New Articles

Enhancing Supplier Collaboration: A Key to Business Success

global trade supplier

Enhancing Supplier Collaboration: A Key to Business Success

HICX Unveils 2024 Voice of the Supplier Survey

HICX has released its 2024 Voice of the Supplier Survey, building upon its 2021 predecessor, which revealed significant challenges faced by suppliers in working with some of the world’s largest businesses. Seeking to understand the current landscape, HICX conducted a new study to gauge the state of supplier experience today.

Read also: Squeezing Suppliers Must Not Replace Shrinkflation

The survey included responses from 1,000 suppliers serving large multinationals, typically with revenues exceeding $1 billion, operating in sectors such as consumer-packaged goods, aerospace and defense, and energy. Respondents, who interact directly with businesses in these categories, provided insights based on their experiences with their largest customers.

HICX CEO Costas Xyloyiannis highlighted the persistence of supplier experience issues, noting that 59% of suppliers still struggle to deliver their best work for major customers, a minor improvement from 61% in the previous study. “With supply chain resilience being critical to business success in today’s economy, it’s time to see a significant improvement in this figure,” Xyloyiannis emphasized.

The survey findings point to communication as a key issue, with an overwhelming 98% of suppliers expressing a desire for better communication from their largest customers. Xyloyiannis noted, “Many leaders are still stuck in a transactional mindset, trying to manage suppliers from this baseline. While transactions are important, in today’s landscape, collaboration is crucial. It’s time to prioritize supplier collaboration over mere management.”

Despite the importance of collaboration, suppliers report experiencing strained relationships. Nearly half of the surveyed suppliers struggle to resolve queries with their customers, who they say often hinder the relationship. Many suppliers feel too stretched to propose new ideas and find large customers difficult to work with.

The survey clearly indicates that improved communication and collaboration with suppliers would lead to better performance. Suppliers could provide data more quickly, respond to requests more accurately, offer detailed feedback, and even volunteer additional information if their customers were easier to work with.

Xyloyiannis concluded, “In a world where resilience relies heavily on supplier relationships, why aren’t we offering a more collaborative experience? Why aren’t we communicating better and unlocking their potential? Leaders who understand this will create a significant competitive advantage for their businesses.”

 

global trade supply-chain logistics

Supply-Chain Financing for Some, but Not All 

High interest rates are pummeling nearly every facet of the economy. Yet one area that typically performs well in elevated interest rate environments is now also being re-examined, especially by firms with the cash flow to choose alternative routes.

Also known as vendor financing, supply chain financing is short-term in nature. It allows buyers to hold their cash for longer and pay invoices at more comfortable intervals. Another favorable point of this type of short-term financing is that it is typically not counted as debt on corporate balance sheets. 

Yet, with rising interest rates, what was once a cheap form of financing is no longer available, and liabilities have essentially reached their breaking point for many firms. During the pandemic, supply-chain financing was everpresent. The vendor’s invoices were paid by a third party, typically a bank, and the company then paid the bank the invoiced amount, but normally at a later date. The company’s credit rating determines the bank’s cut. 

The corporate supply-chain finance market exploded to $1.8 trillion in 2021, up 38% from the previous year. In all fairness, most companies turn to supply chain financing in elevated interest rate environments. If a buyer’s credit, for example, is higher than the supplier’s, supply-chain financing lessens the vendor’s need to consider higher-cost financing elsewhere. However, with companies with ample liquidity, a supply-chain finance program can introduce unnecessary volatility in the company’s cash flow. Moreover, once the company stops using this type of financing, the exit can result in a major cash flow hit. 

Public companies like AT&T and others are always seeking to simplify. By paring back on supply-chain financing obligations AT&T is eliminating messy variables from its cash flow and projecting forward with increasing certainty. Additionally, firms the size of AT&T have the financial position to be able to put together direct supplier financing programs or traditional supply-chain financing where an AT&T vendor sells its receivables directly to a financial institution.

Companies will always want to ensure their key suppliers remain in business. Supply-chain financing checks this box, but the complexities it adds, especially in high-interest-rate environments for large companies, present more liabilities from an accounting and shareholder perspective. 

global trade ship marine container price market

Will the H1 Boom Continue in H2 of 2024 for the Container Logistics Industry?

Container xChange, the leading digital marketplace for container trading and leasing, has released its mid-year container market forecaster. The analysis delves into container price developments in H1 2024 and offers a market outlook for H2 2024.

