Many of us are glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. We endured a global pandemic, a sinking economy accompanied by higher unemployment, and a contentious presidential election. Fortunately, we have proven to be resilient and adaptive to the "new normal" as our technology, operations processes, and mental fortitude were put to the test.
Business has steadily increased over the last few months, and this trend is likely to continue. We anticipate that the imbalance in ocean freight capacity and equipment availability will be resolved by April. We also expect airfreight capacity to increase in line with passenger travel acceleration. Both of these developments will result in more reasonable freight rates.
Global trade talks have resumed in all major trading blocs and will be essential drivers for economic recovery. Tariffs will likely be revisited by the second half of the year.
Technology was a significant factor in our success over the past year. We often take it for granted, but working remotely would have been more difficult without online tools for functionality and virtual meetings to keep in touch with customers and coworkers. Over the past year, our IT Department, under Andy Richardson's leadership, has been working diligently on developing new internal and customer-facing tools.
Sustainability is one of our primary objectives this year, a crucial step to help us and our clients reduce our carbon footprint. We appointed Renee Villanueva as our first full-time Corporate Sustainability Manager and look forward to her capable leadership as we develop the program. Working remotely over the past several months demonstrated that we could drive less, reduce paper consumption, and digitize many of our daily routines. However, there is still room for improvement as we refocus our efforts on this goal.
The New Year has given us cause to be optimistic, thanks to the rollout of vaccines. By the second half of this year, we expect to return to some semblance of normalcy. In the meantime, stay safe and be well.
"On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin." Gregory S. Williams, author
Lucy Phillips is Atlanta Corporate’s new administrative assistant. Corporate (HQ) welcomed Isaiah Maharaj in Accounting and Jacqueline Greaux in Accounts Receivable. Brittney Little joined Atlanta’s Ocean Imports team, and Detroit welcomed Alyssa Haws in Operations.
Effective January 1, Sven Lacante was promoted to the position of Country Manager – Belgium. He has been with EMO Trans since January 2018 and has enhanced the Belgium office’s capabilities with his 25 years of experience in freight forwarding and in-depth knowledge of the market.
“Through his leadership role in the Belgium office, I am confident that Sven will continue to grow the stellar operation already established. As a team player in the region, we count on his support in creating synergies between France and the Benelux countries,” says Jean-Marc Richter, General Manager – France and Benelux. “He has a proven track record of business development. With his expertise in the niche market of Fine Arts, EMO Trans Belgium has proficiently handled end-to-end logistics for art dealers and collectors worldwide.”
Effective January 1, Rufus Lobo was promoted to Director of Operation – Canada. Rufus began working with EMO Trans in Ocean operations and then moved into Air and Ocean exports. He brings a lifelong passion for all kinds of container vessels and aircrafts to his role.
“With his more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of the shipping industry, Rufus brings complete professionalism, strong leadership, and enthusiasm for our business to his work every day,” says Paul Ciminelli, Managing Director – Canada.
“It is with both delight and some disappointment that we announce the retirement of Charlotte Scott. Known for her dedication, discipline, and sense of humor, Charlotte helped shape the Atlanta branch in her role as Accounting Specialist,” says Peter Crooks, Vice President.
Atlanta Branch Manager Mark Sims adds, "EMO Trans Atlanta would like to congratulate Charlotte Scott on her retirement at the end of 2020. She has been in our EMO Trans family for 33 years.
Her career is one that has played an integral part in our growth over the last three decades. I admire the legacy that Charlotte will leave behind, and would like to highlight how Charlotte has always held us to a higher standard. Charlotte has both grit and a big heart, and we will surely miss having her as part of the team. We thank Charlotte for all that she has taught us and her many years of dedication to EMO Trans."
“I remember one of my first lessons when joining the company was from Charlotte, who guided me on proper accounting management firmly but with a sense of humor. The lesson of doing it right the first time was a lesson Charlotte taught to many,” Peter says. “Charlotte has a big heart; when a colleague or family member was struggling, Charlotte was there with support, quietly giving messages of kindness and encouragement. She radiated strength when you needed it most; I know many of us were on the receiving end of her support. We are going to miss Charlotte and all that she meant to the EMO family. Her legacy of encouragement, guidance, and affection will live on in all of us. The silver lining is that Charlotte will have more time to spend with family, and with COVID hopefully receding, the chance for some travel.”
Charlotte adds, “I would like to thank everyone for their friendship. It has been a pleasure working with everyone, and I will miss all of you.”
EMO Estron Moves into New Office
Please note a new address for our EMO Estron office:
EMO Estron B.V.
3198 LR Rotterdam-Europoort
The move is part of an overall plan for growth. “2020 was a very special year due to COVID-19, which had its impact on business. For EMO Estron, 2020 was also the year of new beginnings. Over the past months, the whole team worked hard to make structural changes in our organization that we believe are the right foundation to grow and expand our business in 2021. We are ready to meet current and future challenges,” says Marc Althusius, Country Manager.
PLI Successfully Moves Large Compressor from Switzerland to U.S.
The new year has already started out busy for Project Logistics International (PLI), EMO’s project logistics arm, as 2020 ended with a lot of exciting shipments. One recent project entailed moving an 85-metric-ton compressor from Switzerland to a client outside New Orleans, Louisiana.
The consignee is a refinery outside New Orleans, and the compressor will be used to move liquids or gas from low-pressure areas to higher pressure areas within the refinery. “We worked on the details of this shipment for months, as we needed to have a route survey done, bridge engineering in place, and all permits on hand to deliver the shipment on the deadline requested by the consignee,” explains Michael Horn, PLI’s Managing Director. “Everything went just as planned, and the compressor was set on the foundation pad on January 5, 2021 at 2 pm!”
