More RFP'S or RFQ’s In Freight Transportation

More RFP’S or RFQ’s In Freight Transportation

Lately are hearing  this word more and more, some call it Request of Proposals (RFP) and some refer to it as Request of Quotes ( RFQ ). This time around…

More RFP’S or RFQ’s In Freight Transportation
Are You Importing Legally?

Are You Importing Legally?

The product you are buying might not be as simple to import as you think. Before you order your product, be certain that the product you are importing is allowed…

Are You Importing Legally?
The Government Shutdown

The Government Shutdown

The United States federal government entered a shutdown from October 1 through 16, 2013, and curtailed most routine operations after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. During the shutdown,…

The Government Shutdown
Cargo Theft

Cargo Theft

It’s not a topic you hear about every day, you may not have heard about cargo theft headlining the news. Crime of such nature had become more organized and more…

Cargo Theft
Abandoned Cargo

Abandoned Cargo

Freight that has not been accepted or claimed by the consignee or is undeliverable due to error or omission on the part of the shipper, consignee, or owner or for…

Abandoned Cargo

    Scenic Hudson River Valley

    Ever drive the same locations over and over again, but yet this time the panoramic view caught your eye? It’s some of these nearby destinations in New York, that we take for granted but if we actually give ourselves the time to take in these breath-taking views, you will be amazed of the amazing landmark destinations that we are surrounded by. Take for example, the Hudson River Valley, not only is it an incredible scenic view in itself but it’s surrounded with many other equally as incredible scenic landmarks. The Hudson Valley gained its popularity in the 19th century by the stories shared from Washington Irving.

    Because of the stories fromIrving, theHudsonValley began to gain a reputation of being a gothic-like region. In particular, the eerie reputation was reaffirmed byIrving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Nevertheless, theHudsonValley is an undeniably spectacular scene because of its natural beauty, which earned its name of “America’sRhineland.” Surrounding the Hudson River Valley, there continues to be nearby scenic landmarks that I believe are worthwhile, and below I will mention a few of the many. [Read more...]

    Is The Cheapest Always The Best?

    Keep getting cheaper rates?  Keep shipping with the cheapest possible rate out there and saving your company on the freight costs? This may not be the smartest move. For example, as an importer you get $1000 ocean freight rate from point A to point B for a 20FT container. In order to reduce your cost, you forward it to couple different companies asking better rates and you end up getting $950 from XYZ Company. Good deal right? You are saving $50 per container..

    Let’s assume you ship 200 containers per year and your annual freight savings will be $10,000. With one email and spending not much time you have this amount saved for your company. Good deal and good savings.. OR is it really? According to the new Plimsoll Analysis Reports, out of TOP 400 freight forwarders in the world 116 of them have been classified as in danger and struggling for survival ( proud to say MTS Logistics is rated as strong which reflects the excellent financial status and stability).  82 companies have made losses for two consecutive years. [Read more...]

    Because Soccer Roots Run Deep

    Kicking around a ball with friends from the moment you get to stand on your own two feet, they say that’s when it starts. But in certain corners of the world the case is more profound. In those places, soccer is not a sport a kid takes up just because their parents enjoy it, because their friends are doing it or because they need an after school activity. To them soccer is everything, they wake up to it, go to school with it, come back home and talk about it at dinner tables, are out in the streets or (if dealt a favorable card) on a green field playing and right before bed pray for it but not in a routine manner, they mean it because what they are asking for is straight from the heart and pumps through their blood like mad. In some countries that’s what soccer is, as integral a part as their government and as important a knowledge as their primary language, regardless of the funds they often may lack. Come this summer, soccer will mean that much more to them.

    Carlos Terreros, a 21 year old from Ecuador puts it like this: “it’s the activity that brings me the most happiness.” Carlos lives with his parents, grandfather, older sister and younger brother in a fairly small home right outside the city of Guayaquil. The area is not the most picturesque that Ecuador has to offer but the humble nature of the home is charming. Soccer holds a strong presence in this household; clothing, gear, photographs, newspaper cutouts, trophies etc. [Read more...]

    The Panama Canal is Already Open

    Reading the title many will think that I am mistaken by the fact that the Panama Canal won’t truly be open until late 2015 and possibly even into 2016 given the current time tables. Yet, what I am referring to is that the Panama Canal is already expressing its impact on East and Gulf Coast ports. Every time I attend a conference, meeting, or industry event, I am constantly asked what I believe the impact will be of the expanding canal.

    These conversations always start with two schools of thought, first, the expansion will not bring about any change in trade lane growth, or second, that the expansion will be similar to flood gates opening with larger vessels flying through to bring cargo to expanding ports. Both mindsets could of course potentially be correct and only time, and well rates will help determine the accurate answer. However, in the interim, and for good measure of debate, my responses are always simple. The expansion has happened and is happening as we speak. [Read more...]

    Space Commerce: The Future Market Place.

