What Does Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Means for the Trucking Industry?

Posted: August 1st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on What Does Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Means for the Trucking Industry?

Amazon.com-Logo
The news that Amazon.com Inc. intends to purchase Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion has sent shockwaves through a number of industries, and trucking is among those sectors that could see significant side effects from the merger of the e-commerce giant and the natural foods supermarket. In contrast to the disruptive impact that the deal is expected to have on the consumer packaged goods and grocery industries however, Amazon’s acquisition presents the potential for positive growth throughout the trucking and logistics sectors–with some causes for concern. 

Many industry analysts believe that the Amazon-Whole Foods merger will provide opportunities for trucking and logistics companies across the country. Amazon intends to keep operating Whole Foods’ 460 stores, and these locations can act as warehouses and distribution centers for a wide variety of goods that Amazon delivers. Put together, the continued emphasis on the importance of brick-and-mortar stores combined with the expansion of Amazon’s distribution network present the potential for increased demand for trucking and logistics services by the online giant. As the CEO of RLS Logistics, Russell Leo, notes, “For trucking and logistics, I see [the Amazon-Whole Foods merger] as neutral if not a positive impact because Amazon is still showing brick and mortar is still key.”

Additionally, in acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon has gained access to a key resource that they have been lacking up until now: temperature-controlled distribution warehouses. Why is this important? Transporting frozen and refrigerated products has been difficult for Amazon and other major internet retailers. By securing an instant network of these specialized distribution centers, Amazon has created the potential for their entrance into wide-scale distribution of an entirely new type of product–and with this expansion comes an increased need for trucking companies to transport goods.

Of course, Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is not without potential cause for concern among those in the trucking and logistics industries. As industry analyst Ben Hartford of Robert W. Baird & Co. points out, Amazon’s “broader logistics ambitions” are still in question, and the internet giant has a long track record of disrupting established business models across a wide range of industries. Opportunities within the transportation industry seem to blossom with this deal, but it is still unclear how Amazon will approach solving its new logistics issues–and if it will do so in a way that benefits or disrupts established companies within the industry. 

Taken together, what exactly does all of this mean for trucking and logistics companies throughout the country? In short, it’s still impossible to say for certain. Many trucking companies–and their drivers–could benefit greatly from Amazon’s growing demand for short-haul trucking routes operated between their new network of Whole Foods stores-and-distribution-centers. Moreover, Amazon’s acquisition is just a piece of an overall acceleration in e-commerce sales, which could help boost the trucking industry even more. Still, Amazon’s history of disrupting established industries in surprising ways means that those in the trucking and logistics sector will have to wait and see how opportunities develop–or fizzle.


What Could A Change In Permitting Requirements Mean For Items Passing Through Malaysian Shipping Ports?

Posted: June 21st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on What Could A Change In Permitting Requirements Mean For Items Passing Through Malaysian Shipping Ports?

Straddle Carrier Northport Malaysia

For those who regularly use Kuala Lumpur or other Malaysian ports as an intermediate or final shipping destination, a new Customs ruling could impact the permitting process. This ruling, which took effect in April 2017 but hasn’t yet been applied, has come under criticism from Malaysian-based shippers, who must now go through the permitting process even when just transferring domestic items from one port to another within the country; however, it could present a boon to foreign shippers who use Malaysia ports. Read on to learn more about the implementation of this Customs ruling and how it may impact the cost and convenience of shipping products from the U.S. to Malaysia.

What does this Customs ruling change?

This ruling would require all shipping firms using Malaysian ports — even those only using Malaysia as an intermediate, rather than a final destination — to apply for approved permits (APs) for a variety of product types. Previously, these permits were required only of items intended for sale or consumption within Malaysia, not those that were being unpacked and reshipped to another foreign destination. 

Once enforcement of this ruling begins, every ship that docks in a Malaysian port must apply for an AP if any cargo falls within one of the 74 enumerated categories requiring these permits. While this added layer of bureaucracy and the additional costs of permitting are already beginning to cost Malaysian shippers in lost profits and volume, the fallout from this ruling could be a boon for U.S.-based shipping companies, who will now be able to transport goods within Malaysia–a privilege once reserved only for Malaysian-based shippers who weren’t required to seek any permits to do so. 

How will this ruling impact the cost and process of shipping foreign goods within Malaysia?

A number of Malaysian shipping and cartage groups have already begun to lobby for exemption from this Customs ruling due to their well-founded fears of losing business to foreign shippers; however, it’s unclear whether these lobbying efforts will meet with success due to the support for this ruling from foreign shippers who do a great deal of business in Malaysia.

