, along with limitations on service both domestically and internationally.

This is likely to continue heavily into the 2Q, second quarter of 2021 with a residual impact lasting till December 2021.

Those engaged in budgeting supply chain costs should plan for increases in excess of 25%, as much as 50% and continued delays to midyear 2021.

Demand, capacity, pandemic disruptions fears along with greed will continue to be driving factors.

Warehousing, distribution and all related costs have and will continue to escalate, with limitations on space and capacity.

The Six Steps

The following six steps originate from the authors 35 – year experience in moving freight all around the world and in assisting corporations with global logistics that are cost-effective and reduce risk to themselves and their clients’.

1. Chose the Best INCO Term

2. Insure the Shipment

3. Chose the Right Freight Forwarder and Carrier

4. Track all Shipments Proactively

5. Understand the Total “Landed Costs”

6. Be Trade Compliant!

Choose the Best INCO Term

The INCO Term, established by the International Commerce Commission is followed by all countries belonging to the United Nations for goods that pass through international borders.

INCO Terms typically get updated every ten years as was demonstrated this January 2020.

There are 11 Options in the 2020 Edition.

The seven Incoterms® 2020 rules for any mode(s) of transport are: 

EXW – Ex Works (insert place of delivery)

FCA  – Free Carrier (Insert named place of delivery)

CPT  – Carriage Paid to (insert place of destination)

CIP –  Carriage and Insurance Paid To (insert place of destination)

DAP – Delivered at Place (insert named place of destination)

DPU – Delivered at Place Unloaded (insert of place of destination)

DDP – Delivered Duty Paid (Insert place of destination).

Note: the DPU Incoterms replaces the old DAT, with additional requirement for the seller to unload the goods from the arriving means of transport.

The four Incoterms® 2020 rules for Sea and Inland Waterway Transport are: 

FAS – Free Alongside Ship (insert name of port of loading)

FOB – Free on Board (insert named port of loading)

CFR – Cost and Freight (insert named port of destination)

CIF –  Cost Insurance and Freight (insert named port of destination)

The INCO Term is a term of sale between a seller and a buyer that picks a point in time in the transaction where risk and cost is transferred from one party to the other.

It does not address other contractual concerns, such as payment method, title and details of marine insurance.

What it really does is advise an exporter till what time and place in a transaction is it responsible for cost and risk to …. And conversely where the importer picks up on.

Depending upon the INCO Term utilized … the risks and costs could be dramatically impactful for either the seller or the buyer.

We recommend that all operations, purchasing and sales personnel for the readers of Global Trade Magazie learn at a very detailed level all they can about INCO Terms and more specifically how to best leverage the term to reduce risk and cost in their transaction.

The author is available to the readers of Global Trade Magazine with any questions. (tomcook@bluetigerintl.com)

Insure the Shipment

The typical importer and exporter never worry about loss or damage until it occurs.

And at that point, everyone from the forwarder to the carrier is blamed for the occurrence.

Freight will always get lost or damaged at some point in time, when you ship frequently and all over the world.

It is very important to make sure that you first identify through the purchase or sales contract who has risk of loss or damage. What INCO Term is being utilized? How payment is being made?

Once the risk is understood … then marine cargo insurance should be acquired … on an “All Risk”, Warehouse to Warehouse” basis with a reputable international cargo insurance underwriting company.

Additionally, some loss control elements need to be considered to mirror the insurance policy that considers:

-That the freight is packed, marked and labeled well

-A responsible forwarder and carrier is utilized

-Freight needs to pass through the system quickly … delays at border pints open the door for loss and damage

-Freight needs to clear customs … thoroughly, legally, following all import regulations and timely … all that will mitigate the potential for loss and damage

Chose the Right Freight Forwarder and Carrier

As an extension of your shipping personnel the Forwarder and Carrier take responsibility to move your freight through the global system.

They need to do this:

-Timely

-Safely

-Cost-Effectively

Choosing the right company who is qualified, experts in pet products distribution becomes some very important criteria to make sure the shipment, the freight and the logistics moves your package to your customer’s satisfaction.

Blue Tiger International with over 35 years’ experience has developed some very key relationships with an array of freight forwarders and carriers and can assist you in making sure you have all the necessary information to make the best choices.

Other organizations like the NCBFAA, AFA and TIA … all freight trade associations can produce members who specialize in the Global Trade Magazine Industry Vertical.

Track all Shipments Proactively

Making sure the shipments arrive on time and in workable condition is the guarantee of customer satisfaction, long term relationships, less headaches and greater margins.