Read also: May 2024 U.S. Containerized Imports Break 2.3M TEUs

“As we move into July, we’re seeing a continued rise in freight rates, container prices, and leasing rates, driven by ongoing geopolitical tensions and resulting supply chain disruptions. The diversions around the Cape of Good Hope and the resulting congestion in major ports have created a perfect storm, causing importers in the US and Europe to pull forward orders in H1 typically reserved for Q3. This has led to a notable supply-demand imbalance. While we might see a peak in July followed by a reduction in freight rates due to easing congestion and reduced demand, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and potential new disruptions, such as labor strikes, could prolong these challenges. The container shipping industry remains on high alert, adapting to an ever-changing landscape.” Inferred Christian Roeloffs, cofounder and CEO, Container xChange

H1 2024 Container rates Recap

Globally, shipping costs have surged in the first half of 2024, defying the traditional off-season lull

Asia and Middle East and ISC region were the regions that witnessed a significant uptick in container prices since October 2023 due to the Houthi attacks.

On the other hand, container prices remained stable or decreased, reflecting an abundance of containers in traditional import destinations. These prices have now begun to move upwards. Our mid-year forecaster gives a review of global container price developments to offer greater visibility into the trends observed during the first half of the year.

Main destinations that experienced significant container price upticks in H1’2024 

Average container prices continue to rise through May and in June. Hong Kong and Vietnam experienced the biggest month on month percentage spike of 35% from May to June for trading containers, followed by China (27%), Russia (24%), Taiwan (23%) and Malaysia (23%). 

India also faced a rise in average container prices spiking by 21% from May to June 2024. In Singapore, while there has been a steady rise of 31% in container prices since October 2023, the increase from May to June 2024 was a more moderate 7%.

In terms of the impact of the Houthi attacks, China stood out by a significant leap at 78% container price hike from October’23 to June’24, followed by Hong Kong (77%), Spain (42%), Uzbekistan (40%) and Thailand (35%). 

Malysia (29%), Netherlands (29%), Taiwan (28%) and Vietnam followed the pack of biggest price increases since October for container prices. (40 ft high cube, cargo worthy containers)

global trade container

China and Hong Kong have the highest average container prices currently across the world, namely, $3600 and $3124, respectively. 

Region-wise analysis of Impact of Houthi attacks on container price development

To understand the trajectory of container prices development, it becomes important to study the impact that Houthi attacks have had on these. Here is a region-wise impact analysis on the container prices pre-Houthi attacks and until June 2024. 

global trade container

Northeast Asia region witnessed the biggest price increase of 69% since October 2023, with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan registering significant price hikes, indicating robust demand for containers.  

Container prices have been on an upward trajectory across Central Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent (ISC) region, Japan and Korea and both Northeast and Southeast Asia. 

Tony Yu, president, Baiscon Shipping Line Hong Kong Co., Limited with the company headquartered in China and one of our top sellers in the US shared exclusive insights from the ground.

“From January to June of 2024, containers in the North American market were in a state of clearing inventory and prices showed signs of rising. It will continue to rise in the next few months, which is in line with the increase of container purchase price in the Chinese Mainland. The high cost of container procurement and container leasing lead to almost no difference between SOC freight and COC freight. Based on this performance, the lack of containers in some cities in North America is inevitable, which will drive up the sales price of containers.”

Looking into the second half of 2024, Tony expressed optimism tempered by practical challenges.

Discussing significant market drivers and developments for the second half of 2024, Tony emphasized, ” We need to consider several factors that affect the market: the Red Sea crisis and the subsequent diversions and the situation of China’s own foreign trade exports. If the situation does not improve, it will lead to strong container sales in North America. However, the influence of exchange rates cannot be ruled out. Should the Federal Reserve lower interest rates, the resulting appreciation of RMB could potentially have an auxiliary effect on the stability of container prices. Personally, I feel that there will not be too much change in the second half of the year”

Building on these insights, Daniel Nee, President of Holyidea Logistics Equipment Manufacture Co., Ltd., (a Container xChange customer based in China) emphasizes the ongoing complexities and unpredictability in the global landscape as pivotal factors which will continue to influence the container industry in the second half of 2024. 

“As we look ahead to the second half of 2024, the global situation remains highly complex and unpredictable, leading us to anticipate further challenges in the container industry. The most significant factor shaping the market will be the geopolitical risks, and we must wait for changes on the global stage before making any definitive industry judgments. My advice to peers is to approach the market with patience and resilience. We are preparing for these uncertainties by waiting quietly and observing the evolving global context.” 

Container market remains bullish of further price hikes

global trade container

The first half of 2024 saw the Container Price Sentiment Index (xCPSI) reach an all-time high, and it remains elevated throughout the last six months, indicating a strong sentiment for rising container prices expectations in the upcoming second half of the year.

United States: Container demand spikes, container prices begin to rise

“In recent months, the US container trading market has significantly slowed, primarily due to sharp price increases. Container sellers in the US have held onto stock, anticipating higher prices, while container buyers in US have adopted a cautious stance, awaiting potential price drops. This cautious market behavior has affected our container buyer’s purchasing decisions. There are several factors at play, with a significant impact on the US market, being the impending election and discussions surrounding potential tariffs on Chinese goods. This has spurred heightened demand for shipping containers, driving prices upwards and creating market uncertainty, which in turn has deterred buyers from making immediate purchases. Additionally, the extended route due to the Red Sea situation has exacerbated supply chain disruptions, further influencing market dynamics.” commented Isabella Zomignani, Associate Account Manager, Americas, Container xChange. 

