As a global logistics provider, our primary goal is to take care of our clients, which is an ever-evolving journey. Over the past few years, Aries has increased our niche services, enhanced our technological capabilities and created a more comfortable work environment for our Aries family. Why, to provide a better overall service and experience for our clients.
We would like to inform you of a new system we are implementing which will allow an “all eyes” approach to your service requests. This visibility enhancement to our platform omits the chances of requests being overlooked or unresolved in order to meet your expectations. Each request will be transparent, which will allow our team to monitor the progress of each request from creation to completion. Your favorite team member will still take great care of you; we will now have a larger support network backing them up. Aries’ goal is to continually improve our client and partner communication. It’s our belief we will accomplish this with each request residing in an environment where it remains open until handled appropriately and then closed.
We are also going to ask you how we are doing and please know; all comments are welcome. We anticipate them all being positive, yet know our strive for excellence will need your feedback. We thank you for your continued support and appreciate you joining us on the journey.
Incoterms, or trade terms, are an essential element of international sale contracts set forth by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They explain the division of risks and costs concerning shipping and import and export clearance between the buyer and seller. While Incoterms may seem like a dry topic, when changes arise in Incoterms, experienced compliance managers, customs brokers, export managers, and the like take notice.
At a recent conference, people experienced in international sales of goods discussed changes to Incoterms 2020 throughout the meeting rooms. Everyone was considering scenarios where different terms could apply dependent upon the conditions of their contracts. Due to their knowledge of the subject matter, discussions about the pros and cons of the new terms made for exciting discussions.
When you work within the terms daily, applying them to your business transactions is an easy task. For the remaining international business population, it can be challenging to select the terms best for your business:
• Should you buy under "F" terms and sell under "C" terms or vice versa?
• When should a "D" or "E" term be used?
• What level of risk and responsibility works best for your company, and do you fully understand the implications of selecting the wrong term?
Misconceptions are prevalent, and many companies use incorrect terms regularly. Fortunately, for many companies, there are no implications; however, that is not always the situation. Common misconceptions may create taking on more risk and or costs than anticipated.
FOB, DDP, and What Does That "I" in CIF/CIP Really Mean?
Over the years, we have seen the term FOB take on various interpretations. Free on Board is a term only to be used when goods will travel by water. The seller bears all costs to the point where the seller loads the goods on board the vessel. Once the goods are on board, the seller's risk transfers to the buyer. FOB is a term we would expect to see for a vessel charter; however, companies misuse the term almost daily for shipments that do not travel near any water. For example, a truck move from Houston, Texas to Vancouver, British Colombia, cannot be FOB even if it crosses over a few bridges along the way. On the other hand, if a company loads that same truck onto a vessel in Houston and sails to Vancouver, then FOB is the correct term.
If you sell on DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) terms, you would think that includes everything relating to the delivery; however, DDP terms do not include unloading at the final destination. In 2020, the ICC added the term DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded), which means goods should be delivered to the destination and unloaded from the arriving method of conveyance. In the past, the ICC did not specifically address unloading, which caused some confusion.
Now, the question is whether you need to include both DDP and DPU terms, or will a DDP shipment include unloading? Only one term is allowed per move; however, as long as the shipper and buyer agree, you can get a bit creative. If the buyer wants the goods cleared by customs and then unloaded, the contract should state, "DDP unloaded at (insert address here) Incoterms 2020."
Until 2020, CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight), and CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid) only required Institute Cargo Class C or FPA (Free of Particular Average) coverage. These terms only needed catastrophic coverage; a plane crashes, a truck gets into an accident, a vessel sinks, or for the parties to declare General Average terms, where all stakeholders proportionally share any losses. For coverage to kick in, there must be damage to cargo as a result of an accident or mishap to the mode of conveyance. The ICC decided that CIP should be modified to enhance the insurance coverage due to the value of the cargo that generally moves under this term.
Under the recent changes, the seller must add Institute Cargo Class A or All Risk insurance for CIP terms, which offers much broader coverage for the buyer and typically covers loss or damage during transit. CIF terms have not changed, and ICC-C or FPA is still the minimum coverage required under this term. However, to better protect you and your client, you should use ICC-A or All Risk coverage, although these are the only two terms that require insurance to be in place. You should include ICC-A or All Risk coverage to any transaction where you could have liability.
