Author Archive for Gary M. Barraco

Savings Through Container Transport Planning

The use of standardized steel shipping containers, or intermodal containers, started late in the 1940s as commercial shipping operators started employing them for ocean carrier, truck, and rail transport. It wasn’t until 2005 when the International Maritime Office (IMO) established industry standards for more consistent loading, transporting, and unloading of goods in ports throughout the world, saving time and resources. Regular, dry freight containers typically cost between $1750 and $2000 and are owned by either […]

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Editor’s Choice: Advantages of a Digital Supply Chain in a Perpetually Connected World

Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. When driving by a busy seaport, I’m always awed at the hulking towers of shipping containers stacked eight to ten high in the yards surrounding the terminals. Every ocean container full of goods has a starting point well before products become freight. In fact, a product’s journey begins before […]

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Weathering the Trade Policy Storm: Trade Content is Key

Supply chains are running at full steam as the economy is booming in parts of the world, while in other parts of the world, economies are taking a hit from obstacles that hinder open commerce and trade. Protectionist trade policies are leading companies to shift their country sourcing practices as well as investments in automation and technology to help keep goods moving and visible. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that in the coming […]

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All is Not Quiet on the Western Front: Trade is Happening

China is currently the EU’s second most significant source of imports, and trade volumes are positioned for growth. Italy and China recently signed an agreement to further solidify the Belt and Road Initiative, alarming Italy’s US and European allies. This is only the first of many such concords President Xi hopes to execute for ongoing support to the multi-national plan to provide fast and efficient transportation options from inland China to Western Europe that is further affirmation of its commitment to open trade. Europe will benefit from greater trade access, but companies will also need help managing the maze of complexities that exist in importing from or exporting to China. That help includes tools that determine landed costs, logistics efficiencies and managing duty reduction programs like China’s General and Processing Trade programs.

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Looking Ahead at Global Trade in 2019

Protectionist trade policies are leading to shifts in country sourcing practices and investments in automation and technology to help keep goods moving and visible. And there is no reason to believe that in the coming twelve months we will see a waning of geo-political posturing along the trade front. As we move into 2019, there are six major areas of concern for anyone playing a part in global trade. 

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IoT Enhances In-Transit Shipment Visibility

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become commonplace in almost every home and office. We use it to turn on the lights, connect our devices to satellites broadcasting streaming media, or place orders for grocery delivery. But the IoT has also quickly become an integral part of supply chains. It provides us with the advantage of using systems already in place, such as our smartphones or supply chain execution platforms, to expand our capabilities for […]

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Social Compliance: Obstacles to Crossing the Border

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City caught fire, trapping nearly all of the 600 workers inside. Most of the workers were teenaged girls, working 12-hour days for a mere $15 a week. Within 18 minutes, it was all over. Forty-nine workers had burned to death or been suffocated by smoke, 36 were dead in the elevator shaft and 58 died from jumping to the sidewalks. With two more […]

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What Good is a Control Tower with No Control?

The trade industry certainly loves buzzwords, and ‘control tower’ gets serious air time in our industry. But, what really is a control tower and how does it relate to your supply chain operations? When we think of control tower capabilities, we envision an airport control tower or a scenario like NASA mission control. Folks buzzing around with big screens showing various views of activity, blips moving across space and lots of communication going on. The […]

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Beating Mother Nature’s Stormy Character

Although it’s a fresh, new year, many global companies and their supply chains in the US have been suffering alongside individuals this winter. Icy, wintry winds and driving snow jammed air traffic and roads in the east, while fires swept across the west, then rains turned major highways into muddy messes with flash floods. All throughout 2017, Mother Nature didn’t pause to worry about the delays and problems she created for shippers all over the […]

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Taking Bytes of Logistics

Modern logistics is data-driven, and this concept is becoming essential to success in 2017. Take a look at the increasing geographic, political and price barriers to shipping in different parts of the world and the U.S., and you will notice an increased data-collecting presence For manufacturers, this means having more detailed, accurate forecasting models ready in real time. Consequently, for shippers the task of tracking product and information data across global supply chains, while balancing […]

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