2020 threw at us a potent concoction of virulent market conditions including a pandemic, skyrocketing freight rates, reduced availability of space and equipment on container ships, unprecedented demand and port … Read more here..
Over the years, I have received several queries from readers around the world asking for my opinion and advice on situations relating to shipping and freight fraud..
Many have been duped by forwarders, taken for a ride by shippers and intermediaries, made to pay double so on and so forth..
Here are six safeguards to follow against some of these shipping and freight fraud..
Tenders are an integral part of shipping and freight for the carrier, BCOs and OTI (freight forwarder or NVOCC)..
I headlined this article as “the art of handling a freight tender” because majority of the tenders are quite complicated and capable of pushing people over the edge due to its complexity with its tight deadlines and the nearly impossible task of compacting the costs..
People in our industry who have handled some complicated global freight tenders such as the ones floated by global companies will understand what I am talking about..
So how does the whole thing work and how does a tender influence or impact on a carrier and/or freight forwarder and their business.. Is it really an art..??
Achieving and maintaining profitability has been one of the serious problems faced by many freight forwarders and more so, in these trying times..
A Freight Forwarder is a multi-function agent/operator who undertakes to handle the movement of goods from point to point on behalf of the cargo owner and the essence of freight forwarding is to ensure that the cargo is collected from the seller and delivered to the buyer at the required place, at the right price and in the same condition that it is picked up from origin using the most suitable and optimal resources and routing possible..
While reducing costs, keeping costs low or maintaining the costs over a period of time is key to achieving profitability in freight forwarding, there are also other ways to be profitable in freight forwarding..
COVID-19 is probably the world’s most disliked word currently due to the rampant economic disruption it has wreaked on the world. All countries and all businesses around the world have been affected by this pandemic.
The supply chain industry is one industry that has also been affected severely. The industry has seen a massive drop in volumes, congestion both on land and at sea, job losses etc, although ironically this is one of the industries that has and is helping to fight this pandemic through its movement of essential goods like medical supplies, food and PPE.
At the end of March 2020, we set up a short survey sponsored by Ocean Insights to analyse the impact of the pandemic on the industry and its preparedness.
12,000 clicks of that survey and the analysis and a 95% engagement rate told us that in times of strife, people want to come together, understand what is going on and help each other out of this situation.
So, we got together a team of executives to discuss these issues in a webinar moderated by an equally celebrated and astute industry journalist.
The process of global trade is simple to look at, especially if you look at it from the outside..
- There is a buyer who needs a product ;
- There is a seller who sells this product ;
- They discuss and agree on a price ;
- The buyer pays the agreed price ;
- The seller arranges for the product to be transported to the buyer
End of trade..
Simple, right..?? Many would wish it was so..
While there are several processes and documentary flows involved in trade negotiations, there are even further processes involved in the actual movement of the goods from Point A to Point B..
One such process in the movement of goods that influences product pricing is the process of freight negotiation and freight quotation in which there are several types..
Let us take a deep dive into FAK rates and how it works..
The world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economy has been greatly hit due to this. You may agree that during such time, it’s important more than ever to find ways for saving costs and take all measures possible to safeguard your business.
As a small or midsize business, there is no doubt that you are familiar with the stress of operating on tight margins, and you know how valuable even a small percentage of cost-savings can be to your bottom line.
However, what many small businesses don’t realize, is that their supply chain – particularly when it comes to imports – can be a significant source of cost savings!
If you are in the business of trade and shipping, you would have surely heard of/dealt with freight quotations along the way..
A freight quotation is a document that outlines the charges involved in the movement of cargo from Point A to Point B..
Many customers have lost $$$ on their transactions because of unclear, incomplete or incorrect freight quotations or they do not understand what a freight quotation entails and what it covers..
Here are some tips on how to understand a freight quotation and how to ensure that you get an accurate one..
Imagine leaving your loved ones, boarding a ship (for what you thought was a specified time) and now, not knowing when you will be able to return.
This is the plight of thousands of seafarers the world over, who are working on ships so that you can get everything you need – food, medicines, supplies, provisions, etc.
Everything you see around you has (in all probability), at some point, traversed by sea and made its way to you.
The invisible workforce that makes your life comfortable and convenient are the more than 1.6 million seafarers around the world operating to keep the supply lines moving and alive.
Today on Labour Day, we pay tribute to these brave souls, the backbone of the maritime industry.
In any normal year, hundreds of thousands of containers filled with cargo are abandoned all over the world.
While abandoned cargo could be quite stressful and considered to be a big headache for everyone concerned, a freight forwarder may be especially affected by cargo abandonment.
Here are 10 tips to help you avoid losses due to abandoned cargo..
Freight forwarders are an integral part of the supply chain and global maritime trade..
A freight forwarder serves as a conduit for global trade between importers, exporters, BCOs (Beneficial Cargo Owners) and the transportation and regulatory entities such as shipping lines, customs, port etc..
The moment a freight forwarder signs/accepts a contract with the customer, they are exposed to several unique risks and liabilities..
This article discusses the risks and liabilities of a freight forwarder..
To the uninitiated (which included me at one stage), these industries are same or similar and it might come across that there is no difference between Maritime, Shipping, Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain ..
But once you are involved in the business or know about these businesses, you will very soon understand that these are very different industries with different workings, assets, architecture, requiring very different sets of qualifications, experience, expertise, knowledge and attitudes..
In this article I unpack the difference between Maritime, Shipping, Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain and how it is all connected..
For businesses that ship internationally, return of goods due to damage in transit can be a huge burden in terms of time and money.
Here are six tips on how to prepare your cargo for part or full load shipments and prevent lost revenues when using worldwide parcel delivery services.
Benchmarking – is a business tool used by companies to evaluate and compare the current position and standing of the company against similar companies and organisations in the same business space in the market..
The point of benchmarking is to identify opportunities for improvement of your products and services by comparing your company’s performance, processes, costs against a bigger and better market competitor..
This could mean tweaking your company’s products/services to match the competitor’s offering in the market or by improving your scope of services..
Freight benchmarking is a benchmarking tool in the shipping and freight industry used by various role players in the industry such as BCOs, freight forwarders and shipping lines..
In any trade transaction, there are two parties – the buyer and the seller.. When it comes to a sea freight shipment, either one or both of them may end up paying different sets of charges to different entities..
Not just for newcomers to the business of exporting and importing, this question sometimes perplexes many already in the business..
In this article I dissect this process to explain who pays what charges in sea freight shipment..
So who pays what charges in a sea freight shipment..??