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Rail Freight

End of China’s Rail Freight Subsidies and Impact on Stakeholders

Rail freight is a cost-effective alternative to air freight for shipping cargo from China to Europe. Air delivery is expensive for both consignees and shippers while ocean freight transit times are slower, making rail transport a solution that sits in between. Why Use Rail Freight for Shipments from China As the borders between Europe and China remain open amidst the pandemic, rail freight is not facing any serious disruptions. There is also a trend of shipping more medical supplies and personal protective equipment by railway instead of by air freight. This is because demand has slowed down in recent months,… Read more

Parcel Marketplace

Challenges for Shippers Operating in the Parcel Marketplace

The parcel marketplace is facing serious challenges due to Covid-19, including difficult service conditions and lack of capacity resulting from a huge surge in B2C shipments. This has already led to increased operating and shipping costs for freight forwarders because carriers have implement peak surcharges. This trend has been ongoing since the onset of the global pandemic and is projected to continue until more vaccines are distributed to inoculate the global population. This is when more consumers and freight forwarders are expected to return to normal.     Reasons for Shipping Price Hikes The shift to digital and the acceleration… Read more

Vaccine Supply Shortage

What Is Causing EU’s Vaccine Supply Shortage

The EU recently threatened to impose export controls on Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in Europe. This move came after AstraZeneca announced a significant reduction in the number of dozes it could deliver by March. As a result, a political crisis followed, with debates to block the export of vaccines to the North. In case the bloc decides to trigger the emergency provision, the new regulation would also require that pharmaceutical manufacturers report the destination and quantity of exports, enabling states to block vaccine flows. While the EU reversed its decision to impose controls, the question that begs to be answered is… Read more

Air Freight

Uses of Air Freight: Shipping Time-Sensitive and High-Value Commodities

Air freight is expensive compared to other modes of transportation and thus is limited by cost. Freight rates vary between €1.25 and €3.75, which makes it 12 – 16 times more expensive than sea transport and 4 – 5 times more costly than road freight. For this reason, it is usually used for items that are time-sensitive or of high value, including perishable seafood products and agricultural produce, electronics, consumer goods, fashion clothing, pharmaceuticals, documents, and production samples. Air transport is also used for emergency shipments and just-in-time production as well as for exports from developing countries, including commodities such… Read more

EU Trade Flows

The Impact of New Border Restrictions on EU Trade Flows

New border measures have been implemented across Europe, with the potential to cause significant supply chain disruptions. Experts warn that the restrictions introduced by Germany at its border crossings with the province of Tyrol, Austria and the Czech Republic may result in delays in freight delivery across the EU. Other countries that introduced such measures are Hungary, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Under the recently imposed restrictions, all truck drivers are required to present a negative Covid-19 test, which is likely to have a significant negative impact on trade flows. Borders are open but the green lanes have thus been closed,… Read more

Charter Service

Linear and Charter Ships, Types, Arrangements, and Routes

Merchant ships come in two varieties, charter or tramp vessels that transport cargo based on demand and linear vessels that have fixed schedules and operate on fixed routes. Trampers include bulk carriers and tankers operating in charter markets and shipping cargo from any port to any port. Linear vessels such as RoRo and container ships, on the other hand, have a fixed, regular routing and standard tariffs. Charter Service Charter vessels are typically hired to transport cargo over a certain route and for a specified period. The main charter types are time, voyage, and demise, with variations like contract of… Read more

Marine Vessels for Shipping

Types of Marine Vessels for Shipping Different Cargo Loads

Tankships, also known as tankers, carry a wide selection of gases and liquids as well as cargo such as wine, molasses, and vegetable oils. They are built to ship commodities in a way that minimizes risks, including fungal and bacterial growth, spoilage of foods, and volatile behavior. Other ships are used to transport livestock, including specialized vessels and modified bulk carriers that are designed to ship different types of animals. This means that the choice of vessel is important in ensuring safety during transit.     Food Foodstuff includes items such as partially processed, frozen, packaged, and fresh food, most… Read more

Shortage of Empty Containers

Shortage of Empty Containers Causing Price Hikes

The cost of transporting cargo from China to Europe has skyrocketed in the past two months because of a significant shortage of empty containers amidst the pandemic. Long waiting times at airports forced airlines to charge extra for container shipping which also contributed to rate hikes.     Why Rates Soared This is due to global supply chain disruptions causing the cost of a 40-foot container to increase to over $9,000, up from $2,000. According to consultancy SeaIntelligence expert Lars Jensen, it is companies fighting for containers that is driving rates up, turning them into a limited resource. Shipping lines… Read more

Freight Documents

Important Freight Documents to Submit When Shipping Internationally

There are certain freight documents that forwarders must be familiar with, including letter of credit, certificate of origin, commercial invoice, bill of lading, and packing list. Even a seemingly small error while filling in paperwork can cause significant shipping delays, thus disrupting the supply chain.   Bill of Lading This is a type of freight document that works as a contract between the cargo owner and shipper. The exporter and importer details must be filled in, including information such as number of packages, list of goods, dates of arrival and departure, ports of destination and departure, and consignee and consignor… Read more

refrigeration transport Vaccine

Global Vaccine Delivery Efforts and Challenges Ahead

With vaccines being developed and approved for use in the hope to protect billions around the world, countries are facing a formidable challenge – distributing hundreds of millions of doses requiring ultra-cold shipping. The near-simultaneous delivery of millions of jabs not only requires significant production capabilities but also puts pressure on logistics businesses engaged in distribution. Challenges That Lie Ahead The world is already facing a shortage of shipping resources, especially when it comes to refrigeration transport. One problem is that refrigerated truck and air cargo carriers are in high demand that already exceeds supply. Another is that carriers are… Read more

