6 points to help you compete in the shipping and freight industry

6 steps to compete in the shipping and freight industry

Competition is one of the constants in business, something that can spur you on and make you better or something that can bring you down..

Every industry has competition in varying degrees.. Some companies look at their competition and say “Yeah ok, whatever” (think Google/Facebook).. Some companies look at their competition and say “Oh crap, that’s close” – like a lot of companies in the shipping and freight industry..

While competition comes in various forms, there are several cases where you may really struggle to find a way to stand out from your competition..

Let me explain further with some examples relatable to the shipping and freight industry..

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Planning to start your own shipping and freight business..?? Read this..

image for stop shipping and freight business

For any business to be successful, one needs to know the business, its model and requirements inside out.. Many businesses start with a great idea..

But there could be big gap between a great idea and a great startup and many people don’t have a clue on how to bridge this gap and may end up spending their life savings to start the business..

Forbes published an article on 10 Reality Checks Before Starting Your Own Business..

    1. Are you ready for the startup lifestyle?
    2. Are there customers with real pain and money?
    3. Is the market opportunity large and growing?
    4. Is this a crowded space already?
    5. Does your solution have hidden dependencies or costs?
    6. Do you have intellectual property to defend against competitors?
    7. Can you build a motivated and qualified team?
    8. Have you looked realistically at the costs?
    9. Do you have stamina and skills?
    10. Going “from” rather than “to”?

 

While the above is good for any business, if you are planning to start your own shipping and freight business, here are 7 reasons why you shouldn’t start your own shipping and freight business..

Yes you are reading it right..

You shouldn’t start your own shipping and freight business if :

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33% of hazardous cargo misdeclarations are willful

maersk honam TSIB report

The meaning of Declare (verb) is to make known or state clearly, especially in explicit or formal terms; to announce officially; proclaim; to state emphatically; to manifest; reveal; show; When none of the above happens, it is termed as “to misdeclare” or “misdeclaration“.. … Read more here..

Electronic bill of lading – are you and your country ready for it..?? – Part 2

electronic bill of lading - mletr

In Part 1 of this article I wrote a bit about the history of globalisation and trade and its connection with the bill of lading and the road to Electronic Bills of Lading..

I also posed the question whether you and your country are ready for electronic bill of lading..

An electronic bill of lading is a paperless bill of lading that is issued electronically said to fulfill the above functions in the same manner as a traditional paper bill of lading..

Many believe that the electronic bill of lading will be a game changer in the shipping industry with its faster, efficient transactions, reduction in costs with greater security and less risk..

While various countries have various regulations and legislations which allows contracts to be created and signed electronically, the legal status of the electronic bill of lading seems clear as mud..

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Maersk Essen – containers lost at sea – update

lashing containers

Further to previous reports about containers falling overboard from the Maersk Essen, it has been reported that the vessel has arrived at Lazaro Cardenas, modern, deep-water port on the Pacific Coast that serves Mexico City..

But the vessel will only berth on the 30th of January after which cargo operations will commence.. As per WK Webster, a general average situation could be looming..

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Transnet National Ports Authority moves headquarters to Ngqura

Transnet National Ports Authority - shipping and freight resource

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is one of six operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd. The National Ports Authority is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning of the national port system, which it manages in a landlord capacity.

It provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa – Richards Bay, Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mossel Bay and Ngqura. It operates within a legislative and regulatory environment and is governed by the National Ports Act (Act No. 12 of 2005).

As part of Transnet SOC Ltd’s (“Transnet”) ongoing cost-saving and efficiency initiatives, the National Ports Authority (TNPA) is consolidating its various corporate offices -currently split between Johannesburg and Durban – into one – at the eMendi administration building, Port of Ngqura in Port Elizabeth.

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Stop discriminating against seafarers and enable crew repatriation

seafarers are keyworkers

It is very disheartening to see that commercial and business travelers are allowed to travel all over the world using the same planes and airports, but seafarers are not allowed to do so.. That is pure discrimination and gross violation of human rights..!!

Spare a thought for these brave souls as they wait in anticipation just to get home after working non-stop for months, some even after their contracts have expired and without pay………….

Will declarations like the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change make a difference unless all Governments actually do what is humane and necessary..??

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Flag States and their performance – 2020/2021

News - Shipping and Freight Resource

The country where the ship has been registered is called a FLAG STATE and this registration grants the ship physical and legal protection afforded under that that flag/flag state which is usually applied to vital areas such as safety of cargo and life of those on board the ship..

Flag states have the legal authority and responsibility to enforce regulations upon vessels that are registered under its flag, including regulations relating to inspection, certification, safety, and pollution and a ship owner or operator who registers their ship under a flag must meet the standards set by the Flag State and ensure that national and international regulations are being met..

The International Chamber of Shipping has released the Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table for 2020/2021..

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New feature to provide a solution to containers lost at sea

lashing containers

According to recent researches conducted by the World Shipping Council and others, thousands to tens of thousands of shipping containers are lost at sea each year.

As a result, the world’s waterways contain, at any moment, thousands of shipping containers floating just below the waterline.

These lost shipping containers are standing in the path of crowded shipping lanes, and present a significant danger to vessels and their passengers.

So far, tracking down these containers was a near-impossible task, but now, there is hope, and it is directly tied to a global effort to make shipping containers, the veins of the global economy, smarter.

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Another one bites the dust (well ocean floor) – Maersk Essen loses 750 containers overboard

lashing containers

In the latest incidence of containers falling off the ship, it has been reported that the Maersk Essen, a 10 year old mega container ship with a 13,100 TEU capacity has lost 750 containers overboard..

The Pacific Ocean is yet again the scene of this incident coming close on the heels of the ONE Apus maritime disaster in December 2020..

And yet again, heavy weather is said to be the reason for this loss as well..

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Hydrogen council welcomes MSC into its fold, reaches 100+ members mark

News - Shipping and Freight Resource

A study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), revealed that liquid hydrogen could power nearly all container vessels crossing the Pacific Ocean, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world..

The ICCT study found that 99% of the transpacific voyages made in 2015 could have been powered by hydrogen and fuel cells by replacing 5% of cargo space with extra storage for the clean fuel, or by adding an additional port of call to refuel..

The Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led coalition has been working to enable the global energy transition through hydrogen..

The Hydrogen Council’s efforts have been buoyed by the joining of MSC – the world’s 2nd largest container shipping line..

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ONE Apus – Container stack collapse – Update – 8th Jan 2021

ONE Apus maritime disaster - shipping and freight resource

The latest update on the ONE Apus maritime disaster is that the discharging operations of the remaining containers has recommenced as of the 5th of January 2021 and since the first day of container discharging at Kobe, a total of 212 boxes have been safely discharged as of the 7th January 2021..

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Competitive advantage in timber supply chain through digitalisation

Centersource White Paper - Shipping and Freight Resource - digitalisation of timber supply chain

For many customers, the shipment of timber products can be as problematic as it is valuable as it requires close coordination between the various parties..

Speed to market is quite crucial in this business, as is slow steaming or longer transit, to avoid tariff increases in some cases or to adjust the delivery schedules to suit the customer’s requirement..

All these factors together determine the actions that the timber companies must take in order to have a competitive advantage in the market..

Centersource Technologies, an independent digital marketplace and supply-chain automation platform has released a White Paper that provides answers to these questions..

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