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Best Practices for Freight Forwarders: Mitigate Losses Due to COVID-19

Global shipping has been one of the biggest casualties in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with challenges getting cargo to and from the docks. The Port of Los Angeles, which handles more containers in a year than any other port in the Western Hemisphere, expects in the first three months of the year to experience the biggest decline in volume since the financial crisis of 2008, according to a recent article in the New York Times. The Port of Long Beach has already reported a 17.9% year-over-year drop in imports in February. According to the Maryland Port Administration, the Port of Baltimore’s sole container terminal was closed on March 12 and will close again March 17 in response to the decline in cargo volumes triggered by the coronavirus. As freight forwarders navigate the choppy waters of an increasingly fluid crisis resulting in air travel bans, port closures, cargo delays, and city lockdowns, we would like to address some of the issues regarding contractual liability and insurance coverage while at the same time stress the importance of implementing measures and best practices to help mitigate and minimize losses. Contractual Liability “Force majeure” in contractual agreements is the legal term to describe a situation or event in which the affected party has no control over the outcome. This includes Acts of God, war, riots, and terrorism. Most freight forwarders in their Master Service Agreements and Conditions of Carriage include a force majeure clause. Force majeure, when invoked and formally declared by a freight forwarder, protects an operation from having any responsibility for an event outside of its control. It’s important to reaffirm with your clients the force majeure clause that exists under the terms and conditions of the contract so that there aren’t any assumptions made in the event their cargo is delayed or stranded as a result of actions taken by a government during the coronavirus pandemic. Errors & Omissions Liability Shippers rely on freight forwarders to provide professional advice along with the ability to move cargo from point A to B. While it’s always important to underscore that delivery dates cannot be guaranteed under normal circumstances, it’s critical you make it even more clear that despite your best efforts to deliver products on time, failures may occur particularly during a time when airports are scaling back flights, ports…
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Incoterms® 2020 Webinar – What’s New for This Decade?

Last updated on March 6th, 2020The long-awaited changes to Incoterms® by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) are complete and published as Incoterms® 2020. Overall, the changes are regarded by the trade as positive, however, there are notable changes that should be carefully studied. In this webinar our speakers will address the following: • Refresher of Incoterms® history, purpose and use. • Review of most common Incoterms®. • Discussion of changes under Incoterms® 2020. • Practical observations and recommendations for sellers and buyers. Make plans today to join us on Wednesday, March 18th at 12pm CT for this informative event presented by Rick Bridges, Vice President – Client Development, Roanoke Trade and Gulde Alparslan & Christoph M. Wahner, Attorneys at Law, Countryman & McDaniel. This webinar has been approved by the NEI for 1 CCS/CES/MES credit.

Why Freight Forwarders Love ATA CARNETS

Last updated on March 5th, 2020 Karen Groff, president of Roanoke Insurance Group, was featured on the FREIGHTWAYS “What the Truck?!?” show at AirCargo 2020 in Nashville. Alongside Dooner and Chad, Karen shared everything a Freight Forwarder needs to know about ATA Carnets.   The trio kicked off their rollicking conversation with the basics on what the sometimes misunderstood ATA Carnets really are and why they are an important tool for Freight Forwarders.  Simply put, an ATA Carnet is an international customs document that functions like a passport for your goods. The ATA Carnet allows you to take merchandise into participating foreign countries without paying duties or taxes. You can even transit through multiple foreign countries or return to the U.S. and leave again on multiple trips on one ATA Carnet just as long as when the carnet expires, all the goods have made their final foreign exportation and are on their way back home.  Karen and the guys used an upcoming show in Canada as an example of how easy it is to apply for an ATA Carnet and how it works. Not only practical information, but we also learn some fascinating insights into the actual history of ATA Carnets.  Roanoke has been involved in ATA Carnets since 1978. The company was appointed by the US Council for International Business (the International Chamber of Commerce) to help spread the word about ATA Carnets due to Roanoke’s deep involvement in the transportation industry.  Please visit www.RoanokeTrade.com/carnet or CarnetsOnline.com for more information. 

Roanoke Trade’s Patrice Lafayette Appointed to FTA Board of Directors

Last updated on February 21st, 2020Roanoke Trade is proud to announce that Patrice Lafayette has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA). Patrice is the Director of Sales for Roanoke Trade’s Western Region and she has been an active member of the FTA for almost a decade. This appointment furthers her commitment to serving as an informative resource on international trade topics affecting both the private and public sectors. “This two-year appointment to the Board of Directors is an honor, especially at this point in my career,” she noted. “I look forward to helping FTA further their mission as a leader in educational and networking opportunities in our industry.” Connect with Patrice on LinkedIn or via email. Having celebrated their 100th anniversary, the FTA’s mission is to promote, foster, and encourage international commerce and economic growth in California and worldwide. The FTA represents more than 200 members of the international trade community. Pedro Villanueva, President of the Board of Directors of the FTA, is especially optimistic about Patrice’s appointment. “To ensure another 100 years, we need young professionals to serve in leadership roles as we move the organization forward. Attracting smart, young professionals like Patrice is paramount to our growth as we evolve and modernize.” Roanoke Trade, a division of Roanoke Insurance Group and part of Munich Re Specialty Group Ltd., operates as a specialty insurance broker focused on surety and insurance solutions for transportation intermediaries, 3PLs, customs brokers and companies with supply chains, and is a leading provider of customs bonds, marine cargo insurance and ATA Carnets for the industry.

