The MWFA sponsored a webinar on January 28th that featured Chris Donnell of Scanwell Logistics. Scanwell is one of the largest Asia-based freight forwarding and logistics company with an extensive international network of offices located in China, South-east Asia, India, Europe, Canada and the United States. Scanwell Logistics has grown to over 60 offices worldwide which includes more than 200 partnering agents and 3,500 professionals. They are a Logistics and Freight Forwarding company offering Global Trade Solutions and International Logistics.

Chris has extensive knowledge of freight carriers and ocean rates. Chris specializes in supply chain management, inventory control, and logistics sales and management. Over the past 12 years his focus has been within the industrial industries where he’s had the pleasure to work with several global companies on their supply chain policies and their offshore business development. 

It was a very well attended event as 60+ manufacturers and distributors eagerly listened to hear what logistics will look like in 2021.

Chris dove right in and let us know it is probably going to get worse before it gets better, he added that a lot depends on the vaccine.

Here’s what we learned. While Covid19 is driving the current situation, it really started in late 2019 when the import market dropped. Since June-July of last year dozens of cargo ships have been taken off route due to this issue causing the number of containers coming into the United States to decrease dramatically.

Container ships were taken out of the market to adjust to the market decreases and freight companies were then unprepared when markets reopened and the business came roaring back.

This all has had a ripple effect throughout the transportation industry. Space at the ports is limited and there are equipment shortages leading to a huge congestion problem at the docks all of which means less product available to sell.

Vessels are sitting on the water for weeks at a time waiting for space on the docks to unload, equipment for transport, or the lack of necessary draymen to move the containers.

Ocean rates for transportation, storage and delivery have skyrocketed some as high as 100%. These rates have not been seen since the port strikes.

Rail transport is extremely busy on the west coast with peak season surcharges being applied. Moving containers inland has become more costly and takes longer due to chassis equipment shortages.

The higher costs, container congestion, lack of container space, dock space and workers is being felt throughout the United States.

Chris offered suggestions to ease the stress associated with importing included booking as early as possible and choosing alternative destinations. Do this to secure your container ship’s placement and position and to study possible cost savings. Bon voyage!

In case you missed or would like to review the Logistics Lunch & Learn, the audio recording & slides are available on the MWFA website under Members Only. If you need your log in info or want to join MWFA contact Nancy at mwfa@ameritech.net

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