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How 3PL Can Help You Maximize Efficiency with your E-Commerce Company

Operate More Profitably By Outsourcing Online Sales to Third-Party Logistics

how 3pl maximize efficiency your ecommerce company

E-commerce is a broad term that refers to business transactions that are conducted exclusively on the Internet or via electronic devices or applications. It can range from a multitude of business types, with some of the most common being electronic retail sites. This means businesses selling physical merchandise through electronic means. Additionally, many of these electronic retail sites have completely abandoned the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience to instead provide twice as much merchandise to three times the customer base.

But where are you putting that inventory? After all, e-commerce sites tend to have a wider range of purchasable merchandise than a physical storefront. Well, this is where a third-party logistics team comes in. Rather than finding multiple warehouses, distribution centers, commercial transportation services, and various different ways to meet your company’s fulfillment needs, you can turn to one full-service company who will take care of all those logistics needs.

Boost Efficiency With a 3PL

No matter what your business is, the most important aspect is to ensure you are maintaining efficiency and keeping customers happy. With a physical retail store, this is much easier to do, as clients are simply walking in, purchasing items, and leaving satisfied. When you switch it up to electronic purchasing, you have to be able to provide the same satisfying experience without the personal interaction with your customers. This means having a user-friendly interface, multiple trustworthy, fast shipping options, and exceptional customer service while also maintaining inventory, warehousing, packing, shipping, and tracking.

It might sound like a lot of moving parts. There are, after all, many aspects that go into maintaining a successful logistics service. If you aren’t sure of where to start, you can end up spending lots of money, time, and resources trying to set up appropriate delivery costs, options, ordering systems and making sure that they can all work in harmony with each other. For small and large business owners alike, this can mean taking time from working on additional projects or important aspects of the operations of the company.

A 3PL such as Promtpus LLC can integrate advanced technology solutions on both the front and back of your e-commerce site to maximize the experience for your customers and ensure smooth inventory management. We take care of:

  • Calculating shipping fees
  • Finding the best delivery companies
  • Securing cargo via customs
  • And any other necessities to ensure that your fulfillment service run without a hitch

We can offer you an affordable rate to streamline and maintain your e-commerce needs so you don’t break the bank!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

With over 15 years of experience, Promptus LLC knows in the inner workings of third party logistics and can analyze your company’s unique needs to ensure you get the best service for you and your clientele. We stand at the forefront to ensure that all of our clients have the first knowledge of new technology or techniques to boost growth and maximize efficiency.

We operate a warehouse and distribution center and hold service contracts with more than 15 ocean shipping lines with regional and worldwide coverage. Promptus LLC also provides all on-land freight forwarding solutions, including our team of Licensed Customs Brokers that can take care of submitting paperwork and meeting necessary regulations with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Contact us to get your complimentary quote today!

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The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Logistics to a 3PL

Save Time, Money, and Resources By Switching to a Third Party Logistics Company

outsourcing your logistics to a 3PL

As technological advances are made in the world of supply chain management, business owners are starting to recognize the advantages to abandoning the traditional in-house warehouse and delivery fleet. Instead, they are opting to outsource their logistics needs to 3rd Party Logistics companies, or 3PLs, such as Promtpus, LLC. Trusting an experienced global logistics provider can mean you have more time, money, and energy to dedicate to what’s truly important: running a business.

When it comes to providing your customers with the highest quality services and products, you may not always factor in their experience after they finalize their transaction.

  • How reliable is the shipping information?
  • How well was the item packaged?
  • How quickly did it arrive?

These are all questions that must be taken into consideration when running a company that offers delivery, as they will reflect directly on your logistics services.

For example, a high-functioning warehouse will need a solution for assembly, packaging, warehousing, and distribution. This will require time, money, and manpower that you may not have readily available or simply can’t afford to factor out. This is where a 3PL comes in. They can help you by offering an all-in-one solution while helping to ensure your company still provides excellent care and attention to all their products or services.

Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs

Get Back Your Time

In most cases, opting for a 3PL can be a much smarter and more cost-effective option for your company. For starters, it allows you the freedom to dedicate your energy into the products or services you are offering. Day-to-day logistics can be tedious, since it requires a constant supervision of your operations, preparing and submitting documentation to different government agencies, plus overseeing your staff, among others. Using an outsourced 3PL such as Promptus LLC means you don’t have to worry about any of this because we do it for you!

