Recent Posts

Social media

Facebook
International Forwarding Association Blog »

Challenges to Shipping Zoo Animals

Transporting Animals to Zoos and Aquariums

Transporting wild animals to zoos and aquariums requires good collaboration to ensure that they are moved as stress-free and fast as possible. This requires extensive planning that sometimes takes months on a row as to obtain the necessary permits, arrange transport, and coordinate all steps with supervisors, trainers, and veterinarians. Modes of Transportation Watkins Rogers at AZA Animal Transport for Animal Care Professionals explains that the most humane and fastest way to ship zoo animals is by air as they are kept in crates. Some animals, however, require specialized transportation, as is the case with rhinos and venomous species. Some… Read more

Artificial Intelligence

Technologies That Will Transform Logistics by 2030

New technologies and innovation are constantly transforming the world of logistics and the global supply chain. Here are some trends that will help improve efficiency and customer experience. 3D Printing Experts predict that 3D printing will contribute to decentralized production, with print centres opening in markets worldwide. This means that commodities can be printed at the customer request instead of being moved over long distances. Replacement parts will no longer need to be shipped and kept in warehouses. Instead virtual warehouses will print parts based on data models. Artificial Intelligence AI is expected to transform the shipping sector and to… Read more

Transport Agricultural Produce

Requirements and Documents to Transport Agricultural Produce

Earth population growth is not expected to slow down over the next 80 years, making global sourcing the key to meeting growing demand for agricultural products. Producers, farmers, and growers market and sell commodities that are shipped to different parts of the world. There are import requirements, regulations, and guidelines, however, that EU freight forwarders must be familiar with.   Documentation Phytosanitary Certificate To import agricultural produce, operators submit phytosanitary certificates for plant materials and fresh vegetables and fruits. The certificate guarantees that the produce meets EU plant health requirements, is free from pests, and has been duly inspected. Plants… Read more

Global Maritime Trade

Global Maritime Trade on the Path to Recovery

According to data by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the number of ships calling at ports to load and unload cargo has increased in Q3 2020. This hints to improved business activity and economic recovery from the global pandemic that struck in the beginning of 2020. Impact of Covid-19 on Maritime Trade Maritime shipping saw a dramatic 27 percent drop in the second quarter of 2020. This is mainly due to border and travel restrictions aiming to control the pandemic. UNCTAD reports an 8.5 percent drop in the number of container ships calling at ports in July… Read more

Transporting Covid-19 Samples to Reference Laboratories

Guidelines for Transporting Covid-19 Samples to Reference Laboratories

The World Health Organization has developed a mechanism for transporting clinical samples from suspected coronavirus patients residing in countries that lack specialized Covid-19 laboratories and testing capacity. Local shipping agents working with WHO-approved couriers provide assistance to laboratories in completing export documentation, arranging sample collection, and providing all forms, labelling, and packaging under international transport regulations. This mechanism for transporting hazardous goods and biological substances is similar to the Shipping Fund Project and Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System. Services Offered by Reference Laboratories WHO-approved reference laboratories support efforts toward capacity building in middle- and lower-income countries so that local… Read more

air freight in Europe

General and Special Cargo and Biological Substances Carried by Aircraft

The main types of air freight in Europe are general and special cargo, the latter being shipped in accordance with the IATA Live Animals Regulations and IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. General Cargo This category includes electronics, hardware and machinery, consumer and retail goods, and textiles. In general, all items that are not liquid fall in this category. Special Cargo A number of sub-classes are included, among which fragile and high value items, oversized cargo and heavy weight, and dangerous goods and hazardous materials. Dangerous goods transported by aircraft include arms and ammunition, weapons, and explosives. Valuable items that can be… Read more

