U.S. East and Gulf Coasts See Increase in Asian Imports

In the first four months of 2017, the ports of the South and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States have experienced an increased share of container imports from the Asian market. This recent trend is believed to continue growing as vessels with capacities of 14,000 TEU will have access to the East Coast’s major gateways in the summer of 2017. The growth of these Southern ports and their respective populations, however, is coming at the expense of two of the largest gateways in the country: Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey. This can be seen in the growth...

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The Increase of US Containerized Imports – How to Prepare for the Rest of 2017

Looking into 2017, markets anticipated U.S. containerized imports to jump approximately 6.0% up, compared to last year, and reach a new peak of 21.8 million TEUs, mainly on strong consumer demand. Northeast Asia contributed most to the import trade, adding 1.91% to growth, followed by Southeast Asia which contributed 1.02% to growth. China continued to be the largest supplier of containerized goods to the U.S., accounting for 46.8 percent of the total U.S. inbound trade. In this atmosphere, I believe it is critical to focus on utmost time and cost efficiency, when moving freight into the U.S., and take proactive steps...

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MTS Logistics Supports Red Nose Day 2017

MTS Logistics is proud to support Red Nose Day, which is taking place on Thursday, May 25th. We created this video and shared the fun we had in supporting a great cause. Be sure to get your noses on to help end child poverty. For more information, visit rednoseday.org. Watch the video...

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Business Alliances in the Shipping Industry

Logistics alliances are becoming commonplace business arrangements, and now they are spreading, as a way of lowering distribution and storage operating costs. For many manufacturers and vendors, these ventures offer opportunities to dramatically improve the quality of customer service. There are different types of alliances, such as arrangements between two service providers, and those between two product marketers. The outsourcing of transportation or warehousing requirements to a specialist is, of course, a common everyday standard. What is unusual about the relationships described here is the parties combine their operations to obtain mutual benefits. A typical format for an alliance is...

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Why Me? What Triggers a Customs Inspection?

Even today, it remains a mystery – how import shipments are selected to be inspected by U.S. CBP (Customs and Border Protection,) as the force has never disclosed criteria. There is a classified risk factor number assigned to all shipments that are about to enter the U.S. border, but we do not know the formula used to determine the risk factors leading to inspection. The law is clear in saying it is at CBP’s absolute discretion to select one shipment over another without providing any reasoning. However, CBP does provide a notification to your customs broker that they will be advising a “manifest...

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Lloyd’s and IMO Numbers for Shipping Vessels

During my daily job duties, I have often found myself unprepared, or not confident enough, to answer questions from clients about the shipping industry. One of many discussed topics, often talked about in the fast-paced containerized shipping world has been Lloyd’s and IMO numbers. What are these indicators, and their importance? According to Wikipedia, “Lloyd’s Register Group Limited (LR) is a technical and business services organization and a maritime classification society, which aims to enhance the safety of life, property, and the environment, by helping its clients (including by validation, certification and accreditation) to ensure the quality construction and operation of critical...

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Blockchain Technology: Friend or Foe?

Amid chaos in an ever-changing industry, there lurks a new element that will impact the logistics industry possibly more than any alliance or economic slump has done in the past. But, will this new change be for the better? As the logistics industry continues to grow, change, and now consolidate, perhaps the highest-impacting development will be seen from the side of technology. In recent years, the cargo shipping process has become lightning fast and, in theory, simpler than ever with the development of e-commerce. This technological speed was matched with terminal growth, service expansions, and the introduction of mega-container ships....

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2017’s Shipping Industry Challenges

The shipping industry is quite a volatile industry, and every year, new challenges emerge. A couple of years ago, we faced the terminal strike problem in West Coast ports, which also imbalanced the trucker industry, making the following year more difficult than before. Due to the problems in 2016, it seems the same trend will continue in 2017, too. Below are the main issues that I believe will pose new problems to the industry. The collapse of shipping giant Hanjin: No one was expecting this, since there were assurances by the mid-size shipping company that the financial problems were similar to other carriers, and...

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Maersk Line Improves Digitization By Working With Microsoft

A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, one of the world’s largest global transport and logistic carriers, has made a bold move, and partnered up with iconic technological giant Microsoft Corporation. This strategic move will revolutionize global supply-chain management, as well as worldwide commerce. The company stated it has chosen to exclusively use Microsoft cloud’s computing platform, called Azure, in meeting its goal to modernize its vessels and transport economics. The agreement means that Maersk has chosen Microsoft as the preferred cloud partner on its digital development of products and services across the Maersk Transport and Logistics division brands. With Microsoft on its side,...