Cut Back on Costs

Rather than paying for the rent of a warehouse, the salary of a logistics team, regular maintenance on fleet vehicles, and all the necessities of running a logistics operation, invest that money into yourself! For a fraction of the cost, you can invest in a 3PL that works closely with you to understand your company’s needs and provide them as best as possible. That means no warehouse space, no additional employees, and no need to worry about billing, audits, training, or in-house supply chains.

Stay in the Know

As a leader in the global logistic industry, we find it crucial to stay up-to-date in regards to technology and product advances. With over 30 years of experience, we have managed to stay on the forefront of the industry, which allows the opportunity to share our resources with our clients. When you are operating supply chain in-house, you may not have access to the same network of information as a certified global logistics company, such as Promptus LLC.

Focus on What You Do Best

By using our numerous resources, extensive knowledge, and advanced technology, we can confidently offer our client the very best in global logistics services from Miami all over the world. Promptus LLC specializes in warehouse and distribution, ocean shipping, and all your freight forwarding needs. Contact us today at 1-877-776-6799 to get a personalized quote for our services.

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What You Need To Know When Importing Apparel

Familiarize Yourself With the Necessary Steps to Maximize Productivity

importing apparel


Apparel is one of the most important import industries in America, bringing in around $80 billion in clothing and other apparel per year. Naturally, there are a number of regulations that your business is expected to comply with if you wish to import any type of apparel or textile into this United States of America. Missing a step or failing to submit the necessary documents, could put your business at risk for incurring hefty tariffs or penalties.

To take better precaution, we invite you to contact us and speak with one of our licensed Florida Customs Brokers who will be more than happy to assist you every step of the way.

Recognize Compliance Agencies

Aside from the Customs Border Protection (CBP), there are a number of other official acronyms that you will have to familiarize yourself with in order to successfully import apparel into the United States. Here are a few you’ll definitely see when declaring your goods and submitting any necessary paperwork:

Understand Labeling Requirements

Some of the most important things you must familiarize yourself with when it comes to apparel imports are labeling laws and requirements. As mentioned above, the FTC enforces these with cooperation from the CBP.

Basically, these laws dictate that manufacturers and importers must include the following information on all of their imports as clearly as possible:

  • Proper care instructions
  • Country of origin
  • Fiber content
  • Manufacturer identity

Why Chose A Customs Broker?

While it is completely possible for a business to dedicate the time and research to go through all the necessary motions to successfully clear an import shipment into the United States, you always run the risk of making a damaging shipping mistake. After all, your business is apparel, not imports!

Promptus LLC is an established global logistic provider with over 3 decades of experience. We are well acquainted with apparel import regulations and our agents work alongside CBP agents on a daily basis. When you trust the experts, you can rest assure that your apparel will never incur any fees due to failure to meet compliance regulations. We are based near one of the biggest shipping hubs in America, the Port of Miami, however we can clear your shipment at any port or airport of entry in the United States. Contact us today at 305-687-1405 for your personalized quote.

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What is Distressed Cargo and When Does it Occur?

Learn the Truth About What Distressed Cargo Means For You

what is distressed cargo

Whether you are new to the freight forwarding field or have years of experience, the term “distressed cargo” has probably come to your attention at least once. Put simply, cargo is categorized as distressed when the buyer abandons the goods.

This occurs when the buyer is no longer willing to honor the original contract agreed upon due to unfavorable or unexpected changes. The cause of these changes can vary greatly and oftentimes is the result of unavoidable weather or travel emergencies. Regardless of the reason, distressed cargo poses a special case for international shippers. Promptus LLC wants to help any potential sellers or buyers understand exactly what it means when cargo is pronounced distressed.

Anyone who has experience with international shipping understands that it can often be a finicky situation with many external factors that are sometimes out of your control. Distressed cargo occurs for a variety of reasons and will typically cause the goods to become unsellable or drop significantly below their original retail price. Understanding why this happens and if the distressed cargo can be salvaged can help you understand what you can do next and, better yet, how you can prevent or minimize the risk of it occurring again!