This can be a service your freight forwarder or carrier provides, but it needs to be clearly identified in that vein and it must be done proactively … through every step of an international shipment.

Depending upon distances involved, countries of export and import, choices of mode and carrier … some freight can travel 12,000 miles, through 4-5 carrier handoffs, via several customs authorities and in several modes of transit.

All these convolutions can create exposure to loss, damage or delay. All three concerns we want to avoid. They lead to loss of revenue, customer dissatisfaction and lots of stress within your organization.

To mitigate this concern you need to structure a proactive system to “track and trace” all your international shipments through all the convolutions, hand-offs and modes of transit.

Many “track and trace” systems can be electronic and advise you through web portals, emails and other electronic means on all your shipping activity.

The benefits of proactively in lieu of a “reactionary” mindset will pay off in spades over the course of time and client relationships.

Understand the Total “Landed Costs”

Landed Costs are the total of all the accumulated expenses attached to a shipment moving internationally.

Many of these costs are outlined as follows:

-International Freight

-Duties, Taxes and Fees

-License Charges

-Handling Charges

-Domestic Freight

-Clearance and Handling Charges

-ISF Fees

-Carrier Surcharges

-Demurrage

-Storage and Warehousing

Sometimes the landed costs can exceed the value of the actual shipment.

In order to protect margins and profits … it is critical to make sure “transactional” that you completely understand what the “landed costs” are for your shipment … then you can make sure these costs are covered in the eventual client invoicing that will follow.

Remember no one likes surprises … particularly those that have an additional price tag attached to them.

Be Trade Compliant!

It is imperative that both pet product importers and exporters operate their global supply chains trade compliantly.

This is following procedures and operational practice that accomplishes:

-Due diligence

-Reasonable Care

-Supervision and Control

-Engagement

This includes …

-Understanding the regulations

-Building internal SOP’s to comply with the regulations

-Train personnel on how to interpret and practice the SOP’s and in a regulatory manner

-Engaged in government programs that provide evidence of managing secure and compliant global supply chains, such as C-TPAT, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism

C-TPAT is a voluntary program of security created for importers into the United States managed by CBP, Customs Border and Protection … now open to include exporters from the USA.

Areas also included in trade compliance have to do with … documentation, classification (HTSUS/Schedule B Number(s), Valuation, Record Keeping, Export License Requirements, Denied Party Listing … to name a few of the operational concerns.

The penalties for non-compliance are fines, penalties and potential loss of import or export privileges. More serious areas can include criminal prosecutions.

Summary

Importing and exporting products successfully, means paying attention to detail. These six areas outlined above are a good foundation for creating a detailed and comprehensive approach to managing global supply chain responsibilities.

Our 35 years plus of global supply chain experience has demonstrated that those companies that are diligent about how they manage the freight, logistics and distribution of pet products will create the best opportunity to:

-Protect margins and grow profits

-Increase customer satisfaction

-Decrease stress and problem areas in global markets

-Better the reputation, which converts to client retention and expansion

______________________________________________________________

Thomas A. Cook is a 30 year seasoned veteran of global trade and Managing Director of Blue Tiger International, based in New York, LA and West Palm Beach, Florida.

The author of 19 books on international business, two best business sellers. Graduate of NYS Maritime Academy with an undergraduate and graduate degree in marine transportation and business management.

Tom has a worldwide presence through over 300 agents in every major city along with an array of transportation providers and solutions.

Tom works with a number of Associations providing “value add” to their membership services and enhancing their overall reach into global sourcing and in export sales management.

He can be reach at tomcook@bluetigerintl.com or 516-359-6232

ship paperboard

Protecting Your Product: 10 Necessary Shipping Steps for Your Business

Packaging is essential when it comes to your product, for both protection and presentation. Consumers expect to receive a certain quality of packaging with their product, especially as the popularity of social media reviews and unboxing videos continues to rise. Not only does the packaging need to keep your product intact throughout the shipping process, but it needs to be easy to reuse if a customer wants to return the purchase and must safely ship it back.

To protect your deliveries, you need to utilize high-efficiency shipping materials customized to the product size.

1. Pack Efficiently

The efficiency of your packing determines the state of your product when it arrives at its destination. There are important questions to consider when selecting the box size. How fragile is the product? Does it have sharp edges? The product should fit in the box easily without leaving much airspace around it. Consider air pillow packaging to secure the product snuggly and limit excess space in the box. At the same time, you must avoid over-packing the box or container with too much cushioning. Cushioning can include:

-Airbags

-Bubble wrap

-Packing peanuts

-Foam or cardboard inserts

Avoiding wasted space in the box enhances efficiency and helps customers receive their purchases in good condition.

