Recent Posts

Social media

Facebook
International Forwarding Association Blog »

Maritime Shipping

Impact of the Ukraine Conflict on Maritime Shipping

The war in Ukraine has caused a serious supply chain disruption which is likely to exacerbate the crew crisis, port congestion, and supply chain disruption caused by the prolonged pandemic. International freight forwarding has been hard hit, with the burden of sanctions, the disruption of trade with Ukraine and Russia, and the loss of vessels and life in high-risk areas in the Black Sea. Carriers face multiple challenges such as cyber risk, availability and cost of fuel, and crews stranded in Ukraine waters.   Implications for Global Trade According to the International Monetary Fund, the ongoing conflict is likely to… Read more

Routes for Ukraine’s Wheat

Alternative Export Routes for Ukraine’s Wheat

Since the early days of the conflict, Ukraine’s ports have remained blocked due to Russian ships and mines. There are 80 ships currently stranded, some carrying cargo, others – empty, with crews having fled from Ukraine. The country’s biggest port, the port of Yuzhne has been idle for the last three months, with thousands of workers staying home. How Could Shipping Be Restored?   Boosting Rail and Road Capacity Earlier in May, the European Commission announced plans to boost rail and road capacity and unblock Ukrainian borders so that grain can be shipped. Yet, bottlenecks still remain, and mainly the… Read more

Illicit shipping practices

Sanctions Evasion and Illicit Shipping and Compliance Practices

Illicit shipping practices are often used by countries that seek to evade economic sanctions. Such practices include flag hopping and false flags, voyage irregularities, altering vessel identification, manipulating or disabling vessel automatic system identification, and falsifying ship-to-ship transfers and vessel and cargo documents, among others.   Flag Hopping and False Flags A false flag operation is where a carrier pretends that a ship is sailing under a flag state without the knowledge, permission, or consent of that state. Flap hopping, on the other hand, involves changing the flag state of a ship with the goal of avoiding identification by the… Read more

Shipping Industry

How the Russia – Ukraine War Impacts the Shipping Industry

The liquid and dry bulk markets will be affected this year due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the supply chain disruptions that are expected to continue through 2022. Experts predict trade growth to be 1 – 2 percent based on type of cargo. While trade growth has lost momentum due to the war, there are mitigating factors such as route changes and cargo flows being redirected. To what extent carriers will be impacted depends on contracting and specific markets.   Types of Cargo Most Affected According to analysts, coal is the main dry bulk flow that is expected… Read more

Documents for International Shipping

4 Most Common Documents for International Shipping

International shipping offers businesses the chance to enter new markets and reach more customers. However, it is important to understand the regulations and procedures for importing and exporting, and it is equally important to secure the right shipping documents. You should be prepared to provide details about your business, shipment, country of origin and destination, and the reasons for shipping. In some cases, you will also need to obtain permits and proper licensing for your shipment. There is a wide variety of documents that you might need to present to comply with legal requirements and import and export regulations. Some… Read more

Shanghai’s Covid-19 Lockd freight forwarders

Domestic and Global Impact of Shanghai’s Covid-19 Lockdown

Lockdowns in various Chinese cities have increased pressure on logistics and transport, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise across the country. The trucking industry has been hard hit, which plays a key role in shipping cargo to major ports in China. There are also restrictions on deliveries and truck drivers moving goods to areas with a high Covid-19 count.   Domestic Impact According to domestic freight forwarders, trucking is the main problem at present. Booking truck services has proven extremely challenging and even impossible at times. Also, flight activity has shrunk to 3 percent from what it was in March,… Read more

Oversized Cargo

Shipping Oversized Cargo, Modes, Challenges, and Considerations

Oversized loads cover a wide range of freight that differs in terms of dimensions, weight, and technical characteristics. Shipping of heavyweight items is more challenging than transporting standard-sized cargo due to their dimensions and the fact they are subject to special regulations. There are many things to account for, from freight specifics and optimal delivery route to challenges and problems with transport. Types of Oversized Loads There is a variety of freight types that are categorized as oversized cargo, including industrial machinery such as large engines, bulldozers, and cranes and vehicles such as trucks and cars. Steel structures and beams… Read more

China and Implications for Shipping

Massive Lockdowns in China and Implications for Shipping

Covid-19 is not over yet, with China reporting the worst outbreak since the onset of the pandemic. The third most populous city, Shenzhen was placed on lockdown this Sunday, and factories closed temporarily. Shanghai has also experienced a surge in cases, and new restrictions have been imposed. Shenzhen is the home to the world’s third largest port while Shanghai is home the world’s largest. The extent to which the trans-Pacific route will be affected depends on how long factories and ports will be closed. According to experts, the worst-case scenario would be a major shockwave putting pressure on already strained… Read more

Different Modes of Transport

Pros and Cons of Different Modes of Transport

There is a variety of ways to manage the flow of goods and ship cargo from place of origin to a distribution center or point of consumption. The choice of shipping method depends on the type, dimensions, and requirements of cargo to be moved, whether supplies, equipment, raw materials, and goods. Shipping is a complex process that involves a number of steps, from packaging and loading, to shipping, warehousing, and securely managing data. Historically, European logistics providers used one mode of transportation, be it shipping containers by sea or moving goods by trucks. With time, the demand for intermodal freight… Read more

Global Supply Chains

Global Supply Chains under Pressure due to New Lockdowns in China

Recent coronavirus outbreaks have forced China to implement new restrictions that can further strain global supply chains, resulting in disrupted flow of goods and even higher inflation. Global supply chains are already under pressure due to port congestions, delayed ships, and a surge in demand. New Challenges Ahead The tightening restrictions in the Jilin province and cities such as Shenzhen and Shanghai may cause further delays, stain port capacity, and increase freight rates on major routes, which already have reached sky-high levels. Major carriers have warned that test requirements for truck drivers and restrictions may cause delays in transport to… Read more