Instead of paying a domestic firm to transport your goods to their next destination, risking losses or miscommunications due to language barriers, U.S.-based shippers will be able to handle this all in-house, saving money and improving efficiency while ensuring the safety of the items being shipped.

If your current shipping or cartage company does business in Asia but has avoided shipping to or within Malaysia in the past, it may be worth investigating the cost of shipping through Kuala Lumpur and other nearby ports now that this Customs ruling has been enacted. Even if this ruling is later amended or domestic companies are permitted to apply for exemptions, its April 2017 implementation has sent shock waves throughout the Malaysian shipping industry while opening the borders to foreign shippers.


What Could Changes to The Jones Act Mean for the Shipping Industry?

Posted: May 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on What Could Changes to The Jones Act Mean for the Shipping Industry?

Maritime law is a relatively niche and often misunderstood area of law; indeed, even attorneys may have trouble defining the Jones Act or what it addresses, absent some prior experience in this field. However, for those who work in the marine industry, the protections offered by the Jones Act (most notably its provisions for payment to workers injured on the job) are often deemed crucial for maintaining health and safety at sea.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently posted for comment its proposal to revoke previous letter rulings that it deems inconsistent with the enforcement of coast and maritime laws, including several rulings carving out exceptions to the Jones Act. Some of the changes being proposed, if implemented, may have immediate ripple effects throughout the maritime industry.

Houston Industrial panorama and Port of Houston, Texas LCCN2011630961

What changes are being proposed to maritime law?

The CBP’s proposal is designed to restore certain parts of the Jones Act that were previously superseded or overruled by administrative letters of regulation. One of the primary rulings at issue is the one that has permitted foreign offshore construction vessels to operate in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere on the U.S.-controlled Outer Continental Shelf.

Previously, the Jones Act had prohibited this type of foreign operation absent express permission; under this Act, only a U.S.-built vessel owned and crewed by U.S. citizens was able to transport cargo between two domestic ports. However, lobbying by “big oil” groups, many of whom operate ships built elsewhere and crewed by non-U.S. citizens, eventually led to a regulatory ruling that permitted foreign ships to operate in the Gulf and elsewhere with prior permission.

This presented some problems when legal issues cropped up; foreign ships didn’t always consider themselves subject to other U.S. laws regarding pollution, workers’ compensation, and worker safety, but enforcement authorities were reluctant to act without express standing.

The CBP’s current proposal would roll back these changes, restoring the original Jones Act language restricting maritime operation to U.S.-built and owned ships, all of which are subject to all other relevant U.S. maritime laws.

If these changes are adopted, what will this mean for the maritime industry? 

One immediate change may come in the form of increased national security. Many have pointed out the potential risk of allowing multiple foreign ships near the ports and passageways U.S. ships will need to access in the event of an attack or sudden declaration of war; even if these foreign ships aren’t openly hostile to U.S. interests and don’t attempt attack or sabotage, they may consume valuable resources and take up valuable space needed to protect the U.S. coasts and its citizens.

Restoration of the Jones Act protections can also help border patrol agents better enforce U.S. immigration laws, as it will be much tougher for foreign-born individuals to sneak into the U.S.; under current law, all these individuals need to do is to find employment on a foreign-flagged ship and disembark at any U.S. port to gain entry to the country, sometimes bringing illegal contraband with them.

At World Trade Distribution, Inc. we take national security very seriously, and work closely with United States government agencies at our Customs Examination Station to ensure imported freight is handled safely and efficiently, while complying with all national security regulations.  We also boast the most competitive rates in the industry, with a long reputation of being in good standing with all U.S. government agencies.  Contact us today to get a quote on any customs examinations and importing needs.


How Can the Use of Intermodal Transportation Benefit Your Company?

Posted: April 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on How Can the Use of Intermodal Transportation Benefit Your Company?

Intermodal transportation changed the face of the freight shipping industry almost a century ago, and it is still the preferred method of shipment for most international shipping companies.  Each and every organization that has shipments moving any significant distance should consider using intermodal transportation. Exploring intermodal transportation can add value to the supply chain and even decrease the overall cost of shipping transportation, which in turns benefits the parties on both end of the shipment.

Intermodal shipping containers on a railway flat car

What is intermodal transportation? It’s a term that describes shipping that takes place by truck, train or ship, using an intermodal freight container. These containers are designed to be compatible with all modes of transportation, including trucks, trains and ships.  By transporting your cargo in an intermodal container, it can be moved between any of these modes of transportation without having to actually touch the product. In essence, you just pack the freight container and move it between any of the transportation routes.  By maximizing the different benefits of each mode of transportation, shippers can save big.

