Worldwide shipping and the air freight industry are in turmoil, with sea freight rates continuing to spiral out of control, global port congestion including port closures, vessel omitting ports, cyber attacks on the industry and the ever-increasing airfreight rates due to limited space and restrictions.
There are some key situations that brewers can encounter that could cause major issues in shipping, whether you are exporting your beer or expecting a delivery of new tanks from overseas, and which will help mitigate the risks of shipping both domestically and internationally.
Brewers should be thinking about:
Understanding the trading terms and conditions for both import and export. Defining the Buyer and the Seller risks and costs, and the obligation of each party for the transport of the goods, import and export clearance and associated charges is key.
Shipping and airfreight service comparisons. Are you getting the best deal? There are so many service options available, and finding the best pricing and service available to suit your needs can be a huge challenge. If the shipment isn’t urgent for example then perhaps a transhipment service and cheaper freight rate may suit your needs, but on the flip side if the shipment is urgent then a suitable direct service option should be sourced.
Make sure you are advised about delays or a change in your shipping or transport service. The customer should always be in control of the shipment, and this is why leaving the shipping to the supplier probably isn’t in your best interest.
Freight and transport rate comparisons. Make sure to get quotes for freight and transport rates for comparison. They should include any additional tariffs, delivery guarantees and more.
Documentation. Documentation is key for a smooth transit. Questions to consider include whether you should open a letter of credit? Which bill of lading suits your shipping needs? When should you use a switch bill of lading? Have you got all the documentation required to complete the customs clearance, for instance; commercial invoice, packing list, manufacturers declaration, packing declaration, dangerous goods declaration? Getting some outside advice can help with this.
Customs brokerage. Customs can be fraught, and of course, each area is different. Importers need to consider tariff consulting, duty concessions, landed costing reports and many more complex issues. It will also require liaising with Quarantine Service to obtain releases, for instance, especially need during the when its Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Season – usually between April – September. Being on top of seasonal issues and individual territory needs is essential.
Distribution & warehousing solutions. Finding the right space to warehouse products can be fraught, but when looking for extra warehouse space or distribution service, but ensuring your products are kept in safe, secure locations which are adapted to your needs will help them get to where they need to be safely.
Marine Cargo Insurance protection. It is essential you insure your shipment covering the risk of loss or damage to your goods during transit by sea, air, rail or road plus held in storage.
Looking for overseas markets? There are a number of resources available for breweries looking to export overseas, and they can get help from local and federal government export programmes, for instance in helping with this.
To get help with any and all of the above, engaging a proactive, customer-focused freight broker will allow breweries to obtain a personalised service together with receiving innovative, competitive solutions for your specific needs.