This is Jennifer Frigger-Latham. Jo asked me to introduce this month's issue of EMO Trans News, since he is travelling in Europe.
I am happy to report that our June numbers once again exceeded those of the previous year, continuing the trend from the first six months of 2013. We expect that the second half of this year will be equally as strong.
Our July began, as it does for most everyone in the U.S., with a celebration of our countryâ€™s Independence Declaration, and was followed quickly by our collective perspiration! If you live in America, you know itâ€™s been hot out there! Even so, there is no rest for the weary, particularly in Atlanta where 28 people from EMO Trans have signed up for the Kaiser Permanente Run/Walk 5K. Stay cool everyone, and good luck!
Our business has shown no signs of slowing down either, with our new office in Raleigh, NC getting off to a good start and gaining new business. We are also now ready to establish a new office in Minneapolis/St. Paul, managed by David Leach under the guidance of Uwe Kaeding, Regional Manager Midwest.
We are all watching the General Rate Increases on Ocean Freight for Asia. Hopefully, the fragile signs of recovery in pockets of the globe are not negatively affected by these higher costs. In addition, weâ€™ve sent important notices to all of our agents and many of our customers that the existing ISF rule has recently gone into full effect, with penalties being levied. If you need support for this program, please reach out to us. Non-compliance could become very expensive for the importers or us.
You will see a focus on South Africa in this monthâ€™s newsletter, a region which continues to be very successful for us. Peter Wenke, who joined Eric Poujol as a second route development manager, continues to do well. We wish Nelson Mandela a Happy 95th Birthday, and our thoughts are with him and his family for a continued recovery.
As July rolls on and I prepare for a quick trip to Atlanta before going with my family to Shelter Island for a week, I am thankful for all of the customers, partners, and team members who consistently contribute to our joint success and growth.
It was my pleasure to welcome you to EMO Trans News this monthâ€¦enjoy the issue!
Weâ€™ve given EMO Trans News a colorful facelift with improved navigation! Weâ€™d love to receive your input on what kinds of stories are most useful to you. Please contact Kathy Miller at Kathy.Miller@emotrans.com with your story suggestions.
Since 2006, EMO Trans has seen the vast potential of the African market and put strong relationships in place to make significant projects happen. From a home base of Johannesburg, new Route Development Manager Peter Wenke manages EMO Transâ€™ efforts in further developing the companyâ€™s presence in this important hub, while previous RDM Eric Poujol focuses on developing business in other Sub Saharan African countries.
South Africa is an important logistical point for many other African countries such as Namibia, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. â€œWith a significant need for infrastructure updates in South Africa and neighboring countries,â€ Eric explains, â€œimports of equipment and machinery for industries such as telecommunications, mining, and rail and road infrastructure are in high demand. Oil and gas also play an important role in the region, especially in Angola and Mozambique.â€
Although traditionally an import market, South Africa is becoming an important manufacturing center and transit hub for inbound cargo being re-exported to many other rapidly growing African countries. Also, a global interest in South Africa products such as seafood, wine, and fruits and vegetables, has greatly expanded exports from the region.
EMO Trans South Africa and EMO Trans Cleveland recently represented Astro Tec, an Ohio-based global expert in the field of astro science, and the University of the Free State in South Africa, a recipient of one of Astro Tecâ€™s famed planetarium domes. â€œMoving an item as intricate as a dome is an exact science,â€ explains EMO Trans Cleveland branch manager Scott Vranic. â€œThereâ€™s little or no room for error. In addition, any big delay can cause problems for a museum or planetarium opening.â€
The dome of the planetarium arrived from the U.S. on the Maesk Varna and was symbolically handed over to the university by provincial government officials. As the first digital planetarium in sub-Saharan Africa, the project was featured on South African news broadcasts in June. View more of the event HERE.
â€œBecause of its developed infrastructure, doing business in South Africa is much easier than in other countries on the continent,â€ Eric says. â€œHowever, as always, administrative challenges may occur. Having someone on the ground helps our customers greatly to avoid many pitfalls.â€ Other major clients in the region include Elek Engineering, Sasol Dyno Nobel, Transtech Africa Global (see sidebar), and Timken South Africa.
Durban is Africa's busiest general cargo port and home to one of the largest and busiest container terminals in the Southern Hemisphere.