How is the service better than OTR shipping?

If you’re looking for the best quality of service in shipping, look no further than intermodal transportation. Thanks to the blend of the different shipping methods in use, shipping using intermodal transportation is faster than traditional trucking methods, and the usage of trains ensures that cargo will arrive at its destination much more quickly.

In addition, new technology has allowed shippers to have more visibility into their shipments than ever before.  Intermodal freight containers are now trackable, which increases the freight management workflow.

Can my shipment be guaranteed on time, for lower costs than OTR shipping?

You need a shipping provider and shipping method that can handle the consistent capacity that you produce. Intermodal freight containers allow for combining LTL’s (or Less-thanTruck Loads), saving clients money by combing multiple shipments in a single container.  No longer does the shipper have to pay for empty space on the truck.  Intermodal transportation provides for reliable capacity since it makes use of trucks, ships and trains. Since there is a driver shortage and shipping activity is overall on the rise, intermodal shipping has become a more attractive option. Instead of paying top rates to guarantee capacity, you can instead opt for intermodal transport. Your freight will arrive on time and at the right price.

How does intermodal shipping save me money?

Finally, the leading reason to use intermodal transportation is that it typically decreases transportation costs overall. Moving freight in intermodal containers alone represents a decrease in transportation spending. Making use of every available shipping route can lead to savings on fuel as well, as using the rails consumes less fuel. When relying on trucks to move your goods, you’re left with most of your money going towards putting gas in the tank. Trains and ships help mitigate this expense.

Again, intermodal containers don’t have to be unpacked and re-packed at every transportation transition, so cost is save on time and man hours.

Each of the above reasons are compelling on their own, but when combined, they formulate a perfect picture for anyone looking to streamline and enhance their shipping infrastructure. You’ll receive top quality service, have a system that can handle consistent capacity and even experience decreased shipping costs.


Can Utilizing Real-Time Data Save Money for Trucking Fleets?

Posted: March 15th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on Can Utilizing Real-Time Data Save Money for Trucking Fleets?

The potential for big data to fundamentally change the way that businesses work is touted across many industries, and the trucking industry is no different. According to Iowa State University researchers, trucking companies stand to save billions annually if the industry can find a way to properly utilize the tremendous amount of real-time data that the U.S. and state Departments of Transportation collect.

How can real-time data help trucking companies save money?

By aiding fleets in avoiding highly congested areas, the state and federal Departments of Transportation’s collected data on interstate and highway operating conditions have the potential to dramatically improve fleet productivity. As noted by Dave Cantor, a supply chain management professor and one of the Iowa State researchers, steering clear of congestion, road work and accidents can help trucking companies boost on-line performance, ensure safer freight delivery, and reduce unnecessary idle time. All of these benefits directly translate into lower operating costs.

Flag of the United States Department of Transportation
However, while the various Departments of Transportation are already collecting this valuable traffic data, barriers still exist that prevent many trucking companies from taking advantage of it. In particular, smaller fleets have the biggest hurdle; the Iowa State researchers found that fleets of less than 100 trucks generally lacked either the manpower or the technology to retrieve and utilize the Department of Transportation’s data.

Besides issues with information distribution, problems coordinating the data itself still exist. Although individual Departments of Transportation collect data, there is little communication between different states. For the many fleets that travel beyond a single state’s borders, this fragmented information could end up containing a lot of holes that reduce efficiency gains.

What are some possible solutions for trucking fleets to access real-time data?

Researchers were able to identify several possible solutions to these data communication issues. The most promising fix involves the use of electronic logging devices. Since all trucks nationwide will be required to have an electronic logging device system installed by the end of 2017, information on road conditions could easily be disseminated to all trucking fleets via these devices. Individual state Departments of Transportation are also working on better information distribution systems; for example, Iowa is currently starting on development of an app or other readily-available communication system that would spread information more efficiently than electronic highway signs.

Indeed, the Iowa State researchers found that coordination between the data gatherers–namely, the various Departments of Transportation–was the biggest obstacle to full-scale utilization of real-time traffic data by trucking fleets. To that end, researchers put forward four key recommendations that they identified as most important to implementing a comprehensive real-time data solution: forging partnerships between Departments of Transportation in neighboring states, digging deeper into the potential cost savings of such a program, forming a coalition between government experts and industry leaders, and exploring potential partnerships with vendors.

