What is AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) and what it means for South Africa

AfCTA - what it means for south africa - shipping and freight resource

The continent of Africa comprises of 55 countries with about 1.35 billion people (16.72% of the global population) calling it home. The continent has a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion, a vast untapped potential and some of the fastest growing economies of the world.

But trade within the African continent is the lowest globally with more trade done from Africa outwards rather than inward.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which started as a journey over four decades ago with the adoption of the Monrovia Strategy in 1979, the Lagos Plan of Action in 1980, the Abuja Treaty in 1991 and subsequent Decisions and Declarations adopted during various summits has finally come to fruition with the commencement of trading as of the 1st January 2021.

Anup Rampiar takes a look at what is AfCFTA and what it means for South Africa and the African continent in general.

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Is there a connection between Incoterms® and the shipping line..??

Opinion Piece

– Is there a connection between Incoterms® and the shipping line..??
– Should Shipping Lines be concerned with Incoterms®..??
– How does Incoterms® affect the shipping line..??

These are few of the questions raised by readers who have complained that their booking was on FCA, FOB, CIF etc but the carrier refuses to show this commercial information on the bill of lading.. Commercial information includes details about the Incoterms®..

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Executive Insights – Jan Hoffmann, Chief of Trade Logistics – UNCTAD

Jan Hoffmann - Executive Insights - Shipping and Freight Resource

Executive Insights is a series by Shipping and Freight Resource that provides insights and thoughtful analysis about the industry..

This series features selected individuals from the industry and is aimed at enriching the knowledge of the readers with what is happening in the shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, and supply chain industry..

Executive Insights also gives you a chance to pick the brains of these industry veterans, leaders, and enablers..

In this edition of Executive Insights, we caught up with Jan Hoffmann Chief, Trade Logistics Branch of UNCTAD, on what drives Trade Logistics and how UNCTAD is enabling trade and helping various countries achieve their full potential..

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Carriers struggle with container shortages while rollovers increase

cargo rollover

Carriers struggle to cope with equipment shortages as transshipment ports see an increase in October cargo rollovers, reveals the latest Ocean Insights data.

Strong demand for container shipping space on major trade lanes from Asia to Europe and North America saw cargo rollovers increase month-on-month in October as carriers struggled to keep ocean supply chains operating smoothly.

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What is a HS Code..??

What is HS Coder

You would have seen this terminology called HS Code across many trade documentation or correspondences..

What does this HS Code mean, who uses it and what is it used for..??

HS Code stands for Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System..

This is the common standard worldwide for describing the type of commodity..

Every commodity that enters or crosses most international borders have to be declared to customs by means of a HS code.. This helps in standardizing the commodity codes worldwide..

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Fonterra completes first blockchain trade transaction using Wave’s BL

Press Release - Shipping and Freight Resource

Fonterra, one of the world’s leading international dairy processors, has completed its first e-presentation for a shipment from New Zealand to China using WAVE BL’s blockchain-based technology with HSBC as the banker.

This fully digital end-to-end Letter of Credit presentation, in which digital documents were cryptographically signed and presented using WAVE BL’s platform, is an example of the regular flow of documents between companies and banks during the international exchange of goods.

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Product Review : Centersource Platform

pr

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

featured image for fraud post

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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Defeating demurrage and detention with data – Register for the Webcast

To many customers around the world, demurrage and detention costs represent some of the most expensive fees that they will incur in the process of a trade transaction..

Although demurrage and detention are not standard charges that are applicable on every shipment, there are many shipments on which these charges are levied..

They are probably two terms that top the list of controversial charges levied by shipping lines on customers..

The seriousness of demurrage and detention charges is evident when you consider that EVERY shipment has the potential to incur both these charges during loading and unloading..

Demurrage and Detention really are avoidable costs and it is something that can be defeated with data..

Learn exactly how, in a webcast which focuses on ways and means customers can reduce and/or avoid demurrage and detention charges through the effective usage of data..

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8 tips to help you master the art of handling a freight tender

the art of handling a tender

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..??

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