Monday, 30 December 2013

30-Dec - latest news on Asia-Europe ocean freight rates - heading towards USD 4000!



Good morning All
Trust you all had a good Christmas break and took a break from the day to day challenges of importing from Asia, or anywhere else for that matter. We've been keeping a close eye on the market as always and it seems that the large rate increases which were imposed mid-December 2013 (around USD 900-1000/TEU) are, as they say in the trade, sticking.

The increases hit the market at
USD 600/TEU, driving the market rate from Shanghai to USD 1586, a 61% increase on the November level.

After 2 weeks, they've dropped only around 10% and now stand at USD 1511 so in terms of the big picture, we have moved from a cost of around USD 600/TEU in the low point June 2013 to a market rate now of over USD 1500 (3 x June level), so we're talking about USD 3000 for a 40 foot container. Serious money.

We have now heard through our contacts that the shipping lines plan yet another large increase in early-mid January as space tightens leading up to Chinese New Year at the end of January. If you're not on top of this situation at the moment, please do take action as your costs could spiral yet again and be heading towards USD 4000 for a 40 foot container.



The rates are clearly being propped up by a shortage of container space on vessels as lines withdraw sailings (i.e. capacity) and place importers at risk of "rollovers". These are when a container, booked to sail on a certain vessel, is not loaded (or off-loaded) and then re-booked on a later sailing, naturally causing delays and inconvenience for the importer, who will still be expected to pay the full freight rate!

From our side, we have only seen one client rollover from Asia in 2013 which I firmly believe is a result of our careful management and monitoring of service (and rate) levels, meaning that we step in early with any service issue to get to the root cause.

As always, we're only too happy to speak with any companies who would like to make their import supply chain leaner, more responsive and more customer centric (and let someone else manage it for them!). We have just had two more clients renew for 2014 and have also been appointed to two brand new clients for 2014 so we're really pleased that we're offering a service which is truly valued by existing and new clients.


Kind Regards



Andy Cliff
Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
 

 





Monday, 23 December 2013

Latest news on Asia-Europe ocean freight rate increases & space issues

Good afternoon All

Many of you may know from the bulletins in the logistics press that the shipping lines who operate services from Asia to Europe and the UK were planning a hefty USD 950-1000/TEU (20 foot container equivalent) increase on Asia-Europe for December 15th which has actually settled in at USD 600/TEU, so in terms of the big picture, we have moved from a cost of around USD 600/TEU in the low point June 2013 to a market rate now of over USD 1500 (3 x June level), so we're talking about USD 3000 for a 40 foot container - big money.
 


To add to the woes of UK importers, not only have they suffered large rate increaes, but the lines have withdrawn sailings (i.e. capacity) to help their rate increases to "stick" but the result of this is a big increase in what's called "rollovers".

These are when a container, booked to sail on a certain vessel, is re-booked on a later sailing, naturally causing delays and inconvenience for the importer, who will still be expected to pay the full rate!

From our perspective, we have been either very fortunate, or our customers' containers are treated with some priority as we have only seen one rollover in 2013 (1 x 40HC from of Jakarta, transhipment via Singapore) which I believe is also related to our close monitoring of service (and rate) levels and we step in early with any service issue to get to the root cause.

As always, we're only too happy to speak with any companies who would like to make their import supply chain leaner, more responsive and more customer centric (and let someone else manage it for them!). We have just had two more clients renew for 2014 and have also been appointed to two brand new clients for 2014 so we're really pleased that we're offering a service which is truly valued by existing and new clients.

Merry Christmas to All and have a great Christmas break with your families and put logistics to the back of your mind for a few days!

Kind Regards



Andy Cliff



Thursday, 28 November 2013

So tell me, what is Import Customs Compliance exactly?

Thought I'd drop this one into the blog. If you're a UK importer, you have responsibilities to HMRC as the importer. 99% of UK importers will use a freight forwarder or Customs clearance agent to get their air and ocean shipments cleared through Customs so they can take delivery and either get it into production, or out to their customers - job done!

