In logistics, route is the path or path that leads a load from point A to point B. The choice of the route has always been a challenge for importers and exporters, as it is one of the determining factors for the success of the shipment.
The study of routes exists with the objective of optimizing national and international transport operations. With good planning and analysis it is possible to mitigate risks and reduce costs and waste.
The current situation of international trade demands an even deeper route study, as predictability in operations is increasingly difficult to achieve. Shipowners are conducting Blank Sailing operations frequently, i.e. the omission of ships in certain ports that the mooring does not justify the financial costs to the company. Some countries are retaining hospital products in their territory, even though these products have their final destination in another nation.
In an international freight operation, in addition to the fees already known as the main freight, foreman, BAF, CAF and others, there are still the surcharges, i.e., values added in the value of the freight for certain situations that transport companies face throughout the operation. Below are two recent examples:
During China's isolation period, automated ports ensured that containers were unloaded from the ship, but there were no carriers for their removal. Thus there was congestion in the yard and the collection of the Congestion Feesurcharge.
In the first week of May, an Embraer plane carrying medical equipment was hit by a local Somali authority by mistake. For this reason, in dangerous locations there is the incidence of the War Surcharge.
In addition to the two surcharges mentioned, there are still many others that may exist according to different routes on which the ship or aircraft operates. Therefore, in order to make the route choice it is necessary to evaluate the financial viability including the risk factors and their surcharges.
Transit time is the transit time of the international freight from the port/airport of origin to the arrival at its destination.
Many importers are looking for ways to reduce transit time. Studying routes can help reduce transit time, this should be considered especially for shipments that require urgency.
Choosing the port of origin and destination is a strategy to reduce the time of arrival of the cargo, because the ship or aircraft have several routes to be fulfilled. Thus, for export it is ideal to choose the last port/airport of call and for import the first port/airport, avoiding that the cargo awaits the ship for a long period. For this it is necessary that the route is performed by another modal until reaching the desired point.
Read it too: How to choose the destination port of my cargo?
Another strategy is to choose shipowners who carry out the freight with fewer stopovers, this may have a higher cost, but is not yet comparable to air shipment.
In addition to the scales that make transport companies stop in several countries, it is often still necessary to supply a particular nation. However, at this delicate time the world is facing there is a need to be careful about which countries your cargo carrier will stop. Below is a real plan from the Brazilian government to import medical-hospital supplies:
The Brazilian government imported 40 million masks and to guarantee the reception in national territory, the route planning was different than usual, where the flight stops in the United States or Europe. The flight was planned to take off in Guangzhou (China) with a stopover in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and to land at Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo. Other route possibilities were also studied for the next shipments such as China, Australia, New Zealand and Chile.
For the importer or exporter to be able to use the 3 topics listed above, it is necessary to have a company specialized in the subject and that can perform the analysis of the performance indicators of each shipment, in order to compare deadlines and costs of the operation and finally to create a logistics optimization strategy that guarantees the most appropriate route for your cargo.
It's up to you now, reader! Contact us to help you choose the best route for your shipment.