June 20, 2021
The latest news, company announcements, DGX events and industry-position posts.

Why is my international shipment delayed?

May 11, 2021

In the commercial shipping industry we’re often at the mercy of nature and humankind as a course of business. Starting well over a year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic is by far causing more unprecedented disruptions to the infrastructure of global transportation and logistics than experienced in contemporary times.

The continuing spread of the virus and the mitigation strategies to prevent further spread have caused extraordinary delays in the global transportation supply chain including:

  • Heavy port congestion
  • Person power shortages
  • Trucking shortages
  • Warehouse delays
  • Labor disruptions
  • Cargo surges from big ships
  • Infrastructure needs
  • Marine terminal productivity
  • Increased volumes
  • Equipment shortages

As an international asset-based provider, DGX-Dependable Global Express has access to more and accurate reporting from our global hubs than might be reported elsewhere. Some of our overseas directors report the following information which we encourage you to report out further across your company and within your network:

Shipping to and from China:

  • Lack of space due to major surge of import volumes into the US
  • Increased lead times for bookings
  • Port congestion
  • Vessel and ship delays
  • Major increases in freight rates
Shipping to and from Japan:
  • Serious lack of equipment at all ports
  • Lack of space due to export vessel delays
  • Increased lead times for bookings
  • Lack of available trucking
  • Substantial increases in freight rates
Shipping to and from Singapore:

  • Equipment shortages
  • Lack of space in warehouses in Singapore
  • Port congestion
  • Increased lead times for bookings
Shipping to and from Australia:
  • Port congestion and related capacity constraints
  • Overflow of empty containers
  • Increased lead times for bookings
  • Substantial increases in freight rates
  • Vessel schedule changes
Shipping to and from New Zealand:
  • Port congestion
  • Vessels being pulled from rotation by major carriers
  • Major increases in freight rates
  • Increased lead times for bookings

These shipping and logistic issues—along with rail and ramp delays—mirror the current transportation situation in the US.

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve had to work extra closely with our US and international customers to help navigate the unforeseen short and long-term challenges. With our years of experience and extensive network in the shipping industry, we’re slowly but surely helping them to be successful.

Our approach:

  • We strategize with our customers on a case-by-case, shipment-to-shipment basis for shipping and logistics.

  • We take a flexible approach to sea freight, switching origin and destination ports when more optimal, and creating new inland routing scenarios or alternatives.

  • We’ve pivoted FCL (Full Container Load) shipments to LCL (Less-than Container Load) in certain cases, and rebooking later FCLs.

  • We closely monitor booking lead times for all ports and make adjustments as needed.

  • For time sensitive freight, we implement airfreight options.

  • We have a “hands-on” approach to managing the door delivery of your goods.

  • We stay on top of trucking shortages or delays and make fast changes as needed.

  • We encourage our customers to purchase very cost-effective insurance for all shipments and can even provide insurance quotes and details upon request. Securing marine cargo insurance has become even more critical in light of the recent surge in cargo vessels in peril.

DGX will guide you through these temporary challenges as we look toward to the future in 2021 and 2022. As part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer, DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning.For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 ext. 2011 or email us to get started today.

Resource for port related information can be found here.


What are Incoterms and how do I choose the right ones for international freight shipping?

March 10, 2021
Before considering ocean and air shipping internationally, it's crucial to understand Incoterms, the internationally recognized set of rules that define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers at each transportation touchpoint along the way.

Created by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Incoterms are widely-used terms of sale covering all aspects of commercial shipping. They stipulate the parties responsible for paying for and managing specific shipments, related actions and undertakings for each leg of the shipment including who pays for insurance, customs clearance, documentation, ancillary transportation cost and other logistical activities.

Familiarizing yourself with Incoterms will help to make your shipments go smoothly and avoid extra headaches and expense.

The seven Incoterms 2020 rules for any mode of transport are: 
  • EXW - Ex Works (named place of delivery): The seller makes the goods available at their premises, or at another named place.
  • FCA - Free Carrier (named place of delivery): The seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, at a named place (possibly including the seller's own premises).
  • CPT - Carriage Paid To (named place of destination): The seller pays for the carriage of the goods up to the named place of destination.
  • CIP - Carriage and Insurance Paid To (named place of destination): This term is broadly similar to the above CPT term, with the exception that the seller is required to obtain insurance for the goods while in transit.
  • DAP - Delivered at Place (named place of destination): The seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination.
  • DPU - Delivered at Place Unloaded (named place of destination): This Incoterm requires that the seller delivers the goods, unloaded, at the named place of destination.
  • DDP - Delivered Duty Paid (named place of destination): Seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the named place in the country of the buyer, and pays all costs in bringing the goods to the destination including import duties and taxes.
The four Incoterms 2020 rules for Sea and Inland Waterway Transport are: 
  • FAS - Free Alongside Ship (insert name of port of loading)
  • FOB - Free on Board (insert named port of loading)
  • CFR - Cost and Freight (insert named port of destination)
  • CIF - Cost Insurance and Freight (insert named port of destination)
The DGX International Pricing manager highlights the importance of becoming familiar with incoterms:

“Not understanding different Incoterms can end up costing the customer large amounts of money. As an example, booking a shipment as DAP when the correct terms should be DDP can have catastrophic consequences. The consignee may not be fully aware of their responsibility to clear Customs and may not meet import requirements timely or at all.

Additionally, they may be caught unprepared to cover applicable duties, taxes and other custom related fees. Delays in customs clearance may result in extra charges incurred and can even lead to the unclaimed cargo being seized by Customs authorities. Storage/demurrage fees charged by the port terminals and detention fees assessed by the ocean carriers can quickly add up and may amount to thousands of dollars. These charges are ultimately the responsibility of the shipper.”

The Import manager for DGX agrees:

“From an import point of view, the consignee should always verify with their seller the terms of the shipment at the time of purchasing the product. This will ensure the consignee knows exactly what they're paying for - whether it is just the product itself or the product and possibly part of the shipping costs.

Discussing the Incoterms with the seller should arm the consignee with a clear understanding of their obligations from the beginning. This knowledge will help avoid surprise fees once the cargo arrives at the destination. When incoterms are not discussed and agreed on ahead of time, it can create confusion and delays.”

While making sure Incoterms are agreed upon by all parties is ultimately the responsibility of the seller, DGX-Dependable Global Express is well-versed in logistics matters and ready to lend a hand with the details surrounding your shipment.

As part of the personalized attention provided every customer, DGX assigns a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning. For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011 or email us.

An overview of the 2020 version of Incoterms is available here on our website. For more detailed information, visit here.You may also request a free Incoterms wallchart for ease of reference here.

What is the outlook for shipping and logistics to and from the Philippines?

February 15, 2021

With the worst global pandemic in 100 years, many challenges face shipping and logistics to and from the Philippines.

There have always been regional logistics challenges, isolated and unique to those regions. However, for the past 11 months, the pandemic has created a global set of challenges that almost every major port in the world is experiencing. The Philippines is no exception. Current challenges include:

  • Very high rates
  • Congestion
  • Longer transit times
  • Blank sailings
  • Aircraft taken offline
  • Lack of equipment

Regarding Imports to the Philippines, since the quarantine period began, there have been delays such as:

  • The unpredictable arrival of vessels
  • Customs
  • Delayed issuance of the invoices and/or delivery orders
  • Internet connection problems/issues
  • Limited labor force

The customs clearance process which took no more than two days before the pandemic is now averaging four to five days. This time frame is affected by the limited workforce. Some positive news, there have been recent improvements by the Philippines BOC (Bureau of Customs) including the hiring of more customs officials and the new e-customs clearance system. However, the clearance process still requires additional improvements and refinements to speed and automate the process.

Other shipping issues in the Philippines include issues with operations:

  • Irregular or no flight schedules do to closed offline global airports
  • Some airlines currently are not flying out of Cebu or Manila
  • Some airlines are not offering express rates
  • Space availability
  • Equipment shortages with ocean shipping lines
  • Some ocean carriers are not accepting bookings or they cancel bookings due to "non acceptance" at origin/destination for lack of space and/or trans-ship hub congestion
  • Some air carriers, ocean carriers and consolidators may not communicate any delay notices departures or delays in transit
  • Carriers may change originally scheduled vessels in trans-ship ports, resulting in longer transit times
  • Delayed connecting flights
  • Perishable goods may not be prioritized and spoilage is a problem
  • Advance export/import clearance processing is no longer allowed in the Philippines, due to the recent misdeclaration of an endangered species shipment that was exported from PH and was found to have no proper documents in Singapore

Port Problem and Factors

  • Many ports are also experiencing delays due to inefficiencies, including shortages of the proper crane and other equipment or inadequate port space
  • Shortage of port and airport personnel due to Covid-19 pandemic
  • Lack of communications with airlines and shipping lines. For shippers and forwarders this challenge is very time-consuming and slows up processing. Most cp numbers are not working or out of reach. Customer service is poor since many are working at home without the level of supervision we have seen in “normal” times

We see in the future that shipping will be experiencing delays and failures globally and in the Philippines. These delays and lack of communication affect us all.