Just a word of advice. When you use a freight forwarder to carry out the Customs clearance for you, they're (99 times out of a 100) acting as a Direct Representative. So what the heck is that? It means that although they declare the goods to Customs and sign the Customs Entry (C88), you're liable as the importer for the accuracy of the entry.

That means some fundamental things such as:-

1 - Correct tariff classification (which affects the duty rate payable)
2 - Correct value declaration
3 - Correct currency code
4 - Declaration of marine insurance (dutiable)
5- Declaration of correct freight charges (dutiable)
6 - Correct/appropriate Customs regime (home use/IPR/OPR)
7 - Value declaration (is the value on suppliers invoice correct)

8 - Application of any duty concession which may be applicable

There are others too but these are the main ones.

HMRC have issued leaflets to remind customers of their responsibilities in this area (see below photo) however they're not well publicised and the wording inside may be confusing to the average UK importer (who has most likely never completed a Customs entry in their life!).




We carry out Customs Compliance work for many of our import customers so they know they're compliant, they're paying the right amount of duty, the correct tariff codes are being applied for the different products they import and they're taking advantage of any Customs duty reliefs which are available. The other big benefit is the obvious one - peace of mind, it's being managed, if we get a Customs visit, we can show we carry out a compliance process to ensure any errors are picked up and corrected.

http://www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk/

This was how we uncovered a £ 26,000 duty overpayment for a Warrington customer earlier this year, importing catering equipment from the US. The mistake went back 7 years but we can only reclaim 3 years worth of overpaid duty (127 Customs entries).

Please let us know if you need any advice regarding compliance as well as any general freight or logistics advice it's what we do (and what we're really good at).

Kind Regards


Andy

Friday, 22 November 2013

Stop Press - EU launches anti-trust investigation into ocean carriers regarding collusion on GRIs

Good afternoon All

It seems that the EU have finally decided to act on concerns in the European logistics marketplace that ocean carriers have been colluding regarding the level of General Rate Increases (GRIs). 


I think this is long overdue, because many would agree that these increases seem to be timed to take effect on the same dates and at remarkably similar levels. An example would be the November 2013 GRI from Asia to Europe, where the increases were all in the USD 950-1000/TEU (20 foot equivalent unit) and previous increases over the past 2 years have followed a similar vein.

It will be more than interesting to see how this evolves and also, how the lines handle the latest proposed increase of around USD 750/TEU due to be implemented from Dec 1st. It will be a really interesting one to watch!

See below link.
http://theloadstar.co.uk/ec-opens-formal-container-shipping-antitrust-investigation/

Kind Regards


Andy
Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email : andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web :
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype:
andy.cliff1@skype.com



Thursday, 21 November 2013

International Festival for Business 2014 - Liverpool - Latest

Good afternoon All

Just saw this and thought it was worth sharing.

This event has major UK government backing and of course the Rt Hon Mr David Cameron


http://www.ifb2014.com/Downing-Street-reception-marks-200-days-until-start-of-IFB-n49.html



Kind Regards


Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email : andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web :
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype:
andy.cliff1@skype.com

T

Friday, 15 November 2013

As John McEnroe once said "You cannot be serious!!!

Good afternoon All

We're just recovering from the November GRI of USD 1000/TEU (20 foot container) and now several carriers are lining up for a USD 750/TEU increase for December....clearly they're trying to keep rates up until the next peak in demand - the run up to Chinese New Year 2013 (Jan 31, 2014).

