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Weakening Markets Lead to Trans-Pacific Rate Drops

Weakening Markets Lead to Trans-Pacific Rate Drops

Trans-Pacific Rate Drops Expected to Last Through End of Year

After generating record-breaking profits during the pandemic, shipping companies are feeling the squeeze of recent inflation. Container carriers are planning on blanking nearly 700,000 TEU in the month of October. Carriers are looking to entice customers back with lower rates. This appears to be one of the best times in recent memory for those looking to transport products internationally, especially between China and the United States.

These trans-Pacific rate drops are not entirely unexpected. The rates that began rising to unimaginable heights during the pandemic stemmed from mostly situational factors. China’s aggressive zero-Covid policy led to shutdowns of their largest ports in Shanghai. This created backlogs which shifted to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, among others. Protests from truckers over vaccine mandates and union regulations led to more delays. However, as the impact of coronavirus has lessened, the economy has been able to work through those issues. Even last month when it appeared a railroad strike could cripple the supply chain again, President Biden stepped in to keep the wheels moving. 

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Decrease Imports Lead to Trans-Pacific Rate Drops

The biggest factor in the trans-Pacific rate drops is a decreased number of imports. Inflation has led many Americans to tighten their belts and reduce spending on physical goods. Experts forecast growth as little as 7% in the retail sector, and only 1% when adjusted for inflation. This is the smallest year-over-year growth in the last decade and stands in stark contrast to last year’s growth of nearly 15%. 

Retail is not the only area where imports are shrinking. The U.S. Energy Information Association reported that U.S. crude oil imports were down 500,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Exports, however, continued to rise. Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine, worsening the energy crisis in Europe, has exacerbated global inflation, as well. 

Increased Space in Domestic Ports

A side effect of diminished imports is the backlog of ships in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has been almost completely eradicated. “Container ships have basically returned to normal,” said Kip Louttit, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California. “The remainder of the nine in the backup are 50 to 150 miles offshore.” The ability to manage the congestion is a combination of strict management of arriving ships and support from other ports. 

trans-pacific rate drop rates ocean pacific freight shipping The increased capacity of west coast ports has helped to lower rates. Container ship dwell times and truck turn times have both decreased. While blank sailings compared to this time last year have increased, “This does not necessarily indicate a major trend change,” Adam Szabo, a shipping analyst for Sea Intelligence, told JOC.com. “It may just very well be that carriers do not announce or indicate many blank sailings so far ahead.” Either way, the current drop in rates provides an interesting opportunity for international business.

Railroad Rates also Down

Once goods have reached the United States, they are finding even cheaper rates for domestic transportation at the moment. Union Pacific Railroad is reducing their rates from Southern California and J.B. Hunt Transport is forgoing their peak season surcharges. This is not a decision transporters take lightly, as surcharges were as high as $5,000 per container this time last year.

The decrease in railroad rates can be attributed to several factors. First, the weakening consumer market is creating less demand. This works in conjunction with the slowing of imports from China and other countries. Second, the lower rates appear to be a step for railroads to become more competitive with trucking rates. 


How SiShips Gives You the Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you quality domestic and international shipping solutions. SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Chinese Shipping Rates Decrease

Multiple Factors Lead to Lower than Expected Shipping Costs

The anticipated rush of cargo following the recent reopening of Shanghai has failed to materialize. The Chinese city had been subjected to a months-long lockdown, the likes of which the west had not seen since the initial days of the Covid-19 pandemic. With business leaders like Elon Musk championing the economic and industrial might of Shanghai, a flurry of activity was expected to return the city to its full capacity. However, current economic hurdles have subdued demand. A positive side effect is a shipping rates decrease.

Shipping rates from China have decreased dramatically in the last few weeks. The dual threat of inflation and high gas prices leaves retailers expecting lower consumer demand and cutting back orders. Industry insiders are not expecting a pick up in demand until Q4 2022. The summer of 2022 is one of the best opportunities in the last several years for those looking to ship freight to and from China.

shipping port container containerships freight forwarding

High Gas Prices Lead to Conservative Spending

The historically high gas prices being faced by the United States and the rest of the world are the result of many different aspects, despite the desire of political commentators on both sides of the aisle to point a finger at singular issues.

