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Cross-border trade in North America offers a unique opportunity to US businesses who want to sell their products in new and profitable markets. Historically, Canada and the United States have always shared a very strong economic and trade relationship because they share the same border. Canada is one of the biggest purchasers of American exports which has grown significantly.
Most Canadian citizens have a strong desire for US products and they have the purchasing power to satisfy the need. Business owners in the US who want to take advantage of this opportunity must make the effort to understand the logistics involved when entering Canada’s marketplace.
Tips to American business that are considering cross-border trade
- Know and understand the marketplace – Research is the best way to gain information on what Canadian consumers want. Many industries are currently growing in Canada like health, beauty, automotive, manufacturing environment and technology. Since a large percentage of the Canadian population live near the border, they are aware of America’s brands and marketing strategies. Businesses that can provide a unique and high-quality product that appeals to both American and Canadian audiences have a greater chance to be successful in cross-border trade.
- Know the fundamental differences – Even if both countries share the same border, there are differences between the two countries. The population of Canada is spread out and Canadians in remote regions have the tendency to buy products in bulk. Incentives like free shipping can encourage consumers in remote areas to consider your product. Since there are Canadians that speak French, it will be wise for companies to package products with both American and French instructions and descriptions.
- Know the regulations – Both countries have their own set of regulations, tariffs, and custom duties for cross-border trade. In terms of shipping regulations, it is important to consider that Canada is a big country but its population is thinly spread. There would be significant costs for expedited deliveries.
It is important to consider a trucking and logistics provider like Titan Transline that can offer different transport options for your goods. Their years of experience in cross-border logistics mean that they can meet any challenges in cross-border deliveries.
Canada trucking associations are calling out the federal government plans’ to require that border-crossing truckers submit their information and travel information via the new ArriveCAN app, as well as the proposals that would require drivers to submit recent coronavirus test results.
The Canadian federal government mandated that non-essential travellers going into the country submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test, no older than 72 hours at the time of crossing, but the truckers of logistic companies like Titan Transline are counted as essential workers and, as such, are exempt from such requirements, only requiring a series of questions.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair noted that the government is exploring whether or not truck drivers should be included in testing requirements, which has resulted in the discussion flaring up again.
Blair stated that they’re working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and health authorities in the provinces, considering the implementation of a system for regularly testing essential workers and truck drivers that move across the land order in order to keep them safe and ensure they’re not infected.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance released a statement on the matter, saying that COVID-19 spread amongst truckers have been minimal and noted that long-haul and cross-border trucking is, by its nature, self-isolating with limited contact with people.
They’ve gone on record to say that they’re not supporting any mandatory COVID testing of truckers at the border, noting that a lot of border openings aren’t really equipped to deal with such a system, or be able to turn a trucker around because of a lack of a negative test.
The CTA warns that this mandate could lead to massive congestion at Canada’s border crossings, which can lead to drivers running out of hours.
The trucking association, instead, is asking the federal government to consider voluntary testing sites at truck stops and rest areas that truckers go through regularly anyway, rather than risk them causing problems at the border crossings themselves.
Additionally, the CTA and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada have raised concerns regarding the proposal to require all travellers to submit medical and travel information and a quarantine plan via the ArriveCAN app.
2020 has been a rough year for the TitanTransline.com and the trucking industry at large, and Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has not been an exception. However, they’re also saying that 2021 will be good for the used truck market.
In Q1 2020 depreciation hit 8.5% monthly on average, compared to the 1.25-1.5% depreciation usually seen in an average year. Notably, DTNA stated that they expected 2020 to be a somewhat volatile year, even before COVID-19 came knocking, as is usually expected of the periods after big economic booms.
Daimler Trucks Remarketing President and General Manager Mary Aufdemberg stated that prices for used trucks in North America are going up. Inventories, they note, are going down, but they are expecting that supply will stay stable which, in turn, should let the used truck market’s prices stabilize by 2021.
DTNA stated, however, that it won’t be like the prices seen during the 2018-19 economic boom that the trucking industry and associated markets enjoyed, as that time period was marked by rapid economic growth, as well as rising capacity accounting for increased demand across the board.
DTNA believes that the market will improve as the number of used trucks available to trucking firms like TitanTransline.com goes up, as it also means better quality products become available. One example is the model 2018 Freightliner Cascadia, which the DTNA nicknamed as the ‘New Cascadia’, which will become available by 2021, when it turns 4 years old, which is when fleets will trade those in for newer trucks.
Aufdemberg stated that not everyone in going to get a New Cascadia, but for any customers of the used truck industry that like being ahead of the curb, the truck model is going to be something they’ll be keeping close track of.