Mind you, we did negotiate very a low GRI for November and I'm sure we can do it again - the question is - are you in control of your ocean freight costs from Asia? Do you even know what your rates are for November sailings?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY

http://theloadstar.co.uk/turbulent-waters-ahead-as-lines-float-new-gri-in-bid-to-balance-supply-and-demand/


Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email : andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web :
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype:
andy.cliff1@skype.com

MOL Comfort sinks off the coast of Yemen with 4000 containers aboard - results of inspections

Good afternoon All

We've posted twice on this disaster and I've just picked up on some recent news after MOL inspected MOL Comfort's sister ships - very worrying indeed.
http://theloadstar.co.uk/mol-comfort-sister-ships-had-deformed-hulls-reveals-probe-into-boxship-disaster/


Kind Regards


Andy


Andy
Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email : andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web :
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype:
andy.cliff1@skype.com

International Festival for Business 2014 - Liverpool

Good afternoon All

One event you really should put in your diary is IFB 2014, an international business festival with government backing and involvement from key organisations such as UKTI, the CBI, British Chambers of Commerce, The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF)

I have today had a conference call with a lady from Liverpool Vision to ask how we at Straightforward Consultancy can play our part and of course how we might benefit from our involvement. Clearly, this is going to be a huge event next Jun/Jul and Liverpool Vision, who are organising the event are incredibly excited about it. Great news for Great Britain and the North! 


http://www.ifb2014.com/

www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk"IFB 2014 - For businesses that want to go faster, reach new horizons, want results and want them now.

IFB 2014 will accelerate UK economic growth with an ambitious programme of global business events running throughout June and July 2014. The result of an exciting convergence between innovative thinking, government policy and will to win, IFB 2014 will connect the smartest entrepreneurial minds and best business opportunities in the world.

IFB will deliver:
  • Over one hundred events throughout June and July 2014
  • An engaged audience of 250,000 business professionals
  • Global representation
  • £100m direct investment into the UK
  • A catalyst to double UK exports by 2020
  • At every level the Festival will attract an audience of pioneers from the UK and across the world


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Asia-Europe Ocean Freight Rate Increases - Nov 1st - Have You Taken Action Yet?



Good afternoon All

Just keeping you all in the loop regarding the massive rate increases which hit the market on November 1st. As you know they were announced at USD 925-USD 1000 per TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) so if you are importing 40s, the increase would be double that!

Based on the market data we saw on Monday 4th Nov, we learned how much of the rate increase was actually accepted by the market and it was an eye watering USD 753/TEU (USD 1500/40ft container).

For our existing clients, who benefit from our collective buying power, we negotiated a very modest increase on our already competitive rates. What's interesting is that often, these increases fall away after a week however not the case so far. On Monday we saw that the increase was still sticking at around USD 650/20ft or USD 1300/40ft.

Please do take action on this, you really could be paying a great deal more than necessary and not getting such a great service either. As always happy to help, please join our band of extremely satisfied customers (see wesbite or Linkedin for details).

Kind Regards



Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email :
andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web : www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype: andy.cliff1@skype.com


Advanced Engineering Show, NEC Birmingham - 12-13 November 2013 - Safran

Had a great day at the show yesterday, met 10-15 companies with international activity and also gained a deeper insight into the aerospace, automotive and composites sectors.

It's always great to get out of the office and talk with senior managers from companies who are focused on growing their businesses and bringing innovation into their sectors.

Below there's a photo of the landing gear for the Airbus A350 which is manufactured by the Safran Group. I must admit, I was taken aback by the size of the leg and also by the precision and quality of the engineering.

As a result of the day byesterday, we'll be following up with the companies we met, all of whom seemed interested in sharpening up their freight models, often an area left well alone, although of course the performance of this area has a big impact on their production lines and also landed costs and cost to produce so if our average 35% freight saving per client is applied to any of these customers, I'm sure they'll be very happy. Even better of course that our fees for the work we do in these reviews are self funded, leaving the client with around 60% of the savings to benefit their bottom line, not to mention the other spin offs which benefit them.


Kind Regards


Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email : andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web :
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype:
andy.cliff1@skype.com




www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk

 


 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Asia-Europe Ocean Freight Rate Increases - Nov 1st - Action Stations!

