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PCB Freight Management’s logistics blog is a valuable resource for shippers, carriers, industry professionals and other supply chain partners navigating global trade. With the many regulations governing trade, it aims to help readers lower their freight costs, increase shipping efficiencies, address industry issues and manage their logistics activities. Several leading experts serve as blog columnists covering topics from freight, compliance and transportation to 3PL trends and warehousing.

How Smart Importers use Multiport Strategy to Mitigate Freight Risk

Containers Stacked In Port


In March of 2012, a Senior VP of supply chain made his first trip to Vancouver. He appreciated the March break from the East Coast winter. However, his purpose was to find a solution for his shipping problem. He needed to get over 100 40’ containers off of the Vancouver port and to their U.S. destinations.

The Freight Problem

The containers were grounded and stuck due to massive congestion caused by the longshoreman strike affecting the U.S. West Coast ports. Thousands of additional containers were discharged in the ports of Vancouver during the two-week job action, causing the port to become overwhelmed. Eventually, terminals stopped discharging ships to avoid making a bad situation much worse.

The Freight Solution

At the time the executive surmised that moving forward, it would be a good idea for his company to spread their 25,000 plus containers from Asia per year over a greater number of ports. The very next year, in addition to routing over U.S. South and East Coasts, they routed over Vancouver to reach U.S. West Coast and Midwest markets. Transit times were comparable and acceptable.

The Benefits of Using Multiple Ports

By spreading their ocean freight shipments over several ports, the company reduced dwell time risks, not only limited to recurring labor issues, but also due to congestion, rail car shortages, and bad weather. The greatest risk to any supply chain is having one of the links in the chain cutoff. A port strike, trucker disruption, or rail car shortage can turn into a nightmare for importers potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and contractual fines. By building several and diverse links, you can manage your risk.

PCB Freight Management Can Help

Whether you ship 100 containers each year or 10,000, a well planned multiport strategy will reduce your risk. PCB Freight Management can assist you with all of your freight forwarding needs, including implementing a multiport strategy to mitigate your freight import risk.
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