We find that freight forwarding companies are in a critical stage today as they need to be competitive, adaptive, and much more. We are all now adjusting to the “new” normal.

We predict that for both Air and Ocean shipping, rates and expenses will continue to be high. We have found peak season and arbitrary surcharges being charged by most of the ocean carriers. Some of these increases seem to be generating profits, possibly making up for some of the huge losses the carriers absorbed when the market had overcapacity and extremely low rates.

Currently, the ability to purchase container space on a vessel becomes a herculean task. Securing space on “next vessel” sailing, even after you get a rate quote, is maybe a 50/50 chance at best. The likelihood is that bookings for container space will be pushed out three or four weeks. 

Additionally, rate guarantees are shorter. Instead of 30 days during pre-COVID-19, now it’s just two weeks. At times, surcharges are being charged and those can be changed again at time of booking.

To manage your way through many types of obstacles, please contact our DGX Philippine office for a free consultation: email us here or call us today at +63 2 7738 3359.


Why does Australian-bound cargo require fumigation for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug?

January 14, 2021

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is a pest that potentially can have a severe impact on the Australian agricultural industry if not stopped from entering the country.

The bug feeds on many different plants and can severely damage fruits, vegetables and crops. Currently the BMSB has expanded rapidly throughout Europe and North America and is causing serious damage to regional agriculture businesses.

Due to the danger of this pest for our Australian farmers, the Australian government has implemented measures to stop the beetle from arriving on its shores. 

During the BMSB season which usually runs from September to May, it is mandatory to treat certain commodities (target high-risk goods) that are manufactured in or originating from countries that are known to have the bug (target risk countries).

The following countries below have been categorized as target risk:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • France
  • Japan (heightened vessel surveillance will be the only measure applied).
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Montenegro
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America

Goods that are classed as target risk goods are not required to be treated but are subject to onshore intervention through random inspections upon arrival in Australia. Only target high-riskcommodities are mandated to be fumigated by the Australian Department of Agriculture.

There are three acceptable BMSB treatments which are:

  • Heat
  • Methyl Bromide
  • Sulfuryl Fluoride

The treatment needs to be performed by an approved treatment provider offshore or onshore. There are currently 210 approved offshore treatment providers across many countries.

The offshore treatment for break bulk cargo is mandatory and untreated break bulk cargo identified on arrival will be denied discharge and will be directed for export upon arrival.

Please note that containerized cargo FCL (full container load) and FCX full container with multiple house bills of lading) can be treated offshore or onshore.

LCL (less than container load) and FAK (freight all kinds) containers with target high risk goods are currently managed at the container level.

More details on the upcoming BMSB season can be found here.

DGX-Dependable Global Express highly recommends that if your goods fall under the target high-risk group and come from a target risk country you get your goods fumigated at origin to avoid delays and extra costs upon arrival. As in previous seasons, DGX’s USA to Australia FAKs will be treated by an approved treatment provider at origin. 

Should you need advice or consultation regarding the BMSB measures, call on the professionals at DGX. Email us, reach out to your local office or call toll free in the USA at 1-888-488-4888 and we can help you.

DGX specializes in international ocean and air freight and offers a unique package of end-to-end shipping services.


Consider shipping cargo via International Courier Services to Australia

December 14, 2020

Due to the current pandemic and the closure of international borders, the majority of airlines have grounded their fleets. This has left the Australian airfreight market with an extremely limited number of flights, reducing the space available for cargo; and with exuberantly high freight rates.

Some air cargo is being converted to sea freight to avoid the high airfreight costs. However for urgent orders, the transit time is often not timely or feasible.

But not to lose hope, we've found an alternative for you to consider: International Courier Service. It's a great alternative we offer our DGX customers who need to move time sensitive orders to Australia. The costs compared to airfreight are competitive, goods face fewer delays than the remaining airfreight services, and they have a shorter transit time than sea freight.

International Courier Service won't work for all shippers due to the strict limits on package sizes and weights. But for smaller orders that are time critical, this method of international delivery is working quite well in the current environment.

DGX-Dependable Global Express is a full service international freight forwarder offering a comprehensive range of shipping services, including International Courier Service. If you need assistance, please reach out to your local office, email us, or call toll free at 1-800-488-4888, and we can help.


Sydney Port Congestion: Empty Container Parking and Vessel Delays

September 30, 2020

The port of Sydney, Australia is currently experiencing severe congestion. The congestion has been caused by multiple factors including industrial actions and bad weather. As a result, the congestion has caused significant vessel delays, Sydney port omissions and change of vessel rotations.

