Cold Chain Logistics Management

5 key potential risks involved in Cold Chain Logistics Management

Cold Chain Logistics is no different than any other logistics operation having all the perils of the normal logistics and to add on it also has its big share of dealing with all the usual adversaries that affect a normal logistics as well as many others of its own. Many important aspects have to be considered as a risk by a freight forwarding company during handling cold chain transporation.

There can be seemingly unrelated events in providing cold supply chain logistics solutions that can impact a shipment out for delivery and which in no way can be handled by the logistics team. This is more when it comes to temperature-controlled logistics and that is the inherent volatility of a supply chain. Some of the many things that could affect changes in any shipping and logistics strategies can be socio-political unrest, wars, geological events including labor shortages.

Hence from a shipper’s perspective what one can do is to mitigate the risk and expect the worst and strategically evaluate the best options particularly while handling high value and volume shipments. As it’s imperative to say that the supply chain is a costly business in particular when you need to handle a cold chain.

The cost involved while handling cold chain is one that cannot be ignored especially when you evaluate the importance of transporting highly valuable and life-saving items. Hence means and modes have to be taken into consideration and evaluated meticulously to reduce cold chain management risk while still managing your supply chain expenses.

Let us understand the 5 things that can go wrong despite cold chain risk management.

Globally uniformity in infrastructure: Logistics is all about transporting goods from one location to the other and many a time it also crosses international borders. Though there have been scientific advances that have given us the leverage of more efficient and reliable cold chain technologies yet one cannot expect the same kind of uniform infrastructure in every country or location. Hence many times cutting edge tech can often stumble due to the lack of the simplest requirement of infrastructures.

Regulations implemented on cold chain management :
Supply chain managers must be well updated with the global scenario of events and regulations across countries. This always includes the various political and socio-economic developments that many times can force the logistics company to even change their route plans. This can have serious effects when you are handling cold chain transportation. It is not only the political and economic scenarios that can post a threat to your transportation but also the climatic and weather patterns that also can contribute to disruption in operations.

High-security risk in transportation and handling :
Imagine you have a temperature-controlled and sensitive vaccine that needs to be transported and in particular, one that has reentered a supply chain operations after been once stolen. In such cases, improper security measures can be a daunting task as it will affect the likelihood of damages that will go unnoticed. This can be a danger to human life as well.

Retailer handling in the cold chain:
Logistics is never completely free from human handling and one of the major challenges is to be sure how the retailers handle and store cold chain products when it comes to food and vaccines. Retailer’s understanding of how the products need to be handled and the way it has to be stored is a major threat to the quality of such products as this if not properly done can be harmful to the end consumers.

Distribution and delivery risk:
There are two aspects in a distribution process which is one that of transporting of goods and the second being how you store the products while in transit and at the end destination. One can be sure about the storage aspect of the cold chain management as various warehouses are fully equipped today but the concern remains about temperature management.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
The challenge in any cold chain management is to deal with the various risks involved with strategic planning and dealing with unforeseen events that can disrupt your operations. There is no scope for errors in this line of operations as many times you will require to transport goods such as life-saving vaccines and medicines. Hence a proper real-time monitoring system is quite essential to keep track of your temperature-controlled shipments from transit till it reaches the warehouse.

Phamaceutical Transportation

Special key points to know while shipping Pharma products

Pharmaceuticals globally is a big business and industry as according to the recent statistics nearly 4.5 million Americans are employed in this sector alone. It is also worth noting that the Bio-Pharmaceutical industry in the US contributes to around 1.3 trillion to the world economy every single year and it keeps growing. Hence one can imagine the demand and the scale of operations involved to supply such a large requirement globally.

Shipping pharmaceutical products is not a cakewalk as it requires special know-how because mostly they are of high sensitivity in nature and have to be delivered in a time-bound manner.

They are the most complex than any other product to be shipped and hence involves a lot of guidelines and regulations that need to be followed and adhered to. After all, it is medicines that are to be shipped which is ultimately consumed by people for their medical ailments.

One of the key factors that makes it such a complex operation is that the pharmaceutical products are to be kept safe and beneficial to the end-user after the transportation is carried out. This involves immaculate planning and checks where proper inspection and care has to be assured from the factory to the point of delivery about the integrity and quality of the product. Both the pharmaceutical industry as well as the shipping industry have to work under tight regulations and scrutiny while carrying out the transportation operations.