While the United States received less than 10% of oil imports from Russia, the percentage was significantly higher in Europe. The economic blockade of Russia for their invasion of Ukraine is leading to an energy squeeze filtering from Europe to the entire world. As of the writing of this article, Saudi Arabia has been capping their oil production (although, a new report optimistically suggests OPEC+ might hike supply soon).

While there is the capability of digging new domestic and international oil wells, gas executives are hesitant to invest in long term projects with the expected rise of electric cars in the next decade and the recent memory of negative trading prices during the height of the pandemic. However, even experts are not prepared for the sky high trajectory of average gas prices. On June 14th, the New York Times reported the expected average price for the month of June 2022 was $4.59; less than a week later the average price was $4.98.

The demand for gas in America has only increased, following workers return to offices and the arrival of the summer driving season. Many Americans are opting for experiential vacations instead of physical goods having been cooped up inside. Consumers looking to tighten their belts have suspended home renovations and canceled subscription services. 

united states port shipping containers cargo rates gas prices energy

Bear Market Helps Shipping Rates Decrease

The other major factor driving down demand is the arrival of a bear market. Defined as a decline of 20% or more across the entire stock market, nearly every sector is suffering (with the exception of energy stocks). The drop is acutely felt by brands like Wal-Mart and Target in the retail sector. With pressure from shareholders to find cost cutting measures and consumer demand down, these retail giants are not placing the same level of orders from Chinese factories.

Ships looking to make up the gap are enticing other clients with lower rates through Q2 and Q3 2022. Any proactive companies will be able to take advantage of this unique situation after a fraught two years of lockdowns, port backlogs, and supply chain disruptions.  

How SiShips Gives You The Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you the highest quality domestic and international shipping solutions. With the world constantly changing, SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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WHO: China’s Zero-Covid Policy is Not Realistic

Omicron Variant Causing New Challenges for China’s Zero-Covid Policy

china shanghai beijing zero covidOver the past two years, the world has alternatively applauded and criticized China for its approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic. During the peak of the outbreak, 960 million people were living under some form of lockdown when China first instituted their “zero-COVID” policy. The tough regulations were viewed as a success when restrictions were lifted after five months in May 2020. Individual cases were met with swift action, including shutting down Shanghai Disneyland for two days last November after a single guest tested positive for COVID-19. However, as Shanghai approaches two full months of a strict lockdown in the spring of 2022, it is becoming increasingly clear a zero-COVID policy is unsustainable with the Omicron variant. 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, noted during remarks last Tuesday that the virus is drastically different from the original variant identified in Wuhan. “We know the virus better and we have better tools, including vaccines, so that’s why the handling of the virus should actually be different from what we used to do at the start of the pandemic.” Predicting the animus from China following his comments, Tedros added, “regarding their choice of policies, it is up to every country to make that choice.”

Global Balancing Act to Curb Omicron Transmission

Other members of the WHO have echoed support for Tedros’ comments. WHO Emergencies Director Michael Ryan recommended China reconsider its approach to curbing the virus and any measures to combat the spread must show “due respect to individual and human rights”. The WHO has acknowledged extinguishing COVID-19 worldwide is impossible. At the current moment, the focus is on lowering transmission and lessening the impact on society and the economy. “That’s not always an easy calibration,” continued Ryan. 

President Xi of China has doubled down on the zero-COVID policy. The Chinese government has made it clear any critics will be punished.

WHO Chief Censored in China

China’s displeasure with the comments from the head of the WHO is apparent. Both the criticism of the zero-COVID policy and Tedros himself have been censored on popular Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat

This comes as a surprising turn of events. The United States had initially criticized Tedros for his support of China’s extreme response to COVID-19. Then president Donald Trump went as far as to initiate the process of withdrawing the United States from the WHO. This decision was reversed by President Biden upon assuming the office. The United States has historically been the largest funder of the WHO.

tedros director who world health organization president xi jinping china chinese coronavirus international freight forwarding

BEIJING, CHINA – JANUARY 28: Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization, (L) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, on January 28, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Naohiko Hatta – Pool/Getty Images)

Economic Fallout from China’s Zero-Covid Policy

Shanghai, China’s most populous city, is slowly making its way out of lockdown. Some shopping malls and markets have reopened. The next step is public transportation resuming operation for limited hours. There are several hundred cases being reported each day. However, this is significantly less than the tens of thousands reported during the peak of the outbreak.

