Employee Spotlight: Luis Brito

Luis Brito, a native of the Dominican Republic, moved to Miami, FL when he was 9 years old. As he grew into a young man in Miami, he started working and going to school for Business Administration. Luis has three kids and a wife named Margie. Luis and his family have been in Houston since March 2018.

Luis started working for Point Global Logistics in March 2021 as the Houston Branch Manager. His day-to-day duties start with providing good customer service to his existing customers, communicating with his operation team, and pursuing new business.

His favorite part of the job is talking to customers to find a solution as a team.

When Luis is not working, you can find him playing baseball with his son or cooking for his family and friends. His favorite food is “La Bandera”, a dish resembling the Dominican Republic’s flag containing white rice, red beans, stew meat, and avocado.

Thanks, Luis for telling us more about yourself and for your hard work and dedication here at Point Global Logistics.

Employee Spotlight: Baris Aytan

Born and raised on the Aegean coast of Turkey, in the city of Ayvalik, Baris Aytan came to the U.S. to pursue his undergraduate degree. After completing his Master’s degree in International Transportation Management at SUNY Maritime College in New York City, he began his career working in the logistics industry.

Baris started Point Global Logistic’s New Jersey branch where he has served as Branch Manager since March 2020. His daily tasks included a hands-on involvement in most aspects of the business from sales to procurement to bookings. “I love the fact that, when you move a wide range of commodities (finished goods and raw materials alike) to/from many different countries (economies), you have a front-row view into the world economy. What we do is basically a reflection of the current global economic landscape, and this makes it quite interesting.”

Baris is a busy professional with a young family of two girls (one three-year-old and one nine-month-old). His family also includes a Shetland Sheepdog (aka Sheltie) named Quinn, and two cats, Finn and Fiona. He spends his spare time training year-round for bike racing at the top level in the United States. He’s been racing since 2015 and races March through September for a New York City-based team.

He’s traveled extensively In Europe and in Central America, Caribbean islands, and parts of South America where he used to work onboard cargo ships. Despite his wide travels, he hasn’t been to the Far East and would like to one day see Bangkok, Thailand.

His biggest career lesson is “finding ways to deliver additional value, above and beyond what is expected of your service, to the customers. At the end of the day, everybody in our industry is capable of offering similar shipping services at similar cost structures, so this would set you aside from the herd.” Thank you for all you do at Point Global Logistics!

We are hiring!

We are seeking a Branch Manager to join our team!

Job description

Point Global Logistics is a global, independent freight forwarder and logistics provider with branch offices in Asheville, Houston, Charlotte, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Dominican Republic and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and an extensive network of 85 partners throughout 38 countries around the world. Founded in 2014, we deliver transportation solutions to our clients by matching our expertise with personal attention to every detail in the supply chain.

Due to our fast growth in 2021, we are expanding into multiple new markets, including but not limited to Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and Dallas. 

We are seeking Branch Managers to set up Point Global in one or more of these markets.  This is an incredibly unique opportunity to establish a presence in a rapidly growing business. This person will be responsible for hiring, training and developing a talented team along with working closely with the founder of the organization to develop a growth strategy with a potential for role expansion in the future.  An entrepreneurial mindset is a must.

What needs to be done:

  • Partake in the establishment of an overall strategy for the Branch
  • Establishment of hands-on approach to developing current and new business opportunities
  • Establishment and oversight of operating procedures including but not limited to rate quotes and proposals, independent procedures for air, ocean and land transportation etc.
  • Represent the market internally to other PGL stakeholders including weaving local strategy into the Global program
  • Provide monthly reporting, including file closings and budgeting

Who you are:

  • Self-starter with deep experience in freight forwarding, understanding industry terminology and management of client and vendor relationships
  • Internally known for their “Servant Leader” attitude when developing teams – ideally management experience of 7+ representatives
  • Externally known for their superior client partnering – an excellent Brand Ambassador
  • Heavy focus on team development; always looking for the next person who can take on more responsibility
  • Possesses extensive knowledge of the changing market and how to utilize technology to optimize business opportunities

General requirements:

  • 10+ years of logistics experience, 3-5 years at a managerial level
  • Track record and history of setting and exceeding departmental sales goals
  • Proven take charge performer who is successful at multi-tasking
  • Superior negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and excellent ability in personal interaction
  • Ability to follow through with tasks to their completion
  • Very organized and detail-oriented
  • Bachelor’s degree strongly preferred or equivalent work experience

What we offer:

  • Attractive compensation package
  • An opportunity to truly own and build a market with the backing of a global brand
  • Advancement Potential

Application Submission:

Apply via email to dhogg@pointgl.com

December Employee Spotlight: Marcelo Bueno

Originally from Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil, Marcelo Bueno started working for Point Global Logistics in July of 2012. Marcelo serves as our Airfreight and Seafreight Coordinator for the Rio De Janeiro branch of Point Global logistics.