DTNA reported that the MY 2018 Cascadia had a build rate of 33%. MY 2019s, meanwhile, had a 75% build rate, and will be available to the used truck market, but in fewer numbers. Aufdemberg says that they expect that the MY 2019s should get snatched up pretty quickly once they actually hit the used truck market.
The logistics industry is seeing its value now more than ever, with companies Titan Transline seeing business in spite of, and, in some cases, because of the pandemic. However, there are some issues with the borders, according to the FTA, who called for better flow in the EU’s internal borders.
According to the organization, logistics operators like Titan Transline are having to deal with delays at the EU’s internal borders, which is problematic, especially now, as it delays the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head of European and Global Policy at the FTA Pauline Bastidon stated that EU member states should follow the EU’s guidelines on green lanes for goods at the border in order to speed things along, as their purpose is to ensure that freight flows freely between the countries in the region.
They state that the current issue of logistics operators facing delays of around 14 hours at the EU’s internal borders shouldn’t be happening, as specified by the EU’s guidelines, and that’s why they, and the FTA at large, are asking the member states to help ensure that the movement of vehicles stays smooth in order to maintain supply chains and the delivery of essential goods.
Bastidon says that, while everyone is dealing with an extraordinary trading environment, procedures at the EU’s green lane border crossings should be optimizes in order to avoid delays. To that end, the FTA is urging the EU’s states to make sure that the proper processing can be accomplished without the need for drivers to exit their vehicles, and produce only the documentation required in the EU guidelines, while also allowing for electronic submission and display.
Bastidon notes that, with the supply chain under duress, there isn’t a reason to quarantine drivers that aren’t displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
They say that the logistics industry is dealing with a worker shortage, particularly with drivers, which is bad since the logistics industry is so important in keeping the economy running, especially with current events putting more pressure on them. That’s why, Bastidon says, the FTA is urging for support from the European governments.
According to a group of experts gathered during the WISTA or short for Women in Shipping and Trade Association, the price of carbon is deemed to be very cheap. This is why the shipping companies are able to get away despite the level of carbon emissions they are releasing to the environment. There are those that follow the guidelines like FTL dedicated truckload freight so as not to damage the reputation of their company.
The conference was held as a part of the LISW or London International Shipping Week. During the assembly, the group discussed about the coming years with regards to the shipping sector and the requirements that must be put in place in order to make some significant changes with the current structure of the maritime industry. These are all necessary if they wanted to meet the targets they have set with regards to curbing climate change.
The principal consultant working for the maritime industry, Isabelle Rojon, spoke to the audience during the discussion and opened up about the hesitance of many to discuss the topic of carbon pricing which is considered to be a sensitive one. She added that whenever carbon pricing is talked about within the shipping sector, it feels as if they are talking about Voldemort which is the most popular villain in the Harry Potter series.
Every panelist is in agreement that they should come to terms with carbon pricing because it will have a bigger impact if they wanted to meet the climate target they have set. Based on the International Maritime Organization, the goal is to decrease emissions by 50 per cent of the figure in 2008 before the end of 2050. Aside from this, there was nothing much that has been discussed.
Zero Carbon Finance Limited’s Paul Stuart-Smith, said that carbon pricing is inevitable but the cost should be the same for international standard and it should not be contained within the shipping industry alone but every industry. His suggestion for the carbon pricing is that it should be $140 for every ton. The members of the sector such as FTL dedicated truckload freight are yet to comment with their stand on the matter.
FedEx is a top logistics brand in the United States and one of the leading courier companies in the world but it was caught red-handed many a times for mishandling packages from Huawei. Despite the fact that it is considered one of the most reliable final mile carrier in the planet, the manhandling incidences proved that global companies should be wary of their packages’ safety when using international courier services.
Courier services, at the most basic sense, are not the same as logistics services. If the contents of the package are sensitive and confidential such as business intelligence and business tenders and it were to be stolen or damaged on transit, the sender might not be able to retrieve it back. This is the reason why many express delivery couriers are promising their clients that they have the utmost credibility especially when it comes to handling the packages of the customers and securing their information.
A government should not be able to wield its power in order to spy into corporate mails. Logistics has proven time and time again that it is a crucial link that binds the supply chain. Huawei might soon take the independent route and create its own chip after it was band from using US chips but does the company have contingency plan in place in case the logistics did not go as planned?
Currently, consumer electronic products demand that logistics should be fast such as air delivery in order to avoid delays in the global supply chain. Around 70 per cent of China’s international deliveries are handled by the tree leading companies – DHL, FedEx and UPS. Though China has its own international logistics provided by a domestic company called SF Express, it is still not enough because of its lacking air transport capabilities and few networks for its overseas services.
In order for the manufacturing industry of China to prosper, it needs modern logistics on its heel. It is now time for China to decide where its loyalty really lies by choosing Chinese companies to provide final mile carrier rather than resort to international giants that fail to advocate the information security.