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#DidYouKnow – Short guide on packaging and security

In this article for #DidYouKnow we think about the packaging and security of consolidated shipments (groupage). The question we aim to answer is how the should the boxes be transported? Several factors are the key to ensure the safe arrival of the goods at their destinations. These include:

Packing: Packing must be made and manufactured “to measure” to avoid potential movements of the goods inside the wooden boxes.

Handling: It is very important to pay special attention to the markings on the boxes, which contain information for correct handling.

Storage: The conditions and duration of storage should be adequate to avoid any potential damage to the box, which could result in the damage of some (if not all) of the goods stored within.

Transport: The packaging must be conditioned for the type of transport used.

Alongside these factors, the actual transport of our goods needs to be considered when planning the packaging of our goods. This can be sub-divided into the different transport modes:

  • Maritime:If the packaging is going to travel by sea, its destination, the type of container in which it will travel and the main components of the merchandise need to be taken into consideration prior to the packaging.We must bear in mind that the merchandise will be subjected to high levels of humidity, condensation and salinity. Therefore, for this type of transport, and in particular when dealing with goods that comprise electrical components, it is wise to use VCI protections, which release a series of micro particles that adhere to the goods and help reduce the risk of oxidation. Though mitigating the risks, these protections can’t fully guarantee the avoidance of moisture.Another common protection used by industry professionals is the use of barrier protections. These include the placing of a cover of an aluminum complex applied to a vacuum next to desiccant salts. This creates a microclimate within the cover, which allows the cargo to withstand pressure changes and avoids oxidation or corrosion of the goods within.
  • Air:The packaging that travels by air is subject to sudden changes in temperatures, condensation and humidity. As such, the protections used within packaging mimic those used in maritime transport (see above).
  • RoadGenerally, ground transportation does not call for specific protection unless the goods themselves, the warehouses visiting on the route, or the places visited during the transport journey call for it. Therefore, the packaging of road transport goods needs to be considered on an individual basis.

In all of the three cases listed above, lashing of the packaging needs to be considered. Lashing the merchandise ensures that it is completely immobilised. The goal is to prevent possible damages to the goods caused by blows, rubbing, displacements or overturns during transport.

Lashing of goods

Lashing is a very important in ensuring that goods arrive in perfect conditions at their destinations. What is lashing? It refers to the immobilising and attaching of the merchandise to the container, ship or truck.

There are no restrictions – all types of cargo can be lashed, whether they will be transported by air, sea or land.

It is called for whenever there is some free space between the cargo and the container. Lashing is done by means of slings and tensioners or airbags; this further depends on the characteristics and needs of the merchandise.

Occasionally, wood reinforcements can be used to stabilise the load and make the lashing safer. For example, vehicle transport can require standard lashing that consists of a sling system or mixed lashing (which uses standard lashing with an added wooden ring around the wheels for greater protection).

Both packing and lashing are key for the correct transport of consolidated loads. If they are not done correctly, they can cause accidents and result in (potentially very pricy) damages in the transport of goods. The packaged goods need to travel in the best possible conditions for content protection and load security, ensuring that the products arrive in pristine states at their destinations.

If you want to know more about packaging in consolidated transport, check out our upcoming course on Groupage and Consolidation Centres scheduled for the 17-19 of June 2019.

Written by:

  • Beatriz Jiménez, Servicios Recipe TM2, S.A.

#DidYouKnow – What training do we need to work with NVOCC’s?

Consumption models are evolving towards systems of more customised attention to the final consumer. This has consequently fuelled a change in manufacturing and distribution models. More and more products of very different sizes are exported with very short delivery times and sent directly into the hands of the final customer. It is the evolution from a large shipping model to a new one maintaining a constant flow of medium or small shipments. Simultaneously, the modes of transportation have steered towards gigantism. Ships, trains, trucks and airplanes are becoming larger and larger in search of greater efficiency and lower environmental impact. Loading units, however, have remained the same.

Groupage offers a very good solution for such shipments that result from purchases made through e-commerce, bringing us closer to what we call the Physical Internet. It offers a new environment with the capacity to manage relatively small load units that rely on intermodal transport, which in turn rely on large modes of transport: large ships, trains and mega-trucks.

This technique that optimizes transportation not only generates multiple benefits for the loaders, but also gives great advantages in terms of the concern for the environment.

Customer demands are constantly changing. It is also necessary to keep up with any legislative changes, new transport options and technological inventions. New skills must be developed in the fields of information technology, environmental transport and collaboration. The consolidator works door-to-door. As such he or she needs to be able to manage operations between different countries, with different operators and through the use of various sophisticated technological tools.

The flexibility of an NVOCC makes it attractive to small to medium-sized enterprises, but big companies that manage large volumes of freight across their supply chains also need flexible options.

The consolidation centres are the ones who can best face the challenges posed by this evolution. There is a long way to go ahead of us, and it begins with the training of the operators and companies that will choose groupage as an alternative to their transport systems.

