Thursday, June 8, 2017

US Freight Forwarding Agent Offers Advice on Choosing Shipping Lines and Defining Carriage Modes

American Shippers Need to Understand the Logistics Vagaries of Their Own Markets
Shipping News Feature
US – WORLDWIDE – As a website published in the UK but read internationally by hundreds of thousands of people, it is good for us to keep one eye on the world of shifting freight from the point of view of transport companies in other countries. Outsiders might consider that logistics, being the ultimate truly international industry, would mean that there would be common practice throughout the sector wherever one was based. This however is to ignore the fundamental differences in regulations with regards to terms and conditions, customs clearance laws and all the assorted vagaries which different states and cultures engender, problems simplified by using a reliable and experience freight forwarding agent.

One of our regular contributor’s, American Export Lines (AEL), a freight forwarding agency with offices in Los Angeles and Newark, New Jersey, has often used the company’s blog to assist shippers in understanding some of the basics of what can be a bewildering task for someone with little or no previous experience. Recent contributions include the precise definition of ‘Multimodal’ as opposed to ‘Intermodal’ (Multimodal is the carriage, under a single contract, using different modes of transport meaning one appointed carrier has full responsibility for the end to end shipment, no matter who or how many times they subcontract the carriage. Intermodal is simply using different modes with a separate contract for each leg of the movement.)

Of particular use to US customers however who have contracts to ship ocean freight, will be the latest blog which explains comprehensively the schedules and routes covered by the new raft of shipping alliances and vessel sharing agreements which have been forming over the past year or so. It is worth reading the original article to get the full picture in an easily understood form, however the instructions offered in the latter part of the piece contains some excellent advice which even experienced shippers who have interests in the Asia - US market would do well to heed.

Details appertaining to the Ocean Alliance, THE Alliance and the 2M (or 2M+H) Alliance are given in full with routings and proposed service timings. More than this however, and of interest to many, is the sage advice on how to select a carrier when negotiating the contract. These details, if followed correctly can help avoid the dreaded ‘shut outs’, ensure trucking coordinates with ocean carriage whilst the piece also illustrates the benefits and drawbacks of both alliance members as opposed to independent lines not yet aligned with partners. The article was published prior to the announcement of the three Japanese lines which have now formed the ONE Alliance, for which global regulatory approval will still be required.

Photo: Yacht and boat transport is one of AEL's specialities.