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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First cross-bank blockchain based letter of credit transaction completed

Press Release - Shipping and Freight Resource

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).

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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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What is a Certificate of Origin..??

Certificate of Origin Shipping and Freight Resource

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..

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Synopsis of the webinar on the future of global supply chains

synopsis of the webinar on the future of global supply chains - shipping and freight resource

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.

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

Webinar

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..

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

sales contract and trade

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..

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The beginning of the end for the Paper Bill of Lading

My Opinion

Many things have changed in the last 30 years in shipping and freight..

Many positive new developments have taken place with things from the vintage days of shipping either obsolete to almost obsolete now..

If you look at many of the news items about the industry recently, there has been a certain buzz and intensity around the electronic bill of lading..

I am fairly confident that people entering the shipping and freight industry in the next decade will be told that 2020 was the year that saw the beginning of the end for the paper “Bill of Lading” and the year in which the switch to “Electronic Bill of Lading” (eBL) began in earnest..

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

FAK Cargo - Rates - Shipping and Freight Resource

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..

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