In most cases, cargo being shipped overseas can become distressed for one of two reasons:

  1. The buyer refused to pay for the cargo that they requested. This most commonly occurs when the goods being shipped to the buyer have dropped significantly in commodity value while in transit, causing the buyer to default on the shipment and the shipper to be left with distressed cargo. It can also occur when a seller takes too long to complete a trade, thereby expiring the contract’s time frame and causing the contract to be nullified. The Your buyer may then refuse to pay, leaving the seller with unpaid goods that are now considered distressed cargo.
  2. The cargo was forced to dock at a port other than the one designated in the contract during the scheduled time frame. Sometimes, unforeseen weather conditions like a severe storm or similar conditions can force a cargo ship to dock at a port other than the one specified in their contract or bill of lading. The cargo will be offloaded at the port, where it will be marked distressed and lose much of its value. If this occurs, whoever has ownership of the cargo at the time may consider auctioning off the goods to help cover the losses.

Top-Notch Freight Forward Solutions

Distressed cargo can mean thousands in losses because cargo must be sold well under value. Not to mention the added costs of any repackaging, customs fees, or fines that it may have incurred. Thankfully, our company can assist both buyers and sellers in understanding the risks and create alternate plans to minimize the potential loss.

With over 15 years of experience, our clients feel secure in putting their trust into our freight forwarding services and knowing that we are dedicated to providing them with the highest quality commitment and technology towards business growth. Contact us today at (305) 687-1405 to receive a free quote from one of our experts. We will help you get the best deal, plan the best route, and maximize efficiency!

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4 Tips for More Successful International Shipments

Eliminate Mistakes to Help Boost Your Company’s Efficiency

succesful international shipments


When it comes to providing your customers with the best services possible, one of the most important aspects is ensuring safe, efficient delivery of all your goods. Too often, mistakes are easily overlooked, which can mean returned goods, wrong deliveries, late shipments, and more. Not to mention, all of these can mean extra in fees and costs for you. Thankfully, avoiding these oversights can be as simple as following these tips and dedicating extra care and attention to your freight forwarding services.

Enhancing Your Shipping System For Better Results

The most important thing to your clients is receiving their merchandise in a timely and cost-efficient manner. This is especially vital when it involves international shipments. Regardless if you are a large corporation or a small business owner, one of the best ways to reduce the risk of costly mistakes is to enlist the help of an experienced third-party logistics company, such as Promptus LLC. We will dedicate ourselves to meticulously handling your fulfillment operation, including everything from warehousing and distribution to ocean shipping and consolidation. You can also read through these tips to help you maintain your business’s current shipping services remain efficient – or better yet, increase their efficiency.

 You May Also Like: “Successfully Outsourcing your Fulfillment Operation to a 3PL 
  • Triple-Check Your Packaging and Labeling

    Sounds simple enough. However, this is a leading reason why shipments get held, fined, or returned. When you factor in the taxes and fees you have to pay for an international shipment to go through customs, making mistakes can be quite costly. This means ensuring that all goods are correctly packaged, labeled with any necessary markings or stickers, and loaded onto the appropriately sized containers. This also means assuring that the dimensions and weight correctly reflect what is being shipped. It may seem easier to estimate based on box sizes and past shipments, but even a minimal difference could cost you.

  • Improve Shipping Accuracy

    Shipping labels to the wrong address or with incorrect customer information can force your freight forwarding company to send the merchandise back, meaning another round of International shipping costs and Customs Fees for you. Additionally, it causes your customer to suffer a shipping delay and it reflects poorly on your business as a whole. Taking the extra time and effort to upgrade your shipping technology’s accuracy to detect undeliverable addresses could results in thousands of saved dollars at the end of the year.

  • Choose the Most Reliable Transportation Company

    The company that you trust to transport your goods will ultimately be a reflection of your business in the eyes of your consumer. After all, they will be the ones putting your client’s goods in their hands. It is crucial that you take your time and do adequate research to find the most reliable, cost-efficient company that you can trust to provide you and your client’s with the highest possible customer service and business ethic. Many third-party logistics companies like Promptus LLC offer their own fleet of transportation services so clients can feel confident with only having to work with one company to handle the entire shipping process from start to delivery.

  • Offer Dedicated Customer Services Every Step of The Way

    Customer Service may arguably be the most important aspect of any customer-oriented business. This is because providing your client’s with the care and attention they deserve will make all the difference in the experience they have with your company. This means providing your clients with details and keeping them in the loop via convenient communication methods.

