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Commonly Shipped Goods That May Present Safety Hazards

There are some types of cargo that can present potential safety hazards and should be subject to risk assessment before shipping. Such items may contain mercury, gases under pressure, or hazardous chemicals that bear health and safety risks if they spill, break, drop, or come in contact with another substance.   What Items Are Considered Hazardous Hazardous items range from ordinary goods like nail polish, liquor, and hair spray to dangerous substances such as toxic materials and gases. Toxic and infectious substances, for instance, include items carrying fungi, viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, that can cause harm, injury, or death…. Read more

Regulations and Challenges when Shipping from Europe to Africa

If it is the first time you’re shipping from a European to an African country, there can be a level of uncertainty and unfamiliarity involved. Different countries have imposed different customs rules and regulations, with some challenges like strict regulatory regimes on imported goods.   Technical Regulations A number of countries across Africa have imposed import regulations, including Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Botswana, among others. The main idea of establishing regulations is to ensure product quality and protect the plant, animal, and human health and life. Under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement, states have the right… Read more

Regulations and Rules for Shipping to the Middle East

Whether shipping for a small retailer, mid-sized business, or a multinational corporation, there are some specifics to learn about when exporting goods to Middle East markets. To help you get started, here are some regulations and paperwork required when shipping goods to your target markets.   Import Regulations Most countries in the region require that shippers present a Certificate of Origin, along with packing lists, commercial invoices, bills of lading or waybills, and insurance coverage. When shipping to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, freight forwarders need to present a Certificate of Origin for items valued over $100. For Qatar,… Read more

Guide to Shipping Antique Items

Antiques are among the most valuable items that customers ship, whether bought from specialized dealers, auction houses, or flea markets or passed down through generations. As they have а financial and sentimental value, leaving them behind or selling them is usually not an option. And whether shipping for individual customers, estate distributors, auction houses, or dealers, there are some details to consider when moving antiques long distances.   Types of Antiques Freight forwarders ship a wide range of antique items, including dressers and chests, curio cabinets, secretary desks, and mirrors. Other items include: Glass and porcelain items Family heirlooms Clocks… Read more

Types of Oversized Cargo and Shipping Options

The oversized cargo includes items that are non-standard and extra-large and cannot be transported in standard containers. It covers different types of cargo that vary in technical characteristics, weight, and dimensions, including construction and special equipment, agricultural machinery, and watercraft and aircraft.   Agricultural Machinery Depending on the destination and type of machinery, agricultural equipment can be shipped by RO/RO vessels, charter and air freight services, break bulk vessels, flat racks, and deck trailers. Machinery with tracks or wheels can be transported by RO/RO ships provided that it is operational and clean. RO/RO vehicles ship both towable and self-propelled equipment… Read more

From Food to Vehicles: Items That Can Be Shipped by Railroad

Rail transport is commonly used to move heavy and bulky cargo across long distances. The main types of cargo that are transported by rail include consumer goods, special cargo, and electronics. The many advantages to using rail transport are safety, lower fuel consumption, capacity, and cost-effectiveness. Also, as rail freight allows for moving large shipments, it is often used to transport construction and building materials, beverages and food, liquids, vehicles, and small cargo in large quantities.   Construction and Building Materials Construction materials are often shipped by train, including shingles, bricks, and metal coils. Other items include: Rebar Paper Asphalt… Read more

Factors That Affect Ocean Freight Rates

Ocean freight accounts for about 90 percent of global shipping, which makes it the main mode of transportation. It is also the preferred mode due to efficiency, cost-competitiveness, and heavy cargo capability. There is also a degree of flexibility in how freight rates are calculated. In some cases, rates cover shipping, stowage, and unloading at the port of arrival but not loading and stowage at the port of origin. In other cases, carriers are not responsible for trimming, stowage, unloading, and loading. Other factors that affect rates include season, distance to destination, type and amount of cargo, fuel costs, and… Read more

Air Freight Shipping Options: from Cargo Airlines to Onboard Couriers

If you are shipping air freight, there are different options to look into, including cargo and commercial airlines, onboard couriers, and expedited charters. They vary in terms of cost, risk of late arrival, and speed, and the choice depends on the type of cargo and your specific business objectives.   Cargo Airlines Many of the major carriers lease or own aircraft so that they can ship cargo. The majority of freight forwarders use cargo aircraft or freighters, but some operators also use passenger flights. This option can work well for forwarders that regularly ship cargo along a particular route. The… Read more

Depots and Carriers Struggling with Excess Container Capacity

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, sea freight in Europe faced a shortage of containers. Today we’re having the opposite problem: an excess of containers. In addition to declining rates, depots are either full or are quickly filling up, with some operating at 99 to 100 percent capacity. This trend is associated with a decline in global demand, combined with an impending recession. The fact that many operators bought new containers for one-way sailings is only aggravating the situation further.   Why Are Depots Facing Excess Depot managers point to the fact that container volume has skyrocketed to the… Read more

Shipping Companies Outsourcing Non-core Capabilities to Focus on Their Core Expertise

A recent survey by Deloitte reveals that 59 percent of shipping companies are in the process of acquiring new core capabilities, while a similar share (60 percent) of carriers are looking to outsource their non-core capabilities. According to the study, these processes could complement each other, with shippers outsourcing support functions while building or expanding their core capabilities.   Core Functions Core capabilities include processes such as order fulfilment, warehouse management, transportation scheduling, safety, workforce and demand planning, and portfolio planning. Currently, the majority of shippers are looking to add new capabilities so that their services and operations align with… Read more

