Monday, November 28, 2022

Trade

Ocean Insights’ Report Warns of More Supply Chain Delays

February 11, 2021. : Chinese quarantine measures are grounding truckers, just as maritime carriers are clearing out backlogs. The Chinese New Year is exacerbating COVID-19-related...

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala set to become WTO’s first woman director-general

With the dropping out of South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee from the race for Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the path is now clear for Nigerian economist and former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organisation.

Okonjo-Iweala, has been favoured by many WTO members, including the European Union, China, Japan and Australia to become the 7th Director-General of WTO.

African Continental Free Trade Area and what it means for South Africa

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.

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

- 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®..

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

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..

Issue with certification agency on exports to China

A question from a reader about an issue with a certification agency which lead to the reader's containers being stopped by customs in China.. Comments welcome..

Carriers struggle with container shortages while rollovers increase

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.

What is a HS Code..??

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..

Safeguards against shipping and freight fraud

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..

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..

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

First cross-bank blockchain based letter of credit transaction completed

Standard Chartered announced the successful completion of the first cross-bank Letter of Credit (LC) transaction between Vietnam and Thailand conducted over blockchain, in partnership with Asian Development Bank (ADB), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and Standard Chartered Bank (Thai).

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

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..

What is a Certificate of Origin..??

If you are in the business of international trade you would have no doubt heard about a Certificate of Origin.. But not everyone is familiar with what is a certificate of origin, why it is required, who issues it etc.. This article aims to clarify these points..

A Trade agreement is a contractual arrangement between countries concerning their trade relationships and how they conduct trade with each other..

Customs department in the importing country may require a “proof of origin” in order to determine whether or not the cargo that is imported may be subjected to trade measures such as the preferential duty tariff (for stuff that is imported from with the PTA bloc), free trade deals, prohibited goods etc..

Synopsis of the webinar on the future of global supply chains

The latest WTO statistics say that world trade is expected to fall by between 13% and 32% in 2020 as the COVID 19 pandemic disrupts normal economic activity and life around the world. A resilient supply chain is essential to ensure a strong global trade.

Our survey on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the supply chain industry revealed how vulnerable the industry was with the results showing that 35% of the market was totally unprepared for it and 59% of the market was severely impacted by it.

Based on these results, on the 4th of June 2020, we organised a Webinar sponsored by Ocean Insights on how the future of global supply chains would look.

This webinar, hosted by Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor of the JOC featured Steve Kranig of IM-EX Global, Inc., Pritam Banerjee of Asian Development Bank and Robin Jaacks of Ocean Insights as panelists.

For those of who missed out on this insightful and informative webinar, here is a synopsis of what was discussed.

Want to learn how to use Incoterms® 2020 effectively..?? Then read this..

For the past 84 years, Incoterms® has been the cornerstone of global commercial trade, for robust trade negotiations directly or indirectly between parties and the rules have become the standard in international business rules.. BUT, THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM..

As per Emily O’Connor, Director of Trade and Investment for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), “people will frequently choose the wrong Incoterms® rule for their transaction”..

O'Connor has emphasised the importance for anyone who uses the Incoterms® rules to learn or re-learn them – even if you consider yourself an expert – in order to avoid costly mistakes in the process of shipping their goods..

There are several consequences of using the incorrect Incoterms® and users need to fully comprehend what it means when they put a three-letter Incoterms® rule into their sales contract..

But no worries, credible and reliable guidance is at hand for you now..

What is a letter of credit, how it works and who needs it..

Many of you would have come across the term Letter of Credit (L/C)..

If you are a shipping line, you would have heard this term from various customers asking you to expedite the draft bill of lading for checking by the bank or for the release of the bill of lading to be expedited because the shipment is under L/C..

If you a freight forwarder or agent, you may have been put under pressure by the BCO to get all the documents required by the L/C sent to them in time..

If you are a BCO, you may have been told by your bank that the documents submitted do not match the requirements of the L/C and some of the documentation may need to be redone..

So what exactly is a Letter of Credit, what is the need for a letter of credit, who issues it and how does it work..

FAK it.. A deep dive into FAK rates and how it works..

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..

Understanding a freight quotation and tips to ensure an accurate quote

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..

How sanctions affect shipping companies and trade

The dictionary defines Sanctions as "Sanctions are measures taken by countries to restrict trade and official contact with a country that has broken international law.". Whether economic or political in nature, Sanctions have a real impact on the economy and can affect the interests of those engaged in businesses including international shipping. The US and EU imposed sanctions on Russia due to the latter’s aggression against Ukraine. Here is a look at the impact of these sanctions on the interests of shipping companies.

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