The Need for Cyber Insurance

Last updated on February 10th, 2020 Fraud. It happens every day. We think of protecting our personal interests, but what about our businesses, employees and clients? Are you prepared to handle the potentially crippling ramifications if your business is hacked or held for ransom? What is cyber insurance? Dealing with cyber crime is not as simple as paying a ransom and moving on. Freight forwarders are at heightened risk for targeting by cyber criminals because all of their business activities are conducted electronically. And while familiarity with the risks grows daily, cyber crime is still a relatively new exposure in the industry. Small and mid-size freight forwarders and logistics providers are at increasing risk of attack because they are typically not as secure, making them EASY TARGETS. To learn more about cyber claims and how Roanoke Trade can address your needs, listen to Rick Bridges, one of our experts in the field. The aim of a ransomware attack is quite simple: lock and encrypt a computer, then demand a ransom to restore access. Cyber criminals are looking to penetrate a company’s systems by whatever means possible  - but that’s only the beginning. While ransomware requests can potentially cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars, the real costs are incurred after the fact. Oftentimes a forensic analysis must be conducted to identify and close access points, and there may be state and/or federal regulatory requirements of notifying customers of any breach of data. This is how businesses  –  especially the small to midsized ones  -  can be financially and reputationally decimated by an attack. This is why having the appropriate insurance coverage can be the difference between recovering or closing the doors for good. In addition to ransomware attacks, one of the biggest exposures facing the industry is social engineering exposures or phishing attempts. This is where a predator, posing as a trusted partner, sends an email, instant message, or text message requesting banking information, business data, and the like. The recipient is then tricked into clicking a seemingly legitimate yet malicious link thereby allowing access to sensitive information at that point or at a future time. Most common is a simple funds transfer request that looks very legitimate. These exposures have the potential to be crippling to a business. So how does a small to midsized freight forwarder prepare itself…
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3 Ways Roanoke Trade Simplifies Commercial Insurance for Logistics Service Providers

Are you frustrated when it comes to buying insurance for your logistics service provider business? You are not alone. Recent studies reveal that the buying process often leaves business owners and risk managers feeling overwhelmed, pressed for time and questioning whether they are buying the right coverages at the right price. The frustration is often amplified for logistics service providers who must invest significant time to educate generalist commercial insurance providers about the nuances of your industry. It doesn’t have to be this way.We already know what you do and how you do it. Half your battle is won! In case you didn’t know, our expertise extends to the intricacies of commercial insurance coverage. So, it makes sense to let us help you with your general commercial insurance as well. Here are three ways placing your commercial insurance in the hands of your specialty broker can help you make the best use of your time and get the right coverage at the right price for your business: Save Time by using a Specialist A single point of contact for your custom commercial insurance program results in better and faster communication with fewer administrative tasks. Save time explaining your business practices and filling out forms by placing all your insurance needs with a single specialist broker who has the broad overview of your risks to provide the best coverage. We all want simple, fast and responsive service, especially when there is a problem. When you have a claim or a coverage question, you need a direct line to help. It only takes one call to the right partner with the expertise and resources you need to answer all your coverage-related questions or respond to a claim. Plus, negotiating with multiple brokers during the renewal process is time-consuming and complicated. We can simplify and streamline this important process by getting your insurance placement right the first time, pre-filling many forms, and providing the use of PolicyTrackTM, an online portal to help you better manage your insurance portfolio. Avoid Overpaying You need cost-effective solutions for your complex insurance needs. As specialists in insuring the risks of logistics service providers, we employ proven strategies to maximize your coverage without increasing your costs. For example, did you know that certain liability exposures for logistics service providers can be added to your marine policy rather than…
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The Ins and Outs of ATA Carnets – A Foreign Trade Association Seminar (4/7/2020)

Last updated on February 14th, 2020Join  Amanda Barlow, Roanoke’s Vice President of Client Experience on Tuesday, April 7th at the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Long Beach for the Ins and Outs of  ATA Carnets. This seminar starts at 9am and registration and breakfast will commence at 8:30am. About the Seminar An ATA Carnet is an international customs document that provides duty-free customs clearance for temporary exports into over 100 countries. ATA Carnets simplify these temporary exports by eliminating the need to post a temporary import bond or pay the import duties and taxes to enter a foreign country. Virtually all goods, whether hand carried or cargo-shipped, may be covered by ATA Carnets. Highlights of the Ins and Outs of ATA Carnets include: ATA Carnet best practices Proper customs clearance procedures Managing inevitable breaches Extensions on ATA Carnet exports ATA Carnet country specific nuances Seminar Information Cost for members is $70, partners $85 and non-members $100. This seminar has been approved for 3 CCS/CES/MES NEI Credits. Cancellations are required within 5 business days of the event to receive a refund or to avoid being charged. Cancellations will not be accepted after this time and requests for seating after this time cannot be guaranteed. Non-attendance does not constitute cancellation and will still require payment. Limited on-site registrations will be available on a first-come, first served basis, unless the event sells out. Roanoke Trade, a division of Roanoke Insurance Group and part of Munich Re Specialty Group Ltd., operates as a specialty insurance broker focused on surety and insurance solutions for transportation intermediaries, 3PLs, customs brokers and companies with supply chains, and is a leading provider of customs bonds, marine cargo insurance and ATA Carnets for the industry.