    For example, introducing mobile technology to provide automated updates or increase responsiveness can help your customers feel more comfortable trusting you to deliver their goods. When you’re transporting goods overseas or to a different country, this can make a world of difference to your clients.

Don’t Fret – Trust the Experts

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t worry! Promptus LLC has been in the business of global logistics for over 15 years, and we have assisted importers and exporters with all sorts of transportation and distribution needs throughout that time. We provide quality services that have a personal and professional touch. To learn more about what we offer or get a free quote for our services, contact us today at 1-877-776-6799!

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4 Steps Essential to Successfully Importing Trademarked Goods

Create a Shipping Checklist to Ensure You Don’t Miss Anything Important

successfully importing trademarked goods


When it comes to shipping trademark goods anywhere, you will need to take special care to ensure all the necessary paperwork has been obtained, filled out, and filed properly. As you can imagine, US Customs and Border Protection can be quite strict when it comes to shipping intellectual property both nationwide and internationally.

Under US law, a trademark can be anything that is owned by or used in connection with a registered service. For example, shipping goods that showcase a company’s brand or business’ logo is usually considered trademarked goods. While Promptus LLC strongly suggests that you use a professional service for all your freight forwarding needs, it is especially recommended in this kind of situation. In any case, here is a detailed guide that can help you remember all the steps necessary to helping ensure a successful delivery.

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  1. Check and double-check your contracts.

    Be sure you are completely clear on which goods should have logos or other trademarks clearly visible on their packaging. You should also ensure you have all the necessary assurances of compliance in writing from your respective suppliers

  2. Ensure your supplier has the right to use this logo.

    We can’t stress the importance of reviewing your paperwork enough. Sometimes, you may be in completely compliance, but your suppliers are not. This could negatively affect you should you run into trouble during the shipping process. For example, if your supplier purchased their goods from a third-party supplier without obtaining the necessary trademark compliance assurance or release forms, they may not be legitimate.

  3. Take pictures of the goods, packaging, and paperwork.

    Having detailed records of all of your work can help you exponentially in the long run. You would be surprised how taking a few extra minutes to carefully document everything can ensure you don’t miss even the smallest detail. You can even compare your paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure their legitimacy.

  4. Review your supplier’s paperwork carefully.

    Again, you may be in completely compliance with code, but you could suffer should your supplier have overlooked something. If you are missing something, don’t hesitate to ask! While customer care is one of the most important things, so is staying compliant with shipping codes and responsibilities.

Customs and Border Protection seizes, taxes, and halts ten of thousands of packages every year! You don’t want to be one of these people. Promptus LLC is a licensed US Customs Broker and will gladly take on the responsibility of ensuring all of your contracts are up to code and any paperwork is properly processed. To get your free quote from one of our experts, contact our office by calling us toll-free at 1-877-776-6799. Our services extend from our backyard in Miami, FL to various countries overseas!

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Making These Common Shipping Mistakes?

Learn How to Avoid These Costly Mistakes to Maximize Efficiency

In freight shipping, too many companies find themselves making the mistake of overlooking minor details, which can result in major fees and delays in the shipping process. Moving cargo is a comprehensive process that requires many steps in order to run smoothly. It can be tempting to want to move quickly through paperwork and submit generalized weights or freight class designations, but this can cost you both time and money in long run.

Additionally, not only can taking the extra care and attention to double-check your work save you in unnecessary fees, you can also build customer satisfaction by showing your clients you are willing to go the extra mile.

Promptus LLC has been dedicated to providing their customers with quality freight forwarding services since 2001, which is why we want to help you devise a system that allows you to best assist your clients.

Poor Planning Can be a Costly Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes made when coordinating freight movements is not planning the shipments properly. Proper execution can make a world of difference during the shipping process and can help save you many unnecessary headaches. You may even find you save money and limit liability by taking the extra step to ensure everything from shipping weights to packing is accurate.


When purchasing boxes and packaging materials, it is often cheaper to buy in bulk, and in some cases, you find you end up with boxes that are just not quite right to accommodate certain shipments. In the long run, you’ll spend more on having to sufficiently reinforce or situate the product than you would on purchasing the right packaging in the first place.

