INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS PROVIDERS

ASF Logistics is a Mobile, AL based full service international logistics provider, freight forwarder, NVOCC, and custom’s house broker. ASF specializes in providing customers with solutions that provide for the optimum flow of goods, materials, and information. All business conducted as an Ocean Transport Intermediary as defined by the Federal Maritime Commission is conducted only by ASF, Inc. ASF, Inc is licensed with the Federal Maritime Commission as an Ocean Freight Forwarder and Non-Vessel Operating common carrier under Ocean Transport Intermediary License No. 020898NF.

ASF Logistics Named to 2012 Best Companies ListBusiness-Alabama-Best-Companies

ASF Logistics announced that the company, which is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, has been recognized as one of the 2012 “Best Companies to Work for in Alabama” in the small business category. 

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Shippers told to prepare for global container weight verification rule

In exactly one year new global regulations requiring every packed container have a verified container weight will go into effect, and shippers need to be prepared, an industry trade group warns.

“One year from today, global containerized maritime commerce will need to comply with new international regulations that require every packed container to have a verified container weight as a condition for vessel loading,” the World Shipping Council said in a statement Tuesday.

The United Nations and its International Maritime Organization approved the guidelines last year, after container lines, port labor and terminal operators pointed to recent international incidents as proof that mandatory container weighing is needed.

Overweight containers played a role in the breakup and subsequent beaching of the MSC Napoli on the southern U.K. coast in January 2007, along with the partial capsizing of the Deneb, a 500-TEU feeder ship, in the Spanish port of Algeciras in June 2011. The crackdown on overweight containers — the number of which some estimates peg at 130 million annually — is part of a broader global effort to combat misdeclaration of exports.

Asian and European shipper groups pushed back against mandatory container weighing, arguing it would add extra costs and that the infrastructure, particularly in developing countries, simply isn’t in place. Supporters of the IMO rule countered that critics exaggerated the impact and costs of implementation. They cited the fact the U.S. has long required all export containers to be weighed, a requirement that hasn’t just reduced supply chain efficiency but has improved safety, according to the International Association of Ports and Harbors.

Effective July 2016, shippers worldwide must provide a verified weight for every packed container preparing for transit and shippers must be aware that they are wholly responsible for their containers’ weight, the shipping council said Tuesday.

“The regulations place a requirement on the shipper of a packed container, regardless of who packed the container, to provide the container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier and port terminal representative sufficiently in advance of vessel loading to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plan,” the group explained.

Vessel and terminal operators do have some obligations. The two groups are prohibited from loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export if the container does not have a verified container weight and must use verified weights in their vessel stowage plans.

“All parties should use the next 12 months to plan for the efficient and effective implementation of this requirement,” the World Shipping Council said Tuesday.
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US containerized exports to fall again in 2015

While a large share of the first-quarter 2015 decline in U.S. containerized exports can be traced to the conflict at U.S. West Coast ports, the economic slowdown in Asia and in emerging markets cannot be dismissed. Emerging markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and Africa are struggling with sharp declines in oil prices and other commodity prices such as copper, aluminum, iron ore, tin, nickel, zinc, lead and uranium. The fall in oil prices have hit the economies of Latin America such as Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil particularly hard.

In Asia, near-zero growth in Japan during 2014 was followed by an improved yet still modest expansion of 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015, reflecting weak consumption and residential investment. In China, economic growth continued to decelerate as a correction in real estate investment curtailed overall economic activity. Growth in China was 1.3 percent in the first quarter. Indian growth accelerated in 2014 and is expected to reach 7.5 percent during 2015 and 2016. However, the ASEAN-5 (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) recorded relatively low growth and only a modest expansion is expected during the next two years.

In Europe, eurozone consumers benefitted from lower oil and gasoline prices helping to lift output growth to 0.9 percent in 2014. However, 2015’s first quarter growth amounted to just 0.4 percent, which puts the area on track to match relatively modest forecasts of 1.5 percent for the year.

While global growth has been tepid, U.S. exporters were also confronted with increasingly unfavorable exchange rates. The inflation-adjusted, trade-weighted value of the dollar increased 5.0 percent during the first quarter, the fastest rate of growth observed since 2008. This forced U.S. exporters to reduce prices over the same period. The rise of the U.S. dollar is due to two factors, the result of reduced growth expectations in Europe and Japan and relatively good returns on government debt.