Ultimately, a number of issues still need to be resolved before trucking fleets of all sizes can appropriately utilize real-time traffic data to boost their fleets’ productivity and realize the financial gains. However, Iowa State researchers have made a clear case for the benefits that big data can bestow on the trucking industry.


Intermodal Transportation is Important in Helping to Maximize Your Shipping Needs

Posted: February 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on Intermodal Transportation is Important in Helping to Maximize Your Shipping Needs

Intermodal containers in Etobicoke, Canada

As technology has progressed, our economy has become more global than ever before. It is not unusual for companies to ship products across international borders, and while the internet can provide instant communication, physical transportation is still necessary to get products to their final destination. This is where intermodal transportation comes in. For those unaware, intermodal transportation provides increased efficiency when transporting goods long distances because an intermodal container is well-suited for transport by either ground, air, or sea. This use of multiple modes of transportation for a single container is called intermodal transportation, and maximizing the potential of this transportation can improve company efficiency.

Intermodal Transportation Maximizes Shipping Options

Because intermodal transportation is defined by utilizing multiple transportation options for a single container, don’t be afraid to explore all of the alternatives available. There are numerous options on the ground, including rail carriers and trucking options. In addition, traveling by air can always be compared to various ground and maritime opportunities. Some freight shipping companies, such as World Trade Distribution, Inc., have numerous intermodal options for clients to choose from. Your company should investigate all of its options, and balance the price with the timing of their delivery to maximize the value.

There are Alternatives for Shipping Lanes

The entire economy operates by supply and demand and intermodal transportation is no different. For example, if a company is based in a small city, it could be expensive to transport cargo a long distance directly out of this city; however, if the company can get its shipment to a larger city, this large city will have a wide variety of shipping options available. The numerous options could translate to a cheaper shipment price overall that the company could take advantage of. It may be worth it to take a short trip to a large city before booking the long haul. Always look for alternate shipping lanes.

Only Pay for What You Need

When you are approaching an intermodal transportation company with a shipping request, you should look into what their container options are.  Many companies will charge for a full container load (FCL), even if your product doesn’t fill the container, or alternatively make you wait until a container if full before shipping.   It is definitely worth your time to seek out a company that offers light container loads (LCL), and will ship them out immediately. For example, if the shipping order only requires 40 square feet of space, you shouldn’t pay for a 60-foot container just because that is what the shipping company offers you. Your shipment can be paired with others to fill the container, or the company should ship the LCL promptly.

Networking is Important

Intermodal transportation has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and chances are that there is another company in the area that is also taking advantage it. Talk to your fellow local entrepreneurs and ask what they have found that works for them. Perhaps they have found a transportation company that they like or have some tips on negotiating with shipping companies. Networking is a powerful tool that can open doors that you may not currently be aware of. It never hurts to ask around and see what has worked for other businesses in the area.

At World Trade Distribution, Inc., we pride ourselves on competitive pricing and our excellent standards of customer service.  Contact us today to discuss your shipping needs, and let us help you get your products on their way.


Are We Expecting a Truck Freight Boom for 2017?

Posted: January 30th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on Are We Expecting a Truck Freight Boom for 2017?

 

2017 is looking to be a fruitful year for the trucking industry, in particular because of a vastly increased demand which results in higher rates.

Typically, shipments slow down between Christmas and New Year’s Day, mostly because the holiday shopping mania has come to a halt, while, statistically, many people go on vacation. But in late 2016, the demand for trucks and vans along key routes had more than 5 loads per truck. All across the country, cities are seeing an increase in truck loads.  A couple of examples:

  • Memphis had 3,000 loads on one day alone with 10 loads per truck.
  • Atlanta had 4,500 per day with about 3.9 loads per truck.

The rates for outbound reefer loads, which transport perishable goods, exponentially increased the last week of December in Florida, Southern Texas, and Chicago. With the exception of California and Nevada, there was a huge spike in demand for reefer freight nationwide, and there were not enough trucks available to make all of these deliveries. The demand for refrigerated trucks led to rates of $1.95 and $1.96 per mile in November and December, almost on par with the peak rate of $1.98 per mile in June while contract rates for reefers also reached June rates in December at an average of $2.12 per mile. Flatbed rates for December 2016 were up $0.06 per mile compared to December 2015.