2. Choose the Right Packaging Materials

For products that require cushioning, it’s critical to choose packaging materials that are specialized for protecting your specific product. Styrofoam peanuts might work for most shipments, but more fragile materials might need to be bubble wrapped or supported through air cushions.

If the product needs to be kept cold, gel packs are an affordable and effective alternative to dry ice. It’s also essential to choose a high-quality tape to seal the box. You need industrial-strength, water-activated and pressure-sensitive tape, so your parcel doesn’t split open during shipment.

3. Select the Right Box

The box you use for shipping goods is directly responsible for how protected and well-presented the product is on arrival. A new or gently used box is essential for maximum security, and it needs to be structurally designed for the specifications of your product.

Customized boxes specific to your product are a worthwhile investment for secure shipping and intact delivery. Consult experienced shipping and packaging experts to determine the cardboard grade and fluting that best protects your products.

4. Add More Wrapping for Longer Distances

Generally, the farther your package is traveling, the more protection it needs. If you’re shipping internationally or to a far-off domestic location, there are more opportunities for your package to be dropped or mishandled. Adding an additional layer of wrapping, ensuring the product is secure in the box and using extra tape can make sure the product arrives safely.

5. Don’t Wrap Items Too Tightly

While a secure fit is critical to keeping your product safe in the box, it’s vital to avoid packaging items too tightly. Avoiding tight packing is especially important if the items are fragile glass or soft and impressionable. Too much pressure on the product can cause the product to break, crack or alter its shape. Items should be secure but devoid of tension.

6. Wrap All Items Separately

If the package you’re shipping contains multiple products, you’ll need to wrap them separately to avoid their shifting within the box during transit. Individual wrapping and cushioning should result in your products being gently secured within the box so they can’t move around or hit each other with any force.

If any items in the package contain liquid, provide a layer of plastic packaging around all items to avoid moisture damage if anything leaks or breaks.

7. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Using packaging that is eco-friendly and made from recycled materials or can be reused in the future for your shipments has various benefits for the company and the customer.

Consumers are likely to support and shop again at businesses taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. As a company, there can be an initial cost to change your packaging habits. But using recyclable packaging reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves on raw materials and manufacturing energy expenditure.

8. Design Packaging for Returns

Occasionally, customers may be dissatisfied with a product and need to ship it back to your business as a return. Creating packaging that can be unpacked and repacked enhances the consumer experience and ensures the product will still be intact when the product returns to you.

9. Label Your Package Clearly

Successful shipping requires a successful delivery. No matter how well you pack your product, if the labeling isn’t clear, then it might not arrive at the desired destination in one piece or at all.

If the package’s contents are delicate, mark them as fragile on all sides so the parcel will be handled with extra care. For big or small businesses who ship many fragile items, investing in a stamp to mark all boxes going out of the facility as fragile is good practice.

10. Parcel Insurance Coverage

No matter how well you package and protect your products before shipping, things are ultimately out of your control once it’s out of your facility. Consider insurance if you are frequently shipping fragile items or products that are not easy to replace. There is always a possibility of goods getting lost or damaged in transit, so having a financial security net can benefit your business.

In addition to adequate insurance coverage, consider implementing package tracking. Understanding tracking software and how technology is improving last-mile logistics gives you an element of control over the transport of your products and helps you ensure your goods are being delivered on time.

Final Thoughts

Human error is a significant factor when considering safety in shipping. There is no way to eliminate the risk involved as long as people are handling the packages. That’s why mitigating the amount of damage done to a product is necessary to consider before shipping.

As a business owner, you must decide how to package goods with these various elements in mind. Online consumers have high expectations regarding the condition of the product on arrival and the expediency of its delivery. The right packaging materials and custom cardboard boxes can mitigate many risks involved with domestic and international shipping to improve customer satisfaction and retention.

___________________________________________________________

Cory Levins is the Director of Business Development for Air Sea Containers

intermodal

SHIPPERS ON INTERMODAL: CHANGES NEEDED FOR GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

The intermodal transportation sector is experiencing an interesting shift as of lately. The combination of disruptions from the pandemic while others are caught playing catch up to adequately refill warehouses and distribution centers has posed new questions for a variety of sector leaders. For the intermodal sector, however, a new question is present in the minds of leaders and players in this arena: What is needed to leverage opportunities for growth post-pandemic and moving forward with the “new normal” we keep hearing about?