Four Types of Warehouses and How They Work

When people think of warehouses, the image of a dark, cold, and dusty place usually comes to mind. Yet, today’s facilities are modern, clean, and full of light. They keep goods safe, meet urgent demand, and keep the economy moving. Here are 4 types of warehouses and the functions they serve.   Cold Storage Cold storage warehouses are used to keep temperature-sensitive and perishable goods at a specific temperature. They enable cosmetics, artwork, medicines, plants, and foods to have longer lives and maintain their quality and integrity. The types of items that require cold storage include: Aircraft components Hides, wool,… Read more

Types of Road Vehicles for Cargo Shipment

Regardless of the sector you operate in, delivering your products to clients safely, in good condition, and on time is key to your reputation and bottom line. Yet, with a range of equipment and modes to consider, choosing the best option is not always easy. From power-only, refrigerated, and dry vans to straight trucks and cargo vans, here is a quick guide to help you decide on the type of equipment you may need.   Refrigerated Trailers This piece of equipment is used for refrigeration transport of perishable goods like pharmaceuticals, dairy, and fresh produce. Refrigerated trailers or reefers are… Read more

Sea freight in Europe

The Shipping Industry Is Lagging Behind on Embracing AI

Artificial intelligence can provide forwarders with an opportunity to enhance their decision-making capacity. Data transmitted by commercial vessels, for example, can be used for predictive guidance and performance monitoring, enabling businesses to forecast greenhouse gas emissions. This is a way to lower emission levels and ensure carbon transparency. Other implementations include automated processes, improved scheduling, real-time analytics, and so on.     To leverage AI, however, international freight forwarders should take multiple factors into consideration, including the legal framework guiding artificial intelligence. One particular challenge to implementation, especially for shippers operating in both EU member states and the UK is… Read more

storage and distribution

Decline in Consumer Demand Is Hurting the Maritime Industry

There is a significant decline in consumer demand, with logistics CEOs noting a 20 percent decrease in ocean freight orders for the last two months. The pullback is evident across a wide range of products, ranging from some types of apparel to industrial, housing, and machinery. The main reasons for the drop in orders are lack of clarity on demand, combined with excessive inventory. CEOs share the opinion that the number of waiting cargo ships is expected to drop. Outbound tender rejections are also signaling a decline in orders.     Inventory Issues Demand for expensive items is still strong,… Read more

Reduce Staff, Warehousing and Transportation Costs

Ways to Reduce Staff, Warehousing and Transportation Costs  

If you are specializing in freight management and logistics, chances are you are faced with all kinds of expenses associated with storing and moving cargo, including fuel, warehousing, insurance, and labor costs. With inflation and ever-increasing prices, international freight forwarders are forced to optimize supply chain procedures to reduce costs. While improving your bottom line may look like a challenging task, here are some costs to account for and some tips on how to keep expenses down to grow your business.     Shipping Costs to Account for Shipping costs are paid to a range of businesses, including freight brokers,… Read more

Shipping Industry

Green Corridors Can Help Decarbonize the Shipping Industry

Green corridors are routes that are exclusively used by ships running on alternative fuels. Recently, their feasibility has been widely debated by industry players. Most agree that green corridors can help de-carbonize the shipping industry but there are still some uncertainties about implementing them. But first comes first – what are green corridors and what are the different types that industry players can use?     The Logic behind Green Corridors Broadly speaking, green corridors are specific routes that make zero- and low-emission shipping more feasible. They correspond to economic zones where industry players can implement new business models and… Read more

Logistics Branches

Logistics Branches: From Production to Recycling

Logistics can be divided into a number of branches, each with its functions and specifics. The main branches are production, procurement, sales, and recovery logistics. These functional areas cover a wide range of activities such as packaging, transportation, inventory control, storage and distribution, materials handling, and order processing, to name a few.     Production Logistics Production logistics involves a wide range of processes, among which the execution, control, and planning of storage and transport for finished, semi-finished, spare, and purchased parts as well as operating, auxiliary, and raw materials. The goal is to ensure an efficient and smooth flow… Read more

Cargo Damage Occurs

Reasons Why Cargo Damage Occurs and Tips to Prevent It

There is nothing worse than inspecting your freight only to find concealed damage. It will not only incur significant financial losses but can hurt your reputation, customer relationships, and company growth. Knowing some of the common situations that cause freight damage is your best weapon so that you are able to properly inspect cargo upon arrival. If you are on the shipping side, there are some preventive measures to take protect and ship cargo safely.     How Does Cargo Get Damaged? Some damages are unforeseen while others can be prevented by proper handling. Common reasons for freight damage include:… Read more

Ocean Freight

Ocean Freight Carriers Investing in Aircraft

Ocean carriers are increasingly offering air cargo services as customers are looking for an intermodal logistics solution to ship freight around the globe. According to experts, it is more than just simplifying logistics but also about making it effective, efficient, and optimized. Some of the largest shipping companies have already added aircraft to their fleet while others have opened an air cargo division. This is because global supply chain disruptions have created a demand for cargo to be flown.     Why Customers Choose Air Freight In the majority of cases, air is only part of the solution. Some customers… Read more

How to Become a Shipper

How to Become a Shipper: A Guide in 3 Steps

A shipper is a business that receives, oversees, and transports cargo on behalf of other businesses. The company can choose to ship goods by sea, rail, or road based on type of cargo, final destination, optimal route, and budget. The forwarder is also tasked with unloading and loading of cargo, inspecting quantity and quality, checking inventory receipts, and more.     If you are interested in becoming a freight forwarder, you need to master some essential skills, identify your career goals, and learn how to manage contracts and international freight services. Essential Skills to Master To become a shipper, you… Read more