Even if the Chinese government were to lift their domestic zero-COVID policy, the international forecast is not so good. Overseas travel, including freight forwarding, would likely remain severely hampered. The lack of a mass-vaccination program and drop-of-the hat lockdowns following Omicron-related cases has many companies reconsidering their presence in China.


How SiShips Gives You the Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software bringing you the highest quality domestic and international shipping solutions. With the world constantly changing, SiShips puts the shipper in control. We offer efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Labor Negotiations Underway with Dockworkers Union

Labor and Management Meet in San Francisco

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) entered contract talks this week with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). These labor negotiations come ahead of the July 1 expiration of the current contract and amid backlogs and delays in west coast ports like Los Angeles and Long Beach. Jim McKenna, PMA President and CEO, remains hopeful about the negotiations. “At this point in time,” says McKenna, “you have to be cautiously optimistic that we’re not gonna get into a strike scenario, but it’s early in the game.” Both sides have acknowledged the likelihood of talks continuing past the July 1 deadline, but that outcome does not necessarily mean a strike from the ILWU will take place. 

The biggest focus of negotiations is the right to automate ports. The ILWU stands in firm opposition to automation, something PMA has warmed up to following the pandemic. PMA feels that automation is the only viable solution to prevent future backlogs. The ILWU claims any automation of west coast ports will be the end of thousands of jobs for union workers. 

automation port terminal shipping united states domestic international imports exports

Photo courtesy of Chuttersnap via Unsplash

Labor Negotiations Testing an Already Fragile Supply Chain

The backdrop for these negotiations is, of course, the precarious state of the global supply chain. Shanghai, home to the largest port in the world, has been in a strict Covid-19 lockdown for over a month. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has destabilized Eastern Europe and is leading to an increase in energy prices worldwide. Meanwhile, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are still working through the backlog faced by Covid restrictions and transportation strikes in the United States.

The dockworkers have been a key part of the record profits for shipping companies during the pandemic. The 22,000 members of ILWU could be looking to flex some of their leverage. Past strikes have been crippling for the domestic supply chain, with 44% of global imports entering the United States from the 29 ports on the west coast.

Port Densification as a Sticking Point in Labor Negotiations

The core of management’s argument is automation is unavoidable. Major ports, like Los Angeles, are in urban centers without room to expand. Automation enables ports to grow up, instead of out. As the global population grows alongside disposable income, imports continue to rise and ports need a place to store containers before they are sent out on trucks and trains. Additionally, studies show the output of automated facilities is 44% higher than that of non-automated facilities.

The ILWU counters these claims by saying the rise in productivity at automated facilities has come at the cost of work in other locations. Based on the east coast, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) support their west coast counterparts. The ILA has successfully limited terminal’s right to automate in their contracts. The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, is monitoring the negotiations carefully and has stated he is willing to intervene if the supply chain is threatened by any potential outcomes. However, Walsh added he is not personally concerned there will be issues come July.

port shipping freight container ship boat international freight forwarding terminal west coast longshoremen dockworkers union negotiations

Photo courtesy of William William via Unsplash

Common Negotiating Ground on Growth

Both sides remain committed to the negotiating table and believe they will find a solution that works for both parties. The ports are at, and have been at, 100% capacity during the recent past. Terminals need to grow to accept more goods, which means more profit for management and more hours for labor unions. There are versions of a new contract where both sides benefit, it simply is a matter of finding that compromise.


How SiShips Gives You the Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you the highest quality domestic and international shipping solutions. With the world constantly changing, SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Shipping Delays Reverberate from Russia Sanctions

Russia Cut Out of Global Shipping

Russia sanctions rock the global economy following the unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February. Now, as the dust begins to settle from Russia’s first salvo and ensuing sanctions from the rest of the world, the picture of how the global supply chain and shipping industry will be affected is becoming clearer.

In line with sanctions, Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM have suspended most deliveries to Russia, the world’s 11th largest economy. The refusal to deliver “non-essential” goods is in line with numerous other companies that have suspended sales in Russia such as Apple, Google, Ford and Harley-Davidson.

odessa ukraine kiev kharkiv belarus russia mediterranean black sea invasion war

Photo courtesy of Obv Design via Unsplash.