South Africaâ€™s air transport hub, OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg, employs more than 18,000 people and serves almost 19 million passengers each year. As Africaâ€™s biggest and busiest airport, it hosts airlines from all five continents and has expanded by thousands of square meters in recent years.
Darko Beverin, Director of Transtech Africa Global (TAG), shares why his business has benefited from engaging EMO Trans as a logistics provider. TAG provides telecommunication solutions to the African market, including satellite antennas, power solutions, and batteries.
â€œSince 2006, EMO Trans has facilitated the export of satellite antenna equipment for TAG from the U.S. to various African countries. We appreciate the flexible commercial terms they offer and having a dedicated EMO Trans representative (Eric Poujol) located in South Africa. In addition to having the local support, itâ€™s nice having direct access to all EMO Trans branches in the U.S.â€
â€“ Darko Beverin, Director, TAG Back to Top
OCEAN EXPORT UPDATES
Effective August 1, our ocean carriers have announced the following Peak Season Surcharges (PSS):
For Far East (except India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh),
S. Africa and Middle East to USA and Puerto Rico:
Given that the PSS 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.
Effective August 19, the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) has announced an increase in the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The increase applies to exports and imports as follows:
In June, Saudi Arabia changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday from Thursday and Friday. The move to a Friday/Saturday weekend is seen as a step towards opening the market to foreign investors. Saudi Arabiaâ€™s official workweek now aligns with the rest of the Middle East, which is Sunday through Thursday.
With U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) now implementing full enforcement of the Importer Security Filing (ISF) requirements, itâ€™s a good time to brush up on what constitutes a complete, timely, and accurate filing. CBP expects all importers to be 100% compliant. If theyâ€™re not, they could be exposed to liquidated damages cases. Please visit the CBP site for more information and to send questions about this stricter enforcement.
Here are some common Q&As about the ISF enforcement:
What constitutes timeliness? CBP will measure timeliness from 24 hours prior to the shipâ€™s departure. The ISF filing and acceptance are in the ISF history when a filer transmits and receives the acceptance.
What may be considered a violation? An ISF that is timely filed, but does not immediately match the manifest, is not in violation. The filer must correct the information on the ISF to match the carrier manifest before the arrival of the vessel to avoid liquidated damages. CBP will still send out non-match warnings as they do now. CBP will not generally consider small generic discrepancies as a violation of accuracy (e.g. shirts vs. blouses). There will be no comparison between the ISF and the entry.
If there are differences between the manifest and the ISF or if there is an exam that shows that the ISF was incorrect, then the ISF could be subject to liquidated damages. There could be multiple reasons for liquidated damages penalties on a particular ISF. However, CBP has set a cap of a maximum of $10,000 against any one ISF.
Are all importers being targeted? CBP has informally told the trade that they will take a measured approach and focus the highest priority on negligent importers who either have not filed or had been filing and then stopped. CBP will take systematic problems into consideration in reviewing the cases. However, all violations are subject to enforcement and CBP could issue penalties where they think it is necessary.
CBP will probably not issue a claim for shipments that are slightly late or missed by an importer that has consistently been compliant. Past performance will be a part of the review, and a good record will count.
EMO Trans Atlanta kicks off â€˜Get Activeâ€™ program
In preparation for Septemberâ€™s Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk, EMO Trans Atlanta has started a nine-week walking/running program leading up to the event on September 12. While this is the seventh year that the office has participated in the 3.1-mile Run/Walk, itâ€™s the first time that EMO Trans Atlanta has organized a workout plan to get people ready. â€œSo far, we have 28 people lacing up their sneakers during lunch three times per week at a park close to the office,â€ says organizer Renee Villanueva (Financial Services).
Skype is a great tool for immediate connectivity and has many attractive features. You can share screens and talk to people in faraway places via chat messaging and video, and itâ€™s a simple, free, and effective way to connect face-to-face. But, as with many forms of technology, hackers have found a way to take advantage of security weaknesses to gain access to private information.
The list of Skype vulnerabilities is rather long and ranges from malware to Internet theft. Below is an abbreviated list of links relating to this subject.
In short, if you like Skype, donâ€™t stop using it. Simply make sure you have protected yourself in advance with robust firewalls and antivirus software that are effective enough to combat these threats.