Commentary: Stop flying backward on U.S. air imports

U.S. freight forwarders are frustrated by the lack of details from the airlines about their arrived imports, let alone the payment terms and conditions.

Commentary: Stop flying backward on U.S. air imports

U.S. freight forwarders are frustrated by the lack of details from the airlines about their arrived imports, let alone the payment terms and conditions.

Commentary: Stop flying backward on U.S. air imports

U.S. freight forwarders are frustrated by the lack of details from the airlines about their arrived imports, let alone the payment terms and conditions.

 
Air cargo arriving in the U.S. is not as traceable as one might expect in today’s high-tech, information-driven transportation environment.
    With ocean cargoes, the freight forwarder receives an arrival notice from the carrier, which lists the salient details of the shipment’s location in the U.S. seaport for pickup. That’s not the case with air freight in most cases.
    It is highly unlikely that you’ll receive written details about your import and its location, let alone the payment terms and conditions. It is up to the forwarder on the master air waybill to hunt down the imported cargo’s location, availability and payment terms and conditions.
    What is most concerning for forwarders is that there are no tariffs available that detail the charges applied and, in particular, how and when storage fees are assessed.
    Unlike European airports, which generally publish tariffs, the U.S. market is void of tariffs. It is this lack of transparency, which not only frustrates the situation of attempting to recover your imports from the airport, but unfairly adds costs one must pay without evidence of the true charge verification.
   Very few airlines serving the U.S. import market today provide advance details on tariff rates, terms and conditions. Rates typically are communicated over the phone or sometimes by email, if you’re fortunate to have contact with an agent willing to write them down.
    U.S. forwarders must make their freight payments online. Even then the airline may advise they “do not see” your payment, turn your truck driver away and force your cargo into storage, which again is not advertised and bears an unexpected cost.
    In general, the forwarder on behalf of its U.S. customer must remain in constant contact with the airline or its agent and navigate through the hurdles of uncertainty until the cargo is retrieved.
    A good first step to correct this inherent problem in the industry would be to require all U.S. airport cargo facilities that assess fees for handling and storage to list the “actual” fees on their websites. This will not only make transparent the applied costs but afford forwarders and their customers the opportunity to select airlines based on their advertised services and fees.
   
Gruettner is president of Lakewood, Calif.-based Extra Logistics and has managed both ocean and air freight for more than 35 years.

There’s a lot more accidents out there happening as a result of the lack of infrastructure investment in this country.

The FBX, a global container freight index measuring spot rates on major global trades, had an overall reading of $1,342 per FEU as of June 14, down 1.5% from a week prior, but up 3.4% from a year prior.

Most Popular
Latest News
Social Media

Loading...

Panalpina in talks with Agility as DSV sweetens its offer

Panalpina in talks with Agility as DSV sweetens its offer

Embed this story

Share Code Version 1

This version will embed the story headline and includes HTML fallback protection, ensuring the story will display even if some users decide to disable javascript in their browsers.

Copy & Paste the following code to embed this story on your website:

Preview

Commentary: Stop flying backward on U.S. air imports

U.S. freight forwarders are frustrated by the lack of details from the airlines about their arrived imports, let alone the payment terms and conditions.

on Feb 13, 2019AmericanShipper.com

Share Code Version 2

This version will embed the story headline without any styling applied. Use this version if you will use your own custom styling on your website. This version also includes HTML fallback protection.

Copy & Paste the following code to embed this story on your website:

Preview

Commentary: Stop flying backward on U.S. air imports

U.S. freight forwarders are frustrated by the lack of details from the airlines about their arrived imports, let alone the payment terms and conditions.

on Feb 13, 2019AmericanShipper.com