Shipping Weight

Some companies simply do not have the right tools to properly weigh shipments, while others rely on an estimate or a general weight for the bulk of their shipments. This may seem like a minor detail that wouldn’t result in a dramatic change in cost, but you would be wrong. If your package is re-weighed and your estimate was wrong, you’ll be charged additional fees and the difference in shipping costs.

Freight Classification

It’s not uncommon for a business to try and cut costs by trying to ship items at the lowest class available, as this is often the cheapest option. However, an improperly labeled freight classification can result in extra fees if a reclassification is required.

Incorrect Address

This might seem like a trivial detail to mention, but it is one of the most common shipping mistakes made by companies both large and small. Don’t rush through the motions! Take the time to individually verify that the shipping address on the order matches what is listed on the physical cargo and packing slips. Having to coordinate a return shipment and a redelivery will cost twice as much and will ultimately waste necessary resources.

Take the Extra Step – Ensure Error Free Shipments

The most cost-efficient tip any company can receive is simple: check your work! Take the time to double-check your paperwork and ensure it is mistake-free; dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s before clearing cargo for delivery. For all shipments, devise a detailed packing list that clearly lists the origin and destination ports, as well as descriptions of the cargo, including weight and dimensions of the pallet or package itself. This can help you, your clients, and organizations such as US Customs and TSA to better handle and transport the package smoothly.

At Promptus LLC, we understand that successfully executing freight shipments is the most important part of any company that wants to get their goods safely in the hands of their consumers. In addition to freight forwarding, we offer warehousing & distribution services, ocean shipping, and customs brokerage to help ensure the highest quality in logistic services available around the globe. Call us for your free quote today!

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Successfully outsourcing your Fulfillment Operation to a 3PL

Everything You Need to Know to Transition Your Business Successfully

Making changes to your business’s fulfillment operations is an important step. Whether you are upgrading from an in-house logistics team or switching to a different fulfillment company such as Promptus, making a smooth transition is important to ensure that your business operations don’t suffer in the process.

At Promptus LLC, we see clients that have made the decision to move their fulfillment operation for various reasons: to accommodate higher demand, for better customer service, to save money, or simply to trust the experts to handle shipping requests. Regardless of the reason, we understand that making the change to your fulfillment operation is no easy task – which is why we have written down these steps to help your business transition to our facility as smoothly as possible.

Assessing Your Fulfillment Needs

Whether you are a small mom-and-pop or a large business, a disruption in logistic services can negatively affect operations and profits. When making the switch to a new logistic fulfillment company, the most important thing is to communicate what you need and ensure your new company can meet those requirements. As a global logistics provider that has been operating for over 15 years, we have a number of resources at our disposal to help initiate a smooth transition.

The first thing you’ll need to do is develop a full assessment of your fulfillment operations including inventory requirements, storage needs, delivery options, package and assembly processes, special product handling requirements, replenishment lead times, and more. At Promptus, we understand that some business owners or operators may not fully understand their fulfillment needs, which may be why they are turning to a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider like us in the first place! We can help you develop a full understanding of your company’s fulfillment operation and what is necessary to support it.

Communicate Before You Integrate

Discussing your needs with your prospective new fulfillment company is extremely important before you agree to make the transition. In addition to discussing what fulfillment services you will need and what fulfillment services they offer, you should inquire about their provider systems and reporting capabilities. If you wish to keep your programs or fulfillment systems, you will need to verify that your new company’s systems will communicate successfully with your own.

For example, you can schedule a consultation with one of our experts to learn more about our team and what we offer. You can give us an idea of what your business needs and we can provide a number of options that may be suitable for you. From there, you can take your time to assess if Promptus is a good match for your business before getting back to us!

Remember, the goal is to avoid any unnecessary hiccups or delays in business transactions during this transition. After all, finding out at the last minute that your new fulfillment company’s inventory reporting program does not work with your current distribution software can seriously impede your workflow.

Discussing Shipping Options

One of the most important aspects of any company’s operations is their customer. When talking to a possible new fulfillment company, discuss their shipping and delivery options. Do they offer freight forwarding or will they be partnering with another provider? Regular and new customers alike expect their goods and products to arrive in a timely and reliable fashion. But don’t stop there – take the extra mile to ensure distribution and carrier services offer flexible and affordable options.

Clients will appreciate shipping options like expedited or insured. Take the time to talk to your client base or go through records to determine what your customers like best and what you may benefit from offering. Just as it’s our job to keep our clients happy (AKA you!), we understand that it’s your job to do the same for yours.

