Blog International Freight Shipping

How to Improve Supply Chain Visibility

How to Improve Supply Chain Visibility One of the best ways to enhance the performance of your supply chain operation is to improve visibility. That means knowing precisely the location of products, freight and inventory no matter where they are along the chain. The advantages are obvious: besides controlling your shipments and orders in a complex global environment, real-time visibility introduces opportunities to reduce inventory and mitigate risk that could crop up if you are unaware of the status of your freight. A global supply chain can be a knotty operation. Visibility helps remove the knots by improving the speed and accuracy of shipments, putting a clear focus on products and supplies that are in transit or in house and enabling supply chain managers to intercede when kinks show up that will slow progress or increase costs. There are numerous platforms on the market that help companies establish global supply chain tracking systems. They can be very effective and – depending on what you need -- very expensive.…

Don’t Wait till the Last Minute to Plan for America First

Don’t Wait till the Last Minute to Plan for America First “How is the Trump Administration’s America First policy going to impact my supply chain?” That’s a question our clients have been trying to answer since last year when, during the campaign for president, Donald Trump discussed his aim to renegotiate and overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He vowed to begin levying additional duties and tariffs on goods from foreign countries. This past April, the president signed an executive order entitled Buy American, Hire American, which did little to settle the issue or answer the question: “How do we plan and recast our business if financial pressure on our supply chain overwhelms our ability to do business in our current market?” If your business is international and your supply chain relies on goods and services from abroad, you have every reason to wonder about the impact of an America First policy on your ability to remain competitive.…

Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking Inside the Box Before looking “outside the box” for new ways to make your logistics or supply chain operations more effective, you may want to look first at how your team is handling what’s inside the box – as well as what’s on the side of the box and in the paperwork that accompanies it. Because when it comes to industrial freight shipping, it’s the little things like efficient and safe packing and loading of containers, clear labeling, and accurate documentation that go a long way toward ensuring proper delivery of your shipments and avoiding costly surprises, such as holdups at the border. Efficient and Safe Packing and Loading Packing with care and with the proper materials can save time, money and the inconvenience and expense of insurance claims. Risk management studies show that about a third of the cargo damage that occurs during shipment is the result of poor loading and packing. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than…

Picking the Right Suppliers for Your Business

Picking the Right Suppliers for Your Business The ability to find and build a top-notch international supplier team can be the make-or-break key to the success of any business. Choosing well helps ensure you protect and enhance your reputation and ability to deliver; choosing poorly almost guarantees significant financial and operational distress. Nobody ever said that sourcing is easy. When you are half a world away from a potential supplier, how do you find the confidence to begin a relationship that could impact your reputation and your profitability? The trick is to develop a strategy and a plan for vetting that will mitigate risk and provide you with a clear and accurate picture of your sourcing target. Relying on search engines that seek to pair companies with potential suppliers may be a first step, but internet searches can be as dicey as dating services. On the surface they look spectacular, but you’ll need to do a lot of courting before you propose a permanent relationship. At ICAT Logistics DTW, we begin by tapping…

Supply Chains under Cyber Siege

Supply Chains under Cyber Siege The pace of technological advances that have enhanced every aspect of supply chains in the last decade has been stunning. But progress hasn’t come without a price. During this same period, the frequency and intensity of data breaches and cyber intrusions has also grown by leaps. So, if it has occurred to you that maybe you should pay more attention to cyber security, hold that thought. According to some estimates, as many as 80 percent of cyberattacks originate in supply chains. Yet, despite their vulnerability, in more than half of the companies reviewed in recent studies, there is no alignment between the supply chain and cybersecurity teams. Cyber threats are a growing concern in every business, but it stands to reason that supply chains would be especially vulnerable. Poor security practices leave them accessible to attack from a host of directions — employees, clients, suppliers, plant operations and who knows what software may have been tainted by malware at any of those…


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