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- Alessandra Barrett
The Rail and Trucking Outlook
The import logistics model known as transloading has been around almost as long as containerized shipping itself. Tied closely to the inventory management strategy known as postponement, the transload model has been a darling of consumer goods importers because it allows them to delay — i.e., postpone — the allocation of inventory until the point where ocean containers are stripped at a US transload facility, and forwarded by truck or rail to multiple destinations nationwide. Whereas transload was popular long before the COVID-19 outbreak, an unintended consequence of the pandemic is that ocean carrier is reluctant to send ocean containers into the US interior. Due to the imbalance of containers across the country, and driven mainly by the timing and high repositioning costs, many carriers now prefer to terminate bills of lading at the first port of discharge. Without question, this scenario will make transloading even more popular amongst importers in 2021. In this session, Dan Gardner, a former forwarder, shipper, and today a consultant and educator, will review transloading’s strategic advantages, and take a deep dive into the facilities, processes, and technologies needed to make it work. Positioned as a source of competitive advantage for BCOs, this presentation is ideal for those who already employ transloading, as well as for parties interested in rolling out the strategy in 2021.
Adapting To New Ocean Shipping Dynamics
Ocean freight costs are spiraling upward, demanding knowledge and active management by importers to effectively control these costs and prevent them from eating into margins. Spot rates from Asia are nearly triple what they were a year ago and disruption is here to stay. Whether it’s a carrier bankruptcy, longshore labor strike, weather event, trade war, carrier action, or pandemic, business risk is rising by the day in the ocean transportation environment. How can and should shippers manage this? The answer is knowledge and familiarity with the key players and market dynamics. In this workshop, led by Steve Hughes, former vice president of the supply chain for automotive parts importer Centric Parts and now president of HCS International, you’ll learn:
• How rising ocean freight costs can eat into margins if not controlled
• What happened in 2020 and why the impact will be felt for years
• Why ocean freight costs are rising and won’t necessarily go back down
• What the optimal strategy is: contracting directly with ocean carriers or through forwarders or shipper associations
• The outlook for China tariffs under the Biden administration
• Why being willing to change strategies is key to effectively managing costs
• Why disruption in the ocean supply chain is here to stay and how to plan for it
• How to ensure your C-Suite isn’t surprised by higher costs or delays
• How to ensure you remain informed and plugged in to monitor rapidly changing developments
• When rates will return to sustainable levels
Creating and executing a marketing strategy with impact was never easy. Today, standing out from the crowd and getting customers’ attention is tougher than ever. This means any logistics company using the same old approach or a generic checklist of marketing to-dos won’t get anywhere when it comes to attracting new customers on a consistent basis. In this session, Ken Kowal, Founder of ShipStarter, will present the marketing blueprint you didn’t know you needed. Shipstarter is a specialist who helps logistics companies develop innovative marketing strategies, and Ken will cover the modern marketing tactics that work the best today and then make it much further. You’ll also get tips to overcome the other hurdles to marketing success, like enlisting the internal support and resources to get the work done, measuring results and proving ROI, and common mistakes to avoid. The workshop will provide accompanying workbook materials. At the end of the hour, you will have an actionable plan to build your new marketing strategy and quickly put it into place. The session will also cover topics such as:
• The steps for figuring out the best audience for your solutions (and the companies and people you should be targeting).
• What to do with all that bad CRM data (you know it’s there).
• What to do if your CEO doesn’t believe in marketing (and conversely, what to do if your company leadership is too involved).
• How to figure out what existing and potential customers really think of you (and how to use that information to improve your marketing).
• The specific tools and techniques every modern logistics marketing team should employ (and those to avoid).
• Defining success and establishing realistic goals and expectations (i.e., how to manage upwards).
• Recognizing what your company is doing well (and what it could be doing better)