US Airmen support Honduras humanitarian aid; Denton Program 140613-Z-BZ170-001

The 18-month freight recession ended in May of 2016 after the industry experienced price drops from the collapse in oil prices in 2014. However, 2017 is heralding a truck freight boom because e-commerce brought on a massive increase in demand both during and after the holiday season. An increase in on-demand freight services has also contributed to a greater need for trucks and vans, including refrigerated vehicles at all times of the year. While oil prices and the state of renewable energy may be unpredictable for 2017, e-commerce alone followed by on-demand and spot market freight services has caused a massive truck freight boom to eclipse the recession.

With the expectation of increased corporate investments and private and public infrastructure spending surges in 2017, it is looking to be an optimistic year for the trucking industry. Rates may also increase if regulations on truckload capacity are lifted as a result of the ELD (electronic logging device) mandate, which smaller fleets are not expected to adapt to until late 2017. Since small fleets capture a majority of the spot freight market, being ahead of the ELD mandate is something to be aware of in order to not miss out on the boom rates that can be enjoyed this year. The combination of political, economic, and regulatory changes is leading to drastic changes in 2017 that are calling for increased demand for truck drivers and all types of freight deliveries.

Don’t forget to contact World Trade Distribution, Inc. for all of your freight transport needs.


Former Cruise Terminal Re-Opens for Vehicle Imports

Posted: December 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on Former Cruise Terminal Re-Opens for Vehicle Imports

Houston’s Bay-port Cruise Terminal was an ambitious project – designed to lure cruise ships to Houston. Built in 2008 at a cost of $108.4 million, the facility was never profitable and actually sat idle until 2012. In February 2016, the cruise lines gave up on the terminal completely, with both Norwegian and Princess pulling out.

The Cruise Trade

 
Carnival Conquest docked in Galveston, Texas

Houston was likely never going to compete for the lucrative Gulf cruise market with Galveston, much closer to the action. One problem being that the several hour trip from Houston to the Gulf happens in inter-coastal waters – where the ships are not allowed to run their casinos. Galveston, meanwhile, continues to expand.
The Port of Houston finally decided to give up on the terminal this summer, as a failed venture. Instead, the authority came to an agreement with Auto Warehousing Co. to turn the site into an import facility for vehicles. They are projecting 36,000 vehicles will come through the terminal in the next 3 years, creating at least 150 jobs.

At the same time, the Port of Houston Authority is changing its name to Port Houston and launching a new campaign – the two things together indicate that there will be changes on the horizon. With the cruise terminal gone and converted, a failed venture has been abandoned and the port can refocus on the crucial international shipping trade, particularly with expanded production of petrochemicals in the Gulf area.

The Future

 
In other words, the loss of the cruise terminal might, in the long term, not be a bad thing. True, Houston has plenty of things to attract tourists – the city has great restaurants and hotels, and attracts top-notch conventions and conferences including some major medical and oil field conferences. However, it was never going to compete in the cruise market.

For those involved in international shipping, the return to a focus on moving containers and trade is likely good news, and while the deal with Auto Warehousing Co. is set for an initial three years, it is likely to bring more traffic and money to the port in the short term – and with luck will last far into the future.

Port Houston is rebranding itself and moving forward, and refusing to dwell on the past. Any successful company should do the same thing. In the meantime, the first ships are pulling up to the retrofitted former cruise terminal and the flow of trade is moving. Although the hotels and restaurants might have lost out a small amount, the fact that the terminal never attracted more than a handful of ships makes this an excellent move for Port Houston and the city in general.


E-Commerce’s Role in the Supply Chain: How Adaptable is Your Fulfillment Process?

Posted: November 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on E-Commerce’s Role in the Supply Chain: How Adaptable is Your Fulfillment Process?

 

E-commerce solutions have become an integral part of the supply chain for online retailers. Choosing an e-commerce provider isn’t just about having an efficient shopping cart system and crunching the numbers on credit card processing fees. What kind of orders your business is shipping, and how your movement of goods is shifting, are things you definitely want to take into consideration.  The main goal in choosing the best fit in an e-commerce provider is finding out weather your e-commerce provider will be able to adapt along with you.

Choosing the Right E-commerce Provider for Your Fulfillment Path

 
The four most common fulfillment paths in modern supply chains would be the following:

  • Drop shipping (shipping goods to the customer from the manufacturer)
  • Direct to consumer
  • Manufacturer to distribution center
  • Traditional store replenishment (manufacturer to retail stores)

Shipments directly to retail stores and distribution facilities tend to be reserved for large shipments, while direct to consumer shipments are often more likely to be small shipments. Adaptability is an important trait in an e-commerce provider if your business is making the shift to do more direct to consumer shipments. Responsiveness from your e-commerce provider is also key to efficient supply chain management, particularly when shifting towards direct to consumer shipments. Rapid delivery is expected in the digital landscape, as is the e-commerce provider’s ability to both make frequent carrier arrangements and meet customer expectations.

