Category Archives: Shipping Rules & Regulations

Keys to Affordable Air Freight

 

Just like any other shipping matter, it is important to pay attention to trends in air freight rates, carrier capacity, routes, and other company specific data. Due to the volume of freight that we manage, we have noticed that there are a few main things that can influence how you ship your air freight.

 

Pay Attention to Arrival Times

You send air freight a few times each week to the same destination to meet the demand of your customer; however, is your customer receiving those shipments in a timely fashion? In most cases, it would be worthwhile to consolidate shipments since air freight transit times can vary anyway.

 

Evaluate Destination Options

You can’t change where your shipment needs to end up, but you can change how it gets there. Certain areas will have lower costs for air freight, and then you can transfer your freight to a truck or train to get it to its ultimate destination. We can help you find these obscure destinations if you contact us at (877) 764-9441.

 

Consider the Season

You are probably aware that shipping traffic starts increasing in August or September to prepare for the holiday season. But there is another increase in shipping freight that occurs in the spring. This may be due to the home improvement season or the Spring holidays. Regardless of the reason, it is important to keep in mind that transit times may be a little longer, rates may increase, and availability may be lessened.

 

Keep an Eye on Capacity

When shipping freight of any sort (air freight, ocean freight, or other means), the carriers try to match the demand of the marketplace. Since no one can immediately change to match the trends, you can be caught in a situation where air freight carriers decrease their capacity to save themselves money. If the demand then increases, finding shipping solutions then becomes more difficult.

 

Have domestic shipments? We can help with those as well!

Head to PNG Logistics for more information.

 

Changes in Freight in 2011

As logistics services professionals, we noticed some trends in the world of freight in 2011. These trends will definitely be continuing into 2012 and most of them will probably continue to grow. The carriers have had a lot of control of the freight in 2011 due to an increase in freight volume and shortage of drivers. Also, everyone is looking to save money, which means stricter policies.

 

Class and Weight Inspections

Carriers are inspecting and reweighing almost every single piece of freight that they handle. They are scrutinizing the class on a very large percentage of shipments. And many carriers have even added personnel to only handle inspections and verifications of the class and weight of shipments. During this difficult economic time, it makes sense for the carriers to be taking these extra precautions in order to recoup revenue.

 

We have said it before, and we will continue to stress the importance of classifying your shipments correctly and specifying their correct weight. This is a great way to gain an accurate rate quote and ensure a smooth transit and efficient delivery. It is always helpful to talk to a logistics services professional about any shipment that you are not 100% sure about.

 

Packaging Standards

Many carriers are also increasing their standards for packaging. We have seen many shipments that are required to now be crated even though they had not been in the past. Carriers are doing this as a way to reduce risk of damages and the hassle and expense of the resulting claims.

 

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It may slightly increase your cost up front (due to the additional packaging standards); however, your risk is also reduced. You are more likely to have your freight arrive safely, securely, and on time when these packaging standards are higher.

 

Higher Costs

There have been price increases across the board in regards to freight in 2011. This is partially due to increased fuel prices and also due to the shortage of drivers and freight volume increases. Since there is more freight that needs moved than drivers who can move it, carriers have the luxury of being picky about the type of freight that they move. They are able to increase costs and add stipulations for difficult freight (such as oversized or unstackable freight).

 

The good news is that the economy in the realm of logistics services is improving. Hopefully, the number of drivers will catch up to the demand in the shipping industry. In the mean time, give us a call at (877) 764-9441 to discuss options for keeping your costs low.

 

 

Have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Weekend!

 

 

Have international shipments? We can help with those as well!

Head to PNG Worldwide for more information.

 

Current View of Transportation Economy

We often hear about the economy in the USA in regards to the housing market, stock market, unemployment rate, and other key factors, but what about the status of the transportation economy? Well, since the transportation economy is largely dependent on consumerism it is not doing wonderfully; however, it is also not floundering.

 

It is forecasted that the USA will import 2.8 percent more containerized goods in the next year. It is good that there will be an increase; however, the original forecast was a 4.7 percent increase. This shows us that the economy in the USA and worldwide is improving, but not as quickly as estimated (and certainly not as quickly as hoped for). Imports are not increasing as quickly as predicted because unemployment rates and home buying rates are not improving as quickly as predicted. Most of what is imported is due to consumers who are buying things for their homes whether it is interior or home improvements. Since the unemployment rates are still significantly high at 8.6 percent, fewer people are taking the risk of buying homes, and therefore, buying fewer products.

 

In regards to containerized imports from Asia to the USA West Coast, there is a predicted increase of 2.7 percent rather than the 5.9 percent that was previously estimated. The most commonly shipped goods from Asia to the USA West Coast include furniture, televisions, and car parts. All of which are not conducive to the economy in the USA.

 

It is currently estimated that the worldwide transportation economy will have less growth than 2011. 2011 saw 7.5 percent expansion in world trade. 2010 saw 12.8 percent growth. 2012 is predicted to have only 5.8 percent growth.

 

 

If you have questions or concerns about moving your international freight give us a call at (877) 764-9441.

