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FinTech: 5 Automation Trends That Are Impacting the Industry Right Now

FinTech

FinTech: 5 Automation Trends That Are Impacting the Industry Right Now

The FinTech industry is rapidly moving toward automation as a source of efficiency. The move to specific tools and software programs increases speed and accuracy of processes. It also keeps employers on their toes as they need to quickly evolve and learn. Many of these programs previously required specialized training and adaptability.
Automation helps with repetitive procedures and simplifies complicated tasks. It increases accuracy and safety measures, while minimizing human error. Expectations indicate that the FinTech industry will extend its tech integration significantly over the next four years.


Here are 5 automation trends that are impacting the Fintech industry right now:

1. Human Resources Management: This used to be one of the least automated components, but now software like Workday and 15Five are building platforms to assist workflow with related systems that support employee management. Finance companies increasingly recognize that their people are the most valuable resource and need to be managed more thoughtfully as well as efficiently.

2. Mobile: Finance companies now consider mobile oriented tech as part of the core work-flow. The industry relies heavily on its ability to get work done efficiently. FinTech continues to utilize software which speeds up communication and productivity. Mobile used to be considered a security risk by the financial industry. Now it is considered a way to enhance productivity as well as provide more flexible workflow for employees.

3. Customer Support: More automation is taking over customer service. This support has advanced tremendously with certain software programs that include internal systems to support customers. Software systems such as Fresh Desk and Zen Desk are cutting down on the head count needed for customer service departments in some companies. But more importantly these new systems are improving the customer experience and the lives of the people working in those departments.

4. Billing/Invoicing: Payments systems like Stripe, invoicing and billing systems like Freshbooks, and more advanced ERP systems Netsuite are examples of programs that continue to reinvent the way FinTech is automating business functions. Although many companies are still at least partially stuck in the past of creating manual invoices and payments, these automated systems are increasingly taking over. Both the customer and the vendor win with greater automation in this area. Vendors cut costs and get paid faster. Customers benefit from this greater efficiency of vendors with lower prices or higher value delivered for their purchases.

5. Accounting: Xendoo, Zoho, Quicken online and other systems automate are automating the accounting, bookkeeping, and tax filing functions of businesses. Traditional accounting software, and human bookkeepers and accountants, still have an important role to play in this area, but the accounting business is rapidly changing as well due to technology. The number of people involved with these activities is likely to shrink dramatically as automation takes over more of these functions. Ultimately businesses and their customers will benefit from this via lower operating costs that allow for better value to be delivered rather than spent on administrative functions like accounting.

It is crucial for companies of all sizes to be knowledgeable about this trend and keep their business updated as automation continues to reinvent Fintech industry jobs. You have to be able to adapt quickly to these changes. Our previous ideas and habits of doing business are changing, and we have to keep up with those changes or be left behind by competitors who will adapt more quickly

Automation is impacting Fintech employees in a variety of complex ways so it’s critical for employees to have a greater understanding of and training on different software systems to ensure they keep up with the automation and benefit from it rather than viewing it as a potential threat to their jobs. There is no way to stop technology. All of us need to work hard to stay on the right side of its inevitable progress.

China market

Success in China: Market Opportunities & How to Get Started

Are you an ambitious entrepreneur from the west seeking to expand to China? Or are you interested in opening a new business in China? If yes, this article is for you. We will explain the 5 most viable business openings in China today and the 5 most reliable tips on how to get started in this highly-competitive market. Please be our guest.

Which Viable Market Opportunities Can You Pursue in China?

As the affluent middle class continues to expand in China, solid economic transformations in the country are being realized day by day. The biggest beneficiaries of these transformations are multinational companies who have set up or are planning to open a shop in China. There are now bigger and better market opportunities to pursue, more advanced industries to invest in, and more tech-intensive manufacturing opportunities to consider. As a matter of fact, China now boasts of a 50% bigger manufacturing economy as compared to the USA.

If you are looking to tap into the continued increase in high value-added production, increased globalization of the service sector, as well as the increased outbound investment in China, these 5 market opportunities would be lucrative enough for you:

Healthcare

Rising wealth often comes with an increase in lifestyle diseases. An increase in manufacturing, on the other hand, brings forth many environmental concerns. These two factors have made the healthcare industry very lucrative in China. You will create a reliable cash cow if you could invest in a business that deals with herbal supplements or small health products- or a mainstream pharmaceutical company, so to speak. Also, the use of skincare products is on the rise in China. It’s best to set up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise for such operations.

Import and export trade

China is currently the largest exporter of tech goods and importer of processed foods globally. That means you can build a profitable importing and exporting business here in a heartbeat. 

Supplementary education

Many middle-class Chinese are keen on improving their English and expanding their knowledge of different aspects of business and politics. If you can offer them after-school private tutoring services, you will be making impressive annual returns on a consistent basis. Moreover, online tutorage is on the rise in China, which enables you to tutor more people in a more cost-effective way.Food production

This goes without saying: Everyone needs food, everyone loves good food. And now that the middle-class in China is welcoming new entrants in huge numbers, there is a significant supply gap within this class for as long as the food is concerned. A rise in class obviously comes with a change in lifestyle, and food is at the center of every lifestyle. 

Mobile phones and accessories

The whole world has in the recent past turned to China for all its tech needs. The nation is the largest producer and importer of affordable mobile phones and accessories, meaning that a business in this industry would be extremely profitable.

How to Get Started In China

As lucrative as China could be, many investors from the west talk about it with fear. Some of these foreign entrants tried and failed, or struggled to find their footing in this Asian economic giant. But what would render you unable to compete and survive here? For starters, the business environment here is too unforgiving and the competition too stiff for the faint-hearted. Also, cases of language barriers, cultural differences, and bureaucratic government regulations have led to the peril of many. 

In the middle of all these, how do you defy the odds and succeed in China? Here are 5 actionable tips on how to get started in China:

Don’t just translate your content for China; ensure that everything about your business is localized for China. 

