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4 Vital Things to Consider When Comparing Shipping and Event Shipping Bids

One of the most important steps in choosing your shipping and event logistics partners is evaluating the myriad of bids submitted after you send out a request for proposal (RFP). You want a logistics provider that will deliver your goods safely on time without setting you back financially.

Choose AMR Group for Your Shipping & Event Logistics Needs

There are a lot of logistics providers in the United States dealing in both domestic and international freight. It can, therefore, be a challenge having to go through the many different bids before choosing what is good for you and your client. So, what do you consider when comparing these unique bids to ensure you get the best partner for your shipping business? Consider the below aspects when comparing bids from your potential events and logistics partner.

Compliance with Necessary Requirements

Your bid sheet is a list of wishes you would like fulfilled. An event logistics partner who is keen on providing the best of service will strive to meet all the specified requirements you put out on your list. Checking for compliance is specifically helpful when filtering a large number of bids.

You need to ensure your potential logistics provider, or even your current one, meets all the quality requirements required for the job. It is also vital to check the bidders comply with both commercial and legal requirements, like licensing and insurance.  This will help you decide how suitable a bidder is for you by gauging the readiness to which they do what you ask of them.

Price

Typically, the bidding comparison process is aimed at finding an event logistics partner that offers a combination of both cost-effectiveness and value. You have to protect your bottom line while still ensuring you provide quality services to your clients.

You don’t necessarily have to settle for the lowest bid as is the norm. It could signify desperation on the part of the bidder, which may expose you to poor services. You should be aware of how different providers charge so you can have a precise estimate on the best value.

Bid Presentation

A well put together bid is clear and leaves nothing for the assumption. A quality bid will reflect all your requirements and clearly outline all the details about the different aspects of the logistics process. Although making a decision based only on the bid presentation may seem shallow, it goes a long way in making the whole process easy.

The more detailed a bid is, the higher the level of accuracy which shields you from unforeseen budget shocks in the future. It also gives you a candid picture of the proposal, so you know what to expect when you finally sign the contract with your preferred logistics partner.

Inclusions and Allowances

Every shipping and events logistics bid has primary requirements. However, some services may not be included by bidders to achieve the desired low costs.  Some offer large allowances which may end up leading to high additional costs. It is critical to check these aspects to ensure you get as close an estimate as possible, so you don’t miss out on essential service chasing cheap offers.

Checklist of Important Costs to Keep in Mind:

  1. Does the international shipping quote include costs for on-site material handling and drayage? An experienced event forwarder usually includes this up front.
  2. Does the international shipping quote include the type of customs entry to be performed? You can save money by doing a temporary import if the circumstances are right. Your shipping partner should ask you questions about this if they know what they’re doing.
  3. Does the international shipping quote include costs for storage of your empty crates and packages during the event? Normally, this is a necessary (and expensive) need for international trade shows.
  4. Does the international shipping quote cost include some information about the international exchange rate or currency used? Currency rates fluctuate often and sometimes, these changes drastically alter your cost.
  5. Does your shipping quote include cargo insurance as an option? Many companies don’t offer custom-crafted insurance policies to cover your goods during shipment AND during the trade show.

Contact AMR for Your Shipping & Event Logistic Needs!

The success of your goods’ delivery depends on the choice of your shipping partner. Contact AMR Group today at 702-800-6385 for all your shipping and event logistics needs both in the US and worldwide. We are proud of our long-standing track record of shipping products around the world with no failures.

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The U.S. Exhibitions Market Is a True International Market

The United States Exhibitions Market is home to a diverse variety of industries, locations and cultures. Each of the 50 states offers various convention platforms and exhibition venues that fit the needs of every industry. The busiest and largest convention centers are located in Las Vegas, NV; Orlando, FL and Chicago, IL, with Chicago’s McCormick Place being the largest at 2.6 million square feet.

Culturally, the venues span from fast-paced, big cities, like New York, to rural settings at country fairgrounds. Venues for exhibitions and trade fairs are strategically located in places where many international influences in language, entertainment and food can be found. Below is a brief look into the U.S. exhibition market.

Let AMR Group Handle Your Exhibit Shipping Needs

Lots of Ports of Entry
There are many ports of entry in the U.S. where freight can be shipped; the challenge is knowing which airport or seaport to ship to for the intended destination. The destination climate can also affect the success of the event, with conditions like heavy rain, blizzards and hurricanes causing delays and even cancellations in the past.

Ocean Shipping
If you are planning to bring in a full container via ocean freight, you need to plan early to avoid delays from bad weather or missed schedules by the vessels. However, you can still experience delays due to customs inspections, which may require your merchandise to be stored at the port for extra days.

