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International Forwarding Association Blog » Supply chain

Supply chain

Navigating Holiday Supply Chain Challenges in European Freight Forwarding

The holiday season is a critical time for freight forwarders as it presents a range of challenges. They contend with supply chain disruptions, heightened theft and loss risks, customs requirements, and the impact of winter weather on transportation.   Supply Chain Disruptions The holiday period is notorious for supply chain disruptions. Increased traffic on major shipping lanes like the English Channel and the Baltic Sea routes leads to congested routes, increased transit times, and delayed deliveries. Freight forwarders must be skilled at responding to these disruptions, which often require the implementation of contingency plans. These plans may include rerouting shipments… Read more

The Role of Freight Forwarders in Mitigating Supply Chain Risks

As the global economy becomes more complex, supply chain risk is on the rise. With globalization and the growing number of customers and suppliers, supply chains are longer and more intricate, making them vulnerable to a variety of security and logistics risks. These risks include cyber threats, economic instability, natural disasters, and political unrest, among others. To help mitigate them, freight forwarders play a critical role in developing strategies that reduce risks and ensure the smooth flow of goods.   Cybersecurity Risks The key to managing cyber threats is implementing robust cybersecurity measures such as introducing secure digital platforms, strict… Read more

From Supply Chain Disruptions to Sustainability: Challengers Forwarders Face

In an increasingly globalized, hyper-connected world, managing the flow of goods can be both challenging and complicated. Some common challenges that European logistics businesses face include supply chain disruptions, changing market conditions, environmental sustainability, and communication and collaboration with multiple parties.   Supply Chain Disruptions Supply chain disruptions can occur for a number of reasons, including labor strikes, political unrest, and natural disasters. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can cause power outages and damage to transportation infrastructure, resulting in delays and costs for freight forwarders. Political instability in the form of government changes and civil unrest can lead… Read more

Global Supply Chains

China’s Increasingly Strict Measures Snarl Global Supply Chains

China’s extreme Covid-19 zero policy could be a major obstacle to full recovery for the freight forwarding sector. In fact, it is also aggravating the crisis just before the holiday season, with emptied shelves across the globe. In an attempt to keep the virus in check, the authorities have kept on prohibiting crew changes for non-Chinese nationals and recently introduced a 7-week quarantine for Chinese cargo ship crew. Commercial vessels that made crew changes at other ports of call should wait for 2 weeks before they are allowed to call at a Chinese port.   New Measures and Impact on… Read more

Toy Shortage due to Supply Clogs

Toy Shortage due to Supply Clogs

Toymakers warn about significant disruptions in global supply chains caused by the ongoing pandemic, the recent blockage of the Suez Canal, rising labor costs, resin shortages, and power outages in different parts of China. All these have led to higher prices and additionally strained the supply chain. Delays in Unloading Cargo Vessels Cause Shortages The delays in unloading ships can jeopardize the holiday season, with parents not being able to buy presents on time to tuck under the Christmas tree. In this scenario, toys could stay on shelves for months with clearance stickers. Toymakers warn that they are already low… Read more

Global Supply Chain

Long-Term Solutions to Ease the Overworked Global Supply Chain

Lockdowns and social distancing protocols led to a significant drop in purchases in 2020, followed by growing demand as countries began to reopen economies in 2021. Carriers, forwarders, and businesses have tried different solutions, from outbidding one another for containers to chartering ships and buying their own containers. This is what the Swedish giant Ikea and U.S. brands Home Depot and Walmart have done to address product shortages in the short term. So what can be done long term? Shipping by Railway Giants like Ikea have been shipping cargo by railway from China to Europe, using temporary warehouses for storage… Read more

Data Integrity Crucial to Global Vaccination Efforts

For most people logistics companies are simply in the business of shipping cargo and goods from point of origin to final destination. While this is certainly true, they are also involved in data collection, analysis, and processing. Safe and efficient shipping requires data from a variety of sources such as analytics and transport management solutions, enterprise resource planning systems, and real-time navigation systems, to name a few. Freight forwarders also use sensors to monitor factors such as sudden starts and stops, speed, vibration, and temperature inside containers. And while data is valuable, just having it is not enough. Data integrity… Read more

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

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

Why the logistic services provided by IFA are so essential for the supply chain

Every successful entrepreneur will agree that the logistics and international freight forwarding services are of key importance for the successful business. This is because the list of logistics companies provides seamless services which answer the demands of the customers and thus allows for the company to stay ahead of the competition. No matter the size and type of a business, every company wants to grow and expand. This can mean expanding in your town, in your country or internationally. The companies from the International Forwarders Association are experienced enough to help all types of organizations buy, sell, deliver and store… Read more

The trends in logistics and the supply chain management to look for in 2019

We are close to the end of the first quarter of 2019, and the freight forwarders and European logistics companies from IFA are already prepared to meet the expected trends which will likely shape the logistics and supply chain industry this year. They are all a direct result of the growing diversity and increasing globalization, as well as the rapid development of AI, IoT and automation technologies in the last few years. Here are the main trends to look forward to in 2019, according to the International Forwarding Association: 3PL trends for 2019 Third-party logistics is expected to continue expanding… Read more

The cost of stockouts and their overall effect on the supply chain and the freight forwarders association

All of the member companies of IFA are aware of the negative effect of a stockout for any business. A stockout means that the storage and distribution services provided by the International Forwarding Association run out of a particular item, which leads to canceled orders and the impossibility to fulfill them. A stockout can lead to significant losses for any company. This is why the European network for transportation is working on optimizing its supply chain services so that the risk of running out of a particular product is minimized, and so that the customers receive the items they want… Read more

How Blockchain Can Transform the Supply Chain

As members of IFA know, the supply chain is becoming ever so complicated with problems like delays in the payment between manufacturers and suppliers as well as between customers and retailers. The contractual agreements as well as contract logistics often require using the services of banks and lawyers which add to the delays and the costs. There is also the problem with the traceability of the goods back to the suppliers which makes it difficult to deal with defects and returns. The lack of direct communication between the suppliers, retailers and the customers can lead to frictions and can involve… Read more