Various factors play a major role in assuring the safe and secure transportation of pharma products to the end consumers.

Maintain Pharmaceutical Temperatures: One of the key concerns while transporting pharma products is the temperature to be maintained. The desired temperature that needs to be maintained is around 55 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the shipments to maintain product stability. Hence products must be shipped in contained that are well insulated in refrigerated trucks that can maintain these temperatures even if the normal weather is hot. The cold chain also known as reefer trucks can be used as they are designed to hold such temperatures.

The packaging is very crucial: Another very important rule when shipping pharma products it the quality of packaging. Packaging has to be thoroughly inspected and has to be shipped in climate-controlled trucks and insulated containers. Many a time shippers use thermal pallets when moving such products as they can provide another layer of protection. They protect the product from temperature fluctuations, sunlight as well as humidity.

Security a major concern: This is one material where utmost importance has to be given to security arrangements as pharma cargo is always susceptible to theft. This is because of the nature of the product that is shipped and hence faces notable dangers. Cargo thefts are real threats, especially when hauling products like narcotics. A well-experienced logistics provider can foresee and manage all such treats to keep pharma products safe. All warehouses today are equipped with state of the art CCTV cameras and with higher visibility of cargo transportation via tracking one can ensure that the pharma products are securely transported to their destinations.

Proper adherence to licenses: As already mentioned there are a lot of rules and regulations while transporting pharma products hence it is important that the logistics provider who has been entitled the job has all the proper licenses. Not only that the logistics company has to be competent to handle all the tasks involved to ensure safety with the necessary types of equipment. Not only pharmaceuticals are delicate but expensive as well and hence special precautions have to be carried out while shipping.

Summary: Logistics can be about any product both domestic household items or high-value cargo. Though every shipment has to be transported securely and on time Pharmaceutical is one such product that needs to be handled with utmost diligence and care. Afterall many times these products can be life-saving.

Cargo in Monsoon

Prolonged rains have warranted for special cargo precautions

Though the recent rains have been much relief for many after the terrible hot summers it has also been a great area of concern due to the hazards the rains have caused. With such unpredictable and prolong rains across the country one of the major industries that are affected is logistics. 

In such scenarios, it is imperative to say that all the necessary precautions have to be planned and taken while transporting cargo goods to avoid all kinds of damages due to rains.

There are many restrictions in place while transporting your cargo especially when your cargo gets wet. Wet cargo may invariably not be allowed into the warehouse to protect the existing goods. 

Hence it is imperative to say that your one has to think ahead during the monsoon seasons and all the necessary measures have to be taken to pack your cargo in the full proof manner.

To help you out we have listed down a quick important precautions points that need to be kept in mind and implemented while carting your cargo and which will also help you t avoid last-minute hassles.

Proper Carting :

A good method is to see to it that your cargo is carted withing the shed premises. This gives you the protection from rainwater and hence rest assured that your cargo is dry before it is packaged.

Good Packaging:

Packing is one of the most important aspects of your logistics delivery process and your cargo has to be adequately packed, palletized. A better idea would be to shrink wrap your goods well that will help in preventing your cargoes from getting damp and wet.

Use Best Packing materials:

One has to use the best packing material particularly when your cargo has to braze the sea. Ensure that your inner, as well as external packing of the cartons, are proper and strong to avoid any damage caused due to rainwater seepages.

Fumigation is important:

It is customary that all your wooden cases and pallet are fumigated which will prevent any molds, moistures, and dampness to the cases.

On-time customs clearances:

It is but natural to have traffic snarls as well as customs clearance delays due to port congestions, especially during the monsoon seasons. Hence to avoid the same you must plan your shipment on time and your cargo transported, carted and customs cleared well in advance.

Summary :

These are some of the few tips that can be noted and kept in mind while transporting your cargo during the monsoons as this is one season that posts a hell of a challenge to the logistics operations. 

For any of your customs clearances and logistics requirements, you can get in touch with our experts now at info@nauticalcargo.in

Reverse Logistics - Nautical Cargo

What is Reverse Logistics and how can you effectively manage it.

Logistics is a complex business with many unforeseen events propping up which needs to be handled immediately. One such event which needs to be finely addressed and planned is Reverse Logistics. To understand the importance of this growing logistics operations it is worth diving into some of the latest statistics concerning reverse logistics.

