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Category Archives: Global Logistics Solutions

CAFTA-DR (Central America – Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement)

cafta dr agreement

The Central America – Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) is the first agreement of this nature between the United States and a group of smaller developing economies which include our Central American neighbors: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, as well as the Dominican Republic. The CAFTA-DR promotes stronger trade and investment ties, prosperity, and stability throughout the region and along our Southern border.

Implementation dates, depending upon the country, ranged from March 1, 2006 through January 1, 2009. Information for U.S. Exporters is available through the Department of Commerce.

Most CAFTA-DR goods currently enter the United States free of duty and the merchandise processing fee (MPF), and virtually all will enter free by the time the Agreement is fully implemented on January 1, 2025.

Combined, the countries in the CAFTA-DR represent the United States’ 18th largest trading partner, with $57.4 billion in total (two way) of goods traded in 2018. Exports totaled $32.2 billion while imports totaled $25.2 billion. According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. goods exports to CAFTA-DR supported an estimated 134 thousand jobs in 2014 (as per the Office of the US Trade Representative).

CAFTA-DR General Rules of Origin

Section 203 of the CAFTA-DR Implementation Act specifies the general rules of origin to be used in determining if a good qualifies for preferential tariff treatment under the Agreement. The HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) has been amended to include specific rules of origin, definitions and other provisions to determine whether a good originates under the CAFTA-DR. The CAFTA-DR employs a similar methodology to determine whether a good qualifies for preferential tariff treatment that is found in previous agreements such as the U.S.- Chile and Australia Free Trade Agreements. Another notable similarity is that the responsibility for providing information to substantiate the claim is on the importer.

A non-textile good can only qualify for CAFTA-DR treatment and tariff protection if it meets for the following requirements:

  • The good must be wholly obtained or produced within a participating country or territory. This means it must explicitly be made not just in the country of origin, but with parts sourced from the same territory. This typically applies to goods that are harvested or mined, and typically only covers a small percentage of exports.
  • The good is produced wholly within the territory of at least one participating country using non-originating material. The goods must have undergone an applicable change (as specified in the rules of origin), and they must also satisfy any applicable regional value content (RVC) or listed requirements.
  • The good is produced exclusively in a participating territory, using material originating from the territory. The goods must meet the qualification specified in the agreement or rules of origin.

CAFTA-DR and the Textile Industry

One of the biggest winners of this trade agreement has been the textile industry, including manufacturers in the CAFTA-DR countries as well big retailers and Department Stores in the US.

The program qualifies for “duty free treatment” garments that comply with the rule of origin which is commonly known as the “yarn-forward” standard, that requires that the yarn production and all operations “forward” (i.e., fabrics and fabric materials production through apparel assembly) occur in either the United States and/or the CAFTA-DR region. Fabrics materials include fabrics, pocketing, elastics, interlining, sewing thread. If any of the fabric materials are not made in the US or DR-CAFTA region, the garments will be disqualified from duty free treatment (exceptions and more details can be found on the Otexa website).

In order to claim “duty free treatment” under this program, the importer must have records of the following documents (but not limited to):

  • Affidavits of origin, for each fabric and fabric material and the yarns they are made of.
  • The records of purchase orders, payments and receiving of all relevant fabric materials.
  • The records of cutting tickets and fabric pull sheets with roll numbers.
  • Record of shipments of all relevant fabric material and finished products.
  • Record of orders for finished garments and proof of payment.
  • Value Statements detailing the following (in case the commercial invoice does not show the full value of the garments): – Style number that will be use enter the product in the US – Body Fabric information (mill, style, content & type) – Name of Importer and Manufacturer – Type of garment, HTS Classification Number and Category Number – Detail cost of all fabrics, components & transportation and insurance (except the ones from the country of export into de US).
  • Any record or document related to the production of the garments.

Navigating Trade With Central America and the Dominican Republic

If your business is looking into doing importing or exporting within any of the countries in the CAFTA-DR agreement, it may be beneficial to hire a licensed US Customs Broker to help you navigate the process!