The first-quarter export forecast of negative 4.6 percent was only moderately higher than actual 20-foot-equivalent unit change, which was negative 9.7 percent and therefore does not warrant a major revision based on technical grounds. I am now forecasting a contraction in the US containerized export trade of 5.8 percent for 2015, slightly down from negative 4.4 percent, marking a second consecutive down year. Structural conditions since the March forecast have not changed appreciably either.

Forecasts for global economic growth excluding NAFTA remain at 2.8 percent, though expectations are now for better growth in the advanced countries and slightly slower growth in emerging markets, particularly China. Lower prices and further monetary easing will support improved growth in the eurozone. Led by Germany and a modest recovery in France, this region will post 1.5 to 1.6 percent growth through 2016. Lower oil prices will have the reverse effect on Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Growth will fall to negative in 2015 before recovering marginally in 2016. Combined with lower commodity prices, the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will also suffer a setback, with output expected to rise just 0.9 percent in 2015 before returning to a still-below par 2 percent in 2016.

The U.S. dollar will continue to pose difficulties for U.S. exports. Prices to foreign purchasers will likely have to be cut as the dollar continues to gain favor in light of the ongoing sluggishness in Europe and a retrenchment of investment in China. The rising possibility of a Greek exit from the Eurozone is also very bullish for the dollar. Should the Fed begin tightening this fall, the dollar could present even more of an obstacle. Current growth forecasts are for a 9.2 percent increase in value, on average, through 2015 before moderating to 1.1 percent growth in 2016.
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5 Costly Mistakes.

Here are five common and costly international shipping mistakes

1. Not Double-Checking Shipping Info

So simple and basic, however, you'd be shocked how often shippers lose money because they don't double-check the information they are providing withinthe international shipping paperwork.

Mistakes in international shipping paperwork can cause big delays and cost big bucks.Double-check that packing lists, commercial invoices, and original bills of lading are correctly and completely filled out in a timely fashion.

2. Mistiming a Shipment

Timing is everything. At least that's what they say.

Timing is certainly extremely important in international shipping. Properly timing a shipment can be tricky for the inexperienced. Mistiming an import or export is a common international shipping mistake, especially for first time shippers.Perhaps you want a shipment imported or exported fast. You get a quote and find out the transit time alone is over two weeks. A serious problem could arise if you’ve promised the goods sooner.

A common situation new shippers find themselves in is receiving a freight rate quote and thinking the quote is good forever only to find out that it has expired. When it comes to timing international shipping, the timeline for loading, transit to and from ports or terminals, and terminal cutoffs are among things that must be considered.And as a general rule, freight rate pricing quotes are only good for about a month, so you should get your quote within 30 days of when you plan to ship.

3. Choosing the Wrong Shipping Method

Shippers should choose the best shipping method for their needs, whether ocean shipping or air freight.As a general guideline, air freight tends to be more expensive than ocean shipping; however, it is much faster. Consider the size of the shipment. If smaller shipments need to be delivered quickly, air freight is probably the shipping method for you. With larger shipments, shipping by container ship is probably best.

4. Not Getting Cargo Insurance

Ship happens.And sometimes shipping happens to go wrong.Failing to properly insure your cargo could be very costly in the case that something goes wrong during the transport of your cargo.Among the dangers of shipping are containers falling off ships, shipwrecks, piracy, stolen goods, and damaged goods.

To go with this (and this could be its own section) is having your goods professionally packed in shipping containers. Though an added cost, without professionally packed cargo, the odds of damage to your goods dramatically increases and your goods may not qualify for cargo insurance.

5. Choosing the Cheapest Freight Rate

This is quite possibly the most common mistake in international shipping.When international shippers look for a freight forwarder or shipping company, they often choose based on who gives the cheapest freight rate quote.

Often, the cheapest freight rates come from inexperienced freight forwarders or shipping companies or are accompanied by hidden fees.

Of course, ask anyone, price is important, but service and experience are much more important factors to consider when choosing a freight forwarder or shipping company.

A company that does not have the experience and know-how to handle complications that may arise through the international shipping company could cause costly delays, fees, and lost cargo that often far outweigh the difference in freight rates.
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Mission Statement

ASF Logistics strives to be the company of choice for global logistics by fostering a collaborative environment of partnerships, teamwork, and creativity. Our goal is to consistently deliver a competitive advantage to our customers through innovative and customized solutions which add value and sets them apart from their competitors.

Logistics & Supply Chain Solutions

  • Vendor management
  • Document management
  • Information management
  • Purchase order management
  • Cargo management and flow optimization
  • Consolidation
  • Carrier management
  • Transport management
  • Import planning and coordination
  • Customs house brokerage
  • Cross-docking and trans-loading
  • Distribution