Posts Tagged ‘international shipping’

Freight Carrier Movements in South Africa Slow

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Freight carriers trying to move freight into and out of the ports of South Africa are still running up against the picket lines of South Africa’s transport workers and disruptions in port services is causing South Africa’s import and export trade to virtually come to a halt. Apparently, last night the scheduled talks didn’t quite go as both parties probably hoped and at present there appears to be no light down the dark tunnel before this affair. This of course means that freight carrier movements in South Africa’s ports will continue to be slowed, at least until the sides in this affair can find some common ground upon which to stand together.

The port operator Transnet apparently told the unions that their demands for a 15 percent hike in their current pay structure wouldn’t be forth coming and this has had the expected result of the unions quickly telling their workers to continue their battle for their rights. The present offer by Transnet is apparently around 11 percent, so we might see the unions decide after awhile to accept this offer and go back to work. At this point however freight carrier services in the ports are apparently still managing to do a little business, but how much of this is true we have no idea at this point. Capacity at this point is really low and with no new meetings between Transnet and the unions currently set, it might be awhile before we see capacity in the ports of South Africa return to normal.

Freight Logistics Tough Business in Last 20 Months, Making freight movements more efficient

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Freight logistics companies servicing the freight industry predictably had the same kind of year that overseas shipping companies and international car shipping firms experienced. One firm with results that are typical for most in the logistics industry is Ceva Logistics. They reported revenues and profits were down in the first part of 2009, but the numbers started to look better as the year went on and they were hoping that things were going to be even better in 2010 for Ceva Logistics and the freight industry. They remain positive despite the last twenty months of down numbers in most parts of business operations and are looking forward to growing their business in 2010 and beyond.

Ceva Logistics did implement a strategy of implementing as many cost-savings policies as they could think of to help them recover as much of the loss as possible in 2008 and 2009. Despite the year they had they were able to get the company debt down by about 7 percent according to the company with their tactics and even found a few new customers to help them improve the numbers a bit. They haven’t reported any numbers for the first part of 2010, so far, but things have been going up in some freight sectors in the first part of 2010, so if they reported slightly better numbers in their freight business with overseas shipping companies, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

The freight logistics business for firms like Ceva Logistics will get better as the volume of freight being moved goes up in 2010 in all sectors of the freight industry. But the fate and revenue of companies like Ceva Logistics is tied directly to the health of the freight industry and the business of moving freight will have to get better for the freight logistics industry to improve significantly.…tid=20017754628

Eliminate Piracy on the High Seas?, Ocean freight

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Transporting ocean freight is going to become a much more dangerous business in the years ahead. If you look at the increasing number of attacks by pirates upon vessels on an increasing number of bodies of water in the past few years, the trend can be seen in the numbers.

Ships are expensive pieces of equipment that are usually insured to the hilt. Even a smaller vessel represents a significant investment of resources. For thieves interested in making the greatest profit for the least effort, the opportunity to take over a ship and its cargo and ransoming them or selling them to the highest bidder, is a tempting and often convenient sin.

Just a few years ago attacks by pirates were mainly on the South China Sea and along the coastlines of Indonesia. In the past few years pirates have heard the call of ‘go west young pirate, go west’, as pirates have started to carry out their business in more westerly locations.

Removing the threat of piracy is going to be a difficult task because of the economic situation in the areas of the world in which piracy exists. The reason these individuals are relying on piracy in the first place is because it’s often one of the few jobs that has a high return for little effort that’s available in the geographical regions in which the individuals live. Until we address the economic situation of the regions in which piracy exists, we’re unlikely to have much of an affect on the levels of piracy in these regions.

The growth of pirate regions like Somalia is going to increase in certain regions of the world in the years ahead, unless we can address the economic situation of the regions and provide other opportunities that are less dangerous than piracy for those who probably feel they have no choice.

We could go the military route, but this would at best be a short-lived solution, as new pirate groups would surely emerge to take the place of those eliminated. There’s a new generation of pirates being born in these regions every week. The only real solution would be to enhance the economic opportunities for individuals in the regions of the world where piracy exists.

Should You Ship Freight By Rail or Roadway?, It depends…

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Whether you choose to ship freight by road or rail depends largely on the cargo being moved. Not only does the size of the cargo matter, but also its strength or fragility.

Some cargo is simply too large to ship via the roadway. There are often legal limits to the height and width of a load that can travel by road. These laws protect bridges from damage and prevent accidents. Special permits and procedures are also needed for over-sized loads.

Rail cars are much more flexible when it comes to large loads. They can be configured to ship freight of various types. Flat cars can run from 40′ to 89′ long, making them more suitable to exceptionally large loads. If you put 50 flat cars together, each having a capacity of 60 tons, you could carry 3,000 tons, much more than is possibly by truck.

Rail does not make sense to ship freight that is fragile. Ceramic tile is much too fragile to be shipped by train. In addition, some metals cannot be secured properly on a train because they are too heavy. Such items must be shipped by truck.

Trucking makes more sense when time is tight because rail freight often takes longer. Schedules are not ideally consistent and regular, so there are delays getting freight to its destination.

Security is also an issue when you ship freight. Trucks are generally more secure, being manned by a driver who has sight of the load for most of the trip. On long trains, it is easier for cargo to be stolen. It is harder to police a line of 50 cars than it is to check just one truckload.

Freight, Low Ball Pricing

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I recently was asked by freight forwarding company to quote 4 round trip flatbed shipments bound for international shipping. They asked me to give them a low ball quote and they would award me these shipments. I told them that this was impossible for me to do. I told them that “we were not in business to maintain their profit margins. We are in business to also to make profit.” We are not in business to keep the tires rolling. Just like them we need to make a profit for payroll and other miscellaneous expenses. We have P&L to account for; I would rather pass on an opportunity to take a loss.

I know times are hard for everybody, but we all have to watch out for our bottom lines.