 

 

Have domestic shipments? We can help with those as well!

Head to PNG Logistics for more information.

New Hours of Service Rules

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is working on new hours of services rules. These hours of service rules will potentially change the regulations on how long a truck driver is allowed to drive continuously. There is currently no set date of when the Department of Transportation will announce the new rules and regulations.

 

Hours of Service Changes

The current hours of service rules are outlined here on the Department of Transporation website. Currently property carrying CMV drivers have regulations such as an 11 hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty. This is one of the rules that may change, for it has been proposed that there be a 10 hour driving limit instead.

 

New Hours of Service Effects

As with any issue, there are people for and against the changes. The new hours of service are being considered on the grounds of looking out for the safety of all drivers, which is obviously a major concern and should be looked at seriously. However, people who are against the changes argue that there are already stringent safety regulations that are effective. A large part of the opposition is that it could be very costly.

 

If drivers are unable to drive as long, then there will be decreased available capacity and increased pricing. There is already a shortage of drivers currently, and this could make the situation even worse. If drivers who were previously driving 11 hours straight can now only drive 10 hours, then they will be covering less ground and freight will take longer to arrive and fewer loads will be delivered as a whole. If the proposed changes go through, shipment costs will like increase by about 10%.

 

Where Do You Stand?

Do you feel that these proposed changes are necessary for keeping our drivers and roadways safe? Or do you feel that safety regulations are already sufficient and the significant shipping price increase is not warranted?

 

As always, regardless of changes or new regulations we can find you unique and cost effective routes for your shipments. Give us a call at (877) 764-9441

 

Have international shipments? We can help with those as well!

Head to PNG Worldwide for more information.

5 International Shipping Risks that Importers Face

If you are new to the world of international shipping, you will quickly experience the challenges of world shipping that other importers face. Educating yourself, however, can significantly reduce your risk of running into these costly situations.

 

1. Value of Currency

It is important to be aware of the value of your local currency against the currencies of the countries you are working with. At one point the US dollar was equal to 35.2 Taiwan dollars. However, when the US dollar decreased to equaling 32.7 Taiwan dollars, American imports would cost about 15% more. This may mean that you would have had to buy 15% less product, or you would need to adjust your budget (and your own costs) accordingly.

2. Incorrect or Damaged Products

You, the importer, receive damaged or incorrect products. You will have to document and photograph the products and report all of the evidence clearly and properly. You will have to have all of the important commercial, transportations, and financial documents regarding the delivery of the damaged or incorrect products. All of this takes time, energy, and keeps you from bringing in money.

The good news is that PNG Worldwide will handle these claims for you. We will have all of the appropriate paperwork filed and work on your behalf to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Just call us at (877) 764-9441.

3. International Cargo Insurance Mistakes

Importers that are unfamiliar with world shipping commonly make mistakes on their international cargo insurance policies. Working with logistics provider who handles international shipping matters all day, every day reduces your risk of having inadequate cargo insurance. We can evaluate your particular shipment and choose policies that match your specific needs.

4. Cheap Imports

Cheap imports cause you to have to reduce your prices, which then decreases your company’s overall profit. Some importers try to battle this by trying to obtain injunctions that prohibit shipments of a specific product to enter into their territory. However, this tactic rarely works out since it is expensive and difficult to obtain the injunction.

5. Exporter Delays

If your exporter does not send out your shipment on time, the impact falls on your shoulders. Your customer looks to you (not the exporter) when you do not have the product that they were expecting. As an importer, you should track and research exporting trends of the country that you are working with. This way you can anticipate delays and make other arrangements. Make yourself aware of world shipping challenges such as international holidays.

 

Have domestic shipments? We can help with those as well!

Head to PNG Logistics for more information.

Canada Shipping – 3 Things to Consider

Whether you are shipping from Canada or going to ship to Canada, there are 3 things to consider to ensure a good Canada shipping experience. 1. Find a customs broker to work with. 2. Correctly fill out a Canadian Customs Invoice. 3. Research the NAFTA Certificate of Origin to see if your shipment meets the requirements. These 3 elements will increase your chances of having your shipment arrive without delay or extra costs.

Customs Broker

The role of a customs broker is to be involved in the preparation of documents (such as the NAFTA Certificate of Origin and the Canadian Customs Invoice) so that they are filled out and submitted correctly. Customs brokers also calculate accurate taxes, duties, and excises and communicate with the other party involved in the shipment as well as governmental authorities. At PNG Logistics, we can work for you as a customs broker if you are shipping from Canada (importing); however,the consignee is the one who is responsible for customs duties and taxes if you are going to ship to Canada (exporting). You can call us at (877) 764-9441 or visit us online at www.PNGLC.com regarding your specific Canada shipping needs.

NAFTA Certificate of Origin

The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is a document that is not necessarily required for each shipment to Canada so you need to accurately determine when to use the Certificate of Origin. A customs broker can help you with the exact details of this process because inclusion of products in a shipment that do not meet the NAFTA Certificate of Origin regulations is illegal and will amount to penalties and fines. Shipments to Canada that do meet the NAFTA rules of origin receive zero duties as a way to assist U.S. companies.

