In the month of February, old man winter still has the East and the Midwest firmly in his grip. Unusual amounts of snow and cold temperatures forced airports, seaports, and office closings from Charleston, SC to Boston, MA. Our dedicated teams did, however, keep working from home with the help of our IT system. In the end, very little time was lost.
February is one of those times when the new year has begun, but on the business level we are still trying to ascertain what the signals will tell us for 2014. January was good; we matched our results of the previous year, which is always a good sign, and we are confident that a good year is ahead of us.
Our sales meeting in Tampa was a big success; the energy and optimism of the sales team lifted everyoneâ€™s spirits. The event was well organized with a lot of productive dialogue and interaction. Old friendships were revitalized and new ones were formed. We have a strong group of people throughout the country, and they are set to win. The sales program with new tools and opportunities will lead us to continued success.
February has also been a busy time to set up our new European offices. In March, we will begin operations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Brussels. In addition to the existing Strasbourg office, we will be operational in Paris and Lyon. Our teams in those countries canâ€™t wait to hit the ground running. This completes the first stage of our development across the Atlantic; Poland and Romania will follow soon.
Globally, we are growing our vertical markets for Aviation and Automobile spare parts as well as Cool Chain. Additional personnel are being hired, and departments for this traffic will be strengthened or newly created.
Here at home, our new offices in Minneapolis and Raleigh are doing well, and Charleston, SC shows strong development. The resurrected Project Division PLI under the leadership of Michael Horn in Chicago is advancing as planned with some exciting prospects ahead.
In the middle of March, we are conducting our 14th Global Network meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and we expect participation of 150 guests representing more than 50 countries. The constant growth of the network is a confirmation of our commitment to service and integrity: Success by Performance and by unity of action.
As far as family matters are concerned, the little ones are doing well and enjoying the snow. Valentineâ€™s Day was a blast for them. My grandson Lucasâ€™s first school day was supposed to be last week, but it was canceled because of the snow (lucky kid). As many of you know, our family experienced property damage and loss from Hurricane Sandy last year. Jenni, Paul, and Maya are now back in their house even though a lot of work still has to be done, and our house in Massapequa is in the rebuilding stage. We canâ€™t wait to be back home again!
Looking forward to spring and new opportunities. Thank you for your support.
Over the past year, weâ€™ve reported on EMO Transâ€™ growing presence in Latin America. Regional Sales Manager Julio Fernandez says that EMO Trans is continuing development efforts begun in 2013 and further honing in on business in primary markets.
The company has identified Peru, Chile, Central America, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic as offering the highest growth prospects. "To help execute our development strategy, we have strengthened our partner alliances and improved our service and infrastructure capabilities In Central America, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic," Julio says. "These countries together have a GDP of $828 billion with average year-over-year growth of nearly 5%."
Latin Americaâ€™s major exports to the U.S. include oil & gas, minerals, forestry and agricultural products, foods like fruits, vegetables, and seafood, as well as apparel and footwear. The U.S. is currently exporting to the region a significant amount of oil & gas extraction and distribution machinery, mining equipment, food & beverage production technology, general industrial tools and machinery, processed foods, household consumer products, and telecommunications and high-tech equipment.
â€œOverall, the major trends in the region are fueled by one main fact: Almost all of these countries are considered emerging markets with significant natural resource wealth and an exploding middle class that is driving demand in almost every sector,â€ Julio says. â€œFor the upcoming year, we will focus our efforts on mining, food & beverage production, industrial equipment, and apparel.â€
EMO Trans has a number of proposals in the region under close consideration â€“ recent examples include a major telecommunications project in Colombia and winning a 2-1/2 year contract for door-to-door logistics to build a hotel property in the Caribbean for a major U.S. hospitality chain.
In August 2014, EMO Trans Miami will move to a new, state-of-the-art, 48,000-square-foot facility with 32-foot clearance. "The new facility will be a licensed, operating Foreign Trade Zone, and we're already looking at high-tech customer opportunities to provide LATAM Hub Distribution services," Julio says.
Outside the world of logistics, thereâ€™s a lot happening in Latin America right now. On the trade front, Colombiaâ€™s free trade pact with the U.S. is in full swing, and one is in negotiations with the European Union. Expanded locks in the Panama Canal are expected to open in a few months, and sports fans have a lot to look forward to: Brazil is hosting the World Cup this year and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
EMO Trans Los Angeles has hired Christine (Chrissy) Robinson as its Licensed Customs Broker and brokerage manager. She takes over these duties from Marco Rohrer who became president of the company late last year.
Transport Intelligence reports on robotics, economic upturn
Amazon made headlines last year when it forecasted delivery of its products by automated drones. Far-fetched fantasy or the future of logistics? Learn more about robotics and other topics, including emerging markets, the global economic upturn, and opportunities for the import/export industry in 2014 with special reports from Transport Intelligence.
