CV International moves toward increase in services

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Logistics  

By Gene Linn, AJOTIn the old days, being an NVOCC could be easy. “For a long time you just said (to your customers), ‘Here’s my route,’” said Ron Reighter, vice president of Norfolk-based CV International. Now, Reighter said, two big trends in the industry are shaking up the way CV International and many other NVOCCs do business. Shippers gain by being able to chose from a broader range of services. In CV International’s case, that includes an alternative route from the huge China market.
“The first and most important trend is security,” Reighter said. “US agencies are pushing responsibility to participants in international trade (including) the NVOCC industry.” This means, for example, that NVOCCs have a responsibility to know who they are doing business with, to help authorities determine who is a threat and who is not.
The second trend is consulting. “A lot of NVOCCs are getting more into international consulting,” said Reighter, who has worked for 30 years in international logistics in Asia and the US. “Instead of just providing services from port to port, for example, they are assisting in inland transportation as well.”
CV International is reacting to both of these trends by offering more services to its customers. “What differentiates us is that we consider ourselves a full-service international logistics company,” Reighter said. In the security area, that allows CV International to perform compliance audits for clients to ensure they meet US Customs regulations.
On a broader scale, the company can offer services from the beginning to the end of the supply chain. A typical shipment could involve consumer goods traveling from a factory in China to a shipper’s distribution center in the US. CV International’s client is most likely a small- to medium-sized US shipper. Reighter acknowledged that larger shippers often can negotiate favorable deals with carriers on their own; NVOCCs’ traditional role is to combine smaller shipments to gain more leverage in setting rates. NVOCCs like CV International can now do much more, however.
“We inform our agent in South China (an export processing hub), and they contact the shipper to see if the cargo is ready to move,” Reighter said. “We ask them, ‘Do you need help arranging trucking to the ocean carrier? Do you need for us to book an ocean carrier?’” CV International can also arrange insurance for the shipment and help set up a Letter of Credit to pay the manufacturer.
From that point, CV International and its agent offer to collect shipping documents and pass them on to the ocean carrier. “If there are any discrepancies, the agent tackles them there,” Reighter said. “The whole idea is that when we clear Customs in the US, there are no surprises, no delays at the port.”
When the shipment is underway, CV International’s electronic trace and tracking system allows clients to monitor the status of the cargo. The NVOCC/logistics company can handle all Customs paperwork and pay Customs duties. Then it can arrange inland transportation. “For example, if the customer wants the container to go to Charlotte, we can transport it by truck from Charleston to Charlotte,” said Reighter. The client is kept informed electronically, by email or by phone. The container can be unloaded at the distribution center, or the truck can leave the container to be picked up later.
Recently, CV International began to do more than offer a full range of logistical services: It helped blaze what Reighter called the “first of its kind” all-water route for less-than-container load (LCL) consolidation from China to Norfolk. “Most of our customers are in the East, and with the all-water route. logjams at West Coast ports and rail lines are avoided,” he said. “If a shipper has only partial container loads or multiple suppliers, we can say, ‘OK, we’ll take it to this warehouse, and our agent in Shanghai, Shenzhen or Hong Kong will do the consolidation.’”
An all-water shipment from China to the East Coast used to take about a week longer than using the “land brid

American Journal of Transportation