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After Forming the Alliances, the Global Container Shipping Industry Decreased to 3 Carrier Options

An unsteady year in the container-shipping industry, which included one big operator going under, and others bundling together to stay afloat, ended with three major alliances arranged to dominate ocean trade for years to come. Overcapacity and weak global trade forced the largest players to merge or form alliances, allowing them to cut operating costs by hundreds of millions of dollars by sharing ships and port calls. The three major groupings, called 2M, Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance, have cleared most regulatory hurdles over the past two years. Customers should know that there are no longer are over 15 carrier...

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7th Annual Bike Tour with MTS for Autism

NEW YORK, NY, May 1, 2017 – Spring is here. We are proud to announce our 7th Annual Bike Tour with MTS for Autism, which will be held on Saturday, June 10th, 2017. Please join us and help spread awareness and support the cause of fighting autism. This will be a fun, healthy, and refreshing way to give back to a great cause. This event, sponsored by MTS Logistics, is the largest biking event in the logistics and transportation industry. Last year, we published and released our book “The Book on Autism,” which is now available for purchase on Amazon.com. This book...

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Container Liners are Changing the Future of the Shipping Industry

Container liners are gaining market share within the shipping industry, but continue to bleed money, albeit at a slower rate. There seems to be an effort to stop bleeding. Overall, the shipping industry is estimated to lost about $5 billion during 2016. As predicted, the trend in consolidation of container liners, through mergers and acquisitions, continues at full force. Late last week, after months of speculation, Maersk Line officially announced the acquisition of Hamburg Süd, a German carrier from Oetker Group, with plans to complete the deal by end of 2017. The acquisition price of $4 billion will cement Maersk’s...

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Green Award’s Push for Greener Shipping

The maritime industry has seen a positive trend in important stakeholders becoming conscious of their daily environmental impact. On April 1st, the Port of Yokohama implemented a policy that would apply a 15 percent discount on port dues to Green Award-certified vessels. Yokohama adopted this practice after Kitakyushu Port, and the Port of Nagoya, began applying a 10 percent discount to those with the same qualifications. Ports rewarding Green-Certified ships are actively showing the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, by reducing risks and increasing the quality of shipping with reductions in accidents and unwanted incidents of daily operations. The...

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Congestion at Shanghai’s Yangshan Port

China’s Yangshan port has many claims to fame. It is considered one of the busiest port facilities in the world, and the world’s biggest deep-water port. Yangshan port is also connected to the mainland through the world’s largest sea bridge – Donghai Bridge. Over the course of the last few days, Shanghai’s Yangshan deep-water port has experienced abnormally-major delays and congestion. Reports of major delays have increased by 40 percent since the beginning of April, and experts speculate it could last until mid-May. The mainly affected areas include, but are not limited to, the Trans-Pacific, Asia-Australia, and Asia-Europe trade...

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What is a Flexitank?

In the shipping container business, people mainly focus on the type of merchandise which can be boxed and sorted on pallets. In fact, this is only a portion of what can be shipped in those magical boxes. Handling different type of products is an important segment of logistics, and we utilize different type of containers to achieve that. Moreover, a container itself is not the only thing that we can utilize to handle our unordinary cargoes. We can use various types of packaging techniques to turn a dry van container into a liquid tank, too. One of the most common...

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What is a Letter of Credit (L/C)?

Paying internationally might be complicated, because the importer is concerned they will lose their money, and the seller is concerned they will not get paid for the product they are shipping. Each party must agree to a payment method before the order is placed. A Letter of Credit is one of the most common ways to pay internationally. A Letter of Credit is a formal, binding legal agreement between an importer and foreign seller. A Letter of Credit is one of the most secure methods of payment between the seller and the buyer. It can balance the risk for both...

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The New Silk Road’s First Freight Train From U.K To China

This past Monday, April 10, 2017, marked a historic moment in logistics history, when the first-ever freight train departed the United Kingdom en route to China. A new direct route from the United Kingdom to China has been established under the collective initiative known as the new “Silk Road.” China has established a new trade route between the United Kingdom and China, with a train loaded with British goods. After approximately a three-month pause, the return leg of the new Silk Road has finally reached its final destination of Yiwu, in the eastern province of Eastern China. The 7,500...