Balancing between the arrival of the container and date of delivery without having to incur extra charges can be a daunting task. This is because the seaport only allows for 5 free days of storage before you have to move it. If the show provides an advance warehouse, it would be better to move the freight there, although you will incur additional handling costs from the general contractor.

General Contractors
Most shows in the U.S. are handled by a general contractor, such as GES or Freeman. The contractors handle your shipment upon arrival at the exhibition venue whether you are taking it directly to the stand or to the advance warehouse. Normally, they have set tariffs they directly bill to you for the services they provide.

When delivering directly to a venue, the contractors usually provide a marshalling yard where the truckers check in and receive a number and wait to be called to the venue to offload. This helps in relieving congestion that would otherwise occur in convention centers with limited space for the trucks. You should, however, be ready for long waits that last anywhere from a few hours to a whole day.

Targeted Move-In
Targeted move-in refers to a schedule some contractors provide of how goods should be delivered to the show, complete with specific dates and time. Delivering out of the stipulated time results in extra charges, which is why delivering to the advance warehouse is a better choice. If you are not comfortable with the delivery date, you can apply for it to be changed by the contractor.

Forced Freight
Forced freight occurs when a carrier delays collecting the goods from the event’s venue. When this happens, the contractor moves the freight to a designated storage location and then, charges you for the service.

Usually, forced freight happens due to the Bill of Lading for the trucker or Material Handling Agreement, being filled out incorrectly or not at all. To avoid this, you should make sure to submit the right carrier details and destination address the agent has matches the one listed by the exhibitor.

New Truck Regulations
The costs charged by carriers have increased due to fuel surcharges and a regulation that took effect in 2018 requiring drivers to digitally log their hours. This has limited their operating hours, forcing carriers to book team drivers to ensure goods arrive at the intended destination on time. The resulting driver shortages has led to increased costs of transportation.

Types of Entries
Different entries are filed at customs for different types of goods depending on the type of material and purpose. In the case of exhibition goods, you can opt for Consumption entries, TIB’s or ATA Carnets, which are the most used entries for commercial goods not for sale in the U.S. Although a TIB and an ATA Carnet are both valid for one year, you can extend the TIB for up to 3 years.

Early Planning and Communication Is Key

It is common to make last-minute requests or tender shipments late, which is why early preparations are important. You need to research extensively about the shows and venue to plan accordingly. You can find information about your shows here. The more information you have early, the more likely the success for you and your customer.

AMR Group is here to help ease the burden of exhibit transportation and event logistics. We’ll ensure your shipment arrives on time at the right location. Contact us today at 702-800-6385 for more information or to request a rate.

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THE SCOOP ON HANJIN SHIPPING LINES BANKRUPTCY

Last Friday, a federal judge granted Hanjin temporary protection from vessel arrest and asset liens. A U.S. bankruptcy court in Newark, NJ is scheduled to rule this Friday, when the temporary protection order expires, whether to extend Chapter 15 privileges which protect Hanjin assets from seizure and ships from arrest.

There are currently five Hanjin ships now stranded off U.S. coasts. Three are located outside Los Angeles-Long Beach (LA/LB), one is outside of Savannah, and another is waiting to call the port of New York-New Jersey (NY/NJ). When the vessels eventually berth, importers will find stark differences in how much they have to pay to get containers released. The different approaches are already evident in how ports are handling stranded import containers. See below for information by port complex and other information regarding the impact to U.S. exports and equipment:

LA/LB and NY/NJ

In Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey, which are landlord ports, the private-sector terminal operators decide if they will allow a vessel to dock at their facility and how and when to release laden import containers. In most cases, they are demanding that beneficial cargo owners pay them up front for cargo-delivery charges before they agree to release the containers to truckers.

The Port of Long Beach reported Wednesday that Total Terminals International (TTI), which is jointly owned by Hanjin and Terminal Investment Ltd., reopened for delivery of imported containers to truckers, as long as the beneficial cargo owners paid the terminal delivery charges up front, but no vessels were docked at TTI. The port could not say why the terminal was refusing to accept Hanjin ships.

U.S. marshals have seized the Hanjin Montevideo at Long Beach at the behest of fuel suppliers owed nearly $800,000, according to local media. The Hanjin Greece, which had been anchored outside the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex earlier in the week, is now in Mexican waters to use reserve fuel not allowed in U.S. emissions control areas that mandate low fuel sulfur content.

Hanjin had three vessels at anchor or floating off the Southern California coast on Wednesday, but the vessels did not dock at TTI in Long Beach or at any terminal in Los Angeles-Long Beach. The Southern California terminals reportedly were awaiting a final ruling from the New Jersey bankruptcy court on Friday before taking on the expense of working the vessels.