At Promptus LLC, our team is expertly-trained and has over 15 years of experience working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and helping clients navigate rules, tariffs, and regulations. We can also help organize transportation and freight forwarding solutions to ensure your goods travel safely to and from their destination country, regardless of size! Contact us today to get a free quote for our services.

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Take Advantage of Paperless and Remote Customs Filing

advantage of paperless and remote filing
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In today’s world, nearly everything can be done remotely. Thanks to the technology behind the Internet of Things (IoT), we have the ability to submit, store, and share information from just about anywhere. Even everyday tasks like starting a car, controlling the AC, checking security cameras, or shopping can be done remotely. Information like this can be sent from one device or location to another in just a few minutes, all at the click of a button!

In addition to helping provide an increased level of convenience and efficiency in our lives, the technology behind telecommunications allows information to be sent without the need for printing materials or postage mail! This paperless option not only allows information to be delivered in half the time, but it also saves money (and helps the environment) by eliminating the need for paper.

Paperless and Remote Filing Options

In the freight forwarding and shipping industry, this type of technology offers both suppliers and customers a better experience and a reduced risk of complications that may result in delays or added costs.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency recognizes how remote and paperless filing and communication systems can help streamline everything from packing and shipping to the inspection process. In 2009, CPB implemented the regulations that would shape what is known as the Remote Location Filing (RLF) program. This works in conjunction with the Electronic Invoice Program (EIP) which allows Licensed US Customs Brokers with a valid national permit to electronically submit and transmit data in accordance with their rules and regulations.

What Are Some Benefits of the EIP and RLF Program?

The CBP offers two programs to help submit and file electronic data in place of paper documents required for goods to enter into a location other than arrival or examination port. While these programs are subject to the same level of scrutiny and review as regular filings, it helps to provide a more convenient option for imports and exports. The Electronic Invoice Program (EIP) allows users to submit trade documents electronically in lieu of paper filing. Remote Location Filing (RLF) operates on the EIP system and allows users to (as the name suggests) remotely file data, so you do not have to physically be in the location as the entry or examination site.

The appeal behind the RLF program extends to a number of reasons. Most notably is its ability to allow brokers to file paperwork electronically for certain entry types, without being in the physical location as the shipment’s declared port of entry or examination.

This means that a Customs Broker in Miami, FL that is certified, can electronically submit Customs Entry, along with the required documents (Bill of Lading, Certificate of Origin, or Pro Forma Invoice, etc.) for a shipment entering the US via New York, NY – without ever having to leave their office!

RLF Eligibility Requirements are defined by the CBP. In order to apply for RLF use, you must meet the following stipulations:

  1. Users have two options for submitting ACE entries. Either as a “two-step process” that requires a cargo release and separate entry summary, or a summary certified for ACE cargo release.
  2. The only entry types that are eligible are 01, 02, 03, 06 (including weekly FTZ), 07, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 38, 51, and 52.
  3. A Customs Broker must be licensed with a valid national permit, as outlined in 19 C.F.R. § 111.19(f) (please note, individuals filing as importer of record for their own transactions don’t have to worry about this).
  4. Users must submit all necessary Invoices, such as pro forma invoices, using the Document Image System (DIS).
  5. The eBond test is required for users submitting single transaction bonds.
  6. Participants can file RLF entries at any port of entry.
  7. Partner Government Agency (PGA) pilots testing areas, such as the the PGA message set or DIS uploads, may be eligible for RLF for pilot PGA forms and locations. Ineligible PGA forms for RLF processing include Department of State’s DS-1504 and DS-2031. Users cannot process these forms via RLF.

Additionally, some other reasons why remote filing is a great option for importers and exports include:

  • It helps to save money on paper, ink, and other printing materials.
  • The process is faster, with near-immediate delivery of your documents to the required port of entry.
  • You can submit paperwork in advance, allowing extra time to review and potentially correct any errors.
  • You don’t have to worry about illegible handwriting or damaged paperwork, meaning less misinterpretation or miscommunication issues with CBP agents.
  • The paperwork can be processed and reviewed before the shipment arrives at its port of entry, streamlining the inspection process and cutting down on port wait times.