It is important to understand and comply with all business regulations in China. The hiring process can be tricky to a new entrant, which necessitates the services of a Chinese recruitment agency. Such an agency will help you with all employment laws, privileges, and remuneration. 

Ensure that you understand and respect the cultural differences that exist between the west and the east. 

Never underestimate the power of customer opinion in China. Let the customer tell what their experience with your product is, respect their opinion, learn from your mistakes, and ensure that you find lasting solutions to all their concerns. 

As much as possible, try to work with a local partner in order to benefit from the many favors local entrepreneurs get from the government. 

fruits nuts

U.S. – Fruits, Nuts And Peel (Sugar Preserved) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. – Fruits, Nuts And Peel (Sugar Preserved) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) exported from the U.S. stood at 5.2K tonnes, shrinking by -7.3% against the previous year. Overall, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) continue to indicate a slight reduction. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2009 with an increase of 42% y-o-y. Exports peaked at 9.3K tonnes in 2015; however, from 2016 to 2018, exports failed to regain their momentum.

In value terms, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) totaled $11M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Over the period under review, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) continue to indicate a slight contraction. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 with an increase of 76% against the previous year. In that year, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) reached their peak of $21M. From 2010 to 2018, the growth of exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) failed to regain its momentum.

Exports by Country

Canada (1.8K tonnes) was the main destination for exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) from the U.S., with a 35% share of total exports. Moreover, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) to Canada exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Saudi Arabia (385 tonnes), fivefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by China (352 tonnes), with a 6.8% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume to Canada stood at +16.1%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Saudi Arabia (+11.9% per year) and China (+9.2% per year).

In value terms, Canada ($2.7M), China ($1.6M) and Turkey ($888K) constituted the largest markets for sweetened dried fruit and nut exported from the U.S. worldwide, together accounting for 46% of total exports.

Turkey recorded the highest growth rate of exports, among the main countries of destination over the last eleven-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average export price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) stood at $2,198 per tonne in 2018, coming down by -1.5% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the export price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved), however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 an increase of 25% year-to-year. In that year, the average export prices for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) attained their peak level of $2,776 per tonne. From 2010 to 2018, the growth in terms of the average export prices for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) failed to regain its momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Turkey ($4,656 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Australia ($983 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to Taiwan, Chinese, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, the imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) into the U.S. totaled 9.4K tonnes, picking up by 22% against the previous year. In general, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved), however, continue to indicate a slight downturn. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 with an increase of 22% y-o-y. Imports peaked at 12K tonnes in 2010; however, from 2011 to 2018, imports failed to regain their momentum.

In value terms, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) stood at $32M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +2.3% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 with an increase of 18% year-to-year. Over the period under review, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) reached their peak figure in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Thailand (4.5K tonnes) constituted the largest supplier of sweetened dried fruit and nut to the U.S., with a 48% share of total imports. Moreover, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) from Thailand exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, China (827 tonnes), fivefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Fiji (722 tonnes), with a 7.7% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume from Thailand totaled -1.1%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: China (-1.9% per year) and Fiji (+20.1% per year).

In value terms, Thailand ($14.2M) constituted the largest supplier of sweetened dried fruit and nut to the U.S., comprising 45% of total imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved). The second position in the ranking was occupied by Fiji ($3.5M), with a 11% share of total imports. It was followed by China, with a 11% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value from Thailand totaled +3.4%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Fiji (+23.8% per year) and China (+0.5% per year).

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average import price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) amounted to $3,379 per tonne, falling by -9.4% against the previous year. Overall, the import price indicated a noticeable increase from 2007 to 2018: its price increased at an average annual rate of +3.5% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, import price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) increased by +54.7% against 2009 indices. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2013 an increase of 27% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the average import prices for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) reached their peak figure at $3,729 per tonne in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Fiji ($4,917 per tonne), while the price for India ($1,887 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Mexico, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

USMCA

THESE COMPANIES KEEP CROSS-BORDER CARGO MOVING, EVEN WITH USMCA UP IN THE AIR

Our trilateral trade bloc is in a sort of limbo, stuck between the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, and the floundering United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which the countries’ leaders signed on Nov. 30, 2018, but has only been ratified in Mexico.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has pushed for more ease of free trade among the three nations for years, about $1.7 billion worth of goods and services flow between the U.S. and Mexico borders every day. That’s about 2 percent of the GDP in America, where, according to the United Nations’ International Trade Center, Mexico and Canada are the two largest trading partners for U.S. manufacturers and shippers after China.

Despite these uncertain times, there are North American cross-border traders that continue to thrive. Consider the collection that follows. 

AVERITT EXPRESS

One of the nation’s leading freight transportation and supply chain management providers, Averitt is celebrating 50 years of service. The company cites customized, cross-border transportation solutions among its many, many specialties. Five years ago, Averitt slashed less-than-truckload (LTL) service times from the U.S. Midwest to Ontario, Canada, in recognition of the province’s rise as a manufacturing hub. Averitt’s strategically placed border service centers in Laredo, El Paso, Harlingen and Del Rio provide easy access to all points throughout Mexico, by rail, truck or expedited air. 

BNSF RAILWAY

One of North America’s leading freight transportation companies, BNSF boasts a.32,500 route-mile network covering 28 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. The railway utilizes multiple strategies to make international shipments easier for customers. These include market experience, customs clearance know-how and participation in special North American rail service alliances. The BNSF network also includes five U.S.-Mexico gateways (San Diego, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo and Brownsville) and operations in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico. Service options include carload, transload and intermodal (Mexi-Modal) that allow for shipments of all major commodities into and out of Mexico.  

