Are you importing to the right port?

How do you choose the best port for your imports

Choosing the best ocean port

Choosing the right port to import your products can have a great impact in both the cost of the shipment, and on the time it takes for the cargo to arrive. To choose the best, you’ll need to look at the impact of port location, freight costs, inventory costs, and last mile delivery on your scheduled time-to-market.

It takes around 34 days to ship from Hong Kong to New York, and only 20 days to ship from Hong Kong to Los Angeles (LA). How important could be this 14-day difference to you?

If you are importing from Asia into the U.S., you’ll need to decide where your containers will land: on an East Coast, Gulf Coast or West Coast port. If you import into Southern California, over-the-road (OTR) freight costs will increase from moving goods from west to east. For lower-cost commodities, you may prioritize lower freight costs over shorter ship times and elect to ship your freight direct to East Coast or Gulf Coast ports. 

But, if you’re shipping higher-value, short-shelf-life products – like seasonal clothing, for instance –, an extra 14 days of ocean transit could mean you’ll miss a portion of your selling season. For these products, a West Coast port will likely be the best solution when importing from Asia. It will save you two weeks of ocean transit time, and you can ship OTR from LA to 90% of the U.S. within five days.  

Trucking to destination

Land transportation costs are a key factor in the port selection equation. U.S. shippers and consignees are facing huge truck intermodal cost hikes. Rapid economic growth has resulted in a rise for supply chain costs.

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is also changing trucking by increasing transit times, further increasing costs.

Before ELD, single truck drivers would routinely make 450+ mile trips, being able to unload and return in a single day. With ELD, a trip that distance is pretty much impossible to do in a single day for a single driver.

Need to consult if your lanes are the best?

Even if you have a huge logistics department in your company, choosing a carrier yourself can be hard, especially since the carrier of your choice might not efficiently service the port that might work best for your supply chain.

The best solution? Working with a third-party logistics company. A good 3PL supplier can route your cargo to the best port, on the best carrier, in the best way possible.

At EP America, we personalize every shipment, considering your needs in cost-saving and the transit time that best works for your supply chain. We enable you to ship into different ports, while maintaining the costs as low as possible.

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