Weeding through the Incoterms when conducting international business can be confusing, but using the wrong shipping terms can subject your company to needless liability. At Aries Worldwide Logistics, we can help your company choose the best terms for your business and help educate your export and compliance teams.
If you are interested in learning more about the changes in terms or how to properly execute each term, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aries Worldwide Logistics recently conducted a survey of our customers to determine how we can continue to support their needs. Likewise, we also discovered they had some very nice things to say about us. We are excited to receive feedback from our wonderful and loyal customers as we navigate these turbulent times to better understand their challenges. We take the voice of the customer to heart and use their feedback to better serve them.
The results of the survey are as follows:
A few comments that were too good not to share...
“ARIES is and has always taken extremely excellent care of us. I get immediate responses and action on my request. I very much enjoy working with your team as they make me feel like I am their only customer at all times.”
“Aries continues to help by being open and accepting our incoming containers.”
“Keeping all smooth as up to now, and alerting of any disruption immediately so we can adjust.”
“Service is excellent, don’t know if there’s anything you can do better.”
Thank you to everyone that participated in the survey. Your feedback and time are greatly appreciated!
Aries Brownsville team provided meals to Dr. Eder Hernandez, Mpas and staff this week. Dr. Hernandez and his staff care for patients at the Cameron County Covid-19 Testing Center. The team provide exceptional medical services to all those in need in our local community. We are deeply appreciative of all healthcare workers for their continued selfless work.
In addition to Aries support, several other local businesses, industrial institutes, and local chambers of commerce donated resources to help support our frontline heroes who continue the fight against COVID-19.
Just one week into Houston’s “stay home, work safe” order and the Aries family is already learning a lot. We’re learning to trust each other in new ways and making some mistakes along the way. We wanted to reach out and share some of our best-crowdsourced tips for how to work from home. Let's start with the setup.
Setting up your Home Office
Make sure you have all the little things that you might need during the day. Post-its, pens, paper, coffee, etc.
You'll save a lot of time if it's all on hand. Before you switch to remote work, your IT department should put together a list of apps that everyone needs on their laptops and webpages everyone should have bookmarked. Some suggestions to get you started are your email client, the Microsoft Office Suite, Teams or Slack for instant messaging, Zoom or GoToMeeting for all your video calls, and OneDrive or Dropbox for easy file sharing. It's a lot of communication tools, but you'll find that clear communication is at least 14x more important when remote working.
Speaking of video calls, you'll want to make sure you have a hands-free headset. Not only will it make note taking during meetings easier, it will cut down on the noise in the house making it easier for your partner to work too.
You'll also want to set up a “Hollywood office”. Have you ever noticed that in movies all the interesting stuff isn't on the boss's desk? It's always behind him because that's where the camera (and the audience) is going to be looking. Always make sure that your background is professional and eye-catching. Whoever you're calling is going to appreciate it!
The best part about working from home is the same reason that it is terrible. There are distractions everywhere! From noisy kids and pets, to daytime TV, it can be hard to stay focused.
If you do live with other people, you need to talk with them. Explain to your kids that you'll be home more often now and that you're excited that you get to spend more time with them but that you need to work. Tell them that you'll spend time with them on your breaks and during lunch but that you shouldn't be disturbed when your headphones are on. This brings us to the next point! Get some quality headphones. Noise cancellation technology or some good music will help keep you focused and block out those other distractions.
Remember, no one is going to walk by and startle you into closing the Facebook page you've been scrolling through for half an hour. One thing that can help deal with that is to download something like the Facebook Feed Blocker browser extension so that you can still use Messenger but it hides all the posts and videos.
