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Great advice on Trade Compliance and choosing an ITAR Freight Forwarder

ITARYou know you’re an expert in your field when an article you write is published not once but three times on trade compliance blogs. On June 24, 2014 we posted an article by our Director of Compliance, Deborah Dorsett. In it she gives great advice on trade compliance and choosing an ITAR freight forwader. The advice is so great she was published in Export Compliance, Global Trade Compliance  and Trade Compliance. This article is a must read if you ship ITAR controlled goods and use or are considering a freight forwarder. To read Deborah’s original post on our blog, please click here.

Congratulations Deborah – we are proud of your continued success in trade compliance.  Thank you for sharing your expertise with the world.

If you ship ITAR controlled goods, don’t go it alone.  We have years of experience shipping goods subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Please click here to contact our ITAR specialists.



How to Choose the Right ITAR Freight Forwarder

ITARWhen I was a kid, my father used to provide me with a wealth of important “life lessons,” doled out in simple one-liners that I could carry with me as I grew older. One of my favorites was “If you’re going to run with the pack, make sure you’re the leader.” Another that has served me well throughout life was “Always use the right tool for the job.” The same can be said when it comes to choosing the correct freight forwarder to manage the transport of your ITAR controlled goods. It’s important that you use the right forwarder for the job. As the manufacturer or source of USML goods, you have undoubtedly spent countless hours developing your corporate compliance program; ensuring that every aspect of your operation – from upper management, to sales, to shipping and receiving – is aware of the regulations and well-trained.

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An Introduction to Freight Classifications

Today’s blog is part of our Freight 101 series — an introduction to freight classifications. Knowing freight classifications will save you time and money. Freight Classifications are used by shippers and carriers to obtain standardized freight pricing. They are established by the Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB), which includes three to seven National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) members. The NMFTA freight classification scheme is published in the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) tariff. It is crucial that shippers determine the correct freight class. Carriers use the NMFC tariff to determine their freight charge. An incorrect freight class = a costly reclassification adjustments.

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Nearly All Shipment Adjustments Can Be Avoided

Any change to the bill of lading may result in a shipment adjustment.

Shipment adjustments are costly, when they aren’t in your favor, but did you know they’re easy to avoid? Yes, that’s right. Nearly all shipment adjustments can be avoided with proper planning and communication. Let’s start with the basics.  Adjustments are up to the freight carrier’s discretion and are applied when the information provided by the shipper does not match the actual shipment details. Most shipping adjustments occur due to variances in shipment size and/or weight. Prior to quoting make sure all of your shipment information is accurate.  For accurate quotes you must provide the dimensions, weight and packaging information. There are other factors that will likely result in a shipping adjustment, such as special handling.  Here are six (6) common adjustments:

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How to dispute Common Carrier re-weighs

Re-weighs occurs when the weight on the BOL does not match the weight on the carrier's scale.

Use the precise weight of the pallet (or other packaging) and not approximations.

We polled our customers to find out what they wanted to read about in our next blog and the number one response was “How to dispute Common Carrier re-weighs.” Freight re-weighs are a common issue. Adjustments to freight charges occur when the information on the Bill of Lading (BOL) does not match the actual shipment. Re-weighs are up to the carrier’s discretion and can happen at any terminal your freight moves through. Most carriers will not intentionally re-weigh the product at an artificial weight as — their reputation and character are on the line. Ninety percent (90 %) of all re weighs are correct, however mistakes do happen.

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Ways to Prevent Cargo Theft

Global Cargo Theft Risk by Country. Source: Freight Watch Int'l

Global Cargo Theft Risk by Country. Source: Freight Watch Int’l

Cargo theft is on the rise and thieves are becoming more sophisticated. Cargo theft can happen at any time to just about any shipment. The National Cargo Security Council (NCSC) estimates that the global financial impact of cargo loss exceeds $50 billion annually. Freight Watch International reports Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, the United States and Russia are the countries most at risk for cargo theft globally.

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Ocean Marine Cargo Insurance

Svendborg Maersk

Svendborg Maersk lost more than 500 cargo containers at sea in February 2014 drawing attention to the hazards of container shipping

In recent months there has been much in the news about cargo containers lost at sea. In late February, the Svendborg Maersk lost over 500 containers when it encountered hurricane force winds. This was the largest recorded loss of overboard containers in one incident. It is estimated over 10,000 cargo containers are lost every year. While this number is small in comparison to the mega millions of containers shipped each year, we highly recommend ocean marine cargo insurance to our clients.

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Incoterm Definitions: Part 2

Incoterms: Who Pays What?

Incoterms: Who Pays What?

In our last post we learned the Incoterm definitions for Incoterms used in “any mode of transport”. In today’s post we will cover the Incoterms used for  “sea/inland waterway transport only”.

Let’s take a few minutes to review what we’ve already learned.  Incoterms are a set of rules, published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), that define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They are widely used in commercial transactions.

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Incoterm Definitions Part 1

Incoterms: Who Pays What?

Incoterms: Who Pays What?

In our last post we stressed the importance of Incoterms and provided you with a quick reference guide. Investing 10 minutes a day to learn Incoterm definitions will save you time and money. There are only 11 – piece of cake. We are even going to break them up into two categories: “any mode of transport” and “sea/inland waterway transport only”.

Let’s take a minute to review. Incoterms are a set of rules that define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in commercial transactions.

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Incoterms 2010: How well do you know them?

The Incoterms rules or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

The Incoterms rules or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

On any given day our VP of Business Development, Darrell Gajadhar, can be heard testing team members on Incoterms. He believes wholeheartedly knowledge of Incoterms is invaluable. In fact, when I started with HNM Global Logistics this was the first training I received. I remember looking at the spreadsheet and thinking this is a lot of information to digest. Fortunately for me Incoterms 2010 reduced the total number of terms from 13 to 11. Less to remember – Bonus! All jokes aside, I have to agree with Darrell. If you have a role in global trade – you need to know Incoterms.

Incoterms help our industry ensure nothing is lost in translation. These three letter codes say a lot. The language of Incoterms defines the obligations, costs and risks associated with transportation and delivery. It’s crucial to know who is responsible for what, who has control and who assumes liability. There is a lot at risk when importing and exporting goods. There isn’t a default Incoterm. Each one impacts the trade process, so it’s imperative you know which term best fits your company. You should have a clear understanding of the risks and benefits associated with each Incoterm.

Our next few blog posts will be dedicated to Incoterms. Whether you’re reading as a refresher or learning something new – 10 minutes a day will save you time and money. How well do you know Incoterms?