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Sheltered International Gets a New Look for 2021

Refreshed SiShips Software, Updated Logo Are Just the First of Big Changes Coming for 2021 At Sheltered International, we believe that challenges inspire innovation. Although 2020 has had some unexpected obstacles, we’ve also been challenged to continually improve our software and deliver the best possible experience for our clients. As we enter 2021, we’re striving to maintain that momentum. That’s why we’re very excited to announce that we’ll be launching a software refresh for SiShips on January 1, 2021, featuring a brand-new logo and custom designs developed in partnership with our new design team in…
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How Imports Have Been Impacted by COVID-19 in 2020

Understanding How the Pandemic Has Affected Freight Forwarding This Year and Anticipating Future Changes It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the global supply chain. From transportation to manufacturing to distribution and retail, all industries have experienced new challenges this year – challenges that will likely continue through at least Chinese New Year. To help you understand the factors that may impact your shipment, we’ve broken down how COVID-19 has affected shipping logistics this year so far. Changes to Production and Demand As COVID-19 spread around the world, international lockdowns halted production…
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Using SiShips’s New Deadline Tracking Feature

Managing Holiday Deadlines, Port Congestion With Deadline Tracking With the holidays quickly approaching, conditions continue to deteriorate at US gateway ports. Congestion has already significantly impacted ports around the country, particularly along the west coast, subsequently driving up trucking rates and drastically slowing delivery times. To be expected around the holidays, surging ocean freight demand is placing the system under even greater stress. This year, however, this has been compounded by equipment shortages, overbooks, blank sailings, and existing port congestion. To combat these obstacles, we’ve added a new Deadline Tracking feature to our SiShips software.…
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SiShips Adds Full Container Rates from Europe

Partnership with European Group Provides Expertise, Instant Quotes for Major EU Ports   We are pleased to announce that we’ve expanded the auto quoting function of our software SiShips to now include European shipping lanes. With booking available directly through our system, auto quotes are an efficient way to ensure you’re getting the best rates for your shipment and can save you and your business valuable time and money. “Expanding our instant quoting service to Europe means increased carrier options, capacity, and rate transparency – all at our customer’s fingertips,” says Sheltered International founder Andrew…
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Understanding Harbor Maintenance Fees and Merchandising Processing Fees

Why You May See Additional Fees on Your Shipment Invoice Although some imports may be duty-free, this doesn’t mean they’re free of all associated fees. Two small taxes, Harbor Maintenance Fees and Merchandise Processing Fees, are often overlooked and may come as a surprise when you receive your invoice. Though small, it’s important to include these values when running calculations and preparing for shipments. Read on to learn more about what exactly these fees are and how they apply to your products. Harbor Maintenance Fee Established in 1987, the Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) is assessed…
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Supply Chain Congestion as Truck Rates Increase, Ports See Packed Capacity

Adjusting for Increased Truck Rates and Reduced Productivity In a stark contrast to the shipping slowdown seen in the spring, ports in California are seeing significant surges of imports, operating at peak utilization. Subsequently, trucking rates have increased, reflecting the demand of companies looking to move products out of the ports and across the country.  At Sheltered International, our team is adapting to these increased rates, offering updated and flexible quoting options. Read on to learn more about current events impacting shipping, or contact us directly with questions regarding your shipment. Ports Experiencing Peak Capacity…
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China’s Ministry of Transport Considers Ban on Rate Increases, Blank Sailings for US-China Trade Lanes

How China’s Intervention May Affect Capacity and Rates for Ocean Freight Long-Term As ocean cargo rates continue to surge, China’s Ministry of Transport is taking steps to prevent any further increases. Last week, Chinese authorities discussed a possible ban on rate increases, which would apply to the GRI planned for mid-September. To boost capacity, they also suggested prohibiting the blanking of any sailings on the transpacific route, significantly impacting the ability of carriers to manage capacity and maintain a profit. Although nothing has been established as of yet, carriers and shippers alike should consider how…
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Ocean Cargo Rates Peak as Demand Surges

Covid-19, Limited Capacity, and More Factors Have Driven Freight Rates to Set New Records Although back-to-school season and holiday preparations consistently make August a peak season for ocean freight, this year is seeing a uniquely high increase – in both rates and capacity. The blanking of sailings earlier in the summer in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with concerns over tariffs as the first trade agreement with China nears expiration, has generated a boom in demand that outpaces capacity. As a result, Asia-US West Coast spot rates have set new records, with Shanghai to…
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Save Your Business Valuable Time with SiShips’ Quoting Tools

Understanding SiShips Auto Quoting and Spot Quoting Options With so many carriers and shipping routes available, finding the right quote for your shipment can be overwhelming. Even worse, countless back-and-forth emails takes time that would be better spent focusing on other areas of your business. Our software SiShips offers quoting tools that save you that time – and provide accurate, easy-to-filter quotes that give you the ability to find the best fit for your product. We provide both auto quotes and spot quotes and let you book and track both directly through our system. Read…
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3 Things Every Business Should Know About Cargo Insurance

Why Cargo Insurance Policies Are the Best Ways to Protect Your Shipments It’s vital for your business that your shipments arrive at their destination safely. While it’s true that carriers offer some amount of protection for your shipment, this coverage is very limited. To protect your business and your goods against unexpected events, purchasing cargo, or freight, insurance is crucial. Read on to learn more about the types of policies available, the limitations of carrier liability, and how Sheltered International can help you find the right insurance for your business and your peace of mind.…
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