by Mike Weiner 


What is your monthly/quarterly logistics spend?

What is the % breakdown between modes and services – express, trucking, air, ocean, brokerage, other?

Where can I increase value from our service providers?

Where can I streamline my processes?

Who are our internal logistics buyers/users?

Can I locate a provider who will manage my requirements?

Can I simplify my documentation process?

How can I review my documentation needs?

Does our sales team understand logistics?

Does our sales team understand their terms of sale as they relate to logistics?

Are our goods insured – do they need to be?

Do we have proper information reference material on file – Migra guides ??

Are our products fit to be exported – properly packed?

What is the typical timeline from production to export from plant and/or supplier once order is placed and business is committed?

What is the communication process that occurs internally within your company from initial research/planning to production to logistics sourcing?

Do these processes function independently?

Is there a process whereby all parties internally know what is in your production pipeline so logistics can be proactively managed and sourced well in advance?

Are logistics invoices received with back up?

Are logistics invoices correct?

Are quotations received back in timely fashion?

Do you give your logistics providers enough time to properly quote you?

Do you have a program in place to determine origin and destination logistics and export/import clearance formalities?

Do you know who your end user is for security purposes?

Do you have a list of commodities shipped with proper hs codes for customs classification?

Do you regularly audit these classifications to determine if any changes have occurred which could affect rates of duty at destination?

Are quotations received understandable?

Do quotations provide you with the information needed to make your decisions?

Do quotations, transit time, and carriers? Is transit time included? Best and worst case scenarios?

Are you paying what you think you should?

Is your service provider reliable and knowledgeable?

Do you regularly audit and review logistics cost, procedures?

What is your timeline when going to your logistics provider for quotes – planning, immediate need, for budgetary purposes only?

Do you know your INCOTERMS? Transfer of risk, obligations, visibility of cost? Who do INCTOTERMS benefit? Buyer or seller? Are responsibilities understood by each party in the transaction?

Do you have a transparent rate-plus relationship with your logistics provider?

Full set of documents sent to your buyer before exportation to seek approval?

Documentation reviewed prior to shipping to avoid clearance delays?

Does your broker have full itemized list of your commodities plus harmonized system codes for proper duty and tax assessments? Do you have on file?

What are your most challenging issues?

Do you utilize consolidated logistics purchasing?

Do you have a customs compliance department? Why should you have one? Major risk of fines and penalties?

Do you prepare documents in the language of the country of destination for customs clearance ease? Hoping this may give you a taste of logistics needs for an internationally active company. Logistics is sometimes an afterthought to the sale; I hope this gives you some added tools to support and proactively manage issues before they become challenges.

Your logistics goals should be defined and reviewed, addressing “hot spots” with well developed solutions.

-share info, build relationships-


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