 Asia continues to grapple with rising container prices and leasing rates in July

Average prices for 40 ft high cube containers (cargo worthy) in China

global trade logistics

“In June, we’ve observed a continued rise in container prices in China, impacting both trading and leasing activities. The scarcity of available slots for China-Europe and China-USA routes has intensified, prompting offline suppliers to offer competitive prices to attract customers. This temporary price decrease reflects urgent liquidity needs among suppliers. Moving forward, we anticipate prices to rebound next month as slot availability tightens again.” shared Haoze Lou, broker team, Container xChange

Market Outlook: H2 2024

The market outlook for the second half of the year is heavily contingent on a revival in consumer demand. Several factors will influence this period, including ongoing geopolitical disruptions and potential labor unrest.

Firstly, we foresee the Houthi attacks to continue and disrupt supply chains with no foreseeable resolution, exacerbating market uncertainties. Additionally, labor unrest in the US east and gulf ports remains a significant potential disruption, with the possibility of flare-ups impacting supply chains further in the latter half of 2024.

However, if the current market conditions persist without major changes, we expect container rates to ease. This reduction in rates could trigger an uptick in container buyer activity, as the buyer side is currently waiting for prices to decline before resuming trading and leasing activities.

Furthermore, according to Alphaliner, the global container fleet grew by 10.6% between June 1, 2023, and June 1, 2024. We anticipate that the introduction of more container fleets into the market will help alleviate some of the price pressures, potentially stabilizing the market and fostering increased trading activity.

Visit Container xChange Market Intelligence Hub for similar analysis and reports.  

 

   

 

global trade CMA CGM-PSA JV will handle shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

PSA Singapore Boosts Capabilities to Tackle Global Supply Chain Disruptions

PSA Singapore (PSA), a major global transshipment hub, has significantly enhanced its operations to manage increased activity and mitigate the impact of global supply chain disruptions since early 2024. This effort includes reinforcing its frontline capacity, commissioning new berths at Tuas Port, and reactivating berths and yard space at Keppel Terminal. As a result, the average wait time at the port has recently been reduced to two days or less. Despite ongoing disruptions, including the Red Sea situation, supply chain demand and impacts remain volatile. PSA is committed to supporting its customers through these uncertain times.

Read also: PSA Singapore opens Tuas Port

Since the start of 2024, PSA has faced strong berth demand and off-schedule vessel arrivals, leading to high concentrations of vessels on certain days and increased waiting times, despite utilizing all available berths. Larger call sizes have required vessels to stay longer, with extended transshipment container dwell times. This situation has been caused by factors such as the Red Sea crisis, which has indirectly reduced global shipping capacity, congestion at upstream and downstream ports, and shipping lines skipping ports to recover their schedules, resulting in significant changes in vessel arrival patterns and call sizes.

Ong Kim Pong, Group CEO of PSA International, stated, “As our flagship project, PSA Singapore is dedicated to meeting the challenges of ongoing volatility and aligning our port’s development and handling capacity with our customers’ needs. The Red Sea crisis has significantly disrupted global shipping and trade, and we expect this challenging situation to persist, potentially extending port congestion from Asia to Europe. PSA is building partnerships with customers and stakeholders through Node-to-Network initiatives to better coordinate between ports and enhance overall network efficiency. We are also expanding our port networks and ecosystems to grow our global presence and enhance cargo flows. By leveraging our facilities, supply chain capabilities, and our people, we remain committed to collaborating with our customers to address their unique needs in this changing global landscape.”

Singapore’s port has seen about 90% of container vessels arriving off-schedule, compared to an average of 77% in 2023. Additionally, vessel port stays at PSA have increased by 22% compared to the same period last year due to higher demand and container re-handling, where some containers are unloaded and reloaded based on discharge port, weight, and vessel stability.

Container re-handling on mega vessels berthed at PSA has increased by 8% in the first half of 2024 compared to the previous year, due to high vessel utilization caused by the Red Sea situation. This situation has led to extended vessel port stays, affecting the berthing time for incoming vessels, even as PSA maintains productivity.

Nevertheless, PSA’s proactive efforts and close communication with shipping lines and stakeholders have mitigated the impact of these disruptions. The PSA Singapore Management team has worked closely with unions, receiving strong support from the Maritime and Port Authority and Ministry of Transport of Singapore, ensuring a seamless port ecosystem.

PSA will continue to help shipping lines navigate service disruptions and optimize their network configurations, reducing berth waiting times and mitigating other impacts of ongoing disruptions, including vessel call diversions from congested ports in the region.