CG RAILWAY

Picture in your head a railroad line extending from the American South to southern Mexico. You can imagine the track snaking along the contour of the Gulf of Mexico, extending west from Alabama through Mississippi and Louisiana before reaching Texas and turning due south through the border and beyond. What you did not picture was a shift from rail at Alabama’s Port of Mobile to an ocean ferry making a direct route over water to Puerto Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz, Mexico. That’s what CG Railway (CGR) has been doing since 2000: providing a faster, more cost-effective route between the eastern U.S. and Canada to central and southern Mexico. CGR offers C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) certification, bilingual customer support, proactive port security, reduced mileage and wear and tear on equipment and direct interchanges with the CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and Kansas City Southern railroads, the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway and Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks and their Mexican counterparts. 

CN NORTH AMERICA

Canadian National is based in Montreal, Quebec, and the Class I freight railway’s network is the largest in that country by physical size and revenue. Established in 1919 and formerly government-owned, Canada’s only transcontinental railway spans from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia, across about 20,400 route miles of track. But you’d be mistaken to think CN, as it has more commonly known since 1960, is strictly a Great White North concern. The railway also serves the U.S. South and Midwest and, having gone private in 1995, it now counts as its single largest shareholder Bill Gates. Through the ’90s and 2000s, CN North America has acquired multiple lines passing through several U.S. states.

CROWLEY

The private, Jacksonville, Florida-based corporation is the largest operator of tugboats and barges in the world. Crowley American Transport provides ocean liner cargo services between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. Its American Marine Transport unit delivers local, over-the-road, and commercial trucking services in the continental U.S. Crowley Marine Services provides worldwide contract and specialized marine transportation services, including petroleum product transportation and sales, tanker escort and ship assist, contract barge transportation and ocean towing, logistics and support services, marine salvage and emergency response services, spill-response services on the West Coast and all-terrain transportation services.

CSX TRANSPORTATION

The subsidiary of CSX Corp., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, CSX Transportation is a Class I freight railroad operating in the eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates around 21,000 route miles of track. While its lines blanket the east coasts of Canada and the U.S., you don’t have to be located on railroad track for CSX to help you, as it has access to 70 ports and nationwide transloading and warehousing services.

DB SCHENKER 

The global logistics and supply chain management giant has 93 branches in every U.S. state, Mexico and Canada. Schenker of Canada Ltd. provides logistics services, airfreight, custom brokerage, custom consulting, sports events, land transport and courier services. DB Schenker Mexico celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017, having begun down there with a single location and 40 associates and now boasting of 500 employees in its corporate office in Mexico City as well as in Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Cancun, Ciudad Juarez and various other branches. DB Schenker Mexico offers air freight, ocean freight, land freight, customs brokerage, over-dimensioned projects, warehousing and contract logistics.

KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN

The KCS North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a NAFTA railway system linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. “KCS is just one interchange away from every major market in North America,” boasts the railroad. KC Southern de Mexico offers unique rail access to the Port of Lazaro Cardenas on Mexico’s Pacific coast, which is an ideal spot to avoid congestion in U.S. West Coast ports. KCS also has access to Gulf of Mexico ports, including Altamira, Tampico and Veracruz in Mexico and Brownsville, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, Houston, Gulfport, Lake Charles, Mobile and Port Arthur in the U.S. 

LIVINGSTON INTERNATIONAL

Billed as North America’s No. 1 company focused on customs brokerage and compliance, Livingston International also offers international trade consulting and freight forwarding across the continent and around the globe. Headquartered in Chicago, Livingston operates along the U.S.-Canada border, with regional air/sea hubs in Los Angeles, New York and Norfolk. Livingston employs more than 3,200 employees at more than 125 key border points, seaports, airports and other strategic locations in North America, Europe and the Far East. Livingston is a customs brokerage leader in Canada, and the company also promises to move goods seamlessly into Mexico.

LOGISTICS PLUS

Whether it is working as a 3PL or 4PL partner, the Erie, Pennsylvania-based company specializes in total logistics management, LTL and truckload transportation, rail and intermodal services, project cargo and project management, import/export services, air and ocean freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, global trade compliance services and logistics and technology solutions. Logistics Plus serves small and large businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area, with an office in the zone that has access to the Port of Toronto and expertise in shipping in and out of Canada though the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Bilingual logistics experts help customers with intra-Mexico, cross-border, or international shipping using air, ocean, ground or rail transportation. 

LYNDEN

Seattle-based Lynden not only delivers to, from and within Canada, the company does business there. Its long-established Canadian presence allows it to provide complete coverage for any transportation need. They can help with warehousing and distribution or 3PL in Canada, where Lynden boasts of knowing “the ins and outs of customs brokerage, duties and taxes, imports and exports.” From its offices in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Lynden offers scheduled less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) service to points in Alaska and the Lower 48.

LYNNCO

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company optimizes customers’ supply chains coast-to-coast in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. LynnCo manages businesses and determines how and when ground, international air/ocean, spot/capacity, procurement and expedited services are the best options. For instance, LynnCo helped a U.S. manufacturer determine if shifting units to Mexico was profitable. The answer was no after factoring in the risks of moving, poor facilities, added shipping costs and product quality. 

POLARIS TRANSPORTATION GROUP

Billing itself as “an American company headquartered in Toronto,” Polaris has a quarter century of experience in scheduled LTL service between the U.S. and Canada. The company knows both countries’ customs rules and participates in every border security program, including C-TPAT, PIP (Partners in Protection), CSA (Customs Self- Assessment) and FAST (Free and Secure Trade). The company’s scheduled service connects Ontario and Quebec markets with the U.S. through a combination of its fleet and facilities along with those of its long-established partner carriers.

PUROLATOR INTERNATIONAL

The U.S. subsidiary of Canada’s leading provider of integrated freight and parcel delivery services, Jericho, New York-based Purolator International seamlessly transports shipments between the U.S. and Canada and manages the respective countries’ customs processes with aplomb. They pick up/drop off at every point in the U.S. and boast of a distribution network that extends to every Canadian province and territory. What truly takes Purolator International over the top is a commitment to continue improving, as evidenced by a recent $1 billion growth investment that includes two new hubs that will allow for faster fulfillment for both courier and e-commerce shipments from the U.S. throughout Canada, where consumers also will be seeing more access points, including upgraded retail pickup locations.