Organization and Communication
Remember when we said that communication is going to be 14 times more important now than ever before? Well, it's still true. Aries likes to start the day with what we call a Brew-tiful Morning meeting. The whole company hops on a video call to chit-chat and drink our coffee for 15 minutes. It helps remind us that we aren't alone in our apartment and keeps us connected with our coworkers that we don’t see as much anymore. Also, make sure you are…
Things You Might Not Think About
Dress for the office! Clothes don't affect just how other people see you, but also how you see yourself. There is evidence that how we dress influences the way we think. So even though we'd all love to spend all day in sweats and a t-shirt, it sends signals to your brain that it's time to relax. Check out this article from Scientific American to read more about how your clothes influence your thinking.
A couple of us have had a huge problem with snacking while working from home. I went through one of the giant 30oz boxes of Goldfish in two days! So put a lock on your cabinets and do your best to stay healthy. We will be.
Aries hopes that this smooths out your own transition to remote working. Did we miss any big tips? Let us know what kinds of problems you are facing.
Tuesday, the city of Houston and Harris County issued a "stay home, work safe" order effective March 24 at 11:59PM through April 3, 2020. During this time, only essential businesses can remain in operation.
Aries Worldwide Logistics is considered an essential business for supply chain operations. We have moved all non-essential personnel to remote work and have taken extra precautions beyond the CDC’s recommendations to keep our essential warehouse employees safe and healthy.
We are fully operational for the duration of this order and will be available to assist with your shipping needs.
Please call us at 888-502-7437 or reach us by email at email@example.com.
To Our Business Partners and Community,
Health and Safety
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has put the world into uncharted territory and Aries is doing its part to ensure our employees, our customers and everyone’s families stay healthy. We are following the recommended guidelines from the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control, federal, state, and local officials and have implemented our business continuity plan which includes a remote working component for non-essential staff members. Any staff members that are ill, exhibiting symptoms as described by the CDC are asked to stay at home and seek medical attention.
Thanks to our investment in technology over the last several years, we are 100% functional, and do not expect any negative impact to our staff or customers. During this time, our team will continue to provide the high levels of service that our customers have grown accustomed to.
We’re Committed to Communication
We are in constant contact with our clients, employees, vendors, and agents to provide you with good information and will communicate any issues we incur with your shipments to mitigate any negative impact to your supply chain. From personal outreach to newsletters like this one and our cargo tracking system, Atrack, we are keeping everyone up to date every step of the way.
We’re Solving Problems
This is not a normal environment and we are already seeing shifting rates and changes to shipping schedules. Availability of space on aircraft, vessels, and availability of equipment is also becoming a challenge. We are actively working with the carriers to secure space and equipment as well as looking for non-traditional routes to ensure your cargo arrives at the desired destination as quickly as possible.
We are here to assist you and ensure your supply chain remains fluid and flowing. As the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, we will continuously evaluate our response to meet the needs of our clients. We will remain in contact with our clients through the multiple platforms available including telephone, email, and social media. If we can help in any way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-888-502-7437.
Director of Business Development
This is not business as usual as the landscape is changing minute by minute. We are working closely with our business partners to mitigate major disruptions to our clients' supply chains. We will provide updates as they become available.
Updated: March 31, 2020
The Aries Global Agent Network remains active and very responsive. In the rare cases they are not, we have a list of backups that we have started to work with in those areas.
Some carriers are implementing an Emergency Surcharge. If you’re looking for the best value, make sure the carrier has not started adding this extra charge.
Updated: March 18, 2020
Air– Expect service delays. Air freight is still active but restricted to all-cargo service only
Ocean– Disruptions in schedules
Rest of the world Overall, we see a significant reduction in air traffic and cancelled passenger flights which considerably affects the air cargo capacity and thus rates. Presently, the most affected destinations in the APAC region appears to be Korea and Japan.
Updated: March 16, 2020
Air– Currently delayed 7-14 days out from time of booking
Ocean– Currently delayed 21-30 days out from time of booking
Rest of the world Overall, we see a significant reduction in air traffic and cancelled passenger flights which considerably affects the air cargo capacity and thus rates. Presently, the most affected destinations in the APAC region appears to be Korea and Japan. No disruptions seen in LatAm.
March 13, 2020
Air– Expect service delays, but air freight is still active
Ocean– No delays
Air– Currently delayed 7-14 days out from time of booking
Ocean– Currently delayed 21-30 days out from time of booking