According to the latest information from Statistica in the US alone the return deliveries are estimated to cost $550 billion by the year 2020 which is approximately 75% more compared to the previous four years figures. With the arrival of the E-commerce era, Reverse Logistics has been of extreme importance more so in a scenario where physical retailers have been replaced by online providers and sellers whose sales had predictively touched around $414 million in the year 2018.

What is reverse logistics?

To clearly define reverse logistics in the simplest ways, it stands for all related operations where goods need to be returned from the place of consumption to the place of their origin. This sounds strange as rather for any logistic operation aimed to deliver the goods to the final customer this is a reverse of what should be happening. Precisely why such operations in logistics is termed to be reverse logistics. Now let’s understand the reason for such a different kind of operation and the need of the day which has seen it evolving so fast recently.

Managing reverse logistics is not a thing of ease as we are trying to address a situation where the shipper needs to handle a disappointed customer who wants to return the goods purchased for probably a replacement. Hence basically the shipper or the 3PL agent has to retrieve the product and needs to ship the item back to the hub. The return can be due to a few reasons being damaged product or an item which does not satisfy the customer. This has to be precisely accessed which is the key in initiating a counter shipping operation.

Hence, to put it more precisely, reverse logistics is the process of moving the goods from the final destination or consumption for the sole purpose of either disposing of, remanufacturing, refurbishing or reinitiating a similar replacement order to the customer. It also includes the process of the management of surplus of products which are left as returned. It is worth to be noted that in the online retailing business at least 30% of all products ordered are returned in comparison with almost 8.89% products which are purchased in brick and mortar shops.

Reverse logistics can also be taken as a source of accessing the quality of the products and the efficiency of the operations of all parties involved as this is a direct indicator of how much your customer is satisfied with the product and the delivery operations. Hence one needs to address this with accurate planning and as far as possible to avoid it as items which fall under the reverse logistics can become a big source of concern to any organisations profits.

Having understood the importance of reverse logistics it should also be noted that with a good reverse logistics process in place companies not only be able to track returns but also get the desired value from the returned products. To implement a successful reverse logistics process the following points can be followed:

Real-time monitoring and tracking facility:

The company should have a very viable and state of the art process and platform that facilitates its customers to return the product with ease. The platform should have proper data capture points that will help to categories the products to be returned as damaged, defective or scenarios where a product needs to be replaced with a new one. This will give the shipper or the 3PL agency to ship back the product to their desired origin based on this categorisation also with the help of the real-time monitoring capabilities to ensure the product reaches its origin.

Engage with the best warehouse and distribution centers:

One of the many important factors that should be taken into consideration and aptly engaged is that of the warehouse management services and distribution centers. Reverse logistics is all about getting the product once delivered to the endpoint of consumption back to the original point. Hence one needs to strategically decide on the return and collection centers and have more than one collection centers based on the category of the goods returned to access and estimate the quantum of damaged goods or the ones that have to be replaced for redistribution.

Customer communication:

Any industry which is doing business that directly satisfies its customer’s, communication is of top importance. Reverse logistics is not of any difference as especially in this kind of processes one has to give utmost heed to the queries of the customers. Let us not forget reverse logistics is all about an unsatisfied customer who wants to return the products delivered. Hence to gain trust companies have to communicate constantly with its customers and need to listen to queries raised by the customers with possible and quick solutions which will leave them delighted.

Partner with a good 3PL logistics provider:

Logistics is a very complex industry and reverse logistics is one such operation which is very much complex. One needs to have a separate logistics department with an able human resource team to handle the reverse logistics services with a state of the art technologically equipped platform to manage all the data involved. Many companies have started outsourcing their reverse logistics operations to 3rd party logistics vendors that are well equipped in providing the much needed real-time tracking of the reverse shipments and have the best human resources to ensure the proper flow of goods to the origin. This not only reduces the investments involved but also will ensure the effective return management process.

Summary:

In an industry and business scenario where E-commerce has established itself as the driving factor for any seller, one has to indulge in identifying the problem areas to generate apt solutions. Return of goods is one of the most pertinent concerns and companies must have a solid game plan to reduce operational costs and time lags involved in reverse logistics. Ultimately the goal is to satisfy the customers in the best and fastest way possible.