R+L GLOBAL

“Shipping to Mexico is facil,” according to Ocala, Florida-based R+L Global Logistics. Its qualified network of premium carriers in Mexico provide secure door-to-door Less than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) services. They cover the entire Mexican territory and move cargo across all major U.S./Mexico border gateways. They also move intra-Mexico shipments. 

SCHNEIDER

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based giant specializes in regional trucking, long-haul, bulk, intermodal, supply chain management, brokerage, warehousing, port logistics and transloading. Decades of cross-border freight experience means customer cargo moves without question or delay. Once goods move across the border, Schneider has the assets and personnel in place to deliver it safely and securely. “Here’s the simple fact: No one makes shipping to Canada and Mexico easier or more efficient than Schneider,” the company boasts. “By road or by rail, your freight is in the best hands possible.”

SENKO 

The Japanese logistics giant has offices in the U.S., where their own trucks and warehouses work with a network of vendors. The 3PL/4PL supply chain solutions provider uses its own IT technology developed in Japan to help arrange liquid tank transportation, flatbed, drayage, refrigerated, dry, expedited shipping and freight broker services. Senko Logistics Mexico is the company unit south of the border.

SUNSET TRANSPORTATION

The St. Louis-based company has offices and agents across the country, and customers whose shipments are moved around the globe. Sunset arranges freight for a wide range of industries, from wholesale food distribution to specialized construction equipment. “Cross-border solutions” include customs clearance for land, rail, air and ocean, LTL, TL, intermodal, rail, air, expedited and specialized freight, contracted lane and spot market, C-TPAT compliance, multimodal programs, a Laredo, Texas, warehouse and distribution facility and 24/7 bilingual, bicultural support.

SURGERE 

Headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, Surgere is a leader in linking OEMs, tier suppliers and logistics providers through an automotive data system that provides visibility on returnable containers at every stage of their movement between supplier and vehicle maker. The supply chain innovators, whose clients include Nissan and CEVA Logistics, recently opened Technologias Avanzadas Surgere de Mexico in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which has more than 1,300 suppliers and automotive plants within 200 kilometers of the location. “Central Mexico is the automotive hub for Latin America—making it a natural progression—and a welcomed challenge for us,” explained David Hampton, Surgere’s vice president for International Operations, in announcing the move. Surgere hopes to have the Mexico office fully staffed before the end of this year.

TQL

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Total Quality Logistics (TQL) was founded in 1997 and is now the second-largest freight brokerage firm in the nation, with more than 5,500 employees in 57 offices across the county. Known for combining industry-leading technology and unmatched customer service, TQL boasts of providing competitive pricing, continuous communication and “a commitment to do it right every time.” They move more than 1.6 million loads across the U.S., Canada and Mexico annually through a broad portfolio of logistics services and a network of more than 75,000 carriers.

USA TRUCK

The Van Buren, Arkansas-based company provides customized truckload, dedicated contract carriage, intermodal and third-party logistics freight management services throughout North America. USA Truck has nearly two decades of experience servicing Mexico, which has allowed the company to expand its presence south of the border and partner with many Mexican carriers. USA Truck’s Capacity Solutions coordinates transportation into and out of Mexico with a vast carrier network, and they service most major Mexican markets and consistently maintain C-TPAT certification. USA Truck also has a select fleet of third-party carriers providing service into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

UTXL

Launched in 1997 by four founders with more than 100 years of combined asset-based trucking experience, UTXL started with this goal: to be the safest, most reliable and cost effective niche capacity resource to customers in support of their core carrier programs. UTXL has served thousands of shippers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including some of the largest shippers in the world. One of their mottos is: “Any point in the U.S., Canada or Mexico … any length of haul.”

WERNER ENTERPRISES

“We keep America moving” is the motto of this Omaha, Nebraska-based company that has one of the largest transportation services to and from Mexico and is a premiere long-haul carrier to and from Canada and throughout North America. Werner has offices in Mexico and Canada as well as experienced and knowledgeable staff engineer solutions. PAR documentation allows for quicker access through customs into Canada, and their network of alliance carriers can manage entire supply chains within Canada and Mexico regardless of equipment needs.

WW SOLUTIONS

The unit of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics participates in Mexico’s automotive industry not only as a carrier and logistics provider. WW Solutions specializes in processing solutions at ports and at OEM plants, providing services that include pre-delivery inspections, accessory fittings, repairs, storage, washing, vehicle preparation, quality control, inventory management and the procurement of technical services.

YRC FREIGHT

Yellow Transportation (founded in 1924 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) merged with Roadway (founded in 1930 in Akron, Ohio) to create YRC Freight, which is the largest subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc. based in Overland Park, Kansas. A leading transporter of industrial, commercial and retail goods, YRC Freight offers solutions for businesses across North America and is the only carrier with on-site, bilingual representatives at border crossing points in Mexico to expedite customs clearance.

C-TPAT

C-TPAT DRIVES SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY AND TRADE COMPLIANCE

In today’s ever-chaining business environment, organizations are faced with ongoing security challenges. It’s crucial for shippers to understand any potential risks to their supply chains and establish security plans to avoid disruption. One significant way for shippers to proactively protect their operations is by becoming a member of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

Established in 2001, as a direct result of the September 11 terror attacks, the C-TPAT program is part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy. Through this voluntary program, the CBP works with the importers, shippers, carriers, brokers and logistics providers to implement best practices for ensuring a safe, secure and expeditious supply chain. Today, there are more than 11,400 certified C-TPAT partners in the program, and these companies account for more than 52 percent of the products imported into the U.S.

