Time to get started on Export Compliance

In previous posts I have written about export compliance as good risk management. If your company has implemented a  formal Export Management Compliance Program you have reduced risk. However, even if you have not implemented an EMCP, it is still good business practice to take some basic steps which can help reduce the risk of non compliance.  To get started I suggest the following:

  • Review and confirm correct Harmonized and Schedule B codes
  • Check CCL Commodity Control List to see if your product is listed
  • Check EAR regulations for correct exception codes and license or NLR designations
  • If exporting under ITAR you need a responsible trained officer
  • Check common “Red Flags” such as denied parties lists, entities lists, and unverified lists
  • Review export documentation for possible improvements

For help with export compliance contact mitch@

Comment on LinkedIn Article

Comment on LinkedIn article by Adrian Gonzalez :  Is XPO Logistics Biting More Than It Can Chew?

Interesting article. As Adrian points out the industry is consolidating and some 3PL’s are shifting from asset light to asset heavier. Clients would be justified in questioning their 3PL’s objectivity in selection of transportation services where the 3PL owns carriers. If the 3PL is to truly manage the outsourced logistics functions there needs to be a firewall between consulting and LTL services.

Taking the Customs Broker Exam in October?

According to CBP Customs and Border Protection passing rates for the customs brokers exam average only 3-11% nationwide.

Most people who plan to take the exam opt for some training either in a face to face class or online. I took a great class and supplemented it with my own prep process.  I estimate that I spent about 40-50 hours on weekends leading up to the exam. I used 6 previous exams and a 3 step system. In step 1 I took each test for accuracy, ignoring the clock. In step 2 I took the tests again in the same order, while timing myself to make sure I could finish within 4 hours. I believe that step 3 was the key to my success. For this phase I circled all the questions I had missed in steps 1 and 2 and created a separate mini exam which I took several times until I answered all the questions correctly. This method worked well for me. I would be happy to discuss with anyone. Good luck!

contact mitch@


Logistics Metrics…a 10,000 Foot View

From the archives..

Measuring and managing logistics performance is a full time job for logistics professionals. The volume of data can be daunting. Managers in other functions such as finance, marketing, or manufacturing may need a quick view of logistics data as it relates to their responsibilities. Here are a few general measures for the dashboard. Please let me know of others you have used. For help with logistics planning contact mitch@ .


Absolute Performance- monitor absolute logistics failures rather than averages. For example, 99.5% on time performance appears very good. However, in a high volume operation, it could mean hundreds or thousands of late orders per day.

Inventory Turnover- common measurement in asset mgt.

Order Fill Rate- customer service and warehouse productivity measurement. Can also use item, line, or value fill rate.

Warehouse Utilization %- indicator of good asset mgt.

Warehouse Productivity- measure of units received, stored, picked, packed, and shipped per hour.

Order Cycle – reduced order cycle means less inventory in the system and greater customer satisfaction. Longer order cycle means more inventory in the system and reduced customer satisfaction.

Lost Sales- inverse relationship with inventory. Higher inventory costs, lower risk of lost sales. Lower inventory costs, higher risk of lost sales.

Transportation costs- always a trade off…. bulk shipments can reduce transportation costs but leads to higher inventory levels in system. Higher transportation costs due to mode shift (air vs. ground or air vs. ocean) can reduce inventory in system by shortening the order cycle.

Commodity value- higher dollar value means increased transportation, inventory, and packaging costs.

Density of product- High density (lbs/ cubic ft or kgs/ cubic meter) means lower transportation and inventory costs since the product takes up less space in containers or warehouse.

Loss and Damage- greater susceptibility to loss or damage means higher transportation rates and higher warehousing costs due to special handling.

Location Decision- Distance from sources or markets = relative advantage or disadvantage vs. competitors. This is an upper mgt responsibility.