Last Mile Logistics

How to overcome Last Mile Logistic Challenges

The easiest way one can explain logistics is to describe it as a management of the flow of things between a point of origin and the point of destination, to make it clearer the point of consumption. There are a number of resources that are transported today such as food, materials, animals and even liquid form products. Hence logistics is one such industry that has to integrate many aspects and various industries such as transportation, production, inventory, warehouse management services, packaging and the most important being the flow of data.

Last-mile delivery is often being heard and is also considered an important phase of the transportation which also ensures the completion of a logistics operation. Last-mile delivery can be defined as the movement of goods from a transportation center or hub to the final destination of the delivery. In most of the cases, the final delivery can be a residence of the person who is expecting the goods. Hence the entire focus revolves around how well and quickly one can deliver the goods to the customer in the best possible packing ensuring no damage.

While we very well are aware of both perspectives, that of the logistics company as well as the customer the importance of this phase it becomes important to understand the various challenges involved in the same.

Unforeseeable expenses : 

One of the most inherent problems the last mile delivery poses is the unpredictable expenses that can occur as the goods have to be reached to the doorstep of the consumer. Imagine you need to deliver the goods to an end-user who is living in a busy urban area where there are a lot of retail stores, restaurants and many business houses in a very congested locality. This means the budgeted fuel costs won’t be sufficient enough to complete the delivery as it will take a good amount of time to drive around and make the delivery. Moreover, one has to imagine that the delivery is not in large volumes as this presumably will be a business to consumer delivery which can involve just a small package. 

Inadequate facilities :

It is not necessary that all traditional delivery facilities will be equipped with a number of facilities. An insufficient number of transport facilities can adversely contribute to an increase in travel time, thereby also increasing the cost of delivery.

Last Mile Distribution Distance : 

There should be proper research done on where most consumers reside as this will become a vital element in deciding the location of a distribution center. Closer the distribution center to the consumer the better will be the efficiency of delivery and reduction in costs. A company that does not choose its distribution center based on the consumer location research will end up incurring huge expenses.

Delivery Time :

Distribution centers cannot be created in residential areas and most will be in an industrial zone. Hence the stem time needs to be the least possible as if the deliveries take more than 45 minutes then it means there is a serious issue and apt measures need to be taken to open up more distribution centers.

Traffic conditions :

All last-mile deliveries will occur via land transportation and hence one has to take note the area where your consumers have to be reached at. Having consumers in rural areas is not at all a problem but if it’s in an urban sector then delivery in congested areas will take more time than one can anticipate. One will need to have additional distribution centers and opt for more efficient transportation means.

Hence as we have learned last-mile delivery is the biggest challenge to meet particularly in a scenario where the E-Commerce industry is booming with more and more consumers opting for online purchases.

Customer communication:

Customer communication forms the key in a perfect delivery cycle as it is of utmost importance that the customer is well informed about the visibility and time of delivery. Also when a customer has opted for a revision to the delivery schedule it becomes easier with the right technology for logistics companies to revise the data and inform the driver about the change. This will ensure that the delivery is done only when the consumer is available at home.

Auto Pickups and Drop off points and consolidated deliveries:

It is always better to plan a network of pickup and drop off points and also to consolidate the deliveries as this will save time as well as minimize the number of failed deliveries.

3PL Software :

It would be best to contract a 3PL software that will help in providing better visibility solution thereby increase in much-improved access to delivery details and processes. This also in effect provides a single point of data management that will provide accurate information of the movement of the transportation.

Better vehicles:

Urban areas are always congested with a large number of closed in localities as well as floods of vehicles that will only increase traffic. In such cases, it goes without saying that the use of huge sized transportation vehicles will only make things difficult for the driver who has to deliver the goods to the consumers on time. Better and smaller transportation vehicles have to be opted such as bicycles, or smaller cars. This will make last-mile delivery efficient and faster.

Consider using Drones:

The future of drones is in the hands of the government system, security, and legalities and though there a number of critical concerns drones are surely going to be the best possible option in the near future. Drones can avoid traffic and spend less making deliveries much easier and faster.

Parcel Locker Stations:

Another possible feature that can help in facing some of these challenges posed would be to have locker facilities or locker stations near main central localities as a shopping centre where courier houses can place the packages that need to be delivered in such lockers and they can provide a unique key to their consumers to open it and get their goods.