C-TPAT Member Benefits

In addition to promoting supply chain security, participating in the C-TPAT program can yield significant benefits for shippers and transportation providers, including:

Fewer customs inspections – C-TPAT certification offers companies the opportunity to decrease customs inspections and documentation reviews. According to the CBP, C-TPAT members are 3.5 times less likely to incur a security or compliance examination. 

Faster border crossings – Members have access to special Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at border crossings, and can move to the front of the line during inspections. This can significantly expedite border crossings at many Canada/Mexico land border ports.

Quick response time – Following a national emergency, companies participating in the C-TPAT program are eligible to resume business first. 

Enhanced reputation – Participating in a national security program reflects a company’s ongoing commitment to safety. Some companies will only do business with importers that are C-TPAT certified–giving members a competitive edge. 

Cost avoidance – By decreasing potential supply chain disruptions, C-TPAT members can avoid costs associated with delayed shipments. Additionally, organizations penalized in any way is eligible to receive up to a 50 percent reduction on the imposed fine. 

Joining C-TPAT

While almost every organization that is involved in the import and export business can enroll in the C-TPAT program, eligibility requirements vary by business type. But to achieve certification, all companies are required to:

-Conduct a risk assessment

-Implement a supply chain security management system that complies with C-TPAT requirements

-Submit a detailed application

 -Meet with CBP representatives to verify security measures

In addition to obtaining their own certification, organizations can support the C-TPAT program by working with third-party logistics (3PL) providers that are also C-TPAT certified. C-TPAT-certified 3PLs act as an additional layer of protection against supply chain attacks, because they operate as an extension of the company’s established security procedures, essentially building a stronger company brand. 

A 3PL with active participation in the Mexican and Canadian markets also brings a portfolio of carriers and companies that are approved by C-TPAT, or that comply with minimum requirements for C-TPAT partners, essentially giving shippers a competitive advantage. 

Addressing Evolving Supply Chain Risks


As supply chain risk continues to evolve, so too do the C-TPAT requirements. In May, the CBP announced that it has added Minimum-Security Criteria (MSC) requirements to the C-TPAT guidelines to help further mitigate risks. Some of the areas that were incorporated and updated in the program’s new criteria included:

-Issues related to cyber security

-Protection of the supply chain from agricultural contaminants and pests

-Prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing

-The proper use and management of security technology, such as intrusion alarms and security camera systems

-Members are expected to implement the new criteria throughout the remainder of 2019, and validation of the new MSC will begin in early 2020.

Support Supply Chain Safety

With security risks threatening supply chains around the globe, it is important for companies to support initiatives that aim to tackle and prevent supply chain risks. By obtaining C-the certification, businesses have the unique opportunity to take an active role in supporting national security while improving their own supply chain operations. 

While there are no costs associated with joining the C-TPAT program, companies often have to invest in improving their practices to meet the minimum-security requirements and effectively maintain a compliant program. However, this investment goes a long way in helping companies mitigate risk, avoid supply chain disruptions and drive greater efficiencies for cross-border transport.  

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Linda Bravo is the Corporate Customs Broker at Transplace, where Sergio Flores is the Safety and Security Coordinator. Transplace is a 3PL provider offering logistics technology and transportation management services to manufacturers, retailers, chemical and consumer packaged goods companies. Learn more at Transplace.com.

corn exports

U.S. Wet Corn Exports Rose for the Third Consecutive Year

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Wet Corn Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the wet corn market in the U.S. amounted to $8.7B in 2018, dropping by -8.3% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Over the period under review, wet corn consumption continues to indicate a drastic deduction. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2016 with a decrease of -1.8% against the previous year. Wet corn consumption peaked at $15.3B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, consumption stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Wet Corn Production in the U.S.

In value terms, wet corn production stood at $9.6B in 2018. In general, wet corn production continues to indicate an abrupt shrinkage. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 when production volume decreased by -1.1% year-to-year. Wet corn production peaked at $16.7B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, production remained at a lower figure.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of wet corn exported from the U.S. stood at 2.1M tonnes, falling by -15.1% against the previous year. Over the period under review, wet corn exports continue to indicate a perceptible decline. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 when exports increased by 5.2% year-to-year. Over the period under review, wet corn exports reached their peak figure at 2.6M tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, wet corn exports stood at $922M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, wet corn exports continue to indicate a deep shrinkage. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 with an increase of 1.8% y-o-y. Over the period under review, wet corn exports attained their peak figure at $1.6B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

Exports by Country

Ireland (493K tonnes), Israel (265K tonnes) and Colombia (147K tonnes) were the main destinations of wet corn exports from the U.S., with a combined 43% share of total exports. Chile, Egypt, the UK, Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal and China lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 39%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by New Zealand (+86.2% per year), while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Chile ($96M), Ireland ($92M) and Colombia ($78M) were the largest markets for wet corn exported from the U.S. worldwide, together accounting for 29% of total exports. Egypt, Indonesia, China, Israel, the UK, New Zealand, Turkey, Morocco and Portugal lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 34%.

New Zealand recorded the highest growth rate of exports, among the main countries of destination over the last five-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average wet corn export price stood at $435 per tonne in 2018, going down by -11.2% against the previous year. In general, the wet corn export price continues to indicate a deep descent. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2015 when the average export price increased by 1.7% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average export prices for wet corn attained their peak figure at $629 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, export prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was China ($1,055 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Portugal ($153 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to China, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced a decline.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, approx. 467K tonnes of wet corn were imported into the U.S.; increasing by 5.5% against the previous year. Overall, the total imports indicated a strong expansion from 2013 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +9.5% over the last five years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, wet corn imports increased by +57.5% against 2013 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 16% year-to-year. Imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, wet corn imports totaled $506M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +7.7% over the period from 2013 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2018 when imports increased by 12% y-o-y. In that year, wet corn imports reached their peak and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Imports by Country

Thailand (128K tonnes), Germany (70K tonnes) and the Netherlands (41K tonnes) were the main suppliers of wet corn imports to the U.S., with a combined 51% share of total imports. These countries were followed by Pakistan, Denmark, France, China, Belgium, Taiwan, Chinese, Poland, Viet Nam and Brazil, which together accounted for a further 34%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by Viet Nam, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest wet corn suppliers to the U.S. were Germany ($84M), Thailand ($82M) and the Netherlands ($46M), together comprising 42% of total imports. France, Belgium, Pakistan, China, Denmark, Taiwan, Chinese, Viet Nam, Brazil and Poland lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 40%.