Getting Started With Paperless Programs

At Promptus LLC, we hold a valid national permit that allows our certified US Customs Brokers to electronically file paperwork and take advantage of the RLF program. To learn more about what types of shipments are eligible for this service or how to enroll in a paperless shipping plan, call our office today at 1-877-776-6799. Our team of experts has offered 15 years of experience in the logistics industry, and we offer full-scale freight forwarding services to clients all over the world.

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How Technology Has Influenced Today’s Logistics

Have Operations Changed For the Better?

how technology influenced todays logistics

In today’s era, technology is the driving force behind almost everything. We use it to keep in touch with our loved ones, run our businesses, and get around. Popular tools, such as Bluetooth, AI, and GPS, are constantly advancing to help streamline everything from communication to travel, which means businesses have to stay on top of these changes to adapt.

For Logistics companies, as well as exporters and importers, this means taking in a lot of new information and adjusting your internal structures. When properly introduced and utilized, many of these new advances in technology can mean great strides for shipping companies and consumers alike!

Technology in Supply Chain Logistics

Over the years, great progress has been accomplished in the type of technology we have readily available to us today. Incredible things like cloud-based services and softwares allow us to remotely access information from anywhere, as long as there is internet access! GPS advancements have provided us with real-time updates of our deliveries so we can track their arrival down to the minute.

In the last 25 years we have seen huge changes to the way importing and exporting is done. Technology has had a huge influence on our tools and the services we provide, and some might say it has completely changed the way we work. Some of the most influential advancements include:

Tracking Software and GPS

GPS (Global Positioning System) is not a particularly new technology, but the application it has today was something unimaginable at the time of its birth. For example, trucks can be outfitted with new tracking devices that allow fleet managers to consistently stay on top of all of their vehicles, no matter where they are located.

Additionally, some GPS technology allows you to set up a geo-fence, which is a remote geographical perimeter that can detect when your fleets are nearing or in the area, and send you or your clients’ notifications to keep them updated.

The GPS along with GIS (Geographic Information System) and GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) has impacted how cargo is moved in a big way. With these tools trucking companies can design more efficient distribution routes, check real-time traffic, and weather, as well as obtain data from the vehicles regarding fuel efficiency, idle time of the vehicle and much more.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

IoT, RFID – acronyms are common in logistics, but these are new terms that you may not be familiar with. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the driving force behind technology like GPS, Bluetooth, AI, and more. It is an extension of telematics, which is a brand of information technology that is responsible for processes and transmitting information stored in computers and on the cloud. It powers telecommunications, car-tronics, and similar services that are all important factors in the logistics field. Advances in this type of technology are allowing smart machines to order products, request maintenance, and deliver relevant information to business heads without human interference – which can mean streamlined service and fewer mistakes on the line.

Below some of the top applications of the IoT in logistics are:

  • Location management systems (as we mentioned before when talking about the GPS, GSM and GIS technologies)
  • Inventory Tracking and Warehousing
    The simple placement of small inexpensive sensors allows companies to easily track inventory items, know their level status, check their position, therefor creating a smart warehouse. In addition, this application helps preventing losses and enhances the efficiency by locating items fast.
  • Drone deliveries (read below)
  • IoT and blockchain for supply chain management
    Tracking products in general from origin to the delivery in the hands of the customer is very important, but it is crucial for some products, such as produce, perishable products, certain chemicals, etc. Here is where RFID comes in handy.

    RFID stands for radio frequency identification. This technology along with sensors will allow you to monitor things such as product temperature, humidity at different stages of the transportation process.

  • Self Driving Vehicles (read below)

Virtual Operations

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but auto-driving trucks and drone-delivered parcels are well on their way to becoming a reality. With companies like Google and Tesla unveiling self-driving cars, the technology is quickly extending into the way shipping companies handle logistics.