Air Cargo 2020

Join the Roanoke Trade team at the AirCargo 2020 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from January 26 – 28!  This yearly event brings together all actors in the air cargo supply chain in one location to discuss trends, challenges, opportunities and the future of the air cargo industry. Be sure to visit us at booth 614. For more information on this event, please click here. We hope you can join us!

Protecting Cargo and Preventing Loss

Tips for Protecting and Preventing Cargo Loss The Shipping Mistakes that are Costing Your Business Recently, Roanoke VP of Client Development, Rick Bridges, sat down with Captain Glenn Walker to co-create an exclusive article in FORWARD Magazine. FORWARD Magazine is published quarterly and is exclusively for members of the Airfowarders Association. It focuses on delivering in-depth coverage of member news, regulatory information, and updates on the cargo industry. The topic Rick Bridges and Captain Glenn Walker covered is relevant to any business that provides or relies on the efficient and safe transport of cargo shipments – preventing and minimizing freight losses. The Biggest Causes of Freight Loss According to the FORWARD Magazine article, many shippers are not doing their due diligence when it comes to packaging, documenting and labeling shipments. By taking additional steps throughout the initial packaging process, businesses can minimize the likelihood of their shipments getting lost or damaged in transport. Packaging – Especially when it comes to high dollar value shipments, forwarders and shippers need to take adequate measures to ensure their shipments are well protected. That means understanding shipments will be handled numerous times throughout delivery and will be subject to the elements when being loaded. Securing packages to pallets, investing in quality packaging materials and bolstering the interior and exterior integrity of a shipment crate is crucial. Don’t skimp on quality. Documentation and Labeling – Loss of labeling is one of the biggest reasons for misplaced or damaged air freight. Whether it’s a matter of the label falling off or being improperly placed, it could be the reason cargo is rejected out of the system. Bar codes are vital to the successful delivery of cargo shipments. In order to give shipments the best chance to survive delivery, all crates should be properly labeled. This means including stacking and handling limitations, arrows indicating orientation and symbols if cargo can’t get wet. Communication is key when it comes to preventing cargo loss. The Best Ways to Prevent Freight Loss When it comes to protecting shipments and preventing freight loss, there are no real secrets. It’s a matter of doing everything possible to intercept problems and maintain an open line of communication among the shipper, forwarder and carrier. There are a variety of useful tools businesses can use to keep an eye on shipments while in transport. Some…
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Christmas Holiday Shipping Risks

Cargo Theft is at an All Time High During the Holiday Season While it may be the most wonderful time of year when it comes to gift giving and celebrations, the holidays pose a great risk for your cargo shipments. Historically Christmas, and the holiday season in general, has been one of the most dangerous times for cargo theft.  Why is this? During the holiday season, there is more opportunity for cargo shipments to be left unattended for longer periods of time. This year in particular, Christmas and New Year’s Day fall in the middle of the week, elevating the risk.  In fact, in a study conducted by the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC), it was found that just under two thefts per day occurred during the holidays. And these thefts, that occurred between 2014-2018, amounted to an average loss of $207,001 US dollars. That’s 20% higher than the average for the remainder of the year.  The most affected industries include:  Electronics (25%) Clothing and Shoes (15%) Facility Thefts (9%) Pilferage (15%) As a manufacturer or logistics service provider, you might feel a little stressed out by these statistics. But don’t let it ruin your Christmas break. There are precautions you can take to protect against the threat of cargo theft and minimize the holiday shipping risks.   Protecting Your Shipments Throughout the Holidays Even though the holidays are just a little over a week away, there are still some ways you can keep your cargo safe. The SensiGuard SCIC recommends that you touch base with your logistics and security professionals to go over security protocols and best practices for when your shipments may be left unattended for certain periods of time.  Below are some other suggestions from the SensiGuard SCIC to mitigate the risks involved in shipping around the holidays:  Confirm your receiver’s hours of operation for the upcoming holidays weeks Ensure there are secure parking locations in the event that a shipment will be left unattended based on when it is scheduled to be delivered Invest in GPS tracking and active monitoring of any high-value shipments  It is ultimately your responsibility to take steps to secure your shipments both while in transit and while being warehoused. Criminal attempts happen all year long so it never hurts to take added precautions, especially when the statistics suggest the risks…
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