Good afternoon All

Here at Straightforward Consultancy, we're managing the freight models for many customers, and the key markets for most UK importers are the US and Asia, but Asia is the one you really need to watch and manage carefully.
 

Since early 2012, we have seen huge swings in ocean freight full container (FCL) rates from Asia, all related to the lack of demand and excess of containership capacity and on the other side of the coin, the financial performance of the ocean carriers, who can soon move to loss making positions if rates weaken.

We monitor Asia-Europe every week and we've seen rates hit the floor in Jun-2013 to be followed by around USD 1500/TEU (per 20ft container unit) increases in July and August.

So, USD 1500 is a hefty increase but here's the thing. Ever since the last increase in August, rates have been falling (because Peak Season from Asia is actually around August) and in mid-Oct, quite remarkably only TEN percent of the increases are now still in force. Having said that, it depends on whether you actively manage your freight model because the customer's rates tend to lag behind the market on the way down...sound familiar?

Enter from stage left the carriers, keen to reverse the downward trend with proposed increases of around USD 1000/TEU (20ft).
Last Friday, Nov 1st, the USD 1000/20ft increase hit the Asia-Europe market. I talked to a potential client last week who have modest volumes (say 250-300 TEU) ex China/South East Asia and he told me they were paying USD 900/TEU more for November sailings than they did in October....!
On Monday 4th Nov, we learned how much of the rate increase was actually accepted by the market and it was an eye watering USD 753/TEU (USD 1500/40ft container). We negotiated a very modest increase on our already competitive rates but we do have the volume over our client base which they all benefit from.

Please do take action on this, you really could be paying 50% more than necessary. As always happy to help, please join our band of extremely satisfied customers (see wesbite or Linkedin for details).

Kind Regards



Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email :
andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web : www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype: andy.cliff1@skype.com

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

General Strike in Indonesia - 3 million workers to take part - major logistics impact - are you aware?

Good afternoon All

Do you trade with Indonesia? If so are you aware of the planned General Strike from 30-Oct to 1-Nov (Wed-Fri this week)?

We're advised by some of our Asia logistics providers that many workers have already taken part in industrial action today (28-Oct) in preparation for the General Strike. The strike will impact air and ocean shipments (both import and export). See below link and excerpts from a bulletin we received today.

http://lnkd.in/b23wZYPless


 
Indonesia Strike

On the 28th October tens of thousands of workers went on strike in preparation for a two-day national strike announced for Oct. 31 to Nov.1.

As a result all container depots were closed on Monday so there were issues collecting empty containers. The situation has improved today although demonstrations continue but not to the same scale.

Jakarta News have advised

 "Workers will participate in the action across several regions,” Confederation of Indonesian Worker’s Union (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal said in Jakarta on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Around 10,000 workers will strike on Pulogadung Industrial Estate and KBN Cakung in East Jakarta. Around 50,000 workers will strike in Bandung and Cimahi cities as well as Bandung and West Bandung regencies in West Java.

“Workers in Karawang, West Java, and several other regions will also hold a convoy,” said Said.

He said millions of workers would attend the two-day national strike to demand that the government abolished the outsourcing system.

“Three million workers will participate in the national strike. The action will become a proof that we, the workers, are not just playing in voicing our demands,” said Said.

The three demands comprise appropriate wage, social protection scheme and the abolition of outsourcing.

“The government has so far not once responded to demands for a dialogue,” Said explained.

He said the three million workers would paralyze Indonesia’s economy by stopping production processes and economic activities in airports and seaports.

The national strike will take place in 20 provinces and 200 regencies and municipalities.

Why should you use a logistics consultant ?


Afternoon All

Here's something well worth reading, especially as it is so well put and dispels a lot of the myths/concerns about appointing an external source of expertise.

It's written from a generalist perspective on any consultant, but I think it's particularly relevant to logistics, particularly as regards market knowledge / objective viewpoint / getting the job done.