PSA moved 7% more container volumes in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period last year. Amid ongoing market volatility, PSA remains committed to long-term strategies, including enhancing capacity and capabilities through automation and smart technologies.

In addition to reactivating berths and yard space at Keppel Terminal, PSA’s Tuas Port currently operates nine berths and will add two more by the end of this year. Looking ahead, PSA plans to further expand Tuas Port and continue hiring frontline workers across all terminals, having already hired nearly 1,500 frontline workers in 2024 to boost operational capabilities.

Amid global supply chain disruptions, PSA has supported beneficial cargo owners and logistics service providers with value-added services to enhance supply chain visibility and expedite handling, mitigating the impact of delayed shipments. Initiatives such as priority discharge, expedited delivery, and fast connection management help stakeholders tailor solutions to their specific needs.

Despite the challenges, PSA remains dedicated to collaborating with all stakeholders, including government authorities, to enhance service excellence, reliability, and efficiency as operations scale up in the future.

“The congestion that we see today across many ports in the region is likely to be temporary. Singapore port operators are looking to mitigate the situation, which was unexpected and created by an extensive change in shipping routes due to the Red Sea crisis.  Singapore remains an important node to assist the liners in managing the supply chain disruptions.  Our Ports Performance database is showing shorter waiting times in June as compared to May.” – Mr Chris Rogers, Head of Supply Chain Research, S&P Global Market Intelligence

global trade logistics

8 Game-Changing Moves for Logistics Companies Pursuing Growth in 2024

Every year is a chance for growth, whether a logistics company is an established entity or a small business in the industry. No matter what stage they’re in, the most important thing is making the right decisions to propel them forward rather than backward. 

Read also: 4 Strategies Every Logistics Company Must Start Doing

It might seem like everybody already knows the road to success in 2024. In reality, there’s not a one-and-done solution for all services. Here are some positive moves to influence a business’s chances of making it big.

Enhance Transparency

Logistics companies depend significantly on their patrons, whether they focus on a B2B or B2C model. In 2022, about 60% of consumers think trustworthiness and transparency are the most significant traits of a business worldwide. Thus, establishments that want to thrive in this industry must seek ways to keep transparency.

For example, keep customers updated. Have a mailing list to share the latest pricing and shipping fees. Even weekly newsletters can affect how customers view the company and whether they will be loyal.

If a customer requests a shipment, let them know the status of their delivery. It’s reassuring for people to track where their parcel is, and it impresses them that a logistic business can provide real-time data.

Provide Employee Training

A logistics company only succeeds when its employees are well-trained and knowledgeable about the industry. After all, they are responsible for company processes like sales, marketing, and inventory handling. Businesses should focus on fostering their talents. Look at them as an investment in the company’s long-term success.

One underrated part of employee training is being able to handle different departments. More prominent companies will have dedicated people to their own niches. However, it’s good to have each person expand their range for the future.

Businesses can also offer workshops and one-on-one training sessions with the employees. The industry is always growing, and the workers may not be fully aware of it since they’re focused on work. Give them the knowledge to keep up with the competition. 

Improve Warehousing

Warehousing is one of the most significant facets of logistics. As the company grows, more bulk items will require storage and packaging. To keep up with demand, it’s important to find ways to expand and be more efficient.

For example, an inventory tracking system can empower logistics managers to measure warehouse space and monitor the business’ stocks. This solution can be combined with security measures to keep valuables safe. 

Running a warehouse entails multiple upkeep expenses. Try to see what upgrades may minimize expenditure. For example, fabric buildings are gaining momentum since they don’t have screws or nails, mitigating leaks, rust, and corrosion. On average, repair costs can be as low as $2 per square foot for fabric buildings, while replacement steel is up to $7 per square foot.

Invest in Better Transportation

Transportation has a big impact on logistics companies. To continue growing, businesses must improve their processes of delivering different transports. Having GPS trackers on the company vehicles can ensure everything is moving according to schedule. It also encourages drivers to be more productive.

Another investment that may change the game for logistic companies is self-driving vehicles. Truckers can drive for 12 hours every day but require rest to recuperate. Having autonomous trucks go to and from a destination at every hour of the day can make a big difference.

Granted, self-driving automobiles can be a costly investment. Medium to large-sized businesses can shoulder these potential upgrades. However, it’s best to assess the budget. Only revisit the idea if it seems feasible and growth is steady. 

Implement Lead Generation Strategies

Logistics companies thrive on word of mouth, but relying on that alone can be dangerous. Explore different lead generation strategies to grow the customer base and uplift the business. Have a mix of traditional and digital marketing.

For traditional marketing, events can be greatly beneficial for networking. Host different trade shows or attend conferences and seminars related to logistics. Those discussions can help reel in many potential patrons. 

In terms of digital marketing, SEO is imperative. There are about 8.5 billion Google search queries daily, with the average person performing three to four searches daily. Have a prominent presence through social media. Create a website to attract the searches related to logistics services. 

