Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Outsourcing Opportunities

Outsourcing Opportunities

Freight forwarders

My first and only household goods moving experience was through Allied Pickfords. As a freight forwarder they handled all arrangements, packing, labelling, transportation, insurance, documentation and consolidation of three cubic metres as well as lading. However the final leg of the journey, that being in Canada, was unquoted virtually until delivery and I discovered it was cheaper to rent a truck and pick it up myself which is what I did. The disadvantages may be that comparable pricing may be difficult in foreign markets and any savings may be impossible to gain due to contracts of carriage.

Market research

My one market research experience came about by fluke as their regular desk coordinator for Asia associates was on leave. Objective view of the OEM market was assisted by my in country network of contacts and language barriers were easily overcome. Similar surveys of manufacturers were being made in other local Asian nations. Timing and flexibility determined success of research. I developed at least two long-term contacts out of the experience and have gone on to deliver intel on Latin American markets as a result. The quality of the research depends upon the quality of the survey and the time deadline required. I was lucky to deliver and have a good experience.


As a university student I worked for a lobster export business called Hall's Harbour Lobster Pound. Regular agency orders were routinely met for a company named Skyfish in France whose regional coverage at times included the QE2's cooking staff. The benefits with a good agent are regular orders which meet forecasts. However a bad agent underperforms and misrepresents the company. For example during another shipper/receiver job an east coast agent routinely forwarded poorly packed lobsters with 25-30% dead weight where an extra sheet or two of newspaper would have lowered those rates to under 10%. A bad agent is death to a good company.

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