Moreover, more and more companies are looking for opportunities to establish cooperation agreements for the supply and distribution of goods. Many companies share vehicles to improve occupancy, reduce fuel consumption, reduce emissions, improve vehicle utilisation and reduce costs. Operators include these initiatives as part of their environmental and business strategies. Groupage has proven to have clear environmental advantages, when compared with each operator using their own vehicles to deliver small, often uneconomical consignments. Today alliances in transport are becoming more and more frequent.

Most companies see groupage as a possible risk to their cargo. Loss, theft, lack of information or control of the cargo are the main concerns when thinking about combining your shipment with that of other companies. It is true that not all cargoes are susceptible to groupage, but that is why there are specialists that analyse and organise these services to maintain control of all transport and consolidation, therewith minimizing the risks that may occur.

It is thus essential to detect what training and information is needed for operators to be able to take advantage of groupage. Some of the subjects in which lack of training has been detected among freight forwarders, direct customers of NVOCCs, and shippers, range from the identification of the main operators and the services offered from a consolidation centre, the differences between types of groupage by mode of transport and the situational analyses to evaluate the use of groupage, to more complex scenarios such as customs procedures, packaging and labelling of goods, risks and groupage coverages or special treatments of specialised goods.

All of these topics are dealt with in depth in the specialised course on Groupage and Consolidation Centres offered for the third consecutive year by the Escola Europea. This year’s edition will take place from 17 to 19 June 2019 in Barcelona. The main objective is for people to be able to know all the casuistry, processes, documentation and legislation that applies to door-to-door groupage operations. This should familiarise the students in the use of groupage services and therefore a encourage their development. In the two previous editions, companies of different types have participated, including Mercadona, Rhenus Logistics, TransGlory, DB Shenker and Fundación Cares, among others.

The idea of offering a course with these characteristics arose from an analysis of the evolution of supply chains and from the need for professionals and students to have more specialized training, which is structured around a theoretical basis and which also allows for the most practical part of operations to be seen through visits to leading operators in the sector. Companies and entities active in groupage such as the Romeu Group, IFS, Globelink Uniexco, Ibercondor, TM2, ATEIA, PORTIC, the BEST terminal and the Port of Barcelona actively participate in the Escola’s course.

The final aim is to inform companies of the best practices for groupage and explain the operation of the whole system so that they can consider it as an option for transporting their goods and contribute to a more efficient and sustainable transport system.

Written by:

  • Raquel Nunes, Training Programmes & External Relations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

The Escola opens up registrations to 2019 Technical Courses

The Escola constantly tries to identify what is lacking in the educational sphere of intermodal transport, in particular in light of the continuously changing landscape of the sector. New technologies bring new procedures, which in turn call for new skills of the operators and professionals involved. This gave birth to the Escola’s technical courses, which take a close look at specialised transport in today’s everchanging climate.

In the second quarter of 2019, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport will offer specialised technical courses for professionals in the logistics-port sector. There will be two editions of specialised training in May and June.

The first technical course will focus on temperature-controlled supply chains. It will take place from 6th to 9th of May in Barcelona. The contents of the course focus on how temperature-controlled products (stored, handled and transported) should be circulated through the distribution networks (manufacturers, service providers and customers) in accordance with their specified temperature conditions. Visits to Mercabarna (the wholesale market of Barcelona), a container terminal, an importer/distributor’s storage facilities, container depot and the Border Inspection Point (BIP) will accompany the theory taught in the classrooms. Organised in collaboration with the Port of Barcelona, Mercabarna, Barcelona Container Depot Service, Frimercat and Cultivar, the course is aimed at manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and shippers of temperature-controlled cargo and perishable products. For more information on the course, please visit:

https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/temperature-controlled-supply-chains/

The second technical course scheduled for June 17-19 focuses on groupage operations and consolidation centres. It will similarly take place in Barcelona, training participants in the handling of groupage shipments, consolidation centres, import/export procedures, customs, etc. To give a practical understanding of the theory imparted, visits will be made to a container terminal and consolidation warehouses. The course is organised in collaboration with the Romeu Group, International Forwarding S.L., CWT Globelink Group, Terminal Hutchison Ports BEST, Ibercondor, ATEIA-OLTRA and the Port of Barcelona. For more information on the course, please visit:

https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/groupage-and-consolidation-centres-2019/

#DidYouKnow – Distribution Networks in the Consolidation of Goods

In order correctly carry out groupage or consolidated shipments of our merchandise, a fully functioning and efficient capillary distribution network needs to exist. Once the consolidated cargo arrives at its destination, regardless of the type of transport used to get it there, be it air, land or sea, the products contained then need to be distributed.