Integrate Performance Analysis

Some companies make many decisions but fail to track them. That makes it hard to know what’s causing slowdowns or improvements. Instead of letting those efforts go to waste, consider adopting a performance management and analysis process. 

Pick out KPI metrics to keep track of. For example, some logistics companies want to improve delivery performance and rates. Check the number of successful shipments and round up the numbers throughout a period. Compare it later to see whether the business is hitting its mark.

Another key metric to assess is the profit margin. Businesses need to maximize their earnings when making deliveries to have the funds to grow further. Anything below it can cause problems that are difficult to recover from. 

Create a Strong Plan 

If logistics companies lack a strong long-term plan, they should adopt one as soon as possible. Pursuing growth requires a clear timeline and an outline of how to achieve those objectives. Many establishments close their doors early because they fail to achieve this growth. In 2022, new businesses will have a one-year survival rate of 74.4%-78.6%, depending on the location. 

Logistic services are highly survivable if they plan for the years ahead. Create different milestones to reach. Whether it has to do with increasing customer base or boosting delivery capabilities, set a goal to work toward at the end of this year and the ones to come.

The logistics company doesn’t have to shut down if things don’t follow through. Instead, assess the shortcomings and adapt the timeline for the future. Challenges are bound to arise, and professionals can only manage how they will react to such adversities.

Utilize Specialized Technology

Logistics companies should keep up with the times and invest in specialized technology. It’s 2024, and the age of digitization is more prominent than ever, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence. After all, AI can provide robust predictive algorithms and automate repetitive tasks, which saves energy and time for employees. 

Many companies within the industry are already catching up. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, about one in four small businesses utilize AI in their processes. Bigger services are likely making their usage the norm, so stay caught up.

Aside from AI, logistics companies can also take advantage of other hands-on technologies. For instance, robotics can easily take over packaging duties. Instead, professionals can direct the workforce towards other company endeavors, maximizing productivity. 

Aiming and Adapting for Growth

Logistics professionals should be detail-oriented and analytical about different factors. Individual changes for each facet may seem subtle, but they all improve the business. Strive for these improvements to increase a company’s overall survival.

global trade supply chain loginext contract logistics

LogiNext Shines in Last-Mile Delivery Technology with Gartner Recognition

LogiNext has once again been recognized as a representative vendor in Gartner’s Market Guide for Last-Mile Delivery Technologies for the fifth consecutive year. This accolade aligns with LogiNext’s consistent presence in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Execution Technologies, highlighting the company’s ongoing commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and operational excellence in the logistics sector.

Read also: Research from Gartner Predicts Over 75% of Companies Will Adopt Warehouse Automation By 2027 

The inclusion of LogiNext in Gartner’s Market Guide for Last-Mile Delivery Technologies underscores its significant role in offering comprehensive solutions that address the increasing demands of last-mile delivery. As businesses strive for faster, more reliable deliveries while balancing costs and sustainability objectives, LogiNext’s platform distinguishes itself by harnessing AI and advanced analytics to enhance predictive capabilities and actionable insights, ultimately reducing delivery costs.

According to Gartner, the demand for last-mile delivery applications continues to rise, attracting interest from shippers and carriers aiming to optimize processes, cut costs, and become more customer-centric. Supply chain technology leaders can utilize this research to assess the market and evaluate potential solutions.

“In today’s dynamic economic landscape, with evolving supply chain demands for faster, customized deliveries, reduced transportation costs, and sustainable practices, efficient last-mile delivery is crucial. LogiNext stands as the leading technology partner for companies committed to enhancing the delivery experience. Gartner’s recognition underscores our commitment to ensuring every delivery is timely, accurate, efficient, and sustainable,” stated Dhaval Thanki, EVP of LogiNext.

LogiNext’s last-mile technology platform, equipped with a range of products, provides shippers, dispatchers, and carriers with extensive capabilities for last-mile operations. The platform optimizes logistics with impactful services such as On-Demand/Same Day Delivery, Last-Mile Delivery, Omnichannel Distribution, End-to-End Order Tracking, and Live Order Tracking. These solutions streamline operations, manage delivery associates and vehicles efficiently, and offer fast, customer-centric home delivery with real-time alerts and multiple payment options.

LogiNext’s innovative solutions have garnered the trust of leading global brands, including KFC, Starbucks, McDonald’s, SingaporePost, and Decathlon. The platform has significantly evolved and now facilitates millions of shipments worldwide daily.

global trade trading logistics values

Leadership & Company Values in the Service Logistics Industry: It’s Time to Walk the Walk

Values are often published on company websites and on plaques posted in office lobbies and conference rooms. They can blend in with Mission and Vision statements either on purpose or unintentionally, and some employees may never give them a second glance. However, there are times when these words should be acknowledged and embodied. 