E-Commerce Shipping

E-Commerce Shipping Methods, Benefits, and Costs

E-commerce shipping covers all processes involved in transporting products bought online. With the right partner and shipping method, delivery can be fast, affordable, and manageable. What Steps the Shipping Process Includes? Three main steps are order receiving, processing, and fulfillment. When an order is received, it can be fulfilled provided that items are in stock. Order processing involves verifying the customer’s name and address to ensure that all data is accurate. A picking list is created as a next step so that goods are prepared, packed, and transported. Shipping Strategies and Methods There are a number of shipping methods that… Read more

Support Marine Crews

UN Urges States to Support Marine Crews

Four UN organizations recently released a joined statement urging carriers, governments, local and national authorities, and other stakeholders to ramp up efforts to deal with the crew change crisis that has affected over 400,000 mariners since the onset of the pandemic. The statement issued by WHO, UNSTAD, IMO, and ILO notes that more efforts are needed to protect crew safety and health and minimize the risk of supply chain disruptions. The four organizations also stress on the fact that due to increased vaccination rates among crews and the gradual easing of travel restrictions, the situation shows signs of improvement. Developments… Read more

Air cargo

Air cargo and world trade in a pandemic

The pandemic has drastically reduced passenger flights around the world. But unlike this type of flight, the air transport of goods and cargo continues to take place without a decline. International air freight decreased by 5% compared to 2021 levels between 31 January and 13 February 2022. The imposition of cargo volume restrictions and higher prices compared to other modes of transport did not have a significant impact on the air cargo.   Factors for maintaining the demand for air transport of goods With the onset of the pandemic, a great demand for goods for protection in public places and… Read more

ship transport

Ship Backlogs Expected to Ease by Mid-2022

Ship backlogs have lasted for two years already due to the global health and economic crisis. According to experts, however, backlogs are expected to let up in mid-2021, easing pressure on carriers and container capacity. This would also mean less revenue for the big cargo carriers from the spot market. So far, freight rates have been record-high, up to 10 times that of 2019 levels on the busiest shipping routes. Going Forward Shipping experts point to the fact that while we are moving toward a post-pandemic future, we don’t really know what it will look like. The global community doesn’t… Read more

small shipments e-commerce

Is the Online Shopping Boom Going to Continue Post-Covid-19?

Demand for online delivery and products shipped to your doorstep has increased with the onset of the pandemic, as many consumers have been forced to work from home. Questions that beg to be answered are: what kind of people buy products online, is this shift in consumer behavior temporary or will continue post-Covid-19, and how has demand changed? Research from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York offers some valuable insights that could aid international freight forwarders and policymakers. Study Findings According to associate professor Cara Wang, the vast majority of people (over 90 percent) would return to their old… Read more

Transporting Live Fish

Transporting Live Fish Internationally

There are different ways of transporting live fish but where it is shipped is an important consideration. You should not only check whether there are fees and customs charges but also if you can legally ship fish to the place of destination and across borders. You may have to apply for an import permit, and there may be quarantine periods for some types of aquarium fish. Factors to Account for Climate is always an important factor as well as weather at the place of origin and destination. Extreme temperatures can affect fish, especially when it sits at a post office… Read more

Post-Pandemic Strategies for Forwarders

Winning Post-Pandemic Strategies for Forwarders

Amidst the pandemic, experts predicted that some commodities were headed for a quick recovery, examples being fast-recovering goods such as minerals, gravel, stones, and agricultural products. Others are neutral or slow-recovering due to a mix of market forces. Fast-Recovering Commodities Goods that are faster to return include pharmaceutical products, animal feed, food and grocery items, and agricultural and basic commodities. The main factors of market growth are the fact that they are considered national priority, are in-demand, and are more easily available due to the acceleration of e-commerce. Neutral and Slow-Recovering Commodities Some products are considered neutral when it comes… Read more

Air Shipping Requirements

Air Shipping Requirements and Guidelines for Pet and Crew Safety

Pet shipping accounts for a significant share of cargo onboard aircraft, with a diverse array of species being transported by air. When moving pets, there is plenty to know when it comes to shipping regulations and requirements and the documents you need to submit. Regulations and Scope Any business or person transporting pets falls under the scope of the IATA Live Animals Regulations, including freight forwarders that are shipping animals for agricultural, scientific, conservations, and zoological purposes. The regulations also apply to everyone who is shipping racehorses and pets. What to Do Before Shipping Before transporting live animals by air,… Read more

Airlines

Clogged Chains and Travel Restrictions Affecting Air Capacity

The ongoing pandemic is not only a humanitarian and health crisis but it is also a time of economic turmoil and shock. Figures show that air capacity was down by 7 percent between December 2021 and January 2022 compared to 2018. There have also been capacity fluctuations during the holiday season due to the new Omicron variant. On the positive side, airlines have been using aircraft for vaccine distribution around the globe. Yet, a major supply chain disruption factor is the fact that restrictions have left thousands of employees stuck in quarantine. Freight, Airlines, and Clogged Chains Airlines around the… Read more

international freight forwarders

Mariners and Truck Drivers Refuse Contracts as the New Variant Spreads

With truck drivers concerned over travel restrictions and border closures and ship crew refusing to sign contracts, the shipping industry is facing challenging times. From small logistics companies to big businesses, freight forwarders find it increasingly difficult to get enough staff amidst a surge in omicron infections. According to experts, about 20 percent of truck driving positions are still vacant despite the fact that logistics providers are willing to offer higher wages. They predict another year of severe supply chain disruptions, with demand exceeding supply and high costs for cargo owners.   Why Drivers Refuse Contracts As omicron spreads quickly,… Read more