Steve Hughes

HCS International


Steve Hughes has more than 47 years of experience as a supply chain expert to the automotive aftermarket. During this time, he has consulted for some of the industry’s leading companies. Steve continues to act as a consultant for both the automotive aftermarket as a whole and strategic advisor to individual companies. Through seminars, webinars and speaking events, Steve is an active educator to the automotive industry on ocean shipping.

Steve is an advocate for the automotive industry as an active member of the Auto Care Association and CAWA. He has served as an ITAC 2 advisor to the DOC and USTR and has led the industry on ADD trade issues at the ITC on multiple occasions. Steve is the lead voice for the automotive industry regarding ports and ocean transportation issues at the FMC on issues like demurrage/detention, pier pass and port efficiency.

Steve is the founder of HCS International which represents Gemini Shippers Group to the automotive industry.

Sessions With Steve Hughes

Sunday, 28 February

  • 01:30pm - 02:15pm (EST) / 28/feb/2021 06:30 pm - 28/feb/2021 07:15 pm

    Adapting To New Ocean Shipping Dynamics

    The Need to Actively Manage Freight Costs: A TPM21 Workshop for Shippers

    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