Read also: Innovations in Logistics Management for Faster and More Efficient Global Trade

The behaviors within a company, the actions and conduct, as well as what gets rewarded or celebrated, are where to look for a company’s true values. Do these actions align with the words sited on the boardroom walls? 

If you’re stuck in the workplace described above and during the day occasionally gaze at a posted list of values with a culture that does not represent or resemble it, it’s time to address this gap because your workforce isn’t buying what you’re selling anymore.

Start at the Beginning

First, get a better understanding for how the posted values were determined. Are these the founder’s values, and if so, how have things evolved?

Next, accept the truth regarding what your culture is demonstrating with its values. This is not an exercise in identifying negative or bad behaviors, it is an eyes wide open look at what is valued in your organization and an opportunity to examine if it differs from the desired principles. 

Teamwork as a Strategy

Managers (or bosses) say they want cross-collaboration, but when thick lines are drawn around each department, those actions don’t promote teamwork. When recognition or fun events are only within specific departments, that doesn’t demonstrate teamwork. Worse yet, when more time is spent trying to determine who messed something up instead of identifying the issue and then working together to get it resolved, it is difficult to feel like everyone is working towards the same plan of action. 

Since the service logistics industry is dynamic, fast-paced, and action-oriented, it requires many teams (and systems or platforms) to work together spontaneously. An ad hoc approach built around isolated users who can only influence change within their department or region is a recipe for disaster. Meaningful collaboration and fruitful teamwork require trust, and trust involves an acknowledgement that everyone is working towards the same identified goals.

Elevate Internal Growth Opportunities

Whenever humanly possible, service logistics leaders need to create more opportunities for career growth and development by actively promoting from within. It also helps to establish and apply informal learning environments with themed breaktimes to encourage engagement among teams, incorporate leadership and communication training in cross-functional jobs and to support safe spaces at work, and provide better access to resources so every employee has what they need to effectively do their work. 

Additionally, companies (OR managers) can help shape formal recognition programs to specifically celebrate departmental or working group wins instead of individualized heroics. To advance the lasting impression of a true collaborative environment within your organization, consider training in value-stream mapping and true process root-cause analysis. The latter will eliminate the by-product of ‘who did it’ and instead focus on an understanding of what happened to prevent it from occurring in the future.  

Embrace Change and Challenges 

Embolden your departments and senior level working groups to challenge the status quo and keep bringing new ideas into the organization’s fold. This can be realized in an environment of psychological safety, where mistakes aren’t punished, and new growth is encouraged and celebrated. 

If there’s one certainty within your service supply chain (or business operations), is that change is and will always be constant. Armed with that knowledge, it’s vital for companies to implement processes focused on creating efficiencies and adopt evolving technology to enhance organizational visibility and augment acclaim. Executives must lay the groundwork and recognize innovative companywide ideas and participate in cross-functional discussions that include varying opinions, with the possibility to create and implement something modern.

Stay Focused in a Fast-Paced Environment 

Like all companies, there may be struggles with what to give attention to, especially in the supply chain industry – where everything is urgent. When staying the course requires a daily and concerted effort, consistent communication about what and why decisions are being made is pivotal. This is done to ensure that an organization is on the right path today, and on track to achieve future goals as well. 

Create Fun Within the Workplace

A fast-paced service logistics environment can be a lot to manage, and it’s important to offer the ability refuel, recharge, and regain perspective to be able to focus on the future. True fun with your work team requires a trusting environment and requires leaders at all levels to be ON the team, not above the team. Successful leaders make time to listen, hear others and allow themselves to be human like everyone else. The deeper the trust, the greater the collective team will be. From there, synergy and enjoyment among colleagues will show up more often throughout the workday. 

Model the Change You Seek 

Having ambitious standards and the humility to realize any misalignments brings leaders one step closer to demonstrating and living up to your company’s core values. Now is the perfect time to take the leap and establish a plan to address it. As senior leaders, you are entrusted to walk the walk, because doing so is much more effective to live your company’s values than securing a decorative plaque on a wall.

About Kris Michels 

Kris Michel joined Flash in 2019 as Chief Operating Officer to oversee Flash Global’s operations and lead major business initiatives. With a consistent track record for driving organizational revenue acceleration and EBITDA growth, her career has spanned several high-profile roles from Fortune 100 to turnaround mid-sized companies. In every role she has held – from CFO to COO – Kris has a keen instinct for leading teams to implement and execute effective programs and solutions, coupled with her entrepreneurial spirit and global business perspective.

global trade port

A Chinese-backed Peruvian Port has the US Spooked 

A Chinese-financed megaport in Peru aims to accelerate the continent’s trade with China, but Washington is growing uneasy with continued Sino-influence so close to home.  

Read also: U.S. Increases Tariffs on Chinese Imports to Protect Domestic Industries

Few people outside of Peru had heard of Chancay, a sleepy city of just over 50,000 residents 45 miles north of Lima. But, when a port project was pitched as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Infrastructure Initiative (BRI) to the Peruvian government, it didn’t take long to align the two nations. 