Summary:

Last-mile delivery is one such phase that can not be afforded to be ignored in any way.  More and more resources and strategies have to be implemented to ensure efficient and satisfying delivery of goods to consumers as this is the most important aspect of a logistics delivery operation. If a company messes up with this part of the operation then it will have a direct impact on the operational credibility of the company.

Air Cargo Import Services

Biggest challenges faced by air cargo companies in 2019!

The logistics scenario has changed to a very great extent and a market that had seen the lowest of times is now running consistently on a profitable high. Today Air freight is having a competitive edge over other modes of transportation supported with reduced oil prices. Yet there are various bottlenecks and challenges that need to be overcome to keep the successful run going.

We have been understanding the various challenges that are faced by Air Cargo and a few of the most interesting and important ones to be tackled mentioned here.

E-Commerce :
E-commerce is growing exponentially all over the world and hence air cargo is also gaining popularity as it becomes the most viable and time-saving option. The sheer volume of air cargo handling has increased manifold with the advent and growth of E-commerce as ordering a product is just a click away. According to the latest reports, the global E-commerce forecast for the year 2019 is an all-time high of $3.5 trillion. Hence with such a huge number it certainly requires a much more integrated operational approach from everyone involved in the supply chain in order to succeed.

Electronic air waybill mandatory:
As electronic Air Way Bills are still relevant for specific situations in 2019 Electronic AWB’s will be the only and default method particularly in a scenario when almost every industry is aiming to become eco-friendly and paperless. With every introduction of change comes the biggest challenge of adopting and adapting. Same goes with the E-AWB becoming mandatory as it will be of great challenge for the humans to move away from manually creating Air Waybills.

With any big change comes human defiance and errors. Satisfying the need for hasty communication among workers and consumers with the new technology will be the first challenge to present itself, in along with the need for critical information being uploaded correctly and in a timely fashion.

Stringent compliances:
Safety and security have already become the topmost priority for any country in this growing times of terrorism.
In the coming year’s many transportation organizations, in particular, the postal services will have to follow more stringent regulations when it comes to international delivery. All incoming goods will have to be duly reported to the customs agents and including the air carriers will have to follow the same.

Need for proper integration:
Technology has a major role to play today when it comes to increasing efficiencies and operational smoothness. But technology fails when many times it becomes to difficult for all parties to be equally enhanced. It is going to be a great task when logistics operations have to be carried out between nations with diverse economic and financial capabilities. Based on this it needs to be mentioned that technologically and financially sound countries implement a different system to carry out trade and commerce as in contrast with lesser capable nations. A uniform system is the only way to have a good and better supply chain management.

Summary: Any industry will have to keep evolving and need to embrace change at any levels of operations if it needs to be at the forefront of growth and competition. Technology and using it to keep with the timelines also providing better visibility will surely have a giant impact on the way air cargo industry progresses in the coming years.

Project Cargo handling

Key factors to ensure a successful project cargo handling

Transporting big oversized cargo shipments from a place to another is a gigantic task and hence there are a lot of factors to be considered for a smooth operation. It goes without saying that when a big shipment is being transported from a place to another, millions of dollars are involved in the process. Hence the planning is done in a thorough basis and it is always the best to contact an experienced logistics company as Nautical Cargo that will be able to deliver the best Project Cargo services ensuring successful transportation of your shipment which can be of high value and contains valuable as well as critical items.

Let us evaluate a few key players and elements that need to be partnered and implemented:

Good and a very reliable credible partner :

Assessment is the most important part of any kind of cargo transportation. As it is a tough and very important task, you cannot depend on anyone out there! You need to look out for an experienced company that handles such works on a regular basis.

A huge amount of money is involved in the process and a small mistake can ruin the whole thing. Hence you always need to look out for a company that has experienced people with them. The company must know how to professionally handle such works. Small calculations are needed to be done minutely. Accurate calculations and effective solution are needed from the company. There are several procedures that include in the process, but you can search the internet and look out for the most crucial points. Let’s check what you should look out for while planning cargo transportation.

Only big companies that are popular in the market get to handle such projects. These companies have lots of transportation partners over the years. These companies handle a lot of work and all the transportations are different from each other. Hence, you must seek a company that you can rely on. So make sure you search for a company which is trustworthy. Look for a company whose financial stability and service goodwill is well known in the market and the company has wide experience in this particular field.