Due to an increase in costs, ocean carriers have introduced a Sydney Port Congestion surcharge of USD 280-350 per TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent) for any cargo to or from Sydney. 

Unfortunately, this surcharge also means that LCL (Less Than Container) rates will increase by USD 13 w/m for cargo to or from Sydney.

The ongoing issues have prompted shipping line Maersk to temporarily cease accepting any bookings to Sydney until at least Thursday, October 1, 2020.

With this port congestion, Sydney is also currently facing a problem with their empty container depots which have reached their capacities. Some have closed their doors for dehiring or returning empty containers.  

It’s estimated there is currently an imbalance of approximately 30,000 TEU in Sydney. Under normal circumstances these containers would have been re-used or repositioned to Asia. But with a variety of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping lines have not been able to move out enough empties to alleviate the congestion. 

Many importers are currently facing extra detention charges as their transport companies are unable to dehire containers in a timely manner. It’s anticipated shipping lines will dedicate some export vessels to reposition empty containers throughout October and/or November to hopefully solve this problem. 

Should you need advice or consultation regarding any of these measures, the experienced shipping and logistics professionals at DGX stand ready to help. We offer a unique package of shipping services. Please email us, reach out to your local office or call toll free in the USA 1-800-488-4888 and we can help you. 

We specialize in international ocean and air freight shipping since 1999.


How to ship by air during the Covid-19 pandemic?

September 24, 2020

For shipping, the Covid-19 virus has changed the ways of doing business. It’s more complicated. There are many restrictions. And although some restrictions are being lifted slowly, almost everyone is faced with the problem of how to get orders from suppliers to consumers in a timely manner.

Globally, airlines are in a difficult position with many international borders still closed for passengers. Much of the air freight cargo travels traditionally on commercial passenger flights and they carry products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables, retail inventories, pharmaceuticals, clothing, spare parts, machinery and much more.

While commercial passenger flights still remain grounded, many airlines today are providing “cargo only” flights or “freighter aircraft” services. These flights carry freight only and are able to move across international borders and provide a solution for time-critical supply chains. The shift made by airlines from traditional passenger flights to providing cargo-only flights has been a welcomed change, helping to increase air cargo capacity and move time-sensitive goods.

Cargo-only flights differ from regular passenger flights in several ways and have a big impact on the costs of using dedicated cargo planes:

  • Cargo only flights operate on a limited schedule as compared to passenger flights, operating perhaps only 2-4 times per week.
  • The cost to use this service is higher since it is a specialized aircraft and there are no passengers to cover the fuel/operating costs.

At DGX, we research the chapest and most reliable options for shipping overseas based on needs and priorities. If you are experiencing problems or delays with your domestic transport, please reach out to our experienced customer service team.Contact us at your local office, email us or call toll free 1-800-488-4888 (US only) and we can help you.


Need export shipping advice to Japan?

July 31, 2020
Here are specific shipping and logistics export tips for entering the Japanese market from an experienced shipping company.
  1. Proper and appropriate use of the Japanese language is critical to success.
    Communicating properly in Japanese is essential to connecting with local business partners and their target consumers in both person-to-person communications as well as promotional materials. If, for instance, you want to move the import process along quickly and successfully, you must make sure product labeling and requirements are written in proper Japanese language and abide by government regulations.

    Being respectful of the Japanese culture is a fundamental requirement for companies wanting to build a trusting relationship with their Japanese partners. The Japanese society is complex in nature--including unwavering respect for age, both hierarchical and group-oriented.  In addition to delivering high quality products and services expediently, be prepared to invest the time necessary to build long-term relationships with your Japanese partners.

  2. It’s important to have an understanding of import procedures and formalities.
    When exporting to Japan, documentation and procedures are critical. Notably:

      Successful exporting to Japan - DGX blog
    • Shipping and import formalities start with the lodging of an import declaration and end with the issuance of an import permit after the necessary examination and payment of Customs duty and excise tax.

    • Any person wishing to import goods must declare them to the Director-General of Customs and obtain an import permit after the necessary examination of the goods.

    • Correct packing, proper marking and labeling are critical to a smooth customs clearance in Japan, as noted above.

    • The value of working with an experienced freight forwarder and customs specialists will save time, money and stress; and help assure success from the beginning.

  3. Shipping documents are required for customs clearance in Japan.
    Export shipping advice - DGX blogShipping documents include standard shipping documents—a commercial invoice and a packing list—as well as an original, signed bill of lading or air waybill, if shipped by air.