Launched in 2013, BRI initially intended to connect East Asia and Europe through physical infrastructure projects. However, over the last decade, China has rapidly expanded its reach, extending BRI into Oceania, Africa, and Latin America. Currently, around 147 countries, representing two-thirds of the world’s population and a staggering 40 percent of global GDP, are either engaged in BRI projects or in the pipeline to do so. 

The $3.5 billion Chancay port is funded by Chinese bank loans and majority owned by the China Ocean Shipping Group (Cosco). Other regional ports have larger container-handling capacity, but at roughly 60 feet of depth, the Chancay port will be the first Pacific Coast port in South America capable of receiving megaships. The appeal of megaships rests on their delivery capacity, but ports require costly dredging and infrastructure improvements to accommodate them. In this respect, without Chinese financing, a Peruvian port of this size was unthinkable.

One of the attractive selling points of the port was the notable reduction in travel time from the region to China. The trans-Pacific journey currently spans 35 days with stops in large ports such as Long Beach, California. Estimates point to a massive reduction to just 20 days from Chancay to Shanghai once operational. Moreover, the seventh-largest economy in the world is now in the neighborhood, and analysts expect future Chinese investment to connect Chancay and Brazil via the construction of new highways and railways.

Washington’s worry is two-fold: expanding Chinese influence in the region and the potential for future military installations. While BRI projects have grown significantly, and the Chinese potential for expanded military presence is vast, to date China operates just one logistics base in Djibouti and a paramilitary outpost in Tajikistan. Yet, a recent RAND report details Chinese interest in Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, the Solomon Islands, the UAE, and Vanuatu. Couple those with a March 2024 Newsweek report of additional interest in Cuba, Pakistan, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, Washington’s anxiety does not appear irrational. 

Chancay Port will boast an initial 1.5 million TEU capacity, and China is already the principal trade partner of nearly every South American country. Peru has had a long history with the Asian superpower, and Chinese firms control nearly all of the capital city’s power distribution and hold significant investment positions in at least five mines.    

When BRI was first announced, China was wrestling with US influence through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Obama administration’s free trade initiative with Europe. For China, infrastructure spending seemed like an easy way to deal with excess foreign exchange reserves, an oversupply of goods with weak domestic demand, and Xi’s central message of the “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Like the US Marshall Plan after World War II, BRI’s proponents argue that China is responding to developing country infrastructure demands. Moreover, the fact that these initiatives are ongoing and do not have hard completion target dates allows China to declare success as it sees fit. 

From a pure commercial and trade perspective, Chancay to Shanghai in 20 days is an extraordinary win. US interests in the region might believe otherwise, but development projects in Latin America are not apportioned solely to China. 

global trade Tequeños

P.A.N. Launches Gourmet Frozen Tequeños to Meet Rising Demand in the U.S. Market

The frozen food market is expanding rapidly as American consumers increasingly seek convenient and flavorful meal options amidst their busy lifestyles. P.A.N., renowned for its high-quality pre-cooked cornmeal products, is introducing a new line of frozen tequeños tailored to the American palate.

Read also: REVEALED: How Disruption in Supply Chain Affects the Food & Beverage Industry

Driven by the need for quick yet satisfying meal solutions, the demand for frozen foods has surged in the U.S. market. According to Statista, revenues from frozen food manufacturing in the U.S. are projected to reach USD 36.6 billion this year, reflecting a significant cultural shift towards convenient, tasty meal choices.

In response to this trend, P.A.N. is introducing the P.A.N. Snack On line, featuring gourmet tequeños designed for easy enjoyment in minutes. These authentic appetizers are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a family gathering or a casual get-together with friends.

The new tequeño offerings from P.A.N. include innovative flavors alongside the classic melted cheese filling that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Highlights of the lineup include the pizza-flavored tequeño, blending traditional tequeño with savory mozzarella, tomato, and oregano for a delightful burst of flavors. Additionally, the upcoming chocolate tequeño promises a sweet treat with crispy dough and a luscious melted chocolate filling, ideal for satisfying dessert cravings.

Available at Walmart supermarket chains nationwide, P.A.N.’s frozen tequeños offer a delicious and convenient option that’s sure to please American consumers looking for quick, delicious meal solutions.

global trade vehicle logistics

Choosing the Right Vehicle for Your Logistics Needs: A Comprehensive Guide

The logistics industry is the backbone of international trade and is expected to have a market size worth $11.23 trillion by 2025. For logistics companies, having the right vehicles is crucial for staying competitive and meeting the industry’s rigorous demands.

Read also: Congestion Solutions: Tackling Traffic Gridlock and Delivery Delays in Big City Logistics

That said, finding vehicles within budget, that meet your transportation needs, and are fit for long-term performance and durability can be challenging. However, it’s a necessary part of the logistics business management process. 

