Steven Lerner's Blog (199)

How Freight Forwarders Can Help Your Company

In the coming year, there will be new transportation hurdles that will challenge supply chains everywhere. How they overcome these challenges will be the ultimate freight test.

By 2016, the expansion of the Panama Canal will be complete. While this will open up new trade possibilities, it also will come with massive changes. The extra room in the Panama Canal will result in larger vessels called New Panamax and Post New Panamax. The…


Added by Steven Lerner on May 29, 2015 at 4:16am — 1 Comment

Discount for Shipping to the Port of Antwerp

The maritime shipping industry is trying to reduce their carbon footprint. Everyone from carriers to freight forwarders are doing their part to be green. There is a recent law in certain parts of the World that states that vessels must maintain certain low sulfur requirements. Since these emission laws are in place for a few months now, it appears…


Added by Steven Lerner on May 22, 2015 at 4:14am — No Comments

US Dollar Improving Trade

As the value of the US dollar increases, so does the economic might of the US economy. A great example of this might is with the trading of goods to the US. A stronger US dollar will raise ocean freight shipping rates for transporting goods and it increases the types of services available to supply chains for moving those goods to the US.

The Journal of…


Added by Steven Lerner on May 19, 2015 at 4:10am — No Comments

New Shipping Fees in Brazil

Shipping to Brazil has always required great logistics knowledge and working with the right freight forwarder. The shipping expenses have always been costly in Brazil and a slow economy in that nation is adding to the financial problems that await shippers. It seems now there is another financial roadblock for shippers going to or from Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, which is the…


Added by Steven Lerner on May 15, 2015 at 4:14am — No Comments

Bigger is not always Better in Shipping

Bigger does not always mean something is better. And more of something does not always mean something is better either. The same can be true of the international shipping industry.

The Journal of Commerce and Hellenic Shipping News both recently reported about bigger and more vessels and the rise of shipping alliances. And both publications report that the combination of these things could be strangling worldwide trade.

Bigger ships are…


Added by Steven Lerner on April 28, 2015 at 10:26pm — No Comments

The Biggest Investment for Ports might be with Highways

It is no state secret that our maritime shipping services require a massive upgrade so that the US can properly handle freight and compete with the best nations in global trade. There are also larger vessels roaming the seas, and our ports need to be able to handle them.

The American Association of Port Authorities recently released a report suggesting that the US needs to make heavy investments into transportation in the future. In…


Added by Steven Lerner on April 24, 2015 at 4:25am — No Comments

Demurrage and Detention Charges

If you want to keep your ocean freight rates down, then you must ensure timely pick-up and drop-off of containers at the terminals. Otherwise, you will be hit with demurrage and detention charges. Demurrage can occur when a container, filled with the cargo, sits at the terminal for a time longer than what is permitted during free time. Detention…


Added by Steven Lerner on April 17, 2015 at 4:20am — No Comments

Terminal Handling Charges

Sometimes a shipper might look at their maritime shipping invoice and notice a fee called a Terminal Handling Charge. For veteran shippers, this fee might be a common occurrence. For a novice shipper, there might be some questions about what this fee is all about. Terminal Handling Charges, also known as THC, is a fee paid during the shipping process. Most shippers pay the fee through their freight…


Added by Steven Lerner on April 9, 2015 at 3:49am — No Comments

Landed Cost

Determining landed cost is an important part of how trading for commodities work. Essentially, landed cost equals the total expenses paid by the importer when the cargo arrivers. There are numerous elements that will comprise the landed cost, including the shipping fees with the freight forwarder, fees related to business risk and even staffing expenses.