Customs clearance and Regulations:

If you have proper documentation in your hand you won’t face any difficulty in transportation. If you are sending your cargo shipment to any foreign country, make sure the custom clearance is done properly and on time. Only when you have an experienced team along with you, you will see a wonderful and smooth process at work. Local market research is needed. You need to know which documents are needed to be submitted. All required assessments and document submission has to be done on time to ensure that your cargo doesn’t get delayed.

Right kind of vessel:

It is important to know how you carry and manage your cargo shipment. Hence one of the major tasks is to find an appropriate cargo ship. The cargo unit may be anything in size, one needs to look out for the warranty from the owner. The shipment is going to visit a lot of places and hence it should be packed in such a way that no matter what unforeseen adversaries, the shipment stays safe. The documentation of the shipment must have information about the products in it. Extreme weather conditions can be predicted across the world and while packing the shipment, it should be taken care that the shipment stays safe no matter how harsh the weather conditions are. Especially in the case of project cargo, it is of utmost importance for your cargo to have a clear positioning and storage. The right kind of vessel can ensure that all units in the stow are properly secured.

Summary :
As is the case with every shipment when it comes to project cargo special attention is required for the entire process and hence detailed planning of operations is of top most priority. One of the major reasons for a more concentrated effort is because of the costs involved as damages can run to huge losses.

We at Nautical Cargo have a wonderful and expert team in place to provide you the best Project Cargo services at very affordable costs and irrespective of your destination our team is all geared up to handle it in a most innovative and time-bound manner.

All you need to do is Contact Us for more information about our Project Cargo services.

3PL-Third-Party-Logistics-Services

Choosing a Third-Party Logistics Provider

What is a logistics provider?
A logistic service provider basically deals with storing and distributing products on behalf of the local firms. They basically act as an intermediate between the producers and the customers. They offer storage facilities so that the products get stored without any harm and then they deliver the product to the point of consumption with the help of express delivery services like aircraft, ocean freight etc. Some of the other traditional functions of a distributor as also offered by them like management of inventory, warehousing, tracking of order etc.

How logistics is important for your business?
Logistic is one of the most integral aspects of any business. When you have a good logistics system, it would help you in the growth of your business and would also help you to achieve your goals. Starting from raw material delivery to your production house to delivery of the fished products to your customers, the logistics service provider helps in all of them. They help you to get your product to deliver in the most cost-effective way through the cargo services.

How to choose the correct logistics service provider?
Choosing the top logistics and supply chain company can be a bit tricky. You would need to notice certain facts in order to choose the best one for yourself. Moving products with care is a complicated task and not everyone can do it properly with full accuracy.

Hence when you choose a Third Party Logistics Provider, do consider the following factors:

● Connections
The top logistics and supply chain company would have some great connections and contacts that they have established throughout the years and this indeed would help them to carry out their services efficiently.

● Scalability
You would need to see how scalable the logistics company is. You can see the companies with whom they are associated and how logistics have helped those company to grow. Reviewing the services is quite important.

● Customer Service
Do check out their customer servicing skills. How much responsive they are when someone tries to contact them. They should also have different ways to address their customers, like through social media and calls, emails and different types of communications. Being active on all the channel and responding to all the queries is a must-have feature for any logistics company.

● Safety
The primary focus for any logistics company should be the safety of the products. They would need to take special care of all the products while storing and delivering them from one place to the other.

Choosing a third-party logistics and supply chain company is a very tricky task. If you do not choose the right one, you might have to suffer losses which in turn would also affect the reputation of your company to your customers. Take time and do your research, read the reviews and go for an experienced company. It is worth to invest a bit more in order to get the services you desire.

freight forwader and customs brokers

Difference between a freight forwarder and customs broker.

Freight forwarder and Customs brokers are two entities which play an integral part in carrying out logistics operations. Logistics is a very complex industry with multiple transit destinations and ports as mostly the transportation of cargo and goods have to be transported via international waters or air spaces. Hence it is always a collaboration of people, agents, and providers that have to contribute and make it happen.

Let us begin by first defining freight forwarder and customs brokers to get a better perspective of their job descriptions.

Freight Forwarder: A freight forwarder or a forwarding agent also commonly known as NVOCC, Non-vessel operating common carrier, is a person or a company that organizes shipments or individuals or corporations to get foods from the manufacturer or producer to either a market, customer or an end destination for the purpose of distribution.