The answer to this question is not found within one single solution or technology offering. In fact, there is no single answer at all. The perfect mix of artificial intelligence, increasing capacity and creating more visibility and agility within operations will ultimately be the key to reviving and maintenance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all parts of the supply chain, from operations and compliance to technology integration, and although many players have successfully restarted operations, it is important to consider the ways transportation has been forever impacted to better prepare for future disruptions. But in what ways has the pandemic impacted the intermodal industry? Doug Punzel, president of Celtic Intermodal, explains exactly how the pandemic has impacted the sector and how methods are shifting to accommodate continued movement.

“As COVID-19 continues to impact the supply chain and logistics across industries, some areas have limited access to trucks,” explains Punzel. “The truck shortage has increased demand for intermodal transportation. In fact, beginning the third week in April, we have begun to see surges in volume–especially in California, Texas and Mexico. We are seeing shortages of box and train capacity in some areas, as shippers with expanding needs are caught up and filling warehouses. At the same time, many markets in the United States have plenty of box, drayage and train capacity.”

Utilizing a robust technology toolbox further supports the industry, although some sectors are slower to adapt than their partners. The key to remember here is not how much tech is being used, but what challenges are solved through their implementation and how they are customizable for specific customer needs.

“AI, machine learning and other software advancements allow real-time visibility of end-to-end supply chain operations to keep a pulse on the business,” Punzel says. “The ultimate goal is to reduce risks, capture more competitive freight pricing, and identify optimal routes for the greatest cost savings.

“With today’s volatile current events that threaten to disrupt the supply chain on a regular basis, flexibility is vital for business success. For many shippers, intermodal transportation has incredible potential to be a reliable and affordable component of logistics strategy. Technology innovations are supporting real-time visibility, mitigating risks, and optimizing transportation costs.”

Celtic Intermodal, a Transplace company, offers a unique solutions portfolio for customers seeking the perfect solutions, offering flexibility and visibility while keeping an eye on the unexpected. Celtic focuses on what the customer needs are throughout the process while identifying areas of improvement both operationally and financially. The company offers customers Strategic Capacity Solutions, Door-to-Door Intermodal, 53-foot Containers, 40-foot Containers, Cross-border Intermodal and International Drayage in addition to managing more than 20,000 40-foot container shipments each year. Celtic’s robust network of steamship lines and dray provider partners further support consistent capacity to meet the needs of their global customer network.

“We implement dynamic solutions to our customers’ transportation needs by providing exceptional customer services, capacity, reliability and expertise,” Punzel says. “With access to over 70,000 containers every day and strong relationships with major rail providers, including Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, BNSF, CN, CP, and KCS/KCSM, our dedicated account team focuses on our customers–providing the best combination of rates and routes.

“Our cross-border intermodal services bypass border-crossing issues and congestion,” he continues. “We enhance the security of customers’ shipments while reducing overall transportation spend with our door-to-door intermodal services across Canada, Mexico and the U.S.”

The unique relationship Celtic has with its Class 1 Railways network offers customers competitive options in transportation that others cannot. Punzel points out two specific pros to working with Celtic that keep shipments moving and customers satisfied.

“We are strategically located near our customers and where rail ramps are located,” he says. “We can be more effective with short-haul moves within five to 800 miles because we are closer to rail ramps. And in case of derailment or tunnel outage or another type of outage, we leverage our relationships to remain in close communications with Class 1 Railways and be more collaborative to support our customers’ needs. We conduct network analysis to help customers identify modal conversions and scale up or down with volume. With well-integrated intermodal transportation, overall shipping costs are greatly reduced.”

Punzel goes on to explain that the simplicity of scheduling is a significant factor to promoting growth for the intermodal sector. It goes directly back to predictability and the constant need for progression within the industry. The relationships developed and utilized by Celtic provides added security for customers in case of the unpredictable. This is especially important in today’s “new normal,” where measures in safety and regulation seem to change without much notice. The supply chain does not have time to stop and companies such as Celtic present solutions for issues before they happen.

“Customers with over-the-road freight are open to conversion to intermodal only if the schedule is predictable,” Punzel explains. “Over the past three years, all railroads have improved service by maintaining reliable, scheduled, on-time performance, which is key to growth.”

So, what exactly needs to occur for progression and growth within the intermodal sector? In simple terms, the perfect mix consisting of the right technology that provides accurate and timely visibility, advanced predictions analytics, integrated communications, and removing inefficiencies that create unplanned costs. This perfect mix is not as hard to attain when customers are paired with the right partners for the job. As we learned with Celtic, strategic locations and competitive offerings make a significant difference in offering the best options and supporting the bottom line.

