Uncollected cargo has long been a challenge for stakeholders in the supply chain. Notwithstanding the attention, debate and advice around the topic, it remains at the forefront of logistics operators' minds. Every year the delay or failure of the consignee to collect cargo results in substantial storage, demurrage and detention costs. Such issues are invariably complex and require expensive management time to resolve.
Effective communications are the lifeblood of every relationship, whether personal or corporate. In the global supply chain, this inevitably extends to every counterparty, including those with differing interests, cultures, languages and time zones. COVID-19 has made life exponentially more complex.
Despite being designated as essential services in many countries, in accordance with local government and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance, many businesses within the global logistics sector have had to change their work practices. In some cases, this includes leaving premises unoccupied for an extended, indefinite period.
TT Talk - COVID-19: wake up to fatigue risk
There is probably a common expectation that the supply chain operates 24/7 on pretty much a global basis. Such a commercial reality usually requires shift work and a workforce operating during unnatural hours - something that is only accentuated in our 'global village' with the requirement to provide a service across time zones.
TT Talk - COVID-19: heightened risk of fraud
Stakeholders in the international supply chain can find themselves unwittingly exposed to many types of fraud during the normal course of business. Connectedness provides fraudsters greater ease to transact and a lower risk of apprehension. The current pandemic-induced dislocation and additional logistics challenges simply increase the risks. Be alert!
TT Talk - COVID-19: working from home
As millions of people are now working from home, we thought that a more personal approach might be of value. Here is a personal perspective, providing some key areas to consider when managing your work/life balance effectively.
UN portable tanks (tank containers) have been used in the international supply chain to distribute bulk cargoes for many years. Having such a deep heritage in the insurance of the maritime containers, naturally TT Club has intimate understanding of the tank container sector, with a current insurable interest in around 53% of the global tank container fleet.
Cargo theft continues to blight the international supply chain, giving rise to disruption, unpredictability and widespread financial exposures. Whilst there are obvious commercial impacts, the loss of cargo and ensuing insurance claims for example, studies continue to develop a greater understanding of the overall impact of cargo theft, both economic and societal. It is widely believed that organised criminal gangs are often the orchestrators of cargo theft and that the proceeds inevitably support other illicit trades.
This case highlights the importance of careful drafting in order to communicate terms and conditions to customers and suppliers and to ensure that they are sufficiently wide to cover extra-contractual services where necessary and appropriate.
The logistics world is fraught with potential risks, and claims are perhaps inevitable. The exposure to such claims can be minimised, however, by maintaining a robust risk mitigation policy. Risk mitigation extends not only to the physical steps taken to improve operational safety and security, but also to ensuring, from the outset, that adequate contractual protections are in place.
The smuggling of people has unfortunately become a major issue in certain parts of the world. Political imperatives in target countries have led stricter immigration restrictions and increased government action. International clandestine migration has become a persistent threat to the unitised supply chain.
The consequences of clandestine migration are more than geo-political. In the freight supply chain the impacts include the activities of governmental border enforcement agencies, as well as the risks of contamination and damage to goods. Care is required for all the risks involved.