Viet Nam recorded the highest growth rate of imports, among the main suppliers over the last five-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average wet corn import price amounted to $1,083 per tonne, rising by 6.6% against the previous year. In general, the wet corn import price, however, continues to indicate a mild downturn. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 when the average import price increased by 6.6% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the average import prices for wet corn reached their maximum at $1,194 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Belgium ($2,141 per tonne), while the price for Thailand ($641 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Taiwan, Chinese, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, Ingredion Incorporated, Roquette America, Inc., Penford Corporation, Penford Products Co., Briess Industries, Inc., Rahr Malting Co., Malteurop North America Inc., Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC, Malt Products Corporation, Enjoy Life Natural Brands, Semo Milling, Great Western Malting Co, Western Polymer Corporation, Gro Alliance, Philadelphia Beer Works Inc, Unilever Bestfoods North America, Anderson Custom Processing, Tate & Lyle Americas, Great Western Malting, La Aceitera Inc, Holdings In Zone Inc, Staley Holdings, Cornproducts/Mcp Sweeteners, High Sea Sugar

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

foreign investment

New Foreign Investment Restriction Regulations Cement CFIUS Reform

One of the emerging focal points of the U.S.-China trade war involves the implementation of updated foreign investment restrictions in key U.S. industries. 

On September 17, 2019, the Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations to implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), legislation that sought to reform and expand the scope of foreign investment reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS, an inter-agency committee chaired by the Treasury Department with the authority to review, modify and potentially reject certain types of foreign investment that could adversely affect U.S. national security, has undergone a significant overhaul during the past year in the wake of FIRRMA becoming law in August 2018. It is now more vital than ever that companies understand how their business can be affected by the updated CFIUS regulations when they are seeking or negotiating a merger, acquisition, real estate investment or even a non-controlling investment from a foreign investor.

Typically, CFIUS reviews are voluntary and are conducted for merger or acquisition transactions where a non-U.S. company or a foreign government-controlled entity obtain a controlling interest in a U.S. company. If CFIUS determines that a covered transaction presents a national security risk, it has the authority to impose certain mitigating conditions before allowing the deal to proceed and can refer the transaction to the President for an ultimate decision. 

However, FIRRMA updated and expanded the scope of CFIUS jurisdiction to authorize reviews of additional types of non-controlling foreign investments based on the type of U.S. company involved. The implementing regulations proposed in September 2019 are set to take effect February 13, 2020, and while the CFIUS reform regulations are motivated by concerns directly related to China, the impact of FIRRMA will be felt globally and the new rules will not be tied to or affected by impending trade negotiations. U.S. businesses, particularly those involved in critical technologies, real estate, infrastructure and data collection or maintenance, must take heed of how the updated rules will affect their global business decisions moving forward.

New Regulations for TID Companies Effective February 2020

Effective February 13, 2020, CFIUS will be authorized to review “covered control transactions,” (all foreign acquisitions resulting in direct control in a U.S. business, which CFIUS already had jurisdiction over), as well as non-controlling “covered investments” by a foreign person in a U.S. critical technology, critical infrastructure or sensitive personal data company. The new rules refer to these as “TID U.S. Businesses” (Technology, Infrastructure and Data), or to be more specific, a company that engages in one of the following categories of activity: 

-produces, designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates or develops one or more critical technologies;

-owns, operates, manufactures, supplies or services critical infrastructure; or

-maintains or collects sensitive personal data of U.S. citizens that may be exploited in a manner that threatens national security.

“Critical technologies” include defense articles or defense services under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, certain nuclear-related products regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Controls and certain technologies on the Commerce Control List under the Export Administration Regulations. In addition, “critical technologies” will include certain “emerging technologies” that are yet to be defined, and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security is currently reviewing at least 17 technology areas that are anticipated to result in new controls (including bio-tech, artificial intelligence, microprocessors, positional navigation and timing technology, quantum computing and additive manufacturing (3D printing)). 

“Critical infrastructure” includes key industry subsectors such as telecommunications, utilities, energy and transportation. “Sensitive personal data” is defined to include ten categories of data maintained or collected by U.S. businesses that (i) target products or services to sensitive populations (including U.S. military members and federal national security employees); (ii) collect or maintain such data on at least one million individuals; or (iii) have a business objective to collect such data on greater than 1 million individuals and such data is an integrated part of the U.S. business’s primary product or service. The categories of data include types of financial, geolocation and health data. 

Non-Controlling Covered Investments

Under the new regulations, CFIUS will be authorized to review non-controlling covered investment in TID U.S. Businesses. A “covered investment” includes scenarios where a foreign investor obtains:

-access to material non-public technical information;

-membership or observer rights on the board of directors or an equivalent governing body of the business or the right to nominate an individual to a position on that body; or

-any involvement, other than through voting of shares, in substantive decision making regarding sensitive personal data of U.S. citizens, critical technologies, or critical infrastructure.

Filing a CFIUS declaration for a non-controlling covered investment will remain a largely voluntary process, and parties will be able to file a notice or submit a short-form declaration notifying CFIUS of a covered investment in order to receive a potential “safe harbor” letter (after which CFIUS in most scenarios will not initiate a review of a transaction). 