    Each line item on the commercial invoice should be as descriptive as possible, and the packing list should include detailed contents and measurements of each container, including the gross and net weights of each package or pallet. And finally, the Japanese Measurement Law requires that all weights and measures on a packing list be in Metric System values.

Today, DGX and our customers are all facing extremely challenging pandemic-caused issues. We are being called upon like never before to support new and loyal customers with their supply chain needs. 

If you want to begin an export business to Japan, please contact our DGX customer service team to get competitive rate quotes and help with the entire process by reaching out to your local office or calling toll free 1-800-488-4888. We offer full-service international ocean, plus domestic and global air freight shipping and logistics services, and have been doing so for over 20 years.


What impact is COVID-19 having on shipping to Australia?

June 26, 2020
As a long-time global freight forwarder, we're seeing first-hand the primary effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on air and ocean freight shipping into Australia. These include:
  • Freight shipping delays
  • Lags in pickups
  • Multiple changes to flights
In addition to the rather stringent Australian import requirements, the government-mandated COVID-19 safe practices such as temperature checks, hand sanitizing and social distancing; are without a doubt significantly slowing down our industry resulting in a number of never-before-seen circumstances for our customers.

All Transportation Sectors Affected
Once on the Australian mainland, the new social distancing laws and hygiene regulations are causing major delays with transit pickup and delivery of freight because truckers can’t make as many deliveries and pickups in one day as they could have done previously.

The eCommerce sector of carton and pallet freight has been experiencing massive delays as well due to the high volume of online orders from people staying at home during the lock down. Suppliers are struggling to revise their production and delivery systems to meet the higher demand. 

DGX Shipping to Australia Fall/Summer 2020 during COVID-19 pandemicTransport and third-party logistics companies are also facing a variety of problems while trying to accommodate the abnormally high volume. A core issue is the reduced staff  allowed within the warehouses in order to meet new guidelines which is resulting in lower efficiency due to fewer workers to pick and pack the goods for delivery.

In the air freight sector, a majority of domestic commercial flights are being cancelled creating a major disruption in overnight delivery service and distribution to Australian capitals--such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne--and regional hubs. Of the remaining flights into Australia, the majority are now allocated to the capitals, leaving the regional hubs to be serviced by road freight. As a result, overnight transit is becoming multiple-day transit causing even more delays and increased costs for regional businesses.

DGX Can Help
Founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express, a transportation company founded originally in 1950, DGX has been helping commercial shippers navigate the global shipping and logistics waters and airways for many decades. And now, faced with the extremely challenging pandemic-caused issues, we find ourselves being called upon like never before to support our customers with their supply chain needs.

If you are experiencing problems or delays with your domestic transport to Australia (or anywhere else in the world for that matter), please visit our Australia locations page and contact us for options and pricing. You can also call us Toll Free in the U.S. at 1-800-488-8888, or email our Australian specialist here


What factors to consider when deciding whether to ship by air in 2020?

April 29, 2020

Air shipping is rapidly becoming a more popular method of shipping goods as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In life or death situations such as those for vital emergency operations domestically and abroad, the expediency of shipping by air freight can make all the difference in meeting urgent deadlines. When fast, safe, and dependable delivery of vital supplies is a must, then air shipping provides the speed of movement in hours vs days or weeks, to any operation globally.

The impact of COVID-19 is great. The pandemic has turned freight forwarders like DGX into first responders, responsible for getting essential supplies and products into the hands of the front-line responders worldwide.

Shipping costs have risen exponentially due to factors beyond the freight carrier’s control. A vast majority of global air cargo is flown on passenger aircraft. As flights have been cancelled, capacity has diminished, creating an environment where some passenger airlines are contracting charters to fly cargo only. Turning a passenger aircraft into a full cargo operator comes at a higher cost as there are no passengers to offset the operating costs of the flight.

Unwittingly, the sense of urgency has multiplied the complexities of the supply chain all across the world. We urge you to consider using an experienced domestic and international freight forwarder to simplify and untangle the myriad of logistical challenges that we are experiencing like no other time in history.

Since 2003, DGX-Dependable Global Express has been helping customers navigate the complexities of the air shipping and delivery process. With extensive experience in global air freight shipping, we keep our customers thoroughly informed and updated every step of the way, offering a unique package of comprehensive shipping services: air freight, ocean freight, logistics, warehousing & distribution, trucking and more.

If you need assistance, please reach out to your local office or call us toll free 1-800-488-4888 and we can help you.


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