European logistics industry

Trends That Will Transform the Logistics Industry in the Post-Covid-19 Era

With vaccines receiving regulatory approval for roll out by national authorities, hopes are high that the pandemic is slowly coming to an end. It has been a difficult year, however, with millions of people hard hit by restrictions, lockdowns, and school closures. Many industries have been affected as well and are still struggling to recover while others shut down. It is safe to say that the European logistics industry has been hit like many others and is continuously adapting to meet safety protocols and current demand.     What we are likely to witness is small businesses disappearing, rising prices,… Read more

freight forwarders alcohol

Packaging Requirements for Shipping Alcoholic Beverages

Shipping alcohol is legal in the EU but the packaging requirements are different for large loads and small amounts. While small quantities can be mailed in a package, larger loads require van or pallet delivery.   Small Amounts For small shipments or to send as gifts, each bottle must be placed in a plastic bag and then into a bottle box. Adding foam or bubble wrap to the bottle box helps protect shipments against damage. Bubble wrap is used for extra cushioning when fragile items are transported. When sending bottles together with other items, adding bubble wrap to fill the… Read more

Shipping Vaccines

Logistics Capabilities for Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery and Distribution

Billions of vaccine doses have to be shipped to inoculate the world in 2021 – 2022 but for forwarders, shots are just a small percentage of cargo to be carried over the next couple of months. In fact, logistics companies say they are prepared to handle shipments despite challenges like transporting shots in special boxes fitted with GPS trackers as to monitor whether sub-sub-zero temperatures are maintained. Vaccine doses are already delivered to Switzerland, Brazil, the United States, and the Middle East. Logistics Capabilities Fewer than 100,000 trucks will be needed to transport 8 billion shots, which is about 0.00001… Read more

Customs Declaration

Details to Include in a Customs Declaration

A customs declaration is a document submitted to provide information about cargo or goods that are exported or imported.  It can be lodged by the owner of cargo which can be an association, company, or individual. A representative or person acting on behalf of the owner can also lodge a customs declaration.   Why Submit a Declaration? Individuals or legal entities lodge a customs declaration upon export by starting an export procedure and upon import when goods are intended to be shipped to a customs territory. How to Lodge a Customs Declaration? There are three ways to place goods or… Read more

Packagings to Ship Perishable Goods

Types of Packagings to Ship Perishable Goods

Plenty can go wrong when shipping perishables and trying to protect them against spoilage, staleness, humidity, and extreme temperatures. There are different packagings and packs to use when transporting perishable items, including cold packs, insulated food shippers, solid plastics, and foam brick.   Types of Packaging Cold packs are a safe and simple solution to ship perishables so that they stay cold during transit. They keep constant temperatures inside containers and boxes of pharmaceutical, beverage, and food products. When packing, it is a good idea to test the number and size of packs required. A larger quantity and large-sized packs… Read more

Logistics Challenges to Mass Immunization

Logistics Challenges to Mass Immunization

If the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech gets approved, distribution and storage requirements can pose a significant challenge to mass immunization. Pfizer and BioNTech just announced that their vaccine is over 90 percent effective but must be transported at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Demand would be significant and immediate and far exceeding what manufacturers are able to supply. Distribution not only involves specialized transportation but shippers would also be involved in transporting the vaccine.   Distribution within EU Manufacturing plants in Belgium and Germany would produce the vaccine for EU Member States. If Pfizer and BioNtech secure regulatory authorization, deliveries… Read more

Groupage Services

Groupage Services for Safe and Affordable Shipping

Also referred to as shared shipping, groupage services combine smaller-sized shipments and are ideal for customers who want to move their personal belongings. Who Benefits from Groupage Groupage services are often used by recent expats who want to move their belongings to a new location. They are also ideal for students enrolled in a university in a foreign country who want to bring some extra luggage with them. Groupage services are also used by persons who are planning on relocating to another country for a relatively shorter period. Those who have excess baggage also benefit from shared shipping. Benefits for… Read more

EU Regulations

EU Regulations on Goods Subject to Shipping Restrictions

Shipping restrictions vary by country and may apply to items such as explosives, combustibles, firearms, and corrosives, which are subject to special controls. In the European Union, restricted or prohibited goods fall in three categories – pirated or counterfeit goods, dangerous chemicals, and endangered species.       Dangerous Chemicals Hazardous chemicals that are subject to authorization are listed in Annex XIV to Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 (REACH). The list of hazardous goods includes items such as diarsenic trioxide and dibutyl phthalate which are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction. Some items cannot be shipped and placed on the market, whether… Read more

supply chain

Logistics Sector Adapting to a Challenging Environment through Digitization

Many industrial sectors have been on the losing side on a global scale, either struggling to stay afloat or failing. Some companies do not have the strategies, capabilities, capacity, and cash reserves to continue operations while others stayed open to hardly break even.     The good news is that the logistics and distribution sector somehow managed to adapt despite the devastating impact of the global pandemic. Problems That the Logistics Sector Faced For the majority of operators, the sector has been operating under pressure and in a very challenging environment due to reduced output and demand, which have a… Read more

Groupage Services

How to Choose a Provider That Offers European Groupage Services

Groupage services allow customers to transport small shipments domestically and internationally, whether sending consignments, boxes, or pallets. Forwarders that offer haulage services and ship items across the EU or import goods spread out the costs so that customers benefit from optimal value. With partners in all major cities across Europe, they are able to provide personalized, reliable, safe, and fast groupage solutions. Factors to Consider The main factors that influence cost include weight and dimensions, final destination, place of loading, and distance. The mode of transportation, whether by sea, land, or air also influences pricing.  The same goes for combining… Read more