Multinationals Decline. Independents Rise.

It was all supposed to be so straightforward. Industry analysts, multinational freight forwarder executives and MBA business students all fell into line in 2009, predicting that the global downturn would largely kill off the independent freight forwarding sector and consolidation would leave the global logistics companies with a rapidly growing and dominant role that would never be reversed. This misinformation was peddled as fact – only the largest logistics companies and a handful of niche operators were equipped to prosper in the 21st Century and small- and medium-sized companies would gradually be marginalized, driven out of business or swallowed up in takeovers. Hermann Ude, head of DHL Global Forwarding in 2009, very publicly stated that smaller forwarders would collapse and “many of these companies will just disappear.” Ude, in fact, has been proved completely wrong as the independent sector is now more vibrant and successful than ever, despite the global economic woes of the past few years.

24 Hours Advance Manifest Rule Implementation by Japan Customs

 Starting March 10, 2014, Japan customs will enforce new customs regulations which will require all vessel operators or NVOCC’s to submit an electronic cargo manifest to Japan customs for any cargoes that are destined for entry into a Japan port. The electronic manifest must be sent no later than 24 hours prior to vessel departure from the port of loading. The regulation is applicable for all containerized cargo intended for delivery into a Japan port. Empty containers, cargo loaded on platforms (i.e. break bulk cargo), and Foreign Remaining on Board (FROB) cargo are all exempt from this rule. Failure to comply can result in prison terms of up to one year or fines of up to JPY 500,000. For more information, you can refer to the following websites:

Japan Customs Homepage


Pharmaceutical Distribution Law takes effect

President Obama signed into law the Drug Quality and Security Act, which contains provisions for tracing pharmaceuticals in the supply chain.The new law creates a uniform, national licensing standard for wholesale distributors and third-party logistics providers to safeguard the pharmaceutical distribution system. “It replaces the fragmented and piecemeal system that differed from state-to-state,” said the International Warehouse Logistics Association, which supported the legislation.

The law also sets uniform national licensing standards for warehouse-based 3PLs, preempts existing state licensing requirements for 3PLs, and preempts all state laws, regulations and requirements for tracing products through the supply chain.

“When dealing with supply chain security and safety, the influence stems from being recognized as an equal partner to the pharmaceutical manufacturers, primary and secondary wholesalers and distributors and pharmacies. By working with everyone in the sector, supporting both needs, we become stronger,” said Pat O’Connor, IWLA’s Washington representative.

IWLA explained the traceability system is “based on an ownership model whereby transaction information is provided upon a change of ownership rather than a change of possession. The traceability obligations require businesses to provide transaction information, history and statements, to each subsequent owner, and keep transaction information for six consecutive years following the transfer.”

This distinction is important to IWLA’s members in defining the title holders of stored products.
“Having one set of standards for 3PLs who handle pharmaceuticals in the supply chain set at the federal level is a significant milestone for third-party logistics providers, who have never received formal recognition by the federal government in the form of documented legislation,” the association said.

“This is the first federal statute to contain a strong definition of a 3PL’s place in the supply chain,” O’Connor said. “The impact is now we can point to this law on other issues affecting 3PLs.