With transportation trends ever-changing and the industry growing bigger and more lucrative with every passing year, the need for reliable trucks is tantamount to your company’s growth and success. There are many factors to consider: scalability, safety, training, loading requirements, and fuel efficiency, among others. 

Fortunately, the vehicle market is thriving, and the options are vast. That means you can select from an incredibly wide variety of vehicle options, which is all the more reason to take the selection process seriously. 

Choosing the right truck for transportation is much like choosing the right tool for a project. All vehicles have pros, cons, and unique features. 

The size, scale, and demand of your logistics business are the first few things you must consider when choosing a vehicle or fleet of vehicles to invest in. How big is your operation? What kind of distances are the routes covered? How established is your business? What sort of cargo do you primarily need to transport? 

The answers to all of these questions can give you key insights into how to go about choosing a vehicle that meets your logistics needs. Of course, there is also a budget to consider. The funds you have access to impact what kind of vehicles you can invest in directly. 

Gathering information like this is the first step in deciding which logistics vehicle to buy. Conduct thorough research on your current financial status and review your forecasts to determine what costs are feasible and over what period. 

The Most Popular Vehicles In The Logistics Industry 

There are many different types of logistics vehicles on the market. However, some stand out as particularly practical, affordable, and well-suited to the transportation of goods. 

The main types to be aware of include flatbed trucks, refrigerated trucks, straight trucks, tanker trucks, jumbo trailer trucks, semi-trailer trucks, dump trucks, box trucks, and tail-lift trucks. Each of these truck types has unique advantages and drawbacks, all of which need to be considered before you can decide which best suits your needs. 

Box trucks

Box trucks are the most familiar and accessible logistics vehicles on the market. With a rectangular box-shaped cargo unit that comes in widely varying sizes, they make handling all sorts of goods simple and straightforward. They also offer valuable protection for cargo against the weather and theft or vandalism.

Jumbo trailer trucks

Sometimes called road trains due to their immense size, jumbo trailer trucks are the heavy-duty trucks of the logistics world. Although they differ from vehicle to vehicle, jumbos typically have two or three levels of storage space, amplifying their ability to transport large quantities of goods over long distances. Their heaviness also allows them to handle bigger payloads. 

Flatbed trucks

A flatbed truck is one of the most common logistics trucks. It has an open platform on the back with no sides or roof. It’s a reliable option for transporting bulky, awkwardly sized, oversized goods that won’t fit into conventionally structured trucks. Its large inventory capacity and ability to transport some of the heaviest materials and machinery make it a common sight in the industry. 

Refrigerated trucks

If you transport temperature-sensitive goods such as food or pharmaceuticals, a refrigerated truck (also known as a reefer truck) is the best choice. These trucks form an integral part of the cold chain as they are designed with built-in refrigerators for storing cargo and their temperatures can be adjusted as necessary for the goods in transit. 

Straight trucks

This type of truck features a separate cab and trailer, giving it a higher level of maneuverability than most. The all-in-one configuration allows drivers to turn almost anywhere, provided there is clearance and to easily navigate local and regional routes covering residential areas or roads not designed to handle capacity loads. 

Dump trucks

Dump trucks transport dump material, such as debris, sand, compost, and other heavyweight loose materials. They come in all shapes and sizes, including those with single and multiple axle units. Dump trucks require a skilled professional to drive them, as they are difficult and dangerous to operate without proper experience. Their weight changes constantly as their loads fluctuate and this makes driving them challenging, as it requires various skills. 

Tanker trucks

A tanker truck is the only truck you can use to transport liquids and gasses. As such, they’re a cornerstone of the logistics industry that nothing else can’t replace. The cylindrical box is pressurized and tightly sealed and can be found in various sizes for different modalities and distances of travel. These trucks also require experienced hazmat drivers who know what to do in the case of an accident or chemical spill and who can handle the tankers on the road, whether full or empty.

Semi-trailer trucks

Also known as semis, semi-trailer trucks are another widely used vehicle within the industry. They come in many different configurations and sizes, but what sets them apart is their semi-trailer back end, which is connected to the cab with a fifth-wheel hitch. They are versatile vehicles that can maneuver easily through suburbs and highways. 

Tail-lift trucks

Featuring a hydraulic lift gate, tail-lift trucks have transformed the loading and unloading of heavy cargo. The lift mechanism makes transporting otherwise heavy or awkwardly sized goods easy across long distances. 

Every fleet relies on its vehicles and the people who drive them to keep the logistics world turning and ensure that customers receive their goods timeously and undamaged. The process of selecting which vehicle to invest in takes time, but it is time well spent. This guide can help you make a more informed decision for your logistics company that will set you on the road to success. 

Meta Title: Guide To Choosing Logistics Vehicles | Global Trade Mag


Meta Description: Having vehicles that suit your logistics needs can increase efficiency and turnover. Use this guide to determine what type of vehicle you need for your fleet.