Japan and Seattle Offices Collaborate on Project Shipment
Sayuri Shigeta, Managing Director for EMO Japan, reports that a project shipment has successfully made its way from Japan and arrived in Seattle on January 7, with a final destination of Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, Alaska. The shipment includes materials for a gas hydrate test well that has been underway at Prudhoe Bay Unit (PBU) on the Alaska North Slope.
Gas hydrates are naturally occurring combinations of natural gas and water that form in specific conditions of relatively cold temperatures and relatively high pressures. They have been researched in the U.S. and Japan since the mid-1990s. The international partnership team, including NETL, JOGMEC, the USGS and Petrotechnical Resources – Alaska arranged with the PBU owners to drill, log, and gather samples to confirm the occurrence of gas hydrate at a location within the PBU.
EMO’s scope of work in the one-year project has been local origin/destination handling, forwarding, local transportation in the U.S., and storage.
NCBFAA Webinar Offered on February 11
Exporting from the U.S. to China has become increasingly difficult, and the change in status of Hong Kong has added to the difficulty. The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) invites you to join an informative webinar led by Bruce Leeds and Devin Sefton of Braumiller Law Group.
"Challenges in Exporting to China”
Tuesday, February 11, 2021
1 pm - 2 pm EST
To register, please click here. The webinar is open to non-NCBFAA members.
Hong Kong Removed as Separate Destination under the Export Administration Regulations
On December 23, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong from the list of destinations in the EAR. The amendments implement Sections 2 and 3 of Executive Order 13936 of July 14, 2020, in response to new security measures imposed on Hong Kong by the government of China. The full Federal Register notice can be read here.
Chinese Spring Festival February 11-17
With the Year of the Ox on the horizon, team members at all 10 China branches are working hard to provide continuing and stable service for customers in advance of the Chinese Spring Festival, which will start Thursday, February 11 and last until Wednesday, February 17. EMO China staff will be back from the long holiday on Thursday, February 18.
As in previous years, truck drivers will return to their hometowns around 10 days ahead of the Chinese New Year. EMO China advises that nearly all the tow trucks will stop service at in February, and there might be extra costs for tow trucks from the end of January. Customers are advised to arrange inquiries or shipments with the China team in as far in advance as possible.
Vietnam Tet Lunar New Year February 10-16
EMO Vietnam will be observing the Tet Lunar New Year beginning on February 10 and returning to the office on February 17.
EMO Korea Observes Lunar New Year
EMO Korea staff will be on holiday for four days – February 11 through February 14. Customers are advised to adjust air-export shipments’ flight schedules to avoid arrival time during that period; shipments that arrive during the holiday may incur high storage fees.
EMO Family Mourns Passing of Donna Yeager
Donna Yeager, Export Operations Manager for EMO Pittsburgh passed away January 3, 2021, after briefly being hospitalized.
Her colleagues miss her greatly and offer their thoughts and condolences.
“Donna would have celebrated her 25th anniversary with us in November 2021. She was a dedicated employee who was instrumental in developing our Pittsburgh office. Donna was much liked and respected by her colleagues within the EMO Trans family and our customers.
Her contributions to the entire EMO organization has been invaluable throughout all these years, and she will be greatly missed by all of us. Our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family, her husband Tom, daughters Lauren and Danielle, and grandchild Cora. We pray for their strength during this difficult time.” Joachim Frigger, Chairman
“I worked with Donna for more than 11 years. She was always customer-focused and did all she could do to keep customers satisfied. She was a very patient person with the staff, customers, and overseas agents, even though sometimes that could be a challenge. She went above and beyond for EMO Trans. She was a great person, and I will miss her deeply. She had almost 25 years with EMO, so I will especially miss that knowledge as we move forward in the Pittsburgh office.” Scott Foor, Branch Manager
“I enjoyed working with Donna for 20 years. The sincere compassion and kindness that she extended to me when my family members were ill or had passed will always be remembered.” Diane Nester, Pittsburgh
“At work, Donna was always available to help anyone out; she made time for them. Even if she was busy, she would stop her work to help someone else. I loved Monday mornings; we would talk about what our weekend consisted of, and most of the time, it was shopping! So, as I made my coffee on Monday morning, we would compare notes on the ‘good deals’ (as we called them) we found shopping over the weekend. This will be one of my favorite memories of Donna. I miss her.” Laura Castelveter, Ocean Imports, Pittsburgh and colleague of Donna’s for 16 years
“Donna and I both started working at EMO Trans in November 1996 – she in Pittsburgh and I in Atlanta. Unlike airfreight, the ocean teams do not have to coordinate with coworkers in other offices on a regular basis, especially if you are in different regions. Once you do and you learn coworkers’ expertise, you tend to keep a relationship with those people to discuss problems, trucker recommendations, ideas, and specific clients’ needs.
Donna was one of those individuals for me. Early on, we would converse occasionally; it wasn’t until an operations meeting in Phoenix that I actually met her in person. Then in 2005 we were both sent to Cleveland to assist with an account after an employee’s departure. This allowed us to cultivate both a professional and personal relationship, as our journeys back and forth lasted a few weeks. There were long days at the office and quite a few evening meals shared together. This relationship continued over time, and I would see her during the Pittsburgh audits or at other business meetings on a more regular basis. We were able to share a few meals and update each other with what was going on in our lives.
In talking to Donna, you always knew how proud she was of her family and friends, and you also knew that EMO Trans was a big part of her life. I am very lucky to have met her and lucky to call her my friend. She will be missed.” Stacie Countryman, Corporate Compliance