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Trust the Team with Years of Experience

As you can see, the trick to ensuring a smooth transition process when changing to a new fulfillment provider is thorough planning. If you are completely aware of what you need and exactly how it will be executed or implemented, you can reduce the possibility of slip-ups or expected troubles. If you are considering expanding your fulfillment operations, including inventory management and storage, international shipping services, and more, contact us today.

Promptus LLC has been dedicated to the logistics industry since 2001, and we are experts in warehouse and distribution, and offer our services from our headquarters in Miramar, FL to business around the world.

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3 Powerful Tools That Evolved the Trade and Logistics World

Discover What Innovations Changed How Companies Do Business

evovled trade and logistics

Like any industry, the world of global logistics and trade has changed and evolved over decades thanks to ever-developing technology and discoveries. Many times, there are notable items that are introduced that can change the way an industry operates. Oftentimes, they are considered noteworthy because they can boost business efficiency, security, or simply make a job easier for the client, customer, or both! In the list below, Promptus highlights a few that have been regarded as some of the more notable tools to be introduced to global trade and logistics.


This is arguably the most revolutionary of changes to happen in terms of shipping and transporting goods. Containerization introduced a system of intermodal freight transport that allowed shippers to quickly and effectively load and unload shipments at ports. The concept was introduced in the 50s, and was such a simple yet powerful suggestion, that it completely changed the way intermodal shipping is handled. Prior to its introduction, transporting goods from one shipping vessel to another, unloading and loading barrels, bags, crates, and any number of varied boxes or containers from a truck or ship at a port could take up to two weeks. In these days, a ship can dock at a port, load all their containers, complete all the necessary steps, and continue on its journey in 10 hours.

The notion of consolidating goods within containers that could be shuffled around, moved, and easily stacked and situated amongst each other cut loading times dramatically. Additionally, this meant that moving cargo that first started its shipping journey on a truck but will need to continue using a different form of transport, such as ocean shipping, could be handled much more efficiently. Naturally, this changed the tone for trade as the decrease in travel time increased the possibility of shipping perishable items that may have otherwise been questionable or difficult to transport. For example, the fresh food industry would not be able to function the same without the innovative tool that is containerization.

Fiber Optic Cables

This is another huge innovative discovery that opened the doors to new possibilities in trade and logistics. Born-global firms, or companies that are birthed with the intention of global sale and output, rely heavily on the ability to communicate with the other countries they are trying to operate with. The fiber optic cable is made with the intention of network communications over long distances. Their primary function is to provide quick and easily accessible communication options, which makes global trade much more functional. Before this was introduced, shippers, ports, clients, and other parties were left to communicate in ways that took much longer than was practical for making time-sensitive decisions. Working with a fiber optic cable provides companies with the ability to send information almost instantly from the United States all the way to China – and much more!

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Just-in-Time (JIT)

The just-in-time inventory strategy was designed to help avoid the waste of product, time, and essentially money that was associated with overproduction and excess inventory. JIT is a manufacturing process that, when implemented in warehouses, completely reconfigures the way inventory. The goal was to minimize wastefulness while maximizing efficiency by allowing the user to track where materials are within the production circuit. This lowers the possibility of companies losing items within the supply chain as well as creating too many products because of an inability to accurately account for all the goods in-house. This process, originally created by Toyota, and was used as a method to help producers forecast demand and therefore respond accordingly based on accurate and reliable data gathered via the JIT strategy.

Trust the Experts

The world of shipping and logistics is constantly evolving thanks to innovative new discovery and inventions being made by engineers and shipping experts everywhere. A great way to ensure that your business stays on top is to utilize tools that can help boost your efficiency without increasing spending or costs.

Even if you don’t understand the shipping world, you should be able to reap the benefits when you partner with a reliable freight forwarding company like Promptus LLC. We are based in Miramar, FL, but we offer our services to clients worldwide. We work with all sorts of clients and our involvement can range from customs brokerage to simple warehousing & distribution. Contact us today to get your personalized quote!

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19 Shipping Terms Every Business Should Know

Learn to Communicate More Effectively With Shipping Companies

19 shipping terms

Ever find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with a business practice you are unfamiliar with and you can’t understand any of the jargon being used? You are not alone! Many fields have a unique lingo that is used to describe industry specific items and occurrences. While it is not expected for you to be well-versed in the turns being used by your dentist, lawyer, or shipping company, it could be beneficial for you to brush up on some commonly used terms so you’re not left in the dark.