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Global Warming and Its Effect on the Shipping Industry

According to the majority consensus within the scientific community, it is widely known the Earth is warming up faster than in previous years, having record temperatures year after year due its high greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. A record-level low of sea ice has been seen in the Arctic over the past few months. It worries scientists – and the general public should be worried, too, since arctic animals such as polar bears are estimated to decline by at least 30% by the year 2050. We can reduce human activities that lead to climate change, beginning with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Global...

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A Collaboration that will Elevate the Asia-Pacific Supply Chain

In recent news, Malaysia’s capital is the site for the Asia-Pacific region’s first cross-border e-commerce fulfillment agreement. Malaysia’s major postal company, POS Malaysia Berhad, has teamed up with Tigers Global Logistics Sdn Bhd, and finalized an agreement that could revolutionize, and provide business solutions, to the Asia-Pacific supply chain. Representatives of both companies were present during the signing. Tigers Ltd Group was represented by Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Jillings. POS Malaysia Group was represented by Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, who stated that “Under the collaboration, Tigers would be responsible for the continuous...

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Drone Aircrafts To Become The Next Mode Of Delivery

As technology continues to evolve, companies look for new ways to deliver consumer goods to their customers at record delivery times. Companies such as Amazon, Google and UPS have developed autonomous delivery drones to fulfill a customer’s online orders in minutes. It was not too long ago when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon would be using octocopter drones to deliver items directly to the customer’s doorstep in thirty minutes or less, in a taping of CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Since then, the company has announced its Amazon “Prime Air” program, a delivery system which does just that. Many...

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An Operations Day on The Arabian Peninsula

It is the day of heat and sand in Oman. The air is painted in yellow by dust and sand, blown by mild winds. I check the temperature on my overheated smart phone, which keeps shutting down automatically because of the extreme heat. It shows 113 degrees Fahrenheit. I know this phone is not waterproof, and obviously not heat-proof either – are you going to do something about that Apple? I know that I am sweating, but my clothes are dry because of the heat. The sweat must be vaporizing before contacting the fabric. It just feels like I...

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Ice, Ice Baby – Safety of Shipping Vessels on the Icy Seas

Since the beginning of transatlantic voyages, icebergs have threatened the safety of the vessels. However, it was only after the disastrous and tragic sinking of RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912, that the United States Coast Guard established the International Ice Patrol. As of Monday, there were about 450 icebergs near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, up from about 37 a week earlier, which is 370 more than the season average, per the IIP in New London, Connecticut. A high density of icebergs in the North Atlantic shipping lanes forces vessels to take detours, adding up to 400 miles, and...

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It’s Almost Spring, but Eastbound Transpacific Rates Drop Further

Historically, we all know that going into Spring, cargo volumes start picking up and begin to build. Slack season imports are about 20 percent less than those peak season volumes. This year, it’s been almost eight weeks that spot rates in eastbound Pacific transit have been decreasing. See the chart below: When we analyze East Coast rates, here’s what we see. According to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, from Shanghai to the U.S. East Coast, the spot rate for shipping a 40-foot equivalent unit was $2,625, about 59 percent higher than in Week 12 of 2016. For U.S. West...

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Yang Ming Lines Reports Losses Doubled in 2016

Yang Ming Lines, a Taiwanese-origin ocean carrier, almost doubled its losses between 2015 and 2016, reporting a $493.6 million loss last year on reduced revenue due to frailer pricing. The statement of deep losses comes as the Taiwanese government burdens the carrier to reform or face a significant disturbance. Yang Ming Lines is not the only ocean carrier facing losses in 2016, after Maersk Line, CMA-CGM, Hapag Lloyd, and OOCL reported a total loss of $1 billion. The company’s revenue fell 9.5 percent year-over-year in 2016 to $3.8 billion. Turnover was also insufficient in covering Yang Ming’s operating expenditures of...

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What to Expect as 2017 Progresses: Contract Negotiations, Disruptive Global Trade Trends, and More

We live in a world with unprecedented global ties, and seamless collaboration for us industry professionals to do tasks after tasks. There are many variables out there that affect our decision-making process. In this article, I would like to provide you some insights to keep in mind as we move ahead with the rest of 2017. Contract Negotiations The difference between the expectations of shippers and carriers on ocean freight rates this year may set the stage for difficult contract negotiations for the 2017-2018 shipping season. Shippers assume they can lock in contracts with little or no rate increases, compared...

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