In addition to forwarding and customs clearance, All-Ways provides considerable consolidation services for the client, with goods from an average of eight different
suppliers loaded onto each container. Efficient consolidation involves considering warehouse requirements, evaluating stock, and dividing shipments into strategically packed containers so that the valuable space in each of them is optimized to the max. With expert consolidation, All-Ways saves the client from shipping an average of 100 containers per year. With a median cost of $1,800 per container, those expertly maneuvered logistical and spatial arrangements, translate into significant savings.
As an urgent ship date approached, the client’s inspector in Asia reported that the products from one particular factory had not passed muster. Based on the factory’s sound history of performance, the client had a hunch that something about the failed inspection was off, actually placing more faith in the factory than in the inspector. But if they couldn’t get the goods to pass inspection, they would miss the ship date and their client, Walmart, would cancel the order.
With the goods due at the retail stores in just 15 days, and carrier schedules such that the fastest ocean-based shipping option would result in a total transit time of 21 days to port plus distribution time, the straightforward, and seemingly sole solution, would be to fly the goods in via air freight, at a cost of $500,000.
Instead of flying the freight straight across the ocean, we flew the goods domestically from Shenzen to Shanghai, All-ways’ warehouse in Shanghai picked the goods up upon arrival at the airport in the middle of the night; at All-ways’ behest, Matson containers were already waiting on site. Goods were immediately loaded directly into Matson’s containers and immediately delivered into their terminal. Upon arrival at port, All-ways’ customs brokerage team ensured the containers were cleared in advance. That same day, despite the fact that it was Sunday, the All-ways warehouse team was in full gear prepping for the shipment, printing UPS labels, as well as labels for the ultimate goods. And All-ways worked with UPS to arrange for feeders to be waiting outside our facility.
Knowing that the goods would be available at 6:00am on Monday, we had the All-ways drayage team in LA lined up outside of shippers’ transport, ready to pick up the goods. And the All-ways warehouse team was waiting on standby to load the goods directly into the feeders. The goods were delivered to the All-ways warehouse located only 3 miles from the port, and immediately transloaded from the facility with the preprinted labels. All-ways then arranged a pre-plan for a delivery time and appointment at UPS’s DC for a 2-day direct to store distribution.
As the challenge presented itself, we first reserved a container on the ship so that we could send it the moment the issue would be resolved. This bought us an extra two days to catch the sailing. We assigned a container in advance of SI cut-off dates so that we could catch the vessel up to a day and a half before ETD, rather than the traditional practice where cargo ready date is built around SI cut-offs. We then brought the goods to our Asia warehouse for consolidation. At the ware ouse we collaborated with the customer to take photos and see if the fault was with the factory or the inspector. Upon investigation, it was apparent that the factory was right, and we determined that the client’s inspector had been dishonest. The factory had finally refused to capitulate to his gratuitous demands and this was the inspector’s way of punishing the factory. As soon as All-ways had the facts sorted out, we collaborated to make sure the goods caught the designated vessel..
Not only did we maximize consolidation opportunities, but we managed to catch the existing vessel while fitting in a separate inspection. We coordinated all those processes in conjunction with the client and acted as their eyes and ears to get to the true nature of what was going on overseas. As a result, the goods shipped without any issues on the intended vessel. The order was successfully filled, and their relationship with Walmart was preserved.
Our success in coordinating all of the intricacies of this seriously derailed project without missing a beat, is a direct reflection of the knowledge and understanding that this container represented to the client not just a shipment of freight, but a critical order destined for an important client, and that is was up to All-ways to be their eyes and ears across the ocean and at every point from source to destination.
All-Ways recognizes the urgency of all our clients’ goods and that those goods are destined for a specific order with a start ship and cancel date, and that no matter what comes up along the way, our clients’ goods must make it on the intended vessel so that they ship within the required window. We use our extended areas of service, and the considerable resources at our disposal to ensure that is exactly what happens. At All-ways, a dedicated department in our office tracks every single container at origin to make sure it is delivered within the required time. Once a container arrives at the terminal location, it continues to be tracked as it moves from one location to another within the terminal, and is further monitored as the carrier loads it onto the actual vessel. All-Ways keeps a watchful eye to ensure that the carrier doesn’t offload the container at the last moment, causing potentially catastrophic results. As soon as it becomes apparent that a container is not being moved to the right location, or its offloading is unnecessarily delayed, we take immediate, preemptive action. At All-ways, we invest in the resources to monitor all of our shipments on a container by container basis, to ensure that no delay presents itself that cannot be foreseen and resolved.