As we read through the above definition it can be understood that forwarders are experts who are well connected with the supply chain and are completely dedicated to the physical transportation of cargo. Hence freight forwarder is a wide-ranging term that can also include activities engaging various third-party entities required in the exporting process who handles or are experts in shipment moving via truck, boat, plane or even a combination of all of these.

A freight forward is also involved in consolidating and completing various documentation as well as compliances required for the export activities. Here it would be better to elaborate on the fact that we can find many freight forwarders who are also customs brokers as well but it is essential to mention here that customs brokers cannot become freight forwarders.

Customs Brokers: A customs broker is a licensed agent whose primary function is to handle the process of clearing goods through the customers for importers. They act as an intermediary between the importer and the government customs department in the country for import and can be a private individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Brokers submit all necessary information, documents and appropriate payments to the customs on behalf of their clients and charge them a fee for their services. They must have expertise in the entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, and the rates of duty and applicable taxes and fees for imported merchandise.

Customs brokers are very specific in their services and also learn that an exporters freight forwarder can work in tandem with the customs brokers in order to help facilitate issues with an export transaction.

As can already be understood from the definition freight forwarding or freight forwarder is a very wide-ranging term and customs brokers are more specific when it comes to service deliverance.

Some of the key services provided by a Freight Forwarder is as follows :

  • Trading Transportation
  • All cargo pickup and drop in.
  • Negotiate freight charges
  • Getting all documents readied for exports and shipments.
  • Booking of necessary warehouse facilities
  • Dealing with the required cargo insurances.
  • Providing freight collection services.

Key services offered by customs brokers :

  • Customs valuation
  • Customs clearance.
  • International trade consultations
  • Tariff classifications
  • Dealing with all automated customs clearances.
  • Freight Management
  • Import and Export purchase order management.

SUMMARY: By now it is clear the difference of both these key entities in the logistics industry and the areas where both can converge in providing their services to customers, it is always essential that a good logistics partner will reduce a lot of your operational burdens. Having a good freight forwarder and a customs broker or even a company which provide you both these services are of utmost importance and invaluable as shipping can be the most difficult and a rigorous affair when you don’t have an expert to handle it.
Freight Container Services

Important tips for loading export items into a freight container

Almost anything can be stored and exported in a container. If someone visits any large port today, then at a glance nobody can describe what kind of products are being shipped. Because all types of products are being exported in large rectangular containers. These containers are particularly useful for transporting manufactured goods.

Nowadays containerization is a very common practice for exporting goods. Containerization has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of containerization are it reduces the logistic cost and also fewer workers are needed for loading and unloading the containers. Also, less time is required for loading and unloading. But this practice of containerization also includes technical challenges as only the responsible person knows the type of goods and the condition of the products for shipment.

The decision for choosing the process of loading a container can be divided into two steps.

  1. Choosing the required type of container.
  2. How to load the container with merchandise/products.

The required type of container:-
The decision while choosing the required type of container totally depends on the type of products to be exported.

There are six types of containers that are available.

  • General purpose containers: These types of containers are most commonly available. Each container is fully closed and also features full-width doors at one end for access. These types of containers are used for transporting both liquid and solid substances.
  • Refrigerated containers: These types of containers are used for carrying those products which require refrigeration during transit.
  • Dry bulk containers: These types of containers are used for carrying dry powder and granular substances.
    Open top/open sided containers: These types of containers are used for carrying heavy and unusual sized products.
  • Liquid cargo containers: These types of containers are used for carrying liquid substances.
  • Hanger containers: These types of containers are used for carrying the garments on hangers.

How to load the container with merchandise/products:-

Just after deciding the type of container to be used the next step is to complete the task of loading the products. This process also can be divided into three steps.

At first, it is required to check and examine the freight container’s physical condition before starting the task of loading the merchandise. One must have to check that no placard should be left behind from earlier cargo to avoid confusion. Also, they have to make sure that there must not be any type of holes and if the container is repaired then it is also required to check the repair quality.

Secondly, pre-planning must be done before exporting products by using freight containers. The total weight of the product must be spread across the entire length and width of the container. Also, they should take care while packing goods. Wet and dry goods must be packed separately and heavy packages must not be placed over light packages. Also, they must have to fill the free space in the container so that the goods must not move during shipment.

The last step is to check the container after loading the cargo or goods. The total weight and labeling must be checked before exporting. Also, they need to check the packaging of the products.