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How to Dance Your Way Through the New US – M – C – A

After nearly 25 years, on July 1, 2020, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be officially replaced by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Now that the implementation of the USMCA has arrived, it is more important than ever to make sure you and your supply chain are ready for the changes. These modifications will […]

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Food for Thought: Are Your Section 301 Exclusions Approaching Their Expiration Date?

As of May 27, 2020, the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has published 32 rounds of Section 301 exclusions covering Lists 1, 2, 3 and 4a products. The exclusions include more than 2,000 possible items that, if produced in Mainland China and imported into the United States, may be eligible for an exclusion from the […]

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6 Real Tips for New Importers Entering eCommerce

Whether you’re a crowd-funding startup, or a first time seller on one of Amazon’s multi-national programs, it is easy to see that ecommerce is changing the way we purchase – and fast. Rapidly expanding markets with “limitless” opportunities; who wouldn’t want to take the plunge?  But beware the dangers that lurk beneath the surface – […]

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Margie Shapiro’s Annual Review and Outlook for 2017

JOC’s Annual Review and Outlook outlines the major challenges, opportunities and trends in the global transportation and logistics industry via reports from the editorial staff and insight from the industry’s top players. Major segments highlighted include maritime, trucking, rail and intermodal, air cargo, government and logistics. Contributors have years of experience and range from CEOs […]

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Beware of Customs Bearing Gifts: Informed Compliance Letters!

It’s the ole’ Trojan horse scenario. Just when you think Customs is being helpful sending out Informed Compliance Letters to your business with information to “assist” your company with ensuring compliance, they will state in the document that since this information has been provided to your company, violations that may occur in the future could […]

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The Secrets of Importing Your Amazon Product – Q&A!

If you are (or plan to be) an Amazon seller importing physical goods from overseas, we hope you took some time watch our Secrets of Importing Your Amazon Product WEBINAR hosted by Shapiro’s very own FBA Manager, Nicola Phillips Malaney. In case you didn’t get your fill of logistics goodness during the webinar, we’re back to […]

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Examining the Issue (Part Deux): Customs Inspection Questions Answered!

NO!  WHY ME?! Just a few phrases you may use when a shipment gets pulled for a customs examination, or if you’ve been in this industry long enough, it’s more like a slew of curse words that you wouldn’t dare speak in front of your mom. But don’t worry, Shapiro is here to clear things up. […]

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Margie Shapiro’s Annual Outlook 2016: The State of Logistics

JOC’s Annual Review and Outlook outlines the major challenges, opportunities and trends in the global transportation and logistics industry via reports from the editorial staff and insight from the industry’s top players. Major segments highlighted include maritime, trucking, rail and intermodal, air cargo, government and logistics. Contributors have years of experience and range from CEOs […]

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The Proof is in the Pudding: The Importance of Manifest Confidentiality

Imagine you are back in 4th grade and happen to be the pudding czar of the elementary school’s most lucrative snack trade (you know; pudding for just about anything – mostly lunch money – strawberry Gusher’s for Cheetos, those little fudge elf cookies for string cheese and everything else that falls within the trade; don’t […]

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Congress Finally Acts FAST on America’s Infrastructure

On Friday, December 4th, a decade-long congressional standoff on federal transportation funding came to an end with the signing of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act by President Obama. The landmark legislation allocates $305 billion dollars to America’s multimodal transportation network over the next five years, a marked change from the short-term one to two […]

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The Short and Long of the 2015 Sea Freight Market

Like many of you, I just saw The Big Short and was appropriately shocked and sickened by the greed, the fraud, the cynicism, and the strong feeling that history will simply repeat itself in the coming years. And, just to brighten this blog a bit, let me add that I was also amazed that the […]

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How Truckers Became an Endangered Species

“The cargo has been discharged, but we are still looking for an available a trucker.” No phrase is more petrifying for an importer who has already had to deal with the stress and interruptions of port strikes, chassis shortages, and airport congestion delays that have become the ‘norm’ when bringing goods into the U.S. While […]

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2015 Holiday Peak Season Has Ocean Carriers Seeing Red

After a busy 2014 and first quarter of 2015, ocean carriers are having a very unhappy holiday peak season.  Poor bets on future economic growth, new infrastructure, increased vessel capacity, and importer inventory trends have created a shipping environment with excess supply and dwindling demand. How did the shipping industry, which was enjoying record profits […]

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3 Common Causes for Air Cargo Split Shipments

Have you tracked your air shipment and found that only 23 cartons of 100 arrived? Or, maybe you’ve heard this popular message from one of the larger air carriers, “your shipment has been split for more efficient transportation.” More efficient? For whom?  Split Shipments occur when an air carrier transports cargo covered under a single […]

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6 Tips to Avoid Demurrage and Per Diem Detention Charges

If you’re like most importers or exporters, you probably shuddered when reading the subject line. Oh, the horror of receiving an unexpected bill showing demurrage, detention, or per diem!  Not only did you not plan for those fees, you may not be completely certain of the cause for such charges. Well, I’m here to set […]

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The Anatomy of a Perfect Commercial Invoice: 11.5 Point Checklist

Importing can be tough.  There are so many rules and regulations for importers to keep track of that it can be easy to forget all of the information that’s required for a Customs entry.  One of the most important documents brokers need for writing entries is the commercial invoice.  Without an invoice, we would have […]

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A Straightforward Explanation of How the Chinese New Year Affects your Logistics, No Matter What your Zodiac Sign Is

It snuck up on you, didn’t it?  Much like the dreaded summer bathing suit season – the one you keep saying you’ll start that diet for next week – that time of the year has arrived.  Maybe it was the gestational holiday season when you gained 15 pounds from fruit cake alone, or the collective sigh […]

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Nine Reasons Why Buying Your Imports on CIF Terms Is Too Good to Be True

I understand that the temptation to buy on a Cost, Insurance & Freight (CIF) basis is very hard to resist. After all, isn’t it so much easier? When you don’t have to coordinate with a freight forwarder and don’t have to negotiate freight rates, all you have to do is to wait for the vessel […]

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Importer Security Filing: 7 ISF Best Practices You Shouldn’t Ignore

The Importer Security Filing (ISF) began in January 2009 with a one-year introductory phase-in period. Full enforcement began in January 2010, but Customs and Border Protection (CBP) maintained a flexible and measured enforcement stance. Penalty guidelines were published in July 2009, but Customs held off doing anything until July 2013 when they announced they would […]

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A Wine Enthusiast’s Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Importing Wine

As a lover of all wines good and as a budding hobbyist and neophyte collector of Italian (Piedmont, Tuscany, and Umbria regions),  French (Rhone region), Spanish (Murcia and Rioja regions), and Washington State (Columbia Valley) varietals, I can’t seem to get enough of the culture, industry personalities, and business mechanics of my new found passion.  […]

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