Fire Safety Measures Onboard Cargo Ships

Fire Safety Measures Onboard Cargo Ships

It is important that freight forwarders get familiar with fire hazards and safety measures onboard cargo ships so that they are aware of the risks, types of fire, and extinguishing methods that shipping companies use. Classifying Fire Based on fuel  or material type, fire falls in 4 categories – class A, B, C, and D. Class A includes solids that are organic, for example, bedding, fabrics, cardboard, paper, and wood. Fire in class B is caused by liquefiable solids or liquids such as fats, cooking oils, lubricating oils, and diesel. Gas cargoes, acetylene, and other flammable gases fall under class… Read more

freight forwarders

Airlines Modifying Planes to Deal with the Cargo Crunch

Some 150 airlines are now carrying cargo in an effort to offset losses. Passenger traffic may take several years to return to normal, and flying cargo helps airlines to reduce the operational and maintenance costs of parked airplanes. Why Ship Goods Onboard Aircraft When the coronavirus pandemic picked up speed, demand for personal protective equipment such as gowns, gloves, and masks soared. Equipment and medical supplies now need to be shipped from waning hotspots to emerging epicenters. With travel restrictions and lockdowns introduced worldwide, demand for fast goods shipment increased as online sales skyrocketed. As China restarted its economy, large… Read more

Rail Transport

When Rail Transport Is the Best Option

Rail freight is a good choice when shipping large volumes of cargo over long distances, both domestically and across borders. With low fuel costs, it is a cost-effective alternative to other modes of transportation. Here are the cases when rail transport is a good choice and the factors that determine rates.   When to Use For European logistics operators that are moving cargo inland from port facilities, rail freight is a good alternative. This is especially true for countries with busy inland routes that cause delays. It is also best to use when large volumes are shipped in bulk, especially… Read more

Maritime and Rail Terminals for Cargo

Types of Maritime and Rail Terminals for Cargo Handling

Distribution centers and rail and port terminals are used for storage, loading and unloading, and transloading activities. There are different types of terminals based on infrastructure, interface, equipment and vehicles used, location, and land access. Rail Terminals There are five types of facilities – satellite and transmodal terminals, load centres, and near-dock and on-dock. They are linked with port facilities and are a key component of the inland intermodal supply chain. Satellite terminals are usually built at peripheral sites with less traffic. They are used for operations that would take a lot of time or are expensive at port terminals…. Read more

global supply chain

Ship Crews Stranded Onboard to Keep Cargo Flowing

The global supply chain now faces another challenge as many countries begin to restart their economies in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Some 200,000 ship crews are stranded because of flight reduction and suspension and closure of ports around the world. Crew Changes Before the coronavirus pandemic, about 100,000 crew swaps took place on a monthly basis. Experts point to the fact that the number of changes has dwindled to just 20,000 – 30,000 a month. Not only are 200,000 crews stuck onboard and unable to disembark but another 200,000 are staying home and waiting to replace them. Overworked… Read more

Safe Shipping of Medical Supplies Aiding the Fight against the Global Pandemic

Safe Shipping of Medical Supplies Aiding the Fight against the Global Pandemic

Shipping medical supplies and equipment safely and quickly has become key to preventing the further spread of Covid-19 and compensating shortages in many countries. The proper packing of medical equipment is important, especially for non-standard and fragile items and when specialized transportation is required. Types of Medical Equipment and Supplies Medical supplies that are shipped to protect frontline healthcare workers include disposable gloves, N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, and foot and eye protection. Equipment is also shipped, including bulky devices such as X-Ray scans, MRI machines, ECG, and ultrasound. The World Health Organization also published a list of priority equipment… Read more

trains carry oversized cargo

New Train Technologies to Prevent Derailment and Improve Safety

Advanced technologies can make rail transport safer, more efficient, and cost-efficient. New practices such as speed restrictions and more rigorous track inspections help improve safety. Freight car defect detectors are also increasingly used to monitor sound, temperature, force, and other indicators and identify defects. Infrastructure and Track Inspections Multiple studies have shown that broken welds and rails are the main culprits for derailment and fatal accidents. Track geometry, including elevation, gauge, and alignment also lead to train derailments. To overcome this problem, operators now use geometry vehicles to perform inspections. Some carriers also use ground-penetrating radars and ultrasonic systems to… Read more

