INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS AND DISTRIBUTION
THE LOGISTICS CHAIN
Logistics management is a key factor to satisfy demand in international markets.
In a globalized environment, in addition to the products, the logistic chains also compete. In them, manufacturers, distributors and logistics operators collaborate with the aim of achieving greater efficiency for each product at the least possible cost, with the requirements of availability and flexibility required in each moment. At the same time, the logistics chains are articulated through intermodal logistics nodes, transport networks and infrastructures, specialized and large capacity.
The collaboration between companies that are involved in the same supply chain also allows you to optimize resources, minimize stock, reduce provisioning times, through cross trade for example, or apply optimization systems logistics as lean manufacturing.
In this context, ICTS are an indispensable element for the management of the flows of information, the traceability of products and the development of e-commerce.
The complexity of operations in international trade is essential to the use of a global logistics operator that allows the exporter and the importer to focus on the development of their competitive keys.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE LOGISTICS PROCESS
The programming of the logistics chain must be planned from the very moment in which the company intends to export or import a product. It affects from the design of the containers or packaging to the delivery terms to be agreed upon in the contract of sale, among many other aspects. In addition to the costs involved in the entire logistics operation, the main elements to consider are:
- The nature and characteristics of the goods.
- The charging unit.
- The mode of transport.
- The transport process.
- Legislation and regulations.
- The logistics in the international sales contract.
NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GOODS
It determines the settings of the charging unit and even the mode of transport to be used and the systems of storage and handling. It is important to distinguish between:
- Loose units in general cargo (cargo) or grouped on pallets, which is transported in containers.
- Bulk cargo, which can be transported in containers or other transport units, or on ships, tankers, bulk carriers and tankers, etc.
- Over-dimensioned load, which requires special conditions of handling or transport.
- Temperature controlled cargo: chilled, frozen or deep-frozen and hot.
- Dangerous goods, particularly those included in international regulations: ADR agreement, IMDG code, IATA DGR rules and RID agreement.
- Ro-ro cargo, constituted by platforms that glide on wheels, semi-trailers, trucks, rail cars, etc. Or other goods, such as the valuable goods or live animals.
THE CHARGING UNIT
It has to have two basic qualities: strength and stability, which are achieved through the packaging of the products.
The cargo is grouped generally on pallets that, once shrink wrapped, it constitutes a single load unit that facilitates its management and conservation, increasing the security and contributing to a more efficient support.
The pallets are transported in cargo transport units (UTC) built for use in intermodal transport. It’s usual expression are the container, the safety cell, the wagon of goods or semi-trailer.
The filling or consolidation of the container, attending to all the regulatory requirements and lashing of the goods, can be done by the exporter or the logistic operator, and can be a full container load (FCL), praised full container or a container of groupage (less than a container load or LCL).
THE MODE OF TRANSPORT
The choice of mode of transport is determined by factors such as the country of destination, the nature, the value, the volume of the goods and the expected time for delivery.
The transit company is who should advise the exporting party regarding the route and the mode or combination of modes of transport (intermodal transport, under a single contract of carriage) to be recruited in each journey:
Maritime, regulated by the rules of the Hague, the contract is formalized in the bill of lading.
Road, the contract is formalized in the CMR consignment note, regulated by the CMR Convention.
Air, governed by the Montreal Convention, the contract is formalized in the air waybill.
Railway, is formalized in the CIM consignment note, regulated by the CIM.
Although most of containerized goods travel in regular line container vessels for transcontinental routes, there are goods that they are transported by air (temperature controlled products, valuable products, live animals, spare parts, etc.), while the transport in the same continent is made mostly by truck or rail.
Although the casuistry may be very diverse, in the chain of international transport there are a number of common processes:
1. Signing the contract of carriage between the company loader (can be the exporter or the importer, as agreed in the contract of sale and set by the appropriate rule of Incoterms ) and the international logistics operator.
2. Collection of the goods in the warehouse of the exporting company, usually through a road vehicle, with destination to the transport terminal (full container load) or into the store of the logistic operator (cargo).
3. Handling and storage in the logistics platform of the operator or the transport terminal.
4. Loading and stowage in the mode of transport (ship, train, truck or plane), after customs processing at the output terminal.
5. Transport of the goods in the main modes of transport.
6. Unloading and landing in the terminal of destination and customs processing of import.
7. Handling and storage in the terminal or in the logistics platform of the international transport operator.
8. Transfer of the goods (container) to the store of the importing company, or the previous weakening of the container if it is fractional cargo.
LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Even though the operator of international logistics is the figure indicated to advise the exporter or importer on the laws and regulations applicable to each transport operation, it is important to be familiar with the specific issues that fall exclusively to the company loader, such as:
- Stowage and lashing of the loads.
- Storage and transport of dangerous goods.
- Storage and transport of perishable goods or products for human consumption.
- Transport of protected species.
THE LOGISTICS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONTRACT OF SALE
There are aspects related to logistics that are important to foresee before assuming risks and responsibilities in the contract of sale, among them:
- Secure with accuracy the agreed delivery point in the country of destination.
- Physical risks of the operation (weather, theft, looting, etc.).
- Value in depth which is the most appropriate rule of Incoterms 2010 in accordance with the logistical complexity of the operation.
- Convenience to control transport management through a trusted international logistics operator.
- Have insurance coverage on all the logistics of the transport chain.
We have an important network of agents at the international level to coordinate all the services of customs representation in a large number of countries covering the integral service of their DAP or DDU exports or their EXW imports. We will be your sole interlocutor in both advice and operational management and processing.