International Shipping & Freight Forwarding Blog

Why Clear Definitions between Consignees & Shippers are CRITICAL

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Fri, Apr 07, 2017 @ 04:47 PM

Don't lose your entire shipment over 3 little letters!

If shipping was not complex enough with customs, federal maritime commission, tariff filing, and transportation security administration regulations, we are CONSTANTLY stepping into pre-existing situations where lack of clarity in responsibilities between shipper and buyer are creating problems so major, that entire shipments are being abandoned.

This is exactly the choice a recent military base client of ours is facing. Somebody in the chain wasn't knowledgeable about who is responsible for costs related to delays from customs, and when a random intensive exam was assigned to them, all hell broke loose.

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Tags: Shipping Terminology & Teamwork, Supply Chain, customs clearance, Incoterms 2010

Deciphering the Incoterms 2010 codes

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 05:03 PM

What's an FOB? Or a CIF for that matter?

When shipping to or from an overseas country, you need to understand the proper purchase & freight terms dictating costs and responsibilities. After all, who likes dealing with unexpected costs, or worse, disasters associated with misunderstandings and incorrect interpretations? Obviously, nobody, but with international freight, you're dealing with other countries, which means different customs, different languages, and different expectations - all of which will impact your shipments.

In one of my recent posts, I outlined a project that we took on after the shipper painted himself into a corner by not having his basis covered before putting all of his belongings in a container heading for Germany. (read more about it HERE)

The point I always try to express is that we want to start off on the right foot, because there are things we can't control, like customs inspections, labor issues, or other political, economic, or environmental challenges - and I would rather help you navigate through those, rather than things that could have been avoided if a little more care were taken in the planning process.

Terms are so important when working with foreign entities where language and cultural barriers may exist, so I've put together something that will take the mystery out of the shipping process for those of you who are concerned about protecting your investment and knowing your responsibilities - Your 2010 Incoterms:

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Tags: International Shipping, Shipping Terminology & Teamwork, Incoterms 2010

The 11 Rules from Incoterms 2010 You Should Know About

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Freight industry jargon is the worst, but Incoterms are necessary


I know how dull freight can seem to those not in the freight forwarding industry. The amount of jargon we use is overwhelming, and to outsiders, it probably feels a little obnoxious.

But it's not without reason. You have to remember, we're dealing with international policies that impact every country on the planet. That's a lot of different languages, laws, cultures, and governments, so we just have to deal with it.

The good news is that I'm always sharing my experiences, and after more than 30 years in this industry, there's a lot to share!

The better news is that there are organizations out there that are making it easier to understand the rules of engagement for international trade, and today I'm going to go over the most important guidelines there are.

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Tags: International Shipping, Shipping Terminology & Teamwork