However, if a foreign government holds a “substantial interest” in the foreign investor that obtains a “substantial interest” in a TID U.S. Business, a CFIUS filing will be mandatory. The updated regulations provide that a foreign government is considered to have a substantial interest in the foreign investor if it holds a 49% direct or indirect interest, whereas a foreign person will obtain a substantial interest in a TID U.S. Business if it obtains at least a 25% direct or indirect interest. CFIUS is also authorized to mandate declarations for transactions involving certain types of critical technology companies. 

The proposed rules also include a “white list” provision providing CFIUS the authority to designate certain “excepted investors” and “excepted foreign states” that may be eligible for an exclusion in connection with non-controlling covered investments. 

Global Impact: How Does This Affect My Business? 

The most important practical effect of the updated regulations is the breadth of U.S. companies standing to be impacted or affected by new foreign investment restrictions. U.S. businesses and industries that have previously never had to consider filing a CFIUS declaration, including healthcare companies, tech start-ups, related infrastructure industries, venture capital funds, emerging technology companies and manufacturers, and any company with access to sensitive consumer data, will now have to contemplate the implications of a CFIUS review when considering even passive foreign investment. Robust due diligence on potential investors will be more important than ever to ensure compliance with both mandatory and voluntary CFIUS declaration filings. Cross-border deals will be a costlier and more time-consuming process that will require acute attention to detail when drafting the contractual rights afforded to foreign investors. 

If you have any questions about the impact of the updated CFIUS regulations or how they may affect your company, please contact a member of Baker Donelson’s Global Business Team for additional information.

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Joe D. Whitley is a shareholder at Baker Donelson, chair of the Firm’s Government Enforcement and Investigations Group and former General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security. He can be reached at jwhitley@bakerdonelson.com

Alan Enslen is a shareholder with Baker Donelson and leads the International Trade and National Security Practice and is a member of the Global Business Team. He can be reached at aenslen@bakerdonelson.com

Julius Bodie is an associate with Baker Donelson who assists U.S. and foreign companies across multiple industries with international trade regulatory issues. He can be reached at jbodie@bakerdonelson.com

 

farmers

Yield Guarantee Program Supports Farmers While Mitigating Financial Risk

Farmers and enhancement opportunities are the primary focus of the latest partnership announced this week between Growers Edge Financial, Inc. and GROWMARK, Inc.

While some might associate the agriculture sector with outdated operations, the two companies will offer farmers an opportunity for enhancing efficiencies while maximizing profits through the Yield Guarantee Program from Grower’s Edge.

“In today’s stressed farm economy, farmers are incredibly wary of taking on more financial risk – even when taking that leap could boost profitability. They need guarantees,” said Joe Young, president and chief operating officer, Growers Edge. “Working with strategic partners like GROWMARK, we are providing the financial incentives farmers need to confidently adopt the new technologies that can ultimately drive their long-term sustainability and business success.”

Through carefully and strategically combining AI from Growers Edge’s Growers Analytic Prediction System (GAPS) and information gathered from GROWMARK’s Product Yield Trials, farmers can now rely on the predictive performance and exactly how to benefit from the technology, minus the increased risk for wasted resources and costs.

GROWMARK is committed to helping our customers grow their bottom line with new ag technologies, which makes Growers Edge an ideal partner for us,” added Lance Ruppert, director of agronomy marketing technology, GROWMARK. “The Growers Edge team is removing some of the risk and creating a new value stream for both the farmer and our technology providers. We think the yield guarantee program will help customers deploy the technologies needed to improve profitability, and we are eager to see it in action.”

To read more about how this is changing farming strategies, please visit: Growers Edge Financial or GROWMARK.

mba programs

QS RANKS THE TOP 10 GLOBAL MBA PROGRAMS

QS is a mid-size company with 250 multi-cultural employees. With offices in London, Paris, Bucharest, Stuttgart, Mumbai and Singapore, QS boasts of a staff that speaks 26 different languages—and that’s just in the marketing department.

Such diversity is required when your company’s mission is to link high achievers from the graduate, MBA and executive communities around the world with employers, leading business schools and postgraduate departments at universities.

QS organizes the largest business education events in the world (the QS World MBA Tour, the QS World Executive MBA Tour and the leading postgraduate studies information event, the QS World Grad School Tour) and produces an extensive product range that includes print and online publications and software solutions.

Another thing the company produces are surveys, including its QS Global MBA Rankings 2019 that can be accessed via TopUniversities.com. Included are the top 250 programs around the planet. What follows are the top 10 with their ranks, program durations, average Graduate Management Admissions Test scores, fees in U.S. dollars and brief overviews.

1. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Palo Alto, California.

Duration: 24 months

GMAT: 732

Fee: $110,000-$120,000

The prestigious private research university is currently overtaking its Ivy League rivals in the selectivity stakes. Its Graduate School of Business (GSB), founded in 1925, is the toughest to get into in the nation, with only a 7.1 percent acceptance rate. The GSB’s distinguished faculty includes three Nobel Prize winners, two John Bates Clark Award winners and 15 members of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences.

2. HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Boston, Massachusetts

Duration: 24 months

GMAT: 730

Fee: $120,000

Harvard Business School (HBS), the Ivy League stalwart’s graduate business school, occupies four buildings directly opposite Harvard Stadium and across the Charles River from Harvard University. The HBS offers a full-time, two-year, residential MBA program designed to prepare students for global leadership roles. But is it worth $120k? Well, a graduate’s average salary three months after leaving the program is $137,293. 

3. PENN (WHARTON)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Duration: 21 months

GMAT: 732

Fee: $120,000

The full-time, 20-month MBA at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania includes a recommended 3.5-month summer internship. Such a commitment is necessary given the requirement for a major concentration of 4.0 credits, with a choice from 19 majors, plus 5.5 electives in addition to the core curriculum. A semester of study at the San Francisco campus is available by application.

4. LONDON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

London, England

Duration: 21 months

GMAT: 707

Fee: $100,000-$110,000

“To have a profound impact on the way the world does business” is the LBS motto, which is drilled into students by a faculty composed of 130 world-leading, internationally diverse (30 nationalities) experts. With 75 percent of the world’s top 500 companies based in London and 1,000 start-ups launched per month in the city, students have access to excellent networking and employment opportunities.