_______________________________________________________________

Doug Punzel is the president of Celtic International, to which he brought more than three decades of transportation experience. He joined Celtic in 2014 and has been instrumental in the company’s growth. Throughout his tenure in the industry, he has served in a number of roles, including sales, customer service, operations and leadership. Prior to Celtic, he was a leader within the intermodal sales division at Schneider National.

cargo ECS Weship tanker

Shipping Strategies for High-Value Cargo

Shipping cargo of any kind requires taking certain precautions to ensure the shipment arrives at its destination safely. Things get more complicated when high-value cargo is involved. Shipping cargo that includes unique pieces of art, fine jewelry, electronics, luxury apparel, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and high-end food is riddled with even more risk. Any company can use a variety of shipping strategies for high-value cargo. The main aim, however, is always to completely eliminate the risk of damaging, losing, or anyone stealing the items. The strategies have to account for an optimal delivery route and provide security at each stage of shipping – transshipment, transport, and storage.

How does cargo theft happen?

Most logistics companies worth their salt are able to ensure their shipments of high-value cargo do not get lost or damaged by taking all of the necessary precautions. However, one risk that is getting increasingly harder to eliminate is that of theft. If the company’s capacity is tight, this might force them to work with carriers they don’t have longstanding relationships with. This can open up the door for sophisticated theft. People who do this know a lot about the luxury goods supply chain. They are able to obtain the right credentials, or at least look like they did.

If they don’t opt for fraud, they will opt for hijacking. Different territories around the world report different criminal patterns. Shipping companies have to toe the line of providing the best and most effective security strategies for the shipping of high-value cargo without their surcharges skyrocketing. Through careful planning, identifying problem areas, and mitigating risks, a company can develop successful shipping strategies for high-value cargo.

Speed

One of the simplest ways of eliminating the risk of theft when it comes to high-value cargo is to expedite the entire shipping process. The more quickly it happens, the fewer opportunities there are for something to go wrong. Picking the right timing can both help with the speediness of the delivery as well as further lowering the risks. For example, it is advisable to avoid the shipping of luxury items during weekends and holidays. The company should also plan the route meticulously. In turn, it should require the drivers to check in with the dispatcher at regular intervals as well as report any detours.

Expedited shipping requires a lot of careful planning and ensuring the security of the entire supply chain. Properly preparing the shipments for transit, monitoring the security measures, and ensuring visibility of the shipment throughout the process are all important strategies to ensure the safety of high-value cargo.

Building trust

Unfortunate incidents are more likely to happen when dealing with new partners companies don’t have sufficient experience with. Creating lasting business relationships means staying informed and involved in every part of the shipping process. It is one way to ensure your high-value cargo arrives at its destination safely at the allotted time. Building the trust between a company and its partners requires a lot of work on the ground. This includes regular visits to the facilities, educating the personnel about security threats and how to spot them, and learning about the language, infrastructure, and common practices of new countries they do business in.

Security measures

Shipping strategies for high-value cargo usually involve several different security measures. Some of the common combinations are using box trailers or anti-slash curtains, dedicated trucks, carefully selecting and training carriers, and having fixed parking instructions. It is also important to ensure that the shipment is monitored at all points of transport. Visibility means following a shipment from the pick up to its final destination. Some of the tools used for this include barcoding, RFID tags, and GPS trackers.

Another one of the great strategies for preventing theft is hiding the fact that the shipment is anything worth stealing. Checking the regulations and working within their confines can help you make the documentation as generic as possible. As much as they can, shippers try to use generic terms or code instead of listing specific information about the shipper and consignee. This is particularly important to apply to the description of the high-value cargo.

Furthermore, it might even be a good idea to limit access to sensitive information within the shipping company itself. It is also important to require a sign-off of count and condition whenever the shipment changes hands.

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Neal Samson is a freelance writer with extensive working experience in the logistics industry. He mostly writes articles for companies like Tik Tok Moving and Storage and covers a variety of different topics related to logistics, shipping, and moving.

shipping process

How to Improve Your Company’s Shipping Process

Having international shipping capabilities has practically become a must for any serious online store. At the very least, you need to have a solid shipping service within your country if your company is going to grow and properly sell your product. So, it stands to reason that having an overall efficient shipping service is something you really ought to invest in. Luckily, we are here to give you a couple of ideas on how to improve your company’s shipping process.

Why is it important to have an efficient shipping process

The shipping process is, in essence, delivering goods from point A to point B. So, why should you spend your time and money on improving this basic service? Well, to put it simply, it is because people have grown to expect efficient shipping. Now, you can opt for outsourcing your shipping, but this is often the more expensive, less efficient way. With a bit of research and investment, you can organize your own e-commerce shipping process, and therefore have the necessary freedom to improve it.