A little winter trivia
In light of the U.S.â€™s harsh winter this year, here is a little trivia from Scott Vranic of EMO Trans Cleveland. He shares some observations from his part of the world:
Lake Erie is 96% frozen, the most since 1994.
In the past 30 years, this winter ranks the highest for the number of days (since November) with a snow depth of 1 inch or more â€“ 58 days and counting. Last year, we had 32 days for the entire winter.
Thus far, weâ€™ve had seven days with a temperature below zero degrees. The lowest recorded was -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lastly, we have seen Light Pillars, which are vertical columns of light that form when artificial or natural light bounces off the faces of ice crystals floating relatively close to the ground.
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Founded in January 1983, EMO Trans Los Angeles was among the companyâ€™s first U.S. branches. Longevity and loyalty from its staff members are key factors in its reputation for excellence. In its more than 30-year history, the branch has only had three managers â€“ Hardy Zantke, Marco Rohrer (elected company president last year), and now Guenther Eberle. Two staff members who helped open the branch are still there today; in fact, Barbara Newman and Gisela Spees were recognized for their 30 years with the company in 2013. â€œA majority of our employees are beyond or approaching the 10-year anniversary mark,â€ Guenther says. â€œWeâ€™re known for our unmatched experience and knowledge of how to bundle services in the marketplace.â€
EMO Trans Los Angelesâ€™ current location near LAX is an approved TSA Certified Cargo Screening Facility, has more than 3,000 square meters of warehouse space, and is home to more than 22 staff persons. â€œWe also have a satellite office in San Diego run by Shannon Mahnke,â€ Guenther explains. â€œBetween our offices, we cover an operational territory from north of Paso Robles to Las Vegas, NV down to the southern border in San Diego County.â€
The branch offers a balanced mix of services with departments almost equally staffed in all divisions: customs brokerage, air inbound, air outbound, ocean inbound, ocean outbound, and warehouse and sales. And thereâ€™s a little bit of everything in its customer base. A sampling of projects includes:
Importing and clearing bluefin tuna for an airline caterer at LAX and Swedish candy by ocean for a start-up company in downtown L.A.
Groupage/consolidation container outbound service to Tahiti (French Polynesia) and Amazon-type buyersâ€™ consolidations to Australia and New Zealand
Streamlining 7 am deliveries for hundreds of TEUs per month for an automotive infrastructure importer on the outskirts of Ventura County
Organizing exhibition goods on a round-the-world schedule
Occasionally chartering large cargo airplanes like the 747F or AN 124
Project coordination for large infrastructure jobs like roofing football stadiums
Many â€˜gatewayâ€™ service functions for other EMO Trans USA offices like devanning/temporary storage/redistribution of large ocean inbound volumes
Fun Facts about EMO Trans LA
Entertainment remains the #1 industry in the greater LA area based on number of people employed in that sector. The #2 sector is logistics, transportation, and distribution, even ahead of fashion, hospitality and tourism, financial services, aviation, and others. â€œSince we all didnâ€™t make it big in Hollywood, it looks like we made a good choice to pursue a career in logistics!â€ Guenther jokes.
To see Southern Californiaâ€™s diverse demographics firsthand, look no further than the EMO Trans LA office itself â€“ seven different languages are spoken there!
Shipping cars is one of the branchâ€™s specialties, including exporting exotic cars by air and ocean to Europe and the Middle East. EMO Trans LA also airfreights camouflaged test cars from a German prime brand automotive manufacturer and then arranges customs clearance and just-in-time delivery in a high-security environment to the test grounds.
â€œLAX airport offers more than two dozen dedicated cargo flights weekly in all directions in addition to the countless â€˜belly capacityâ€™ passenger planes. It provides us with the ideal infrastructure to grow our airfreight activities, traditionally a strong suit for the EMO Trans group,â€ Guenther says. â€œThe global trend toward ocean freight has also positively impacted our business. EMO Trans LA now manages the second largest ocean inbound volume within the companyâ€™s U.S. organization â€“ with lots of further growth potential. â€œThe Long Beach/Los Angeles/San Pedro Bay ports together create the largest ocean import gateway to the nation,â€ Guenther explains. â€œWhen you combine very strong corporate support, ocean contracts with prime carriers, and the talents of our dedicated sales staff, weâ€™ve had great success in this part of the country.â€
Congratulations to Import Manager Dawn Smith, who was elected President of the Baltimore Customs Brokers Forwarders Association in January. â€œI would like to congratulate Dawn on this very prominent and high-profile position,â€ says branch manager Mark Brndjar. â€œShe will serve as the direct liaison between all forwarders in the Baltimore Metro Area and the local U.S. Customs office and the Port of Baltimore.â€ Dawn will serve as President for a two-year term.
Port of New Orleans Publication Highlights Kart Race
As featured in December, EMO Trans Houston played a pivotal role in shipping karts for the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in New Orleans. Read more about this exciting event through the eyes of the Port of New Orleans.
