Dimensional Pricing on the Horizon and How Shippers Can Prepare

Posted on January 27, 2016. Category: Logistics Publications

As we move into 2016 we will see LTL carriers continue to shift towards dimensional pricing.Traditionally “freight class” has been the primary factor for LTL pricing.  The “class” being the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) which identifies a freight class using several factors, including handling and density. The rate a carrier uses is derived from combining the class with weight, distance, and accessorials.While the news that LTL carriers may being moving towards a new pricing paradigm can be unsettling, there are a few things a shipper can do to mitigate their costs.  If...

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Truckload Delays In The Winter Season

Posted on January 27, 2016. Category: Logistics Publications

Weather is an unpredictable factor that affects transportation quickly and for extended periods of time. Winter brings a combination of snow and ice that can have significant impacts on logistics and can disrupt the supply chain by making it almost impossible for commerce motor vehicles (CMVs) to deliver goods to their final destinations. According to a 2011 Bureau of Transportation Statistics study, weather-related issues account for the highest percentage of fatal CMV crashes. Between 2005 and 2006, the states with the highest total number of fatal CMV crashes associated with adverse weather were Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.Winter weather can create serious...

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Robots in the Warehouse

Posted on January 25, 2016. Category: Logistics Publications

Robots have slowly taken over Amazon warehouses, and have reduced the packaging process by nearly an hour and fifteen minutes per order.  When the Kiva robots were first introduced to Amazon in 2011, no one imagined how quickly they would impact companies all over the world. After only a year of using robots in the warehouse, Amazon was convinced and bought out Kiva Systems for $775 million.  Since then, the amount of robots being used in their warehouses has increased from 1,300 to 30,000 bots.Amazon robots are squared shaped machines that can run at a steady speed of 5 mph and haul...

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New Container Weight Requirement

Posted on January 19, 2016. Category: Logistics Publications

Changes are coming to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) which will become effective on July 1, 2016. The amendments made to SOLAS will make it a violation to load a packed container onto a vessel without first making the verified weight of the container clear to the vessel operator and marine terminal operator. This responsibility for verifying container weight will fall primarily on the shipper.These amendments have been a work in progress for more than 5 years. In 2010, the World Shipping Council (WSC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) issued a statement that described the problems incurred due...

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Building A Logistics Network

Posted on January 13, 2016. Category: Logistics Publications

A strong logistics network is crucial to ensuring your supply chain meets the growing demands of your customers. Whether you’re just starting out, or already have an established logistics network, it is important to be aware of the various options available to you and to periodically re-evaluate how your network is performing. If left unchecked, your logistics network could be costing a lot more money than you realize, or worse, is failing to meet the demands it is designed to fulfill. Take the following factors into account next time you assess your network.Know your CustomerThe key...

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Duty Drawback; an Untouched Goldmine

Posted on January 13, 2016. Category: Trade Publications

A company may be entitled to thousands or more dollars through a Duty Drawback claim and no business, which participates in exporting goods, should lose out on money that is owed to them. Navigating the US Customs Duty Drawback program may seem intimidating at first, but as long as a business has processes in place and has identified the items that are eligible for duty drawback, half of the work is done.Before taking the leap into duty drawback it is important to know what a drawback is, who can file drawback and when a company can claim drawback.  ...

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Resolve to Have Compliant Commercial Invoices in 2016

Posted on January 04, 2016. Category: Trade Publications

One common and preventable cause of shipments “stuck in customs” is incorrect documentation.  This year, ring in the New Year by resolving to have compliant commercial invoices.Whether a company creates the document or relies on a supplier to create the commercial invoice, 19 CFR 141.86 is clear on what is necessary for an invoice to be compliant. There are several essential components to a valid commercial invoice, and while seemingly self-explanatory, missing or erring on any of them may mean delay at the border. Adequate description of the merchandiseThe description on a commercial invoice needs to...

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Exporting to a Sanctioned Country

Posted on November 17, 2015. Category: Trade Publications

Is your company prepared to pay a hefty fine or have an individual jailed for exporting to a sanctioned country? Without the proper export control this could become your reality before you know it. Fortunately it is a relatively simple process to mitigate this risk as either a company or individual, but first it is important to understand what sanctions are.Sanctions are domestic penalties applied on another country or person and can take the form of various trade barriers or restrictions on financial transactions due to economic circumstances or for a political/social reason.  Often the impetus behind...

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2015 Louisiana Tax Amnesty

Posted on November 17, 2015. Category: Tax Publications

A tax amnesty program is being offered by the Louisiana Department of Revenue during the period of November 16, 2015 through December 15, 2015.  The Louisiana Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of 2013 allows eligible taxpayers to qualify for the amnesty program.  The press release issued November 3, 2015 by the Louisiana Department of Revenue indicates an amnesty will not be offered again for at least 10 years.  The 2015 Louisiana tax amnesty program is anticipated to collect an estimated $50,000,000.This amnesty provides an opportunity for delinquent taxpayers (businesses and individuals) to clear unpaid tax bills and file past due state returns.  Eligible taxpayers include those...

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Sales Tax Changes in 2016

Posted on November 17, 2015. Category: Tax Publications

Chicago will once again have the highest sales tax rate of any major US city starting January 1, 2016.  The rate will spike from 9.25% to 10.25%.  The rate hike is due to the increase in county sales tax.  The Cook County Board narrowly approved the increase to restore financial health to the county’s pension system, debt incurred from previous years and to boost spending on roads and bridges.Washington State has amended their definition of retail sales to include businesses that provide recreational services or operate athletic or fitness facilities.  Businesses including but not limited to: amusement...

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