Full Extent of Impact Remains to Be Seen

While foodstuffs and medical supplies are still being allowed into Russia, ports and customs are seeing significant delays due to the need to screen all shipments. Maersk, in particular, is advising shippers to be aware of the risks of transporting perishable goods and can make no promises of when they might be delivered. 

As we saw last year with the blockage in the Suez canal, seemingly isolated incidents can have large ripple effects across the globe. A supply chain that is already stretched thin is not helped by extended delivery times on the European and Asian continents. Not just limited to the sea, Maersk has canceled rail transport between Europe and Asia until further notice. 

Also being hit hard by sanctions is Russian ally-Belarus. The EU has banned over 70% of Belarusian exports for its supporting role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The major sectors that could see repercussions are wood, timber, steel, and iron, along with cement, rubber and fuels.

Difficulty Processing Payments from Russia

maersk mcs cma switzerland belarus russia ukraine invasion putin shipping delays global supply chain

Photo courtesy of Jacob Meissner via Unsplash.

Perhaps the strongest sanction to hit Russia is the removal of seven major Russian banks from SWIFT. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, is a secure financial messaging service based in Belgium that enables international companies to complete transactions with each other. While Russians will feel this more acutely in their daily lives than other citizens, it does affect the global economy and will not help with the current rate of inflation.

Banning any country from SWIFT effectively freezes all of their assets and makes it impossible for them to perform international business transactions. For example, Maersk, a Danish company, is currently unable to accept payments from any Russian company. No matter what happens as the conflict develops, there is literally no international business or shipping Russian operators can participate in until SWIFT lifts its ban. 

Some analysts speculate that aid might come from the East. In 2015, China established the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) in an effort to increase the power of the yuan and lessen the traditionally isolationist country’s reliance on western banks. Experts caution that this is unlikely, however, as only direct participants can use CIPS. Of the 76 direct participants, almost all are Chinese banks or closely-related overseas subsidiaries of those banks.

Complications for Humanitarian Aid

One of the strongest negotiation points where NATO, Ukraine and Russia have managed to agree in principle is the need for humanitarian corridors during the invasion. Though the U.S. has banned trade with the two Ukrainian regions recognized as independent by the Kremlin, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreigh Assets Control has issued six licenses to ensure humanitarian efforts are not negatively impacted. Those licenses include a short-term wind down of trade activities, imports of food, medicine and medical devices, and continued operation of telecommunications, mail and Internet.


How SiShips Gives You The Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you the highest quality domestic and international shipping solutions. With the world constantly changing, SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product. 

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Port Congestion Expected to Continue Into the New Year

High Consumer Demand Prolongs U.S. Port Congestion

Already high consumer demand is growing, causing imports from Asia to continue congesting U.S. ports. Imports are forecast to remain elevated into February and push even higher in the second quarter of 2022.

2022 to Bring an Early Peak Season for Imports

U.S. ports have been struggling with congestion all year, and this is expected to continue into the new year. The annual Lunar New Year lull is typically a period of time that allows any backlogged cargo to be cleared up, but 2022’s “lull” is only expected to last for a matter of weeks in February. LA port chief Gene Seroka also believes 2022 will bring an earlier than usual peak season. This fall, retailers described record-breaking peak season volumes, and are now working to rush ship their products to the U.S. before factories in Asia close on February 1st for Lunar New Year celebrations.

port congestion lunar new year los angeles long beach ports chinese shipping containers delay

Photo courtesy of Tran Huy.

For the past few months, big-box retailers have pushed back their restocks in order to focus on importing holiday merchandise. U.S. imports are expected to increase 4.6% in December, 9% in January, and 7.3% in February. By March and into April, these percentages are expected to drop. Retailers in the second quarter will only have a few months before the rush to restock begins again with back-to-school products.

Trans-Pacific vessel capacity will be tight into 2023, causing retailers to begin shipping their peak season merchandise earlier than usual in the late spring of 2022. Warnings of a second port congestion issue were released last week, but congestion issues will only truly be resolved if imports from Asia slow down considerably. Based on recent consumer demand trends, a slowdown is not likely any time soon.