Maritime Shipping

Half of Maritime Shipping Companies Expect Recovery

The EU shipping industry has been hardly hit, and maritime shippers are not an exception. At the same time, measures and policies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic have not been implemented in all Member States. This is a critical moment for forwarders throughout Europe, including ship owners, operators, charterers, and shipping companies, all having to make the difficult decision whether to continue operations. Impact on the Maritime Shipping Industry In April 2020, a survey was conducted among industry players to assess the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the shipping sector as well as to evaluate the effectiveness… Read more

Freight Transport in the EU

Freight Transport in the EU: Facts and Figures

Moving cargo in a cost-efficient, quick, and safe manner is essential for economic growth, national distribution networks, and global trade. Intermodal transport in Europe combines maritime, rail, road, and air transport to account for factors such as delocalization and concentration of heavy and light duty manufacturing facilities and other processing and manufacturing sites.   Road Transport in the EU Road transport accounts for over 75 percent of freight transport within the European Union. Road transport rates are the highest in Luxemburg based on population size, followed by Lithuania. In terms of national road transport relative to foreign road networks, countries… Read more

EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol

EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol, Perishable Goods, and Other Regulated Commodities

Free movement of goods and people is a core value of the European Union, but this doesn’t mean that everything can be shipped. To ensure that small shipments and cargo pass customs, it is important to become familiar with the conditions under which items can be shipped between EU Member States. Alcohol The rules for shipping alcohol are different for individuals and businesses. In most EU countries, individuals are not allowed to send alcohol, whether by courier service or by post. Authorized online shops are permitted to ship light alcoholic beverages or they can be shipped as freight. Only authorized… Read more

Shipping Pets

Regulations on Shipping Pets and Domesticated Animals Internationally

Many ask freight forwarders if they can safely ship pets internationally as this can be a stressful experience for cats, dogs, and ferrets. Depending on final destination, some countries allow pets after a quarantine period while others may not allow them at all. EU Member States also have special requirements when it comes to required information, vaccinations, and other specifics. Specialized transportation may also be required for some domestic animals, including road and air shipping. What Documents Are Required If you plan to import pets from non-EU states, they must come from authorized countries and territories. State authorities require an… Read more

Import of Drug Supply

Over-Reliance on Import of Drug Supply and the Way Forward

The coronavirus pandemic hit vital industries across the globe and disrupted supply chains due to restrictions and stay-at-home orders. The pharmaceutical supply chain has also been affected by lockdowns and restrictions imposed in India and China where major pharmaceutical producers operate. Drop in Supply due to Over-Reliance Supply from pharmaceutical manufacturers in China has dropped significantly over the last couple of months. This is a source of concern in light of estimates by the WHO that China produces about 1/5 of active pharmaceutical ingredients used by producers.  The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announced that this figure could… Read more

global supply chain

Major Ports Digitize Processes Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Major ports across the globe are increasingly digitizing processes to ensure efficient workflow and keep contact to a minimum during the coronavirus outbreak. The global pandemic already caused major disruption to the global supply chain, with workers ordered to stay home and falling ill. Experts predict that ports may experience staff shortages due to the fact that certain processes require physical handling and interaction. Ports That Already Make Use of Automation and Digitalization The Port of Rotterdam has already introduced digital tools to reduce costs, improve safety, and ensure efficient workflow. Software tools speed up handling of inland vessels, trains,… Read more

Drug Shortages

Drug Shortages due to Reduced Freight Capacity

Europe is now facing coronavirus drug shortages due to reduced freight capacity and more specifically air freight capacity. As many countries have imposed lockdowns, travel bans, and other restrictions, airlines are forced to have their aircraft grounded. Experts predict that the demand for drugs will continue to increase as the pandemic spreads all over the world. How Aircraft Grounding Affects Supply Last month Medicines for Europe Director-General Adrian van den Hoven warned that drug chain supply from countries such as India and China is essential for European states. Shipping drugs across the globe is critical and should be done fast… Read more