Product Review : Centersource Platform

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Timber is one of the most common and popular forestry products shipped around the world, in various forms, using general-purpose ships, specialised log carriers, and also in containers..

The global export value of just Sawn Timber Softwoods (one of many different types of timber and forest products) is reported to be around $22 billion out of a total forest product export value of around $270 billion..

Due to the nature of the commodity, timber is usually moved in large quantities across various trade lanes and there are several processes to be followed for the shipment..

Right from order placements, creating the required documentation, transferring the same, booking the cargo with the lines, monitoring the movement of the same and ensuring the supply timelines are met, there are many intricate processes involved..

Many of these processes are still done manually, which results in inefficiencies in the business..

As per industry research, people spend a lot of their daily time on below points

  • 40% of their time trying to calculate CIF prices for the product
  • 25% sending offers
  • 65% drafting documents
  • 40% sharing information and trying to stay up to date
  • 20% tracking and tracing their shipments
  • 80% of those interviewed said they use Excel or Shared Folders to organise their shipment deals and files
  • 100% said they communicate using phones and email
  • 100% rely on free-tools (not always the most reliable) to track shipments
  • 64% of the respondents said sharing or collecting market updates is their largest problem

What if there is a platform that says you can do all of the above seamlessly and more efficiently..

As per Centersource, their Timber Exchange platform can do all of the above and even save you money while doing it.. Here is my review of their platform..

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Safeguards against shipping and freight fraud

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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..

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Half of the world’s container cargo data is on a single blockchain platform

Press Release

With two more major shipping leaders actively sharing information, data on nearly half of the world’s ocean container cargo is now available on a single blockchain-based data platform..

Major global container carriers MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and CMA CGM announced on the 15th of October 2020 that they are now integrated onto TradeLens (www.tradelens.com), helping ensure a more fully integrated, timely and consistent view of logistics data for their containerized freight around the world.

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The role of ship agents and shipbrokers in a digital shipping environment

Shipping and Freight Resource Press Release

Ship agents and shipbrokers have been active in the industry since the beginning of commercial shipping and that coffee shop in London and have been playing an important role in the provision of services to various ship and cargo owners..

Digitalization is now changing the environment in which ship agents and also ship brokers operate, and we are seeing new and adjusted services emerging as ship agents and shipbrokers continue to strive to enhance service levels and provide added value to their principals..

This article by Mikael Lind, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), Jonathan C. Williams FICS, FONASBA, Sue Probert, UN/CEFACT, and Juan Carlos Croston, Manzanillo International Terminal (Panama) takes a look at how the traditional roles played by the ship agent and shipbroker might change in this digital shipping environment..

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Shipping your first container..?? Here are some tips to help you

first time

In anything that we do in life, the first time is a scary thought – first time on a bike, first time driving a car, first time swimming, first date, first kiss ……………….. etc..

So why should shipping your first container be any different..??

It could be a scary thought if you are a first-time exporter or importing for the first time, but like everything else, if done and handled correctly, shipping your first container can be a good experience as well..

Here are some tips to assist you in shipping your first container..

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Liner and Tramp Service – similarities and differences

liner and tramp

Currently, there are more than 55,000 merchant ships plying global trade around the world..

These ships include General Cargo ships, Bulk and Break Bulk ships, Container ships, Chemical, Oil and LNG Tankers, Passenger, and various other types of ships..

While these are types of ships, these ships could be operating on two main types of services – Liner and Tramp services..

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What is Dangerous Goods Declaration and who should submit it..??

dangerous goods declaration

The safe carriage of Dangerous Goods requires several considerations, processes of approval, acceptance, carriage protocols and documentation..

For the shipping line/carriers, while containerisation brought along ease of handling cargo, it also brought about the headache of not knowing WHAT IS INSIDE THE CONTAINER..

Carriers have no way of knowing what is inside the container and depend on the STC and SLAC information provided by the shipper..

For dangerous goods, this cargo information is provided to the carrier in the form of the Dangerous Goods Declaration..

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Importance of declaring the correct cargo weight

Featured Image for container weight infographic

Misdeclaration of container weights has been an issue that has been going on for a long time and has plagued many a shipping line, ship and port operators..

In a recent article, I wrote about the basics of container stowage planning and why it is so important..

In this article, I thought it would be worth reiterating the importance of being accurate in the declaration of the weights..

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The basics of container stowage planning and why it is so important

stowage planning and how it works - shipping and freight resource

In view of the recent incidents relating to stack collapses on board and containers lost at sea, I thought a refresher on “What is container stowage planning and how it works” would be in order..

This is also to remind everyone in the shipping chain – exporters, agents, freight forwarders, carriers, documentation teams, vessel operators, and stowage planners, the importance of providing and using the correct information for the planning and stowage of the vessel..

Container stowage planning is an art and I absolutely loved the time when I used to do it.. While there are computer systems to do this these days, the basics remain the same..

In this article I have explained how the stowage planning works and why it is so important..

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Adani successfully completes first export using India’s Inland Waterways

shipping and freight news - shipping and freight resource

On the 30th June 2020, a barge “MV Pruthvi” carrying 45 TEUs of sponge iron left Haldia Docks on its maiden voyage to Dhaka on the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR)..

This first-ever containerised cargo from India to Bangladesh using the Inland Waterways reached Pangaon International Container Terminal, Dhaka on the 12th of July 2020..

This movement which was organised by Adani Logistics Limited in association with Five Star Logistics Private Limited carried the cargo of Rashmi Cement Ltd and Orissa Metaliks Pvt. Ltd..

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