Ways to improve your company’s shipping process

There are literally thousands of different ways to improve your company’s shipping process. Depending on where your shipping services are at now, you can be looking at smaller improvements like boosting your navigation process, to larger ones like implementing a major overhaul of your logistics equipment. So, before you decide on any of these upgrades, we suggest that you take a closer look at your company. More often then not, there is at least one improvement that will give you huge value for your investment. So, plan long and hard before you implement anything.

Streamline shipping orders

A surprising number of shipping issues have nothing to do with bad navigation or poor equipment. Most of them are due to poor internal communication and bad optimization of the beginning of the shipping process. So, if there is one place we suggest you start, it’s at the beginning. Try to pick up on the little details that make the shipping process needlessly long. These details may look insignificant on their own, but once they pile up and combine, they can easily take up a lot of time and energy. Go through the whole process both as a shipping coordinator and a customer. If you don’t have much experience with shipping, you can always hire a professional to go over your process and give you tips on how to improve.

Improve communication

In order to have an efficient shipping service, you need to have a top-notch communication system within your company. This means that your workers need to be able to communicate with each other whenever, wherever. If this is not the case currently, make it so. There are a ton of mobile apps that can make communication easier. Among the ones we can recommend are:

-Slack

-Chanty

-Troop Messenger

-Brosix

Be sure to try out a couple and to read reviews before you opt for one. To make communication more efficient, you can even look into digitalizing your shipping process as much as possible. Recent events with COVID-19 have certainly incentivized shipping companies to adopt digital shipping solutions.

Use tracking technology

One of the ways to both improve your company’s shipping process and keep your customers happy is to utilize tracking technology. Being able to have a live feed of where your shipments are will make the whole process much easier to handle. And, if you can give that info to your customers, you will effectively make them happier. In fact, most customers have grown to expect shipment tracking. This is why, sooner or later, you will probably have to implement it within your shipping process.

Be aware of courier services

When it comes to international shipping, you can rarely afford to work on your own. More often than not, you will have to coordinate with other shipping companies and courier services in order to ship efficiently. So, our advice is to prepare for your international shipments and look for local courier companies in advance. While you may have an easy time finding a shipping company in the U.S., finding one in Europe or Asia can prove to be a time-consuming process. Especially if you have to overcome the language barrier in order to set up a shipping agreement. So, do yourself a favor and prepare the groundwork for different areas before you start shipping internationally.

Prepare for customs clearance

Another way to make international shipping more efficient is to prepare for customs clearance. Keep in mind that your shipments will spend a lot of time at customs, especially if you don’t have the necessary paperwork and you don’t follow the strict guidelines. So, before you ship off your goods, ensure that the person in charge of them has everything necessary for smooth customs clearance.

Keep your customers informed

The final way in which you can better your shipping process is to always keep your customers informed. Issues and hiccups do happen, even with the most efficient shipping companies. So, while you should do all that is possible to improve your company’s shipping process, don’t expect to have a full-proof system. If and when a delay does happen, you shouldn’t shy away from informing your customers. In the long run, this act will ensure that you have better reviews.

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Jonas Myers has worked as a professional shipping coordinator for over 20 years. During that time he helped companies like U. Santini Moving and Storage improve their shipping capabilities and increase their travel efficiency. He now focuses on raising his daughters, woodworking, and on writing helpful articles about shipping.

invasive

INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES ARE STOWAWAYS IN GLOBAL TRADE

Murder Hornets, Really?

As if 2020 could get any worse, enter the “murder hornet”. Measuring around two inches, the Asian giant hornet is a particularly nasty variety. They have longer stingers than the honeybee and their venom is more toxic – and they can sting repeatedly.

Sadly, these predators are known to decimate honeybee colonies. A cool fact from National Geographic is that Japanese honeybees have learned to protect themselves by surrounding the hornets and cooking them alive through intense flapping that reaches temperatures of over 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Japanese honeybees developed this defense as they co-evolved with the Asian giant hornet in a common native habitat.

First spotted in the state of Washington last December, the Asian giant hornet is thought to have entered the United States through shipping containers. As an invasive alien species to the United States, our honeybees are defenseless against this hornet.

Stowaways and Hitchhikers

Human travelers and importers sometimes intentionally transplant species to new locations for food, economic, or environmental purposes, such as for use as biological control agents. Though such approaches should be approved by regulators, illicit trade in plants, seeds and wildlife is a significant problem in global trade. And if you’ve seen those adorable agriculture-sniffing beagles in airports, their job is to catch illegal importation of fruits, vegetables, animal products, soil and samples people try to stow in their personal baggage.

