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Japan Earthquake:

Japan was hit by a 7.4 earthquake on November 22nd, 2016. Tsunami warnings were issued and have since been cancelled. Swells were expected to be 4 meters tall but were only recorded at 1.4 meters. As of now, Japan’s shipping vessels are sitting outside of the harbors waiting for the all clear. Japan is expecting another after shock in the next couple of days, but shipping vessels and lines haven’t been affected. 

GRI (General Rate Increase) Update

Many steamship lines have again discussed implementing a November 1st, 2016, General Rate Increase (GRI). While we don’t have a confirmed dollar amount of the increase, we want our customers to be aware of the changing market. Right now, the Pacific North West (Vancouver/Seattle/Tacoma) is experiencing severe congestion, leading to a likely higher general rate increase for that region for export cargo. Import cargo is currently facing not only general rate increases, but also peak season surcharges. Revised rates will be sent out as soon as possible reflecting any applicable increases.

SCI GRI Update & Equipment Shortages!

GRI (General Rate Increase) Update IV:

The October GRI of $300 - $450 dollars that the Ocean Carriers attempted to implement on Exports was in general reduced to close to $100. With that development, we are facing a second potential GRI going that may go into effect on Nov. 1 2016. At this moment the Carriers to do not have full numbers on what to expect on the GRI’s for Nov 1st, but we will be sending out updates to the rates if there are changes before the end of the month.

Equipment Shortage:

 

Please be advised there are Equipment Shortages happening on most inland rail hubs as well as port hubs. This is a result of multiple issues in the industry Hanjin Bankruptcy, Hurricane Matthew, and mandates for cost reductions with the majority of the ocean carriers. Be prepared to plan ahead for the next few months to ship during the upcoming holiday season.

What is Fulfillment?

Per the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce has had near double digit growth in the last decade and annual web sales of $91 billion to $341 billion from 2005 to 2015.  This massive growth has changed the habits of consumers, where many of them prefer to shop in the comfort of their homes, and the market is currently evolving to meet this demand by significantly expanding fulfillment services.

Fulfillment is a catch all phrase, describing the processes of delivering goods to the end customer.  Fulfillment services start at the receiving warehouse where the various products are processed and sorted per their assigned SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit).  The Fulfillment Ordering Process can be implanted with traditional In Store Displays, Auction Houses, Ecommerce, and Online Retail. Depending on the size & Urgency of the order, your products are then transported via air and ground direct to the end customer. 

Many retailers’ sign up with big box names which eats up much if not all of the profit in the transactions. This ends with losing a large amount of control over their products and customers.

Fulfillment starts with finding the right warehouse partner that can not only accommodate your inventory needs but also understands your business needs.  In order to create long term returning customers for our clients, we look at our operation over and above just processing orders. Providing our partners with the opportunity to physically inspect their products in the warehouse with a comfortable work station set aside for the purpose are a few of the ways we go above and beyond. 

Fulfillment processing needs to also account for the size of your order and allow you take advantage of the most advantageous transportation options available to you.  Online retailers need to be able to fulfill both individual sales and rapidly respond to large orders without skipping a beat to stay competitive in today’s market place.

Therefore, we have invested our time and resources to expand our partnerships with local and national fulfillment centers where we can find good matches that offer competitive rates for your businesses online and all your fulfillment needs.  Our goal is to build a partnership where your focus can be on growing your business.  Remember, we are here to make every move simple.

 

 

-          Arash Shahi

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is hitting the east coast hard. Ports from North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia have stopped operations in preparations for the storm. Many cities in the affected area have already called for mandatory evacuations. Ports and truckers have stated the earliest they may be able to work again would be Monday, Oct 11th. However, until the severity of the storm is seen the shipping industry may have to play catch up due to Hurricane Matthew.


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