Examining the different components…


Added by Steven Lerner on April 7, 2015 at 2:37am — No Comments

Suez Canal Expansion

The Suez Canal is a major maritime transportation passage between Europe, Asia and Africa. If you need to ship cargo by ocean freight shipping through that part of this world, this is where it usually travels through. For over one hundred years, vessels would have to travel through the Suez Canal, one direction at a time. This was because the Suez Canal was only…


Added by Steven Lerner on April 3, 2015 at 9:37pm — No Comments

Why Shippers Trust NVOCCs

Shippers everywhere are getting in the freight forwarder bandwagon. The great thing about working with a freight forwarder is all of the logistics services, that they provide, including warehousing, customs brokerage and trucking. In addition, many freight forwarders are also licensed as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC). While an NVOCC usually does not own their own…


Added by Steven Lerner on March 20, 2015 at 4:20am — No Comments

Overcrowded Terminals Deal with Containers

While a new labor contract at the West Coast ports ended additional shipping delays, the consequence of the dispute at the port continues to upset the delicate balance of supply chains in the US. Businesses across the US depend on the expedient movement of their ocean freight shipments from the ports, to the trucks (or through intermodal) and to their final…


Added by Steven Lerner on March 17, 2015 at 4:19am — No Comments

This is Why the Trade Deficit with China Exists

Achieving a productive supply chain is a delicate balance. Utilizing the best ocean freight shipping rates can help lower some costs. However, it seems that beyond transportation, a great way to lower supply chain expenses can be found on the manufacturing side of the equation. Many companies enlist in the help of a contract manufacturer to produce…


Added by Steven Lerner on March 13, 2015 at 4:21am — No Comments

The Importance of Tugboats

Some shippers assume that a container vessel is going to be only transportation method for how their containers move in the water. The truth is that although a container ship might be the primary method for transportation, there are other ships used in the process. For example, some of the waterways near a port might be too thin for a vessel. Or there could be numerous bridges near the port that would prevent a container vessel from fitting through. That is…


Added by Steven Lerner on March 10, 2015 at 3:27am — No Comments

Settlement for West Coast Ports

Everyone is well aware of the contract negotiations occurring between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) between 2014 and 2015. A possible slowdown of production at the ports is forcing the cargo to just sit there during the negotiations, limiting ocean freight shipping activity.

As a result of…


Added by Steven Lerner on February 27, 2015 at 5:11am — No Comments

China’s Declining Exports

China, the export king of the world, experienced a rather surprising month in January 2015. It seems that their exports declined in January 2015, with a 3.3% year-over-year decrease. It is rare China takes a step back from exporting cargo. Many experts predicted a 4% increase in exports during January from China. Specifically, export values took a nosedive with shipments to Hong Kong, Japan and the European Union. Last year, export values from China were…


Added by Steven Lerner on February 24, 2015 at 5:31am — No Comments

Beware of Larger Vessels

If you have noticed the expanding size of cargo ships, then you are correct because the ships are getting bigger to hold more containers and to become more fuel-efficient. The result is lower costs, which is better for ocean freight shipping rates. The largest vessels of our time can range in size from 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to…


Added by Steven Lerner on February 20, 2015 at 5:27am — No Comments

Chinese New Year 2015

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, commences on February 19th. 2015 marks the year of the goat/sheep. Even if no one in your company celebrates this holiday, if your company engages in international shipping with the Far East, then you should pay very close attention to this holiday. The date for Chinese New Year can appear throughout January to February. Every year, the holiday is more than just a 1-day affair, with celebrations lasting about a…


Added by Steven Lerner on February 10, 2015 at 5:02am — No Comments

Obama’s 2016 Budget & Freight Shipping

President Obama recently released his budget for the 2016 fiscal year. While the Republican majority in Congress is expected to strongly oppose any of the President’s major proposals, it is interesting to see where the President wants to spend money in 2016. And the good news is that the logistics industry is slated to be a top priority for the President.

At the top of the President’s budget plan sits a transportation proposal for $478 billion over the next 6 years.…


Added by Steven Lerner on February 6, 2015 at 5:22am — No Comments

The Advantages of Spot Rates

It is no surprise that shippers want the best ocean freight shipping rates possible. That is why many shippers might speak directly to a carrier about signing a long-term shipping that usually lasts 12 months. The good news is that the contract provides some fixed prices for certain surcharges. However, there are numerous problems with some long-term contracts.…


Added by Steven Lerner on February 3, 2015 at 5:21am — No Comments

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