Savannah

In Savannah, by contrast, the operating port manages the marine terminal, and the Georgia Ports Authority is not charging Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) to release Hanjin containers. It also isn’t charging demurrage on exports that were slated to sail on Hanjin. The Georgia Ports Authority noted that it is not consignees of Hanjin cargo at fault for the Korean line’s plight.

Charleston

To the north, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has waived the non-vessel delivery fee for export loads out-gated. At the Port of Charleston, an operating port, import loads discharged on or after Sept. 1 will be placed on hold until such time as all SCPA charges are settled. The SCPA will collect all port and throughput charges totaling $350 per container from the BCO/responsible party with authorization required from Hanjin.

Prince Rupert, Canada

The only North American port to actually work a Hanjin vessel on Wednesday was Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The Canadian port began discharging containers from a Hanjin vessel on Wednesday. The Hanjin Scarlet had been anchored off the coast since Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

U.S. Exports

Most U.S. terminals are refusing to load Hanjin export containers onto vessels. The terminals will release the export containers to truckers, once again if the BCO pays the terminal delivery fee upfront. The BCOs then have the Hanjin containers trucked to their warehouse where the contents are transloaded into containers belonging to other shipping lines, and those containers are then delivered to the terminals where those lines call.

Containers

Truckers at ports such as Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey are bracing for fees that terminal operators are charging for demurrage, which is the cost of storing containers on a terminal after free time has expired, and detention or per-diem fees, which are charged for the late return of containers to the terminals after they have been unloaded at BCO warehouses. Some truckers and BCOs claimed that unusually large demurrage fees were being levied by the Maher terminal in New Jersey.

Chassis

Another residual impact of the Hanjin bankruptcy is the impact it is having on chassis availability, especially in Southern California. Fred Johring, chairman of the Harbor Trucking Association, said thousands of empty Hanjin containers are sitting on chassis at warehouses and parked on streets throughout the region, in effect taking those chassis out of service because terminals are refusing to accept empty containers at their facilities. This number represents almost 10 percent of the total chassis pool in Los Angeles-Long Beach, aggravating a chassis shortage that already exists during the peak-shipping season, Johring said.

For guidance and with regard to your shipments, please stay close to our operations and pricing teams. Please understand that the first available space option is most likely the best one.

AMR Group is diligently working to find alternative shipping solutions to these issues, and we will continue to monitor the market and provide updates to you accordingly.

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Trust in an uncertain world. Finding a qualified event logistics forwarder is key

Global shipping can be a minefield of red tape and corruption not to mention the time factor involved when shipping to an event or tradeshow.  Someone’s job could depend on it (literally).  Imagine for a moment you are a marketing manager tasked with getting the company’s latest gizmo to a tradeshow in Dubai.  Your company is counting on you to make sure the “star of the show” arrives on time and within budget.  By the way this event just became much more high profile since the CEO will be there along with 50 of your top company sales people will be on hand to witness the unveiling.  Better get to work, right?

The first step is to go to your corporate logistics department, right?  Wrong!  In our experience shipping for events and tradeshows is very different from most company’s corporate, day to day logistics process.  The hurdles are not only higher but they are altogether different.  The right answer is to reach out to someone who knows events and knows tradeshows.  Not only that but also knows how they work outside the US and Canada.

Shipping to events and tradeshows overseas is very different from shipping to shows in the US and Canada.  There is no such thing as a general service contractor like GES or Freeman and most of the time there is no “advanced warehouse”.  The other problem is customs clearance.  Your general cargo forwarder is not usually in tune with who the appointed onsite freight forwarder is and therefore they will not have inside knowledge about the requirements including all deadlines and specific types of import customs regulations for that specific country.  ATA Carnet, Temporary import bond, permanent vs. temporary import are all foreign to most general cargo forwarders and you most likely don’t have the time for them to “go to school” on these subjects.  So, what to do, what to do?

The answer is to reach out to an event logistics expert like AMR Group.  If you don’t know anyone in the field its best to rely on your trusted colleagues from the industry to provide referrals.  If you don’t have access to a network of colleagues then it may be of benefit to ask the show organizer for a referral or visit the website of the professional trade association for exhibition logistics professionals called IELA (International Exhibition Logistics Association) at www.iela.org.  There you will find a list of professionals who can help you.

Trust is important because someone’s job may be on the line.  Trust is important because your company reputation could be damaged and the outcome may affect future sales.  Trust is important because it helps relieve some of your fears of the unknown.

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