Steps to determining whether or not your shipment requires a NAFTA Certificate of Origin:

-        Determine the Harmonized System Number for the product, and its foreign parts, raw materials, and components.

-       Determine the Canadian MFN tariff for the product. You will not need a NAFTA Certificate if the MFN rate is zero

-       If the MFN rate is not zero, then use the Harmonized System (HS) Number to find the correct rule of origin. Then you determine if it qualifies for the NAFTA tariff rate.

-       If the product does not meet the rule of origin, then the NAFTA Certificate of Origin should not be completed.

-       If the product meets the rule of origin, then complete the NAFTA Certificate of Origin.

Canadian Customs Invoice

A Canadian Customs Invoice is required when you ship to Canada. This document includes information such as the value, the quantity, and the nature of the shipment. It also provides information regarding the consignee and consignor. Once again, it is helpful to have a customs broker help with the Canadian Customs Invoice to avoid delays and warehousing or other fees.

Shipping overseas? We can help with those as well! Head to PNG Worldwide for more information.

Customs Compliance Audits – Avoid Extra Costs

 

If you are shipping internationally, you are probably familiar with the U.S. Customs Compliance Audits. Customs Compliance Audits should be taken seriously since errors found in these audits can cause significant fees and time loss. During these audits, Customs not only verifies that the information that you provided is correct, but they also check to see if you have effective systems in place to continue documenting correctly in the future. If you are not in compliance, you will need to go through many steps to achieve compliance that are time consuming and expensive.

 

What are the expectations during a Customs Compliance Audit?

The expectations and purpose of a Customs Compliance Audit is to ensure that the freight has accurate documentation regarding value, duty rate, classification, and other aspects. An audit of this nature also checks to see if you have adequate systems in place so that you continue to be in compliance. The party that is responsible for providing this type of documentation for U.S. Customs Compliance Audits is the importer.

 

If all goes well…

If the audit finds that you (the importer) have fulfilled your legal responsibilities by giving accurate information about the freight, and that you have systems in place to ensure continuing compliance, then your freight will continue on its way in a timely manner without extra fees.

 

If you are not in compliance…

If the audit finds that you (the importer) have not provided accurate documentation, or that you do not have adequate systems in place to ensure future compliance, then your freight will be delayed and likely accrue fees. Also, you will be required to create a Compliance Improvement Plan. Then you will receive follow up audits to inspect your revamped compliance systems and reevaluate compliance. Once you get past all of that, you are likely to have higher than average audit rates in the future.

 

Bottom Line?

Customs Compliance Audits are not to be taken lightly so when in doubt, give us a call at (877) 764-9441. Our experts are familiar with the process and up to date on proper regulations. We can provide insight that will lead to better compliance. Please visit us at www.PNGWorldwide.com for more information.

 

 

Have domestic shipments? We can help with those as well! Head to PNG Logistics for more information.

 

 

Intro to Hazmat Shipping

At PNG Logistics, we do not ship perishable goods; however, we do provide hazmat shipping solutions. We route hazmat shipments such as fertilizer, paint, batteries, and various chemical solutions. As with any area of logistics, hazmat shipments come with their own set of classifications.

Hazmat classification deals with UN Numbers. Listed below is a quick overview of this classification system:

Class 1: Explosives

  • 1.1: Mass Explosion Hazard
  • 1.2: Projection Hazard
  • 1.3: Fire Hazard and either Minor Blast Hazard or Minor Projection Hazard
  • 1.4: Minor Explosion Hazard
  • 1.5: Insensitive Explosives with Mass Explosion Hazard
  • 1.6: Insensitive Explosives without Mass Explosion Hazard

Class 2: Compressed Gasses

  • 2.1: Flammable Gas
  • 2.2: Non-Flammable, Non-Poisonous Gas
  • 2.3: Poisonous Gas

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

Class 4: Flammable Solids

  • 4.1: Flammable Solid
  • 4.2: Spontaneously Combustible
  • 4.3: Dangerous when Wet

Class 5: Oxidizers

  • 5.1: Oxidizers
  • 5.2: Organic Peroxide

Class 6: Poisons

Class 7: Radioactive Materials

Class 8: Corrosive Liquids

Class 9: Miscellaneous

There are a few other things to keep in mind when doing hazmat shipping. Hazmat freight requires specially licensed truck drivers. If you do not classify your hazmat freight as such, you will face delays and extra fees while waiting for an available driver since it was not in the original plan. This means that if you only have one skid out of twenty that is hazmat, we still need to know about that one skid up front so that we can plan a personalized route accordingly. Also, hazmat shipping is considered an accessorial charge similar to residential or lift gate services, which means that our usual affordable rates still apply.

There are many details that go into classification of hazmat shipments so if you have questions or concerns while filling out paperwork, do not hesitate to contact us at (877) 764-9441 or visit us online at http://www.PNGLC.com

Have international shipments? We can help with those as well! Head to PNG Worldwide for more information.

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