5. MIT (SLOAN)

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Duration: 24 months

GMAT: 728

Fee: $120,000

The flagship MIT Sloan School of Management full-time MBA program is to be completed over two years, while an immersive, one-year, full-time Sloan Fellows MBA program is also available. The latter is a transformational course for mid-career executives from more than 20 nationalities, designed to help students build a global network of colleagues from for-profit and non-profit multinational organizations, entrepreneurial endeavors and governing bodies.

6. INSEAD

Fontainebleau, Singapore

Duration: 10 months

GMAT: 710

Fee: $90,000-$100,000

INSEAD’s accelerated, 10-month MBA program aims to develop successful, thoughtful leaders and entrepreneurs who create value for their organizations and their communities. Conducted on two campuses (one in Europe, the other in Asia), the program draws more than 90 different nationalities to classrooms, an unprecedented multicultural experience among business schools.

7. HEC PARIS

Jouy-en-Josas, France

Duration: 16 months

GMAT: 691

Fee: $60,000-$70,000

HEC Paris MBA is conducted on a 340-acre, wooded campus with its own chateau, just 17 kilometers from the center of Paris. If that’s not enough to have a potential student say “oui-oui,” there’s the fact that HEC Paris is situated in the Paris-Saclay Innovation Cluster, which is designed to unite France’s best research institutions, hi-tech businesses, startups and universities.

8. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO (BOOTH)

Chicago, Illinois

Duration: 21 months

GMAT: 731

Fee: $120,000

The “Chicago Booth Culture” promises to take students deeper into issues, broaden their perspectives and force them to question assumptions—including their own. “Instead of accepting the status quo, you’ll pursue the best thinking,” boast Booth School of Business recruiters. “You’ll develop the necessary skills to successfully take on any business challenge and the opportunities they generate.”

9. IE BUSINESS SCHOOL

Madrid, Spain

Duration: 12 months

GMAT: 685

Fee: $80,000-$90,000

The institution’s full-time, flagship International MBA program is described as a “transformational journey” that “shapes professionals and entrepreneurs, turning them into leaders that generate impact and drive change around the world.” An integrative and innovative approach to business education combines core business knowledge with customizable labs plus an elective period with 10 concentration areas in a full-time, one-year format.

10. COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL

New York, New York

Duration: 24 months

GMAT: 732

Fee: $120,000

The CBS MBA program’s curriculum prepares students to lead, build and manage companies while instilling an awareness of the societal effects of business decisions. “Students benefit from the transformative research and extensive, behind-the-scenes industry knowledge from the faculty leading the course,” according to CBS. “They also benefit from the cultural, ethnic, and sector diversity of fellow students in their learning team, or cluster group, which they join and learn with throughout the program.”

For rankings of the 240 schools and their respective program details, visit www.topmba.com/college/columbia-business-school/full-time-mba.

africa

Africa is Ready for Growth with Support from Trans-Ocean Transportation

RTM Lines is a trans-ocean transportation company headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, with over 39 years of experience in the global ocean carrier business. As a respected ocean transportation provider, we are continually equipping clients with valuable information and insight related to the ocean transportation industry.  Recently, RTM Lines has invested time and research to better understand the growth of African infrastructure and resources; and how those factors affect opportunities for growth and development in the breakbulk and project cargo markets. Research shows Africa resources and opportunities in key locations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Northern Mozambique. 

“Right now, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is sitting on the world’s largest cobalt resource, however the ongoing political turmoil, makes it very difficult to access the cobalt,” said Richard Tiebel, RTM’s Executive Vice President. He states, “Africa is showing more exponential growth than any other continent. Right now, markets like Ethiopia have shown 8% GDP growth, per annum. Analyzation shows there are a number of factors within urbanization, ICT (Telecommunications), and the Extractives Industry (Oil, Gas, and Mining) driving this growth.” 

With an array of potential possibilities for growth in Africa in the coming years, RTM Lines recommends directing attention to trades and the international markets in Africa, specifically in the shipping and trading processes. The growth and opportunities available in the African market, have great potential for clients that develop and understand the Africa market. 

“In the next 4-5 years, city populations in Africa will double, which means the infrastructure will need development. This development will motivate the community to build infrastructure that supply power, water, sanitation, housing developments, and support to serve the new population in the area. Most governments couldn’t support fixed-line infrastructures, but Africa is going through an information, communication, and technological revolution. The private sector is supporting this revolution and allowing Africans to pursue business opportunities. Companies like Microsoft have been investing in some African tech sectors, to develop talent and to take Africa forward,” said Tiebel.

As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 regulation will soon go into effect, Tiebel shared his perspective on how Africa’s natural resources can positively influence the trans-ocean transportation industry. 

Mr. Tiebel states, “the gas in Northern Mozambique is the world’s 12th largest natural gas resource. A lot of infrastructure will be needed in order to get this gas because the town itself is very small and scarcely has roads to support it, no port, no airport, or even power and electricity. The town of Palma will literally be built up in order to access this gas resource offshore.” He continues, “the cost of the IMO regulatory change on the shipping industry is unknown, and though we know the IMO’s decision will impact refiners, producers, bunker suppliers, and more, Africa offers a variety of natural resources to emerge as a major beneficiary of this regulation. This supply of natural resources has the potential to help the trans-ocean transportation industry control the anticipated spike in fuel costs in 2020.” 

RTM Lines is committed to providing customers the information necessary to ship ocean cargo with confidence. Understanding the changes and regulations in these expanding and shifting markets is key to providing smooth transit for infrastructure, mining, and oil & gas project cargo. RTM Lines is both knowledgeable and competent in global operations. Port to port, RTM Lines strives to improve the global trade market and the quality of the ocean transportation industry.