Above Average Container Dwell Time Contributes to Congestion Issues

port congestion los angeles long beach united states international freight forwarding lunar new year imports

Photo courtesy of John Simmons.

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have experienced the worst U.S. port congestion. These two ports handle 50% of all U.S. imports from Asia, and the amount of imports these ports receive continues to increase. Large numbers of empty containers left at terminals and long-dwelling import containers are contributing to congestion issues, as well as warehouse congestion. The average dwell time for these containers is above 10 days, which is more than double the normal dwell time of 4 days or less.

Despite the LA port shipping back 43% more empty containers to Asia than this time last year, empty containers remain an issue. Carriers are being asked to return their containers to Asia by sending sweeper ships, whose purpose is to take empties away in bulk.


How SiShips Gives You The Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you quality domestic and international shipping solutions. SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Shipping Companies Are Taking Advantage of Pandemic Profits

Increased Demand, Increased Profits

The global supply chain continues to be a mess. There are delays in ports around the globe and backlogs at every step of the way. Shipping costs are 20 times more per container than before the pandemic. However, expenses for shipping lines have remained relatively constant. This translates to one of the most profitable periods ever for a historically low-margin industry.

So, what are the world’s largest shipping companies doing with their newfound pandemic profits? A whole lot, it turns out. The industry leader, Maersk, is investing their war chest in every step of the supply chain. Other firms are diversifying their business by expanding into adjacent industries. The one thing they all have in common is an interest in shoring up their future before profits return to normal.pandemic profits maersk shipping cargo freight industry invest airbus airline supply chain

Investing Pandemic Profits in Shipping Lanes

The Evergreen Group is doubling the size of their fleet after dropping $2.6 billion on 20 new ultra-large containerships; even the globally bad press from the Suez Canal blockage was not enough to sink this Taiwanese-based conglomerate. The privately held Mediterranean Shipping Company is taking advantage of their boost in profits to make one of the largest secondhand cargo ship purchases ever. They hope their addition of 60 secondhand cargo ships to their fleet will be enough to overtake Maersk as the largest shipping company in the world.

Speaking of Maersk, the Danish company is opting for quality over quantity with their fleet and ordering eight carbon neutral vessels to be delivered by 2024. Part of the draw of green vessels for Maersk is the zero carbon ambitions of their clients, like Unilever, Amazon, and Proctor & Gamble. CMA CGM echoes this philosophy with their $627 million spend on ice-breaking cargo ships that can travel the more environmentally friendly routes of the Baltic Sea.

Expanding Airline Fleets

Major shippers are taking “by land, by sea, by air” to heart and pouring money from their pandemic profits into increasing their air delivery capacity. CMA CGM has announced intentions to expand their airbus fleet with a purchase of four A30F freighters at the recent Dubai Air Show. This represents a further commitment to air from the French shipper by tripling the previous size of their cargo airline.

As mentioned earlier, Maersk is sitting no part of the supply chain out and that includes airfreight. Combined with leases and other company acquisitions, they have essentially doubled the size of their airline fleet since this time last year. The two new Boeing 777s, which will serve as the crown jewels of the fleet, are expected to be delivered by 2024.

pandemic profits maersk shipping cargo freight industry invest airbus airline supply chain

Diversifying the Shipping Industry

Part of many shipping companies’ plans for the future involve expanding their portfolios to keep profits on the rise, even when margins return to their typical pre-pandemic levels. Maersk is securing their future with the purchase of German-logistics expert and freight forwarder, Senator International. They are also capping off their shopping splurge with a $5 billion stock buyback.

Mediterranean Shipping Company has placed a large bet on their cruise division by ordering 12 new ships to be delivered from now until 2027. This purchase also includes the launch of a luxury cruise brand from MSC to set sail in 2023.

Finally, Hapag-Lloyd is taking a different approach from all of their competitors. Instead of investing in increasing their capacity, they are using their pandemic profits to purchase sea and rail terminals. If their belief that these port blockages are a one-time issue is correct, this is a wager that could pay huge dividends for Hapag-Lloyd.


How SiShips Gives You The Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you quality domestic and international shipping solutions. SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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How to Manage Post-Pandemic Inventories

Supply Chain Crisis Forcing Re-Evaluation

In early November, the prevailing concern across the shipping and retail industries was would products arrive on shelves in time for the holidays. For the most part, it appears stores will have some goods for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales. It was an extremely close call, though, as there are still major backlogs in ports around the globe, including here in the United States.