Kind Regards

Andy



http://www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk/
***************************************************************************

If you're looking to improve your supply chain, you may have considered using the services of a logistics consultant. You might be worried, though, about whether it will be worth the cost or bring any real benefits to your business. Here are some reasons to seriously consider using a consultant.

Product Knowledge

Working with a logistics consultant who has a broad knowledge base and experience working through similar issues to those you are experiencing brings a number of advantages to your team.

You'll probably have received loads of literature from sales people, for example, telling how great their products are, but how can you possibly choose between them? An independent logistics consultant is not selling products and does not get any financial incentives from the products they specify, therefore they can give objective advice.

A project run internally can often get sidetracked by everyday management issues. Bringing in a consultant who can focus on delivering results will ensure that the goals are achieved quicker.

Consultancy does not need to take project ownership away from the management. However, as long as management is clear about its objectives and is able to select, direct and manage the consultants carefully, real added value can be seen.

When Should I Use a Consultant?

All organisations at some time reach a point when they are aware that they could be doing things better or differently. It may be one or several areas of the operations that are not achieving their goal or not functioning as efficiently as they might.

The main reasons for using consultants usually focus around:

o Complexity
o Timescales
o Expertise
o Resources


Efficient Staffing

The issue or problem may be short-term. To manage the change effectively and maximise the benefits will require an intense effort, potentially jeopardising the performance of the rest of the operation. Permanently increasing the headcount to handle a short-term project will increase operating expenses. A consultant can assist in managing the change until the introduction is complete and the operation has stabilized.

Often specialist knowledge exists within the company but a secondment cannot be arranged in the required timeframe. Consultants are ideally suited to providing the skills that are not available from permanent staff.

Decisions which result in a large change or financial commitment from the company will frequently involve consultants to review any analysis before a decision is made. An outsider can ensure that an objective approach and attitude are taken and that all potential alternatives are known and explored. Often the consultant will know of additional alternatives which were not even considered previously. At other times just having the consultant confirm competent and thorough analysis can add additional weight to the business case.

If a project has lost momentum or is not delivering the expected results a consultant can quickly provide the input required to get it back on track.

Working With a Logistics Consultant

The use of consultants is unlikely to bring benefits if you dismiss the consultants' involvement as an expensive distraction from everyday operations. However, if you chose the right consultant or consultancy, clearly define the project objectives, provide the consultants with the information they require and set aside time to review progress and buy into their ideas, the benefits will be seen.

 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Taken a look under the bonnet of your logistics recently?


Good afternoon All

I was driving down the motorway recently and an interesting thought came to mind which connected the world of international logistics to the cars we drive today.

Most people would agree that cars are becoming more and more complex, and even basic servicing is beyond most of us, either for fear of breaking something, invalidating the warranty or if we're brave enough to consider it - for not having the specialist tools or expertise to carry out the job ourselves.

We're therefore pretty resigned to the fact that if we want our car to remain reliable, safe and efficient that we should entrust the work to qualified motor vehicle technicians, who spend every day of their life working on increasingly complex vehicles.

And that's when I had the thought - logistics is a very specialised field too, however many companies never give their logistics model a service, MOT or winter safety check! In truth, it may work reasonably well from a service perspective and the freight/duty costs are "what they are"...checking freight invoices is not something that many customers feel confident about or enjoy doing, quite understandable given the number of different charges and acronyms used!
 
So often, their challenge is that even though they know their freight model might benefit from an overhaul, they wouldn't know where to start in researching better or more cost effective alternatives, and in many small to medium sized companies, they really do not have the resources or expertise to carry out a professional logistics RFQ and selection process.

We generally work with small-medium sized UK importers and exporters who spend £50-£500K per annum on air and ocean freight costs and most of our customers so far had the very same dilemma, quite understandable in small-medium sized companies who have very flat organisational structures and often little in-house expertise.

Their initial concern is that they could not afford to employ consultants on a traditional time based fee model and so we operate on a results based fee model which generates significant freight savings (average 35% across all clients since 2009) and leaves the client with the lion's share of the cost savings and a leaner, more customer focused logistics model.

