Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Overlooked Aspect of Exporting……Packaging…

Guest Blogger Sara E Scarfo, Bentley World Packaging
There are many positive and rewarding aspects to exporting products overseas. However, many companies can find themselves in a costly situation if they have not considered the complete supply chain.  A largely overlooked cost in exporting overseas is the packaging of your product.  Failure to understand the importance of proper packaging can cause damage to the product, misrouting of the package in transit, and ultimately delay in delivery to your customer. We will discuss three areas of concern when shipping a product overseas whether by ocean or air.
The first area of concern is the rust and corrosion factor. The cost of damage through corrosion is estimated at $300 billion per year in the US. Of this 35% or $104 billion is avoidable. Of that, $20 billion occurs in the exporting of goods.  Causes of corrosion can be tracked to moisture contacting metal through salt spray, acid rain, and condensation from sudden changes in temperature or humidity.  Other contaminates contacting the metal from recycled corrugated or adhesives in plywood or other processed wood products also lend to creating a corrosion issue.  However, these can be avoided. There are multiple options in protecting a product from corrosion. These include permanent and temporary coatings, vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) films, VCI emitters, and desiccants. One of these options or a combination can safe guard a metal product from potential damage.
Through the actual movement of goods, the shock, vibration and multiple handling aspects of transit can cause minimal to severe damage of a good.  Care needs to be taken to properly package against repeat rough handling as well as stacking and storage in a warehouse, container, or plane.  If your product is travelling by ocean, a ship has the potential of travelling up to 70 feet with each complete roll; as often as 7 to 10 times per minute depending on the seas. Whether your product is packaged in a container or travelling break-bulk, extreme care needs to be taken to ensure the product is safe from outside damage as well as being secured inside the crate. Product that is not secured inside a crate properly can cause extensive damage by shooting out of the crate and damage anything in its path as a ship may be pitching, swaying, or rolling.
Lastly, shippers must be cognizant of wood packing material restrictions when shipping overseas. Wood packing materials consist of pallets, boxes, and container blocking and bracing. Lumber must be Heat Treated, only plywood, OSB, and processed wood is exempt. Boxes, skids, and container blocking (dunnage) have to be stamped with the IPPC Mark.  These stamps are an indicator that the packer is in compliance with the ISPM-15 regulations. These stamps can only originate from the packer.  This process is controlled so the lumber can be tracked and ensured to meet regulations.
The check off of the above considerations when shipping a product overseas can prevent delays or damage in the long run and ensure a safe and timely delivery to your client. Costs associated with packaging can vary greatly upon the weight and size of the product, types of parts/metals, type of transportation and expected storage time. It is best to consult an experienced packaging company to further understand a cost structure for packaging.
Quick Tips:
1.       Domestic Packaging and Truck loading Techniques are NOT adequate for Ocean Shipping and Container Loading
2.       Read your order carefully to understand if special packaging and markings are REQUIRED or if there is a requirement for long term storage.
3.       Keep accurate records of package contents for reference and correlation to exporting packing list
4.       Take photos to show professional packaging was employed should there be a damage or loss claim to be filed.

Contact Information: 
Sara E Scarfo
Business Development Manager
Cell: 443-977-7446
Office: 410-483-6250
Fax: 410-483-6254

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Successful "Bringing the World to YOU!" Event

Posted by Tina

September 14 was a busy day for everyone at the WTC as we hosted 20 of Pennsylvania’s Overseas Trade Representatives for a day of one-on-one company appointments, networking and learning opportunities.


We scheduled over 130 individual company meetings throughout the day, offering companies in southcentral PA a unique opportunity to not only learn more about Pennsylvania’s free trade
assistance program, but most importantly to meet face-to-face with the overseas trade representatives to discuss opportunities for selling their products or services abroad.


PA trade representatives traveled from around the globe to join us at the PA Farm Show Complex, hailing from the following countries:  Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UK and Vietnam.

The day started off with a well attended networking breakfast, which was sponsored by GSP Consulting.   Aaron L. Grau, Esq., Principal, COO and Director, Federal Government Affairs for GSP Consulting welcomed everyone to this year’s “Bringing the World to YOU!” event during the breakfast.
You can obviously tell from the background of the picture, that the event was held at the PA Farm Show Complex - at their new conference facilities.

Our lunch buffet featured a "PA Preferred" meal, which was amazing, followed by an equally delicious dessert reception.

The lunch program started off with welcoming remarks by PA Senator Mike Brubaker.  Senator Brubaker is recognized nationally and within the State as a strong advocate for international trade. He created and serves as chairman of the PA Senate International Commerce Caucus and was recently appointed to serve as co-chair of the Council of State Government's International Committee. 

We were honored to be joined by C. Alan Walker, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, whose presentation was called "Thinking Big...Competing in the Global Economy".  Prior to joining DCED, Mr. Walker was president and CEO of Bradford Energy Company Inc.  He also served as chairman of several boards, including the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.

Ken Yang
Our Keynote presentations focused on Social Media in International Markets, and featured  Ken Yang, Director of the Pennsylvania Trade Office in Seoul, Korea and Coco Watanabe, Director of the Pennsylvania Trade Office in Tokyo, Japan.  Their presentations focused on current use of social media in their respective countries.  Ken Yang's presentation can be accessed via this link.  Be sure to check out the youtube video of Tesco's experimental virtual subway supermarket and you may just want to try the interactive "neutragena for men" commercial via your own facebook...even if it is in Korean, you will get a kick out of it.

Ken Yang and Melissa Stiles - both very frequent "tweeps"
 We "live-tweeted" throughout the event, and you can see our twitter feed, including a lot more pictures from that day, by checking out @wtccentralpa or #piw2011 on twitter.

We would like to thank our event sponsors for their generous support of this program:

and our partner and co-host:

US-Bulgaria Chamber in America Promotes Trade & Investment Opportunities

By guest blogger Eliz Nestorov, President,US-Bulgaria Chamber in America  The recently founded U.S.-Bulgarian Chamber in America (USBGC) is ...