This holiday scare is the latest in a series of post-pandemic aftershocks that are forcing companies to re-evaluate the way they order and stock inventories. Do you increase your back stock in order to prepare for another supply chain crisis? Or, do you shrink your inventory and rely on hyper-efficient supply chains to return to pre-pandemic speeds?

post-covid manage inventories inventory stock tips jic jit shipping delays warehouse port congestion global supply chain

Re-Thinking the Supply Chain

The debate between “Just in time” (JIT) and “Just in case” (JIC) inventory levels has been in existence long before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, while supply chains were susceptible to vacillations in the global economy, there was never quite a shock to the system as far-reaching and long lasting as the one that kicked off in March 2020.

“Many clients previously had a dependable supply chain,” says Andrew Ciccarone, President of Sheltered International. “In the last few weeks we’ve seen boats in LA taking an extra month to dock. Now that inventory which should already be shipping for the holidays is still at sea, so we are helping them to rethink models for the post-Covid environment.”

Cost of Doing Business

For most companies, cost is the biggest factor, but relying completely on JIT inventory can leave a company susceptible to massive profit losses as we have seen over the last year. The decision is not an easy one.

For those focused on JIT inventory, it is important to consider extraneous factors that can potentially make JIT more expensive than JIC inventories. In October 2021, the annual inflation rate of the USD blew past projections to reach a two-decade high of 6.8%. This historic inflation rate, along with other considerations, led to the highest average gas prices since 2014. These increases in immediate costs for companies fully reliant on JIT inventory compound on already lost profits from an inability to provide goods to consumers. Companies who made decisions to stock JIC inventories may have had to spend more money upfront, but they have the potential to come out ahead in turbulent sectors like Q3 and Q4 of 2021.

Make A Strong Plan to Manage Inventories

post-covid manage inventories inventory stock tips jic jit shipping delays warehouse port congestion global supply chain

Photo Courtesy of Mak.

The reality of our new situation is every company needs a plan. Fortunately, the Chinese New Year can serve as a real-world testing ground for a post-pandemic world. It may seem a little out there, but the effect the annual holiday has on Chinese exports (over a short period of time, granted) is not dissimilar to the effects of port and factory closures from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead of ordering goods a week or two in advance based on current demand, take the time to analyze sales patterns of previous years to forecast how much inventory you will need for any given time. Additionally, with proper planning, you can make sure to take advantage of the best shipping rates with strategic booking from a platform like SiShips.

It’s also important to remember to plan for after any disruptions. As we are seeing now, ports take a long time to reduce backlog once it begins to pile up and, at the beginning of the supply chain, factories take time in order to ramp up production to pre-existing levels.

If we have learned anything, it’s that there are no longer any guarantees in the shipping industry. But, with proper planning and reasoned foresight, you can still maximize your time and profits.

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you quality domestic and international shipping solutions. SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.


How SiShips Gives You The Advantage

Sheltered International combines expertise with state of the art software to bring you quality domestic and international shipping solutions. SiShips puts the shipper in control, offering efficient and cost effective ways to ship your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Sheltered International to Offer Managed Transportation

All of Your Logistics Solutions in One Place

Sheltered International is excited to share we will now be offering managed transportation. If you’re looking to outsource all of your logistics operations or just a specific segment, such as supply chain discovery or shipment optimization, managed transportation is the best way to grow your business with the assistance of our shipping expertise. Sheltered International will use these new services to enhance our already existing resources of satellite tracking, document management, notification management and delivery deadline tracking.

What that means for you, the shipper, is you will be able to have greater control over your freight shipments while saving on cost.

Put the Shipper In Control

freight cargo shipping containers harbor managed transportationThe singular goal of managed transportation is to empower the shipper with choice. We provide the knowledge and you can make the decisions that work best for your company; it’s as simple as that. Instead of booking on our contracts, we enable your business to initiate your own carrier contracts.