We carry out the whole process for the customer from an initial assessment onto the RFQ, selection and then implementation, and then managing the new freight model for them to ensure rates are charged as agreed, services are monitored and rates are re-negotiated to ensure their new costs are kept under tight control.

We offer a free no-obligation meeting to importers/exporters in the North West so we can explore what opportunities there may be and we have some excellent testimonials, many of which are quoted on our website and LinkedIn.

So the next time you think that your car needs a service, consider whether your logistics model would benefit from the same expert attention, you'll be glad you did.

Kind Regards


Andy Cliff

http://www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk/

 
 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Asia-Europe Ocean FCL Freight Rates - get ready for another rate increase?

Good afternoon All

Here at Straightforward Consultancy, we're managing the freight models for many customers, and the key markets for most UK importers are the US and Asia, and Asia is the one you really need to watch.

Since early 2012, we have seen huge swings in ocean freight full container (FCL) rates from Asia, all related to the lack of demand and excess of containership capacity and on the other side of the coin, the financial performance of the ocean carriers, who can soon move to loss making positions if rates weaken.

We monitor Asia-Europe every week and we've seen rates hit the floor in Jun-2013 to be followed by around USD 1500/TEU (per 20ft container unit) increases in July and August.

So, USD 1500 is a hefty increase but here's the thing. Ever since the last increase in August, rates have been falling (because Peak Season from Asia is actually around August) and here we are, mid-Oct and quite remarkably only TEN percent of the increases are now still in force.

Enter from stage left the carriers, keen to reverse the downward trend with proposed increases of around USD 1000/TEU (20ft). I was sent an piece today by a major forwarder who had listed the increases and they are all between USD 925-1000/TEU - what a coincidence...

So, the question is, what rates are you paying now and are they line with the market - and secondly, what rate increases are you expecting for November 1st?

I think the key message here is that on a market like Asia-Europe, you really need to actively manage and monitor it and keep control of your costs, which is what we're doing for our clients every day.

www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk


Kind Regards


Andy Cliff


***************LATEST NEWS*********** 1st November 2013

So today is (was) the big day, the day when the USD 1000/TEU (USD 1000/20ft) increase hit the Asia-Europe market. I was talking to a potential client earlier today who have modest volumes (say 250-300 TEU) ex China/South East Asia and he told me they were paying USD 900/TEU more for November sailings than they did in October....! After I'd almost fallen off my chair, I arranged to meet him to talk about how we manage this area for our clients and keep them competitive and compliant.

So have you checked into this and found out what rates you were paying in October ? And what sort of cost increase you will be paying from now on?
If you want to avoid these sort of cost hikes, please talk to us. It may be the best decision you make this year.

Kind Regards


Andy Cliff
Director

Straightforward Consultancy Ltd
4, Beckett Drive
Winwick Park
Warrington
Cheshire
WA2 8XJ

Tel : 07934 443492
Email : andy@straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Web :
www.straightforwardconsultancy.co.uk
Blog : http://straightforwardconsultancy.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @AndyCliffSCL
Linkedin:
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andy-cliff/1a/43/72
Skype:
andy.cliff1@skype.com

Monday, 7 October 2013

Quality - Brands - Customer experience - Loyalty - my recent experiences

Good afternoon All

It had to be said that I have very standards, which means I expect whatever product I buy to be as described and I think that goes without saying really.

A case in point would be a BMW 3 series I bought two years ago, which at the time was around 3 years old but we bought it from a BMW dealer with (fortunately) a 2 year extended warranty.

I had never owned a BMW in all my years of car ownership and I suppose it was what marketing people would describe as an aspirational brand, all those associated attributes, you know - quality, reliability, performance, customer service, owner satisfaction. Fair enough and clearly car manufacturers invest a lot of money investing in their products and creating a premium brand feel.