The distribution networks can offer:

  • Control of the shipments until they reach their final addressees
  • Fixed transit times related to their final destinations
  • Competitive rates

Moreover, depending on the location of the distribution networks, we can:

  • Distribute with the network in each city, province or region
  • Distribute with the network in each country, or
  • Distribute through distribution hubs connected within different countries

The distribution network needs to be organized depending on the availability of departures and distribution tools.

Generally, when a consolidated shipment arrives in a city or a region, it needs to wait until enough merchandise is accumulated to be sent out. This results in deliveries going out once or twice a week, resulting in lost transit time. This could be improved through the capillary distribution network in countries where such networks exist.

If we have the ability to decide to or have access to a network at a national level, the volume of the cargo increases and makes additional weekly departures possible.

Alternatively, if the distribution level is extended to several countries, we could offer daily departures to the hub (always according to availability), and continue the delivery from there.

This is why it is vital to differentiate between multinational and medium-sized companies that carry out consolidated shipments. Generally medium-sized companies have their own capillary distribution networks, meaning that they have access to warehouses of origin and destinations, and therefore restrict themselves to specific countries for import and export.

In the event of multinational companies, it is standard practice to load all of the goods of a customer, regardless of their destination or origin, at the same time. This merchandise is then consolidated in a single warehouse and from there loaded onto the trucks of the different company lines. This allows for the customer to save considerable costs.

Groupage or consolidation operations need to be adapted to the typology of each country (in terms of uses and customs) or to the volume of cargo sent.

Ibercondor provides comprehensive logistics and forwarding services, for land, sea and air transport and customs representation

For example, a local distribution network in Italy, comprised of spread out small companies that are dedicated to distributing in specific areas, will not operate in the same way as other types distribution companies which operate on national or trans-national levels, as is frequently seen in northern Europe.

In terms of tariffs, by having suppliers adapt to the environment of the different countries, a tariff for each territory of origin or destination can be generated.

It is also very important to review the packaging, labelling and documentation of the goods sent out, both during the collection and the delivery segments of the transport.

If there are any anomalies present, these should be indicated on the collection or delivery notes, to avoid possible claims after the transport is completed. This saves costs with the insurance companies and premium increases when claims are indeed justified.

Nowadays, in this world of globalized commerce, clients can request tighter delivery times, regardless of how it is done. Having a distribution network tailored ot each destination allows Ibercondor to offer a winning service, thus meeting customers’ delivery expectations.

There is no better or worse model, they are all good if used correctly. The important thing is to study each market and use its strengths to establish synergies with our partners, because with mutual trust come great business opportunities.

Finally we have to understand that our services do not end with the arrival of the consolidated shipments at the ports or places where the main transport ends; it ends instead with the final delivery to the recipient, as specified in the terms offered.

David Farzón Responsable dpto. consultoría en Ibercondor, S.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know more?Don’t miss the 2019 edition of the technical course on groupage and consolidated transport. Check it out now and register today: http://ow.ly/IIkg30nX1lP

Escola reunites logistics professionals in the second edition of the technical course on Groupage and Consolidation Centres

From the 18th to the 20th of June the second edition of the technical course “Groupage and Consolidation Centres” of the Escola took place in Barcelona. This course edition was designed specifically for operators from a rapidly expanding sector: maritime groupage.

The course offered by the Escola is pioneering and innovative; it combines information on all the casuistry, processes, documentation and legislation that apply to a door-to-door groupage operation. The contents of the lectures vary from the characteristics of a warehouse, equipment and packaging, to import and export procedures, including technologies related to the operations as well as quality specifications. The participants have learned all about how groupage operations work, what actors are involved, what are the tendencies and the segmentation of the sector, as well as what are the key aspects necessary in contracting and managing efficient door-to-door groupage operations.

The participants from this course edition came from a diverse list of companies: Mercadona, transport and logistics companies Fercam, Bolloré Spain, Across Logistics, Transglory and Rheneus, and Kadion, as well as representatives from the Escola Europea itself.

With the goal of offering up-to-date and real contents, the Escola has once again sought the collaboration of speakers from specialized companies: Ernesto Romeu, president of the Romeu Group; Pablo Auger and Bernat Baruquer, director and head of customs and AEO of IFS International Forwarding respectively; Josep Carles Llagostera, the administrator of Customs of Barcelona; David Farzón, head of the consultancy and training department of Ibercóndor; Silvia Pueyo, general director of Globelink Uniexco; Alfonso Santa Isabel, commercial director of TM2; Jorge Selma, a lawyer specialized in maritime law, land and air transport; and Chelo Otero, commercial and marketing director of Portic.

The theoretical presentations were complemented by practical visits to local consolidation centres (ncl and IFS), as well as to one of Port of Barcelona’s container terminals – BEST.

The participants were satisfied with the course and would recommend it to professionals who have recently become involved in the sector. In the words of one of the participants from the Mercadona chain: “I liked the course, the sessions were very interesting and I have discovered a totally new world through your course.”