These are all vectors for the introduction of invasive alien species, but the much bigger cause of the spread of non-native species throughout the world is international shipping in global trade.

Alien species hitch rides on agricultural commodities, stow away in shipping containers, get ejected into new waters through the purging of ship ballast water or embed themselves in wood packaging materials, among other modes of unintentional introduction through shipping.

Aerial top view of fishing boat

Invasive weeds threaten fishing livelihoods and trade in aquatic goods.

Not Wanted: Moths, Mollusks and Beetles

Cargo ships carry water as ballast. At the end of an ocean voyage, freighters jettison the ballast water they took on at the port of origin but in so doing, they can introduce a non-native and sometimes aggressive and invasive aquatic species like zooplankton into new waters at the port of destination. Other unwelcome travelers include aquatic plants, algae or small animals that attach themselves to the hull of a ship.

Growing up in Michigan, I recall the invasion of Zebra mussels, native to the Caspian Sea region of Asia, that were transported to the Great Lakes region through ballast water discharge. They quickly spread throughout the United States causing infrastructure damage and economic losses along the way, not to mention being unsightly along the Great Lakes beaches.

Asian gypsy moths are another example of a pest whose eggs are easily transported in international shipping containers. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) closely monitors incoming vessels from the gypsy moth’s native lands of Japan, China, Korea and Far East Russia. During the annual Asian gypsy moth infestation season, APHIS requires that vessels from high-risk Asian ports bound for U.S. ports provide pre-departure certifications that they are free of the moths. APHIS also inspects for moth egg masses on incoming ships.

The Asian longhorn beetle is anathema to many species of broadleaf trees in North America and Europe but is suspected to have been introduced through infested wood packing material made of unprocessed raw wood. Because of the pest risk, international standards have been developed to require heat treatment or fumigation of wood packaging materials used in international trade.

Stowaway species

Coming and Going

Invasive alien species can present a major threat to biological diversity by disturbing native ecosystems and habitats, causing native species to decline. The introduction of foreign pathogens and infectious diseases poses a threat to livestock and human health. Trade is the route by which many invasive alien species are introduced to new environments, and ultimately, the disruption to agricultural productivity can end up costing hundreds of billions of dollars every year through lost opportunities to trade.

For example, rats transported on ships are estimated to consume as much as 50 percent of Madagascar’s annual rice production. Fruit fly infestations have spread rapidly in West Africa, devastating mango, citrus and other tropical fruit production for export. The spread of pig disease like the swine flu has required farmers to cull herds and sacrifice exports.

Invasive grasses can ruin pastures important to animal grazing. Harmful algal blooms like the “red tide” along Florida’s Gulf Coast can deplete oxygen in waters and release toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat. Beyond agriculture, invasive alien species have caused the spread of infectious diseases, hampering business travel and tourism, a key economic driver for many countries – just as we’re witnessing now with COVID-19.

Prevent Invasive Species without Unduly Restricting Trade

The Convention on Biological Diversity requires countries to prevent the introduction of invasive alien species, as feasible and appropriate, and to control or eradicate them if introduced.

Because the introduction of alien species occurs largely through trade, the measures governments take to prevent their introduction will – by definition – be trade restrictive to some degree. They often involve controls at ports of entry, appropriate use of quarantine and remediation procedures.

International conventions on biodiversity, plant protection, prevention of animal disease and related trade agreements, preeminently the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), are designed to achieve the objectives of protecting plant, animal and human health without unnecessarily restricting trade. WTO members are encouraged to adopt the guidelines and recommendations developed in global bodies specializing in plant and animal health and to make best efforts to harmonize SPS measures to facilitate trade.

To achieve the twin goals of protecting against the introduction of harmful species while facilitating trade, governments need to have in place transparent standards and procedures based on evidence and science-based risk assessments. Regulatory authorities must have expertise and competencies at the borders as well as phytosanitary and veterinary infrastructure such as diagnostic laboratories and proper storage to conduct inspections at entry points. And, ideally, more governments will implement IT systems to ensure that SPS procedures and certifications are integrated with other border systems. Scientific and regulatory cooperation across agencies and across governments is critical for effective monitoring, prevention and control of the global spread of harmful invasive alien species, which is in everyone’s interest.