Fulfillment Path and Order Patterns

 
Subsequently, this shift in fulfillment paths is changing the way that small businesses place orders. Direct to consumer and drop shipping are sharply increasing across the board, while traditional store replenishment and distribution center shipments are slowly falling in order to keep up with customer demand in real time. For shippers looking to minimize costs and keep up with real-time demand, especially during the holiday season, drop-shipping has become an attractive option for customers purposely looking to online giants like Amazon and eBay. This is especially true of the apparel and consumer electronics industries.

The Role of E-Commerce and Fulfillment Paths in Warehouse Operations

Warehouse goods

No matter which fulfillment path the shipper uses, warehousing is an inevitable part of supply chain management that can present a costly obstacle, but it doesn’t have to. As shippers’ order preferences continue to evolve as e-commerce drives shifts in fulfillment paths, warehouse practices come into question. Picking is the most labor-intensive component of warehousing, and e-commerce providers need to sync with this process. As more upstream distribution partners are expected to support smaller partners and retail stores, picking by pallet or by piece affects overall efficiency. Most retailers are expecting picking by piece to increase significantly, especially during the busy holiday season.

Choosing the Most Efficient Methods

 
After comparing e-commerce providers and discerning which one is the right fit for your business, it’s prudent to examine which fulfillment paths will be the most widely-used in the next year or two, and whether your provider is able to adapt alongside your business. Managing your supply chain doesn’t have to be an ordeal. World Trade Distribution, Inc. can scale your supply chain as your business grows, or maintains its current level of orders.  Contact us today to discuss you warehousing and shipping needs.


Making Black Friday Importing Easier

Posted: November 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Container Freight | Comments Off on Making Black Friday Importing Easier

 

The holidays are upon us and it’s the busiest time of year for shippers/importers. It’s prudent to do all you can to simplify the customs clearance process. This helps ensure that the goods customers want appear on shelves just in time for Black Friday (and warehouses for Cyber Monday.) In the months leading up to Black Friday, freight shipments by truck, plane, and ocean rise significantly so customs brokers are extremely overwhelmed.

Here are some tips to make Black Friday preparations go faster and with peace of mind.

Get in touch with your customs broker as soon as you have an idea of what your shipments will be like

 
Have reasonable sales forecasts done and talk to your customs broker at least 2-5 weeks prior to when you expect your shipments to arrive in time for Black Friday. If you make arrangements too soon, you could have the wrong idea of your order size but if you talk to them too late your goods could be held up before the prime time of year to make money.

Provide all relevant information on commodities

 
Make sure that the customs broker has all relevant information to make entry go as quickly and painlessly as possible. If you’re importing new commodities, you especially need to pay attention to this step. If your commodity is subject to Participating Government Agency (PGA) requirements, you need to take extra time for this.

Take note of tariff codes and all subsequent requirements

 
You need to research that your imports have the correct tariff codes assigned to them and that you understand all the requirements attached to importing that commodity. For instance, you may decide to import a DVD player at the last minute just to find out that your broker needs FDA information and registration numbers. This can cause massive delays.

Take proper precautions against cargo theft

 
The weeks leading up to Black Friday are notorious for huge jumps in cargo theft. Warehouses, drop yards, distribution centers, and trucks themselves become prime targets for hijackers. Make sure that every point of your supply chain has instituted protective measures.

World Trade Distribution, Inc. validates carriers and provides tracking for your cargo. We have more than 17 acres of bonded storage plus a bonded warehouse that is monitored by live guards and CCTV, and an electrified perimeter fence to deter even the most persistent cargo thieves.  In addition, World Trade Distribution, Inc. has on-site US Customs inspectors, as well as other government agency inspectors, helping to make the customs examination and clearance process move as swiftly and easily as possible.

Garment inspection (15714774773)

The weeks leading up to Black Friday can be extremely stressful. With the right planning for getting your goods through customs, then keeping them safe once they make it to port, it doesn’t have to be. Providing all the relevant information about your commodities, and taking extra time to research procedures for commodities you haven’t imported before, will simplify the customs examination and clearance process. Verify the security measures along all points of your supply chain by getting an idea of what kind of validation and physical security is used at each location, and how truck drivers are educated in keeping the cargo safe.