With cars and trucks that operate themselves, the potential for covering more ground is increased, helping deliveries arrive faster and more efficiently. Drones delivering packages, on the other hand, is still a few years from being ready to debut, but companies like Amazon are working diligently to sort out the logistics to cut down shipping times and potentially save on fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.

What Does This Mean For the Future of Logistics?

Just like in other aspects of our lives, technology has the capability of providing users with a level of convenience, ease, and accessibility that helps promote efficiency. Just like smartphones and portable devices, advancements in shipping technology can help companies stay connected with their trucks. It can also promote better vehicle efficiency and route planning when you can receive real updates regarding potential delays, and clear notifications from your machines when it is time to replace or repair a part.

Robotics, artificial intelligence, and similar tools are all making their way into the supply chain, aiding in inventory management, overseeing operations, and streamlining customer service. It helps provide greater transparency between exporter, importers, and consumers.

Promptus Stays Ahead of the Curb

Staying on top of advancements in the fields of information technology and supply chain logistics is an important part of our freight forwarding responsibilities at Promptus LLC. Our team of experts has over 15 years of experience in the field, and we believe that you can never stop learning.

We strive to stay educated on new technology by attending seminars, training sessions, and informative classes as well as integrating new tools and services. Contact us today to get a free quote for our services.

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What Is C-TPAT and How Can It Benefit International Trade?

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and What It Means For Your Shipping Business

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a voluntary program run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The name may be a mouthful, but the program works to make the shipping industry a safer place for everyone involved. Together with some of the major players in the shipping industry, such as importers, carriers, manufacturers, licensed Customs Brokers, and logistics agencies, the CBP works to combat terrorism internationally.

What Exactly Is The C-TPAT Initiative?

The CBP takes its responsibility to enforce border security and fortify international supply chains very seriously. The C-TPAT was originally launched in November 2001 and has grown exponentially since, with over 10,000 certified partners currently engaged in the program. This joint government-business partnership with the trade industry works to minimize security gaps and reduce the risk of terrorism and other dangers. Almost half of the participating members of C-TPAT are importers, as they can help to make the biggest difference to protect the supply chain and execute any necessary security measures.

Who Can Join the C-TPAT?

Almost anyone involved in some aspect of the trade community can be accepted into the C-TPAT program. There are currently 11,400 certified partners that include:

  • Air carriers
  • Consolidators
  • Cross-border highway carriers
  • Marine port authorities
  • Ocean carriers
  • Rail carriers
  • Terminal operators
  • Third-party logistics (3PL) companies

As of yet, the program is still unavailable to exporters. However, the CBP recently published the list of requirements for US exporters so they can officially participate in the program. In time, the C-TPAT initiative will expand to exporters as well.

Why Join the C-TPAT?

In addition to helping maintain the integrity of the trade industry and the shipping community everywhere, joining the C-TPAT can be beneficial for your company. Accepted members can enjoy a reduction in some fees, an increase in the speed of freight, and shortened wait times. Other potential benefits include:

  • Right to use the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at land borders.
  • Priority processing and the ability to skip inspections lines whenever possible.
  • Fewer delays and short wait times at land and ocean borders.
  • Access to C-TPAT Status Verification Interface.
  • Assignment of a C-TPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) to your company.
  • Reduced CBP inspections and exemptions from Stratified Exams (SEs).
  • Potential eligibility to partake in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA).

Shaping the Shipping Industry

Keeping the trade community safe from terrorist threats and other safety concerns is incredibly important for everyone involved, including consumers. Without a secure supply chain, the shipping industry can see a hindrance to successful operations. By default, this can trickle down and affect customers that rely on imported goods to thrive.

As a certified global logistics company and a proud member of C-TPAT, we offer a wide range of services, including ocean shipping services, warehousing and distribution, and licensed Customs Brokers. Contact us at 1-877-776-6799 to receive your free quote today!