Fruit fly hitchhiker

Where Trade and Nature Intersect

A 2017 study in the journal Nature Communications found that the problem of invasive alien species has continuously increased, with more than a third of all new introductions recorded between 1970 and 2014. Introductions of algae, mollusks and insects in particular increased steeply after 1950, mostly likely as a consequence of the growth of global trade.

The arrival of murder hornets on the west coast is just the latest reminder that increased trade volume, changes in trade routes, and the expansion of airport and seaport capacity around the world means having to deal with the unwelcome stowaways in global trade.

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Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.
PPE

From Exports to Delivery: Simplifying PPE Shipping

From small businesses to large corporations, many are navigating the complex world of importing personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees, family members, and customers as businesses reopen across the globe.

Whether you have navigated these waters before or are new to importing PPE, COVID-19 has changed the game. In response to the changing environment, our team of experts at C.H. Robinson put together information on four key subjects that will help your PPE supply chain run smoother during a time when simplicity is what you need most.

Exporting PPE from China

Over the past several months, China has been the main source for PPE. So, it’s important you’re up to date on the latest regulations to avoid your freight being held up.

China has recently implemented three key policies that relate to PPE exporting.

-Policy 5 requires all medical supplies to meet quality standards of the importing countries, this policy also separated out the process for medical-grade and non-medical-use devices.

-Policy 53 increases CIQ inspection on all PPE products, labels, packaging, and documentation.

-Policy 12 created a white and blacklist of manufacturers and suppliers.

While China’s new policies offer tighter control on PPE being exported, they also have created a dedicated HS-code for PPE products to simplify export declarations.

For a closer look at how China’s regulations impact PPE shipping, check out our recent PPE exporting video featuring our director of product development, Vincent Wong.

U.S. and Canada customs best practices

The next key subject to address is importing PPE into the United States and/or Canada. It’s important you understand various government agency requirements and determine which ones apply depending on whether the PPE is for general or medical use. From there, other factors like labeling, packaging, and marketing of the product can influence these regulations as well.

Importing PPE into the United States

Depending on the PPE commodity you are importing, there can be multiple U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements to navigate. And due to the nature of the shipping industry, these regulations can change quickly—especially for medical grade equipment.

Importing PPE into Canada

While importing into Canada has some similarities—like changing regulations—there are some clear differences to be aware of as well. It’s important to note that while intended use, labeling, packaging, and advertising can be used to determine medical vs. general use in Canada, this is ultimately determined by the Canadian inspectors.

Whether you are importing PPE into the U.S. or Canada, make certain to watch our video on customs best practices with Ben Bidwell, director of North America customs and compliance, in order to better understand requirements, expectations and regulations for PPE.

Metered freight solutions

In this environment, we’re seeing companies turn to air freight to move their personal protective equipment quickly. However, when the demand for passenger travel plummeted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a dramatic reduction in cargo capacity followed. As you might imagine, this has drastically changed normal market conditions for air shipping.

While delivering all your PPE as fast as possible via air might seem like your only option, solutions like freight metering, which utilizes both air and ocean, can also meet your needs while providing cost-savings.

Ask yourself:

-How much of our PPE do we really need to fly?

-How much of that is safety stock?

-What’s the end user consumption rate?

-What’s the output rate at the factory?

Answers to these questions and cross-functional conversations that include purchasers, factory contacts, logistics providers, and end users can reveal that only a portion of your purchase order (PO) should fly and a balance of it should ship as ocean freight.

The key to metering your freight is to choose air freight for just enough of your order to match your end-users’ consumption rate. As ocean freight catches up, it can significantly reduce your freight spend.

Looking for more benefits of a metered air and ocean shipping solution for critical PPE orders? Watch our metered freight solutions video, featuring Bogen Chi, director of air freight.

FCL and LCL expedited ocean shipping

Lastly, we understand your need to continue moving your PPE cargo as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Utilizing expedited less than container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL) shipping could be the differentiator you need. In fact, depending on your PPE’s delivery city, C.H. Robinson’s expedited LCL services can cut traditional LCL transit time by 4 to 14 days and keep your costs nearly 80% lower than air freight services.

Watch our expedited ocean shipping video with Ali Ashraf and Greg Scott to explore if this smart transportation solution is right for your supply chain.

In conclusion

Personal protective equipment has become an extremely important and in-demand commodity as we face COVID-19. So, whether you’re looking to import PPE for the first time or as part of your normal procurement process, C.H. Robinson’s experts can help you build a more resilient supply chain when shipping PPE around the globe. As the market continues to change, our global suite of service offerings and market expertise remains available to help your PPE supply chain. We’re here to help today so you can have a better PPE process tomorrow.