SCDigest Editorial Staff
With the falling US dollar, US export volumes have continued to strengthen – good for many US-based companies, but creating a variety of challenges in terms of export logistics.
The inbound global supply chain continues to present challenges to many Western companies, but in some respects, with flat or declining import container volumes, the pure inbound logistics execution issues have moderated substantially due to more capacity throughout the supply chain. The exact opposite has occurred in export logistics.
Georgia-Pacific’s buildings products unit is a prime example. In recent times, its international sales and export volumes have risen dramatically – but fulfilling those orders has become increasingly challenging.
“In this environment, it’s critical to well communicate how outbound logistics works to customers and your sales team,” said Lloyd Rich, director of Import/Export and Compliance for GP, at a recent meeting of the Atlanta CSCMP roundtable. “For example, just because you have a “booking” on an ocean container doesn’t guarantee the space or the departure.”
In fact, just getting sufficient outbound containers for shipping continues to be a real supply chain constraint for many companies. A large percentage of the export volumes from the US are coming from inland regions or other areas far away from the major inbound ports, such as LA/Long Beach. Getting them to where they are needed for export is itself a huge logistics and cost challenge.
Agricultural exports are a big source of the outbound volume growth and focal point of the container shortage. US agricultural exports have jumped 20% by weight in the six months ending Feb. 29, compared with the same period last year, according to the Department of Agriculture.
(Global Supply Chain and Logistics Article - Continued Below)