    Imagine if not for our brave ancestors, risking their lives to discover the undiscovered, crossing uncharted territories, voyaging through seemingly endless bodies of water with no man or land in sight for days and months. Then our existences will be left unknown to others, leaving ourselves to our own ignorant existence. It’s through each new discoveries in new technologies that the logistics industry had flourished through each technological advances from land, water to air such as the invention of locomotive, steam ship or airplane, connecting consumers and suppliers through all means of transportation.

    We had advanced through many technological means of transport.  Now we are at a cross road to the next big thing in our industry, no it is not better efficient burning fuels vessel nor it is faster vessel, it is space commerce. Embrace yourselves for a new world, a world with endless space of opportunities, a new market place in outer space. You may be wondering what does outer space has to do with shipping or supply chain blog? Why NASA has anything to do with this industry? [Read more...]

    Why West Coast & North West of S. America Will Be An Important Export Market For NVOCCs?

    Most probably you will be reading this article while I am in Sao Paolo, Brazil. I am going there every year around this time for Intermodal (“the” transportation show for S.America), to meet with old/new colleagues and partners that come all around Latin America. When I say S. America, most of you will be pointing out Brazil, of which you are right, however my focus on this article will be on Colombia and countries at Southwest of Colombia, including Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Peru.

    Firstly, except Ecuador, all these countries are Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Partners with USA. What this means for an exporter in USA other than zero tariff rate is, increased transparency, improvement on the business environment and reduced market access barriers related with the governments. Besides that US Department of Commerce has an initiative called “Look South” to promote this export lane for American companies.

    Secondly, all of these countries have a consistent forecasted growth rate. Not only the numbers but also the infrastructure investments in each of these countries are supporting this fact. They all have a rapidly growing base of middle-class consumers and diversifying industries that can only be supported by imports. [Read more...]

    Backpacking in Asia

    If you have yet to explore the magnificent continent that is Asia, you are in for the treat of a lifetime. Covering almost 30% of earth’s land surface, it requires time and patience to discover it’s many gems. However, it doesn’t require a fat wallet. Whether you want to follow the Banana Pancake Trail or create your own route, traveling within Asia is incredibly cheap.

    You can get by on as little as $15 USD per day if you want, though $25 is more realistic. A bus crossing country borders often costs as little as $2, and plane tickets within the continent are at times so inexpensive that you will find yourself double checking the price to see if it is accurate. You can find rooms for as little as $2-5 USD in parts of Cambodia and Laos. In Thailand, you will typically pay $6-13 USD per night. In Vietnam, expect to pay $5-8 USD. In Indonesia, between $8-10 USD. This opens a world of opportunities for a curious traveler hungry for an adventure in a continent that functions entirely different from it’s western siblings. [Read more...]

    Is 3PL For You?

    Outsourcing your logistics needs to a 3PL service provider might be a question that you ask yourself when your company is climbing the ladder. While it’s a relatively easier decision for smaller companies, there are many things to consider for bigger companies. Most companies are up for it to reduce their costs, improve the service efficiency, focus on their core business, or because they lack of expertise on some of the logistics components.

    Most of the smaller companies outsource their 3PL needs because they usually don’t have the means to build staff and operate the team, facilities, infrastructure on their own. Any they seek assistance of 3PL companies for single or multiple services such as domestic transportation, warehousing, international transportation, inventory management, order management and fulfilling etc. On the other side the bigger companies who already have initial investments on their logistics structure need to consider whether they can or they want to commit to continuous and unpredictable investments to improve their capacities and capabilities. [Read more...]

    Air Pollution

    Air pollution gets worse and worse each year and countries are trying to solve at least decrease this major problem by different solutions since it brings many troubles into human life such as triggering asthma attacks, reduces the function of children’s lungs, heat-related disease and illnesses, infectious disease, drought and floods.

    Last Friday, pollution levels hit 180 micro grams of PM 10 particulates per cubic meter in Paris more than double the safe limit of 80. After this big pollution level the French government decided to let only odd-numbered number plates drive on Monday and only even-numbered number plates on Tuesday. Motorcycles were also covered by the ban. There were exceptions for taxis, commercial electric and hybrid vehicles and for cars carrying three or more passengers. Ministers acted after air pollution exceeded safe levels for five days running in Paris and surrounding areas. The measure has been tried once before in 1997. [Read more...]

    New Trends In Shipping Industry

    In today’s dynamic business environment, no single strategy seems to be useful in terms of predicting & implementing a long term plan to outbid the competition and shipping industry is one area that is also proving this. There used to be a time where big importers were given a contract that rates were valid one year with an exception of PSS (peak season surcharge) which is applicable mainly to Asia market.

    The contracts were given to really big importers like 1000 Teu or more & remaining of the market was served by small to medium size forwarders and even their rates were steady through the whole year. Then came the Grand Recession in 2008 and all the calculations done based on economic growth and new vessel orders changed the dynamics in shipping industry, let’s evaluate the new trends happening due to this change:

    In 2012, carriers announced 8 total GRI’s during the year and most of the announced GRI’s were at minimum $300/40 and in 2013, that # went up to 9 months, with the exception of February till April where Chinese new year effects are in effect, we had a GRI every month last year. [Read more...]