Bibles Shipped to Honduran Mission Center
EMO Trans Atlanta helped customer Tim Harris of Southern Champion Tray send Bibles and other aid to Honduras on behalf of his church. Pictured are some of some of the pastors arriving at Mission Center in San Marcus de Colon Honduras to receive Bibles to take back to their individual churches. â€œIn Honduras and Nicaragua, it is a dream come true for some families to have a Bible. Thanks for your help in making this happen! Only eternity knows the lives that these Bibles will touch,â€ Tim writes.
In late January, EMO Trans gathered key sales personnel for its North America Sales Meeting, held in Tampa this year. After enjoying three days of lively discussion and thoughtful presentations, participants came away with fresh perspectives on company direction, sales strategies, and new technology.
Hereâ€™s what a few of the participants had to say about their experiences in Tampa:
I found the sales meeting to be both inspiring and rejuvenating! It was great to meet everyone. EMO Trans has a great network of peopleâ€¦
- Melissa Lines, Account Executive, â€¨EMO Trans Cleveland
Being a newer branch manager, the meeting was beneficial to me since I was able to meet colleagues from around the U.S. Based on my previous experience with other companies, this was one of the most open dialogue meetings that I have been to. This was a huge positive. I thoroughly enjoyed the family feeling of the company as a whole.
- Mark Berumen, Branch Manager, EMO Trans Phoenix
For someone who is relatively new to the company, I thought the meeting was very helpful and informative. Not only did I learn a lot about how to sell EMO Trans services, I also feel like I learned a lot about the company in general. It was good to meet people from the other offices and put faces to names Iâ€™ve only worked with via email or over the phone. A great event that should definitely become an annual meeting!
- Greg Zieman, EMO Trans Mobile
All presentations were open forum discussions, and rather than 'information purging', we shared valuable hints and old-fashioned â€œhey, have you ever tried this approach?â€. The open panel discussion of our most successful sales professionals was definitely of great benefit, especially for the individuals new to sales.
I for one did not leave the room with a headache caused by â€œsales solution overloadâ€, rather with a smile on my face and the confidence to know that we are a team of professionals who want nothing more than to succeed.
- Silvia Judy, EMO Trans Atlanta
I was very impressed with the content, the professionalism, the structure and flow of the entire weekend! The content was interesting and precise. I enjoyed the fact that the topics were a bit jumbled up which kept me interested and not having the proverbial â€œinformation dumpâ€ that often plagues these type meetings. The professionalism (not stuffiness) was also a refreshing experience for me personally. I really left with the feeling that â€œI love these people!!! Weâ€™re all on the same team!!! Iâ€™ve found a new home!!! YES!!!â€
- Lynelle Munson, Senior Key Account Manager, EMO Trans Raleigh
Clockwise from top: EMO Trans leaders gather to strengthen relationships and exchange ideas. Marco Rohrer, Michael Horn, and Jo Frigger celebrate the successful relaunch of Project Logistics International (PLI).Tracey Thoburn and Colleen Thoburn of EMO Trans Canada chat with Jennifer Frigger-Latham and Marco Rohrer.
GRIs Effective March 15
The following General Rate Increases (GRIs) have been announced for March 15, 2014 for all dry, reefer, flat rack, and open-top containers from Asia to all USA and Canada destinations:
USD 240/20â€™ standard container
USD 300/40â€™ standard container (40' x 8'6")
USD 337/40â€™ high cube container (40' x 9'6")
USD 380/45â€™ container
Given that the GRIs are slated for the future, it's not yet clear how the market will respond and if they will actually be implemented. It's not uncommon to see carriers soften up only hours before implementation. With this in mind, we might not see reductions until closer to the effective date.
Nhava Sheva Installing New Cranes
Customers moving freight through India's Nhava Sheva port (also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port or JN Port) near Mumbai should take note that the port will partially shut down for six weeks in March to install new harbor cranes.
The JNPT terminal is planning to install three new Panamax RMQC cranes at Main Container Berth (MCB). Existing old cranes will be shifted to Shallow Draft Berths (SDB). This process will start March 31, and the port authority expects normal operations to recommence in May. This situation may lead to port congestion and impact space availability. Rates to these sectors may go up as liners may introduce GRI/PSS.
Customers are advised to plan shipments accordingly during this period. Please reach out to your EMO Trans account managers if you have questions or concerns.
Exporters Encouraged to Participate in AEI Pilot Program
The Census Bureau is accepting applications through April 1 to participate in an Advance Export Information (AEI) pilot program. If successful, the program could potentially eliminate the Automated Export System (AES) post-departure filing option.
Prospective AEI pilot participants must qualify as a USPPI, have 12 months of export reporting history, report a minimum of 10 shipments per month (although seasonal exporters will be considered on a case-by-case basis), show an acceptable level of compliance for export reporting for the latest 12-month period, and be compliant with all other federal regulations related to trade import and export transactions. To learn more about participating in the pilot program, visit the U.S. Census Bureau.