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Hazardous Materials: What They Are & How to Handle Them

Properly Prepare Handling Instructions, Labeling, and Documentation

hazardous materials what they are

When many people think of hazardous materials, they picture radioactive liquids and dangerous materials. While these are definitely proper examples, they also include materials and goods that most people don’t think to consider – we will address these below. Because of this, many shippers find that they incur safety violations and costly fines because they did not comply with the necessary paperwork or labeling requirements.

In fact, one of the most frequently cited safety violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations is the shipper failing to accurately declare the hazardous material on their associated shipping documentation.

What are Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials may sound intimidating, but they are made up of items that are essential to our economies, such as batteries, paint, and even perfume.

Following proper protocol when shipping hazardous materials is important not only to avoid hefty penalties but also to ensure the safety of all the parties involved in transporting, packaging, and handling the items. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in accordance with a number of other transport and travel authorities across the globe, have deemed the following items as hazardous, classified in various levels by threat and danger level.

  1. Explosives
  2. Gases
  3. Flammable Liquids
  4. Flammable Solids
  5. Toxic & Infectious Substances
  6. Radioactive Material
  7. Corrosives
  8. Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Within each classification are three packing groups: I, II, & III.

  • Packing Group I hold the HazMats with the greatest risk and therefore the most regulated.
  • Packing Group II presents items with a moderate risk and moderate regulation.
  • Packing Group III has the least risk and is the least regulated.

No matter what the use or type of hazardous material, they should always be handled with care. This means carefully complying with any necessary special regulations and procedures.

Proper Packaging and Paperwork

Naturally, hazardous materials pose a general risk, as the materials within are, after all, hazardous. The idea behind such stringent packing requirements is to help minimize the potential hazard of the materials being transported. UN-certified packaging is available to make the lives of shippers and freight forwarders everywhere a little easier. These shipping materials are subjected to extensive testing, including drop tests, stack tests, vibration tests, water absorption tests, and pressure differential tests. However, in order to know what type of packaging is required, you will have to know more about the materials inside.

Packaging

On the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website, improperly secured packages are listed at the number one HazMat violation in roadside inspections. In order to determine the proper packaging, you will need to have information on the method of transport being used. For example, copies of International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations if the HazMats will be shipped using air transport. You can refer to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for ground transport information. Be sure that any necessary hazard statements, pictograms, or descriptions are clearly visible and that all of the materials inside were properly stored and packaged in the appropriate drums, shipping canisters, or leak-proof bagging.

A packaging construction system developed by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods is available, known as the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). To ensure that a HazMat shipment is not subjected to any fines or violations, the shipper must be responsible for guaranteeing that the merchandise has met all applicable special requirements and that the goods have been produced, put together, and marked in compliance with the HMR.

Paperwork

In 2012, the Hazard Communication Standard was revised to require that all manufacturers, distributors, and importers include a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each hazardous material included in a shipment. An MSDS includes a number of necessary information, including what is commonly known as the Basic Description.

This is very important and it should include the proper shipping name, an identification number, hazard class, and the packing group in that specific order. Listing this info in a different order can result in a violation. The MSDS or shipping papers should contain the following up-to-date information, located conspicuously in a central location.

  • Seller/shipper’s name and address
  • Consignee’s/buyer’s name and address
  • Basic description
  • Total quantity, type, and kind of package
  • Weights and volume
  • Shipper’s declaration
  • Emergency Response Information, including a 24hr emergency response phone number
  • Page numbers
  • Title and signature

Save the Hassle, Trust the Experts

Sound like a lot? Not to worry, we have you covered! At Promptus LLC, we offer clients full-scale air & ocean freight forwarding services, including the ability to safely, securely, and legally transport hazardous materials. In addition, we have Licensed Customs Brokers available to help you handle all the necessary paperwork and duty payments to ensure that no mistakes are made. Contact us today at 1-877-776-6799 to speak to one of our Global Logistics Experts and learn what services may be right for you!

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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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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.

 You May Also Like:6 Tips For Finding a Fantastic Freight Forwarder 

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.

Containerization

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!

 You May Also Like:What Documents Are Required For US Imports? 

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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