Promptus wants all our clients to be in-the-know and comfortable when communicating with one of our team members. While we are more than happy to explain any jargon that may be unrecognized, we also wanted to provide a little cheat-sheet for potential clients and any interested parties may use to acquaint themselves with some unfamiliar terminology.

Shipping Terms

  1. Accessorial Charge: Additional fees that are charged to add-on services or equipment required for the delivery of your cargo.
  2. Backhaul: When a driver transports cargo during the return trip of a commercial vehicle, it is known as a backhaul. This helps the cargo vehicle get the most out of their trips.
  3. Bill of Lading: A document issued by a carrier to a shipper, signed by the captain, agent, or owner of a vessel, furnishing written evidence of receipt of the goods (cargo), the conditions on which transportation is made (contract of carriage), and the engagement to deliver goods at the prescribed port of destination to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.
  4. Customs Broker: (U.S. Customs) An individual or firm licensed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection to act for importers in handling the sequence of custom formalities and other details critical to the legal and speedy exporting and importing of goods.
  5. Carrier: An individual or legal entity that is in the business of transporting passengers or goods for hire. Shipping lines, airlines, trucking companies, and railroad companies are all carriers.
  6. Container: A single rigid, sealed, reusable metal box in which merchandise is shipped by vessel, truck or rail. Ocean shipping containers are generally 20, 40, 45 feet long. Ocean freight container types include: standard, high cube, hardtop, open top, flat, platform, insulated, refrigerated, etc.
  7. Detention:
    • Holding a carrier’s driver and/or truck trailer beyond a certain stated period of “free time”, often resulting in the assessment of detention charges.
    • The delay in clearing goods through customs resulting in storage and other charges.
    • The prevention, by government authority, of a vessel and/or cargo leaving port.
  8. Cartage and Drayage: Cartage is the movement of goods for short distances, usually by truck. It is also referred to the charge to pick up, move and deliver good short distances. Drayage is the charge made for hauling freight or carts, drays or trucks.
  9. Freight Forwarder: A person engaged in the business of assembling, collection, consolidating, shipping and distributing less-than-carload or less-than-truckload freight. Also, a person acting as agent in the transshipping of freight to or from foreign countries and the clearing of freight through customs, including full preparation of documents, arranging for shipping, warehousing, delivery and export clearance.
  10. Hazmat: Shorthand for “hazardous materials”, which essentially is any material that could cause potential harm to anything or anyone it comes into contact with. Special endorsements are needed from all parties involved to legally transport hazardous materials.
  11. Incoterms: Shorthand for International Commercial Terms, which are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Incoterm define basic shipping terms.
  12. Intermodal: Cargo that is shipped using multiple forms of transportation, such as rail transport and cargo trucks.
  13. Lane: A route of transportation that is regularly taken, most often by commercial transporters.
  14. Less Than Truckload (LTL): A shipment weighing less than the weight required for the application of the truckload rate.
  15. Lift gate: A mechanism on the back of cargo trucks that allows the driver to load and unload goods more easily. A lift gate is usually required for shipments that are being picked up or delivered to a destination with no shipping dock.
  16. Reefer: A temperature controlled container that keeps cargo such as food at the proper temperature throughout the transportation process.
  17. Tender: A fixed price offered to move cargo.
  18. Third-Party Logistics: A term used when distribution services are outsourced through a third-party. Promptus LLC may be considered a third-party global logistics company.
  19. Transportation Management System: Often abbreviated to simply TMS, this is a sophisticated software that allows freight forwarders to easily analyze and automate transportation operations. This is especially beneficial for companies handling large amounts of commercial cargo.

Take The Guesswork Out of Freight Forwarding

Remember, just because you don’t understand all the ins and outs of the shipping world does not mean you can’t have affordable and efficient shipping services. At Promptus LLC, we serve clients of all sizes including small business owners to huge corporations of all business types and models. We offer reliable freight forwarding services all over the world, with our main headquarters located in Miramar, FL – just shy of the Port of Miami and Port Everglades. For your personalized quote, contact our toll-free number at 1-877-777-6799

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