Sadly though, my experience of BMW was a real disappointment, mainly because the car seemed to have glitches which the dealer could never seem to fix, despite several 2 day visits to the BMW workshop. It culminated in one fault, where the car's engine would suddenly die when you needed power (eg at a junction) almost causing an accident.

I then realised this needed fixing once and for all but I was told by the BMW dealer that I couldnt have it looked at for almost 3 weeks and they might need it for a week. I tend to be pretty loyal to "brands" and companies however I think I reached the tipping point with the BMW, I just lost the will to keep taking it back with no improvement.

Now here's the thing. Once you have had a bad service or brand experience, you're unlikely to return to that brand and you'll find something better, more reliable, more competitive, whatever - and no matter what happens you'll never try that brand or supplier again.

And for me that is the ethos we have here at Straightforward Consultancy - we truly go the extra mile for our customers and this brings about a tremendous loyalty. We're now in our 5th year (wow) and our business and reputation continue to grow. Mind you, we do enjoy what we do!

Speak soon.

Kind Regards



Andy Cliff

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

More airlines change their fuel surcharge basis (from actual weight to chargeable weight)

Good afternoon All

This change of tack on the basis for calculation of fuel surcharges (FSC) has been gathering pace and now we have 5 major carriers who have moved from Actual Weight to Chargeable Weight. So far no American carriers.


Lufthansa
Air France/KLM
Singapore Airlines
Japan Airlines
Emirates


Generally speaking, most airlines have always used the cargo's dead (actual) weight to assess fuel surcharge, primarily because the fuel cost is linked to the weight of the payload on the aircraft and so actual weight has seemed the fairest way to pass on the costs of the rising price of jet fuel.

The irony here is that FSC has been in place since 2001-2002 and although it began as a lowly USD 0.10-USD 0.20 per kilo, for the past five years, it has hovered between USD 0.80 and USD 1.30 per kilo. So why, do you ask, don't they just build it into the core air freight rates? Why not indeed..

http://theloadstar.co.uk/shipper-anger-grows-as-more-airlines-weigh-in-with-costly-surcharge-change/

It will be interesting to see how this affects the market - it will certainly hit customers who ship volume cargo (greater than 6000cc per kilo).

Kind Regards


Andy Cliff


IED found on military cargo flight from Afghanistan to Dubai



Good afternoon All

Seems that no more than a day goes by without us witnessing (ie Nairobi, Kenya) or hearing about some terrorist activity. How an IED could make it on to a military flight is very concerning.
http://theloadstar.co.uk/us-suspends-military-shipments-from-afghanistan-to-dubai-after-ied-found/

Kind Regards


Andy Cliff


Asia-Europe ocean rate increases - there may be trouble ahead (as the song goes...!)

Good afternoon All

It's been a while since I last posted so apologies for that but we've been very involved with new customers, re-organising their freight and Customs models and so our blogging has suffered somewhat.


I received this bulletin a few days ago from a large forwarder regarding Asia-Europe which is worth sharing.

It's hard to believe the bulletion given that rates eased in September after the hefty hikes in July and August but certainly one to watch.And some light relief for you below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnfKmNRfLYU


Quote

Asia to Europe –  Surcharges 1st November 2013


Dear valued customer
 

Please be advised that all carriers operating services from Asia to Europe have indicated that it is their intention to impose various surcharges effective sailings on/after 1st November 2013.
 
Depending on the carrier choice these surcharges are being imposed in many ways and to date we have received notification of the following;

 1)      General Rate Increase

 2)      Rate Restoration Fee

 3)      Structural Revenue Recovery 

At the moment the figures indicated are 600 - 900 USD per TEU – please note that should these increases / surcharges be implemented we will have no choice but to review our rate levels from sailings on/after 1st November 2013.


We will continue to monitor this situation with all our nominated carriers and will continue to keep you updated.

We would like to thank you for your continued support and if you require any further information then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Unquote



Kind Regards


Andy Cliff