Once your freight is en route, we will use our software and staff to optimize routing, notify you of shipment dispatch, track transit and delivery, and, ultimately, ensure payment and analyze the reported data. Our package of managed transportation services includes:

  • Account Management & Governance
  • Freight Optimization
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Vendor Management
  • Flexible Commercials
  • Consulting & Engineering
  • Order Management
  • Procurement & Pricing
  • Risk Management
  • Control Tower
  • Track & Trace
  • Freight Pay & Audit

cargo ships managed transportation freight crane harborA Hybrid Approach to Managed Transportation

There are two options when looking to improve the speed and quality of your freight delivery: your company can purchase a transportation management system (TMS) or you can outsource the logistics to a managed transportation services provider (MTS). The upshot of a transportation management system is greater net savings, however, you are unlikely to see the same quality of service improvements compared to a managed transportation services provider.

But, what if you don’t have to choose?

Sheltered International is now able to provide our clients with the best of both worlds. We will provide you with the value-added services that you select; a few examples include logistics consulting and analysis, carrier procurement, shipment planning, and execution. And, of course, you will have dedicated account teams at your disposal that will provide insight into KPIs, inside industry updates and quarterly business reviews.

Benefits for Small Shippers

Traditionally, shipping has been all about volume, and for smaller shippers who can’t match the output of larger corporations that means being left behind in the dust and dealing with exorbitant prices and poor customer service. Managed transportation is a modern way for companies with smaller footprints to have access to the same benefits of those larger companies.

Managed transportation with give you access to the whole toolbox without the costs traditionally associated with the large operations that enable access to those volume based discounts.


How SiShips Gives You The Advantage

SiShips is able to help shippers of all sizes and experience levels with our flexible account management and à la carte pricing. With the addition of managed transportation we can tailor our services to fit your freight needs best. Whether your focus is domestic or international shipping, SiShips is here to help you find the most efficient way to transport your product.

To learn more about managed transportation with SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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Sheltered International to Provide Around the Clock Rail Tracking

SiShips Expands Existing Information Database with Rail Tracking

We know, now more than ever, that information is the most valuable commodity. That is why we are excited to share SiShips is now offering rail tracking in tandem with our GPS satellite ocean tracking. Our rail tracking will provide near real-time data sent around the clock, increasing transparency in the shipping process and enabling our shipping partners to be constantly aware of the location of equipment and railcars on more than 560 rail carriers across North America. Our enhanced intermodal tracking abilities will provide more data that you care about in order to improve performance and efficiency while reducing cost.Cargo Ship and Train Terminal

It’s All About the Data

More data points means greater transparency and a greater ability to save you money. Utilizing wayside detectors, the system processes over 11 million events every single day, guaranteeing instant and, more importantly, accurate insight into the status of your shipments. These systems enhance our already vast ocean database and result in more detailed ETAs, Standard Point Location Codes and waybill information.

Unique Benefits of Hybrid System with AIS Satellite Tracking

Our goal has always been to provide complete shipping visibility throughout the entire shipping process from initial loading to final delivery of freight. Our intermodal network allows us to fulfill that mission better than ever before as we deliver a seamless transition from sea-to-land. AIS satellites were first implemented in 1974, meaning we have decades of data to rely upon. Couple that with the terrestrial rail tracking, which contains data points from nearly 200 years ago, and you have an incredibly reliable system that is able to foresee changing conditions like no other.

Screenshot Hybrid Ocean Rail Tracking SoftwareReduce Costs, Improve Performance

The sheer amount of data available through SiShips can be overwhelming, and even feel insurmountable to wade through, and that’s exactly where SiShips comes in to synthesize the seemingly inscrutable information. SiShips is able to improve efficiency for any company by keeping track of the entire fleet in one place. Our shipping partners are able to reduce overhead and shift their personal and invaluable IT resources to focus on their core business. There is no need to worry about bad orders, stress about disputed fees or demurrage charges when you have the exact location and timing of every single shipment at your fingertips.


How Can SiShips Give You An Advantage

Freight is constantly moving across thousands of miles every day. Sheltered International is dedicated to providing near real time information to our shipping partners in order for them to make the best decisions when it comes to their product needs. From local depots to international ports, our unique combination of technology and shipping expertise will keep you one step ahead of the competition. Rail tracking combined with AIS GPS satellites means you will never be in the dark about the status of your cargo.

To learn more about rail tracking via SiShips, or to view a demo of our software, contact us today.

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