In terms of his daily roles, he is generally very productive. His job duties include providing excellent customer service and ensuring all transactions are done correctly and efficiently. The best lesson that Marcelo has learned throughout his career is to always stay focused.

When he is not performing his duties as our Airfreight and Seafreight Coordinator, he enjoys listening to music and roller skating. You can also find him spending time with his two dogs or relaxing and enjoying his favorite meal, which is codfish. In the future, Marcelo dreams of visiting the city of Aberdeen, located in Northeast Scotland.

Thank you, Marcelo, for sharing a little bit more about yourself. We are so thankful to have you on our team!

November Staff Spotlight: Mike Sever

Mike sever

We would like to introduce our Houston Operations Manager, Mike Sever. Mike was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and worked in various construction trades there before moving to Texas. He later worked for a Crating company headquartered near the port of Houston.

Mike’s daily tasks include handling various requirements involving imports, exports, air, sea, and road freight. His favorite part about the job is “Seeing a project that has been in planning and development for many months, finally come to fruition.”

In his free time, he takes long drives with no particular destination and spends time with his adult children and five grandchildren participating in their various hobbies, sports and adventures.

Matagalpa, Nicaragua is Mike’s dream travel destination. He fell in love with the place while visiting there many years ago. Everything from the people, to the culture, to the city, makes Matagalpa “like Heaven on Earth.”

Favorite restaurants of Mike’s include Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet and La Casita Mexican Restaurant, “a little ‘mom n’ pop’ with the friendliest owners.”

Mike was “adopted” by Doodles, a small, ferocious dog weighing in at a proud 11 lbs, and Tundra, a cat who likes to eat and sleep.

The best career lesson he has learned is “It is not the title that makes the man, but the man that makes the title.”

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about Mike!

Point Global Logistics News of the Week — 11.12.21

Europe stuck with port bottlenecks until liner reliability improves: Rotterdam

Improved schedule reliability is the first domino that needs to fall before ports in North Europe can overcome the persistent congestion and inland logistics bottlenecks, according to Hans Nagtegaal, director of containers at the Port of Rotterdam.

Source: Journal of Commerce

Transpacific airfreight rates reach new highs

Airfreight rates on the transpacific trade lane have continued to surge since the start of November as peak season demand kicks off and modal shift from ocean continues.

Source: Air Cargo News

California DMV nearly doubles capacity for commercial driving tests

The California Division of Motor Vehicles said Tuesday it is expanding capacity to administer commercial driving tests by increasing weekend hours and shifting examiners from other parts of the state to Southern California, where more truckers are needed to pull containers from backlogged ports.

Source: Freight Waves

Point Global Logistics News of the Week — 11.5.21

Fuel Prices, Driver Shortage Cloud forecast for Heavy-Haul Transport

Infrastructure, power generation, and energy projects getting under way across the US suggest busy roads are ahead for heavy-haul trucking, but rising fuel prices and driver shortages could complicate the picture.

Source: Journal of Commerce

Supply Chain Latest: U.S. Ship Logjam Sees Bigger Ships Extend Wait

The logjam of U.S. imports stacked on ships off the coast of Los Angeles isn’t just getting longer. It’s getting wider.

Of the 77 container vessels waiting as of Tuesday for berth space at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, 23 had room to carry more than 10,000 containers measured in 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, according to data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California & Vessel Traffic Service Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Source: Bloomberg News

U.S. Trade Deficit Hits Fresh Record on Goods Demand, Higher Inflation

The U.S. trade deficit widened in September to a record $80.9 billion, driven by climbing demand for capital goods like computers and electric equipment and industrial supplies that have been soaring in cost as global supply chains remain snarled.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Point Global Logistics News of The Week — 10.22.21

Wild Weather Sparks Ship Backlog From Shenzhen to Singapore

A tropical storm that’s lashing southern China mixed with Covid-related supply chain snarls is causing a ship backlog from Shenzhen to Singapore, intensifying fears retail shelves may look rather empty come Christmas.

Source: Bloomberg News

U.S. Growth Slowed in Recent Months Amid Elevated Prices, Fed’s Beige Book Says

U.S. economic growth slowed to a modest to moderate rate this fall as firms confronted supply-chain disruptions, elevated prices, a shortage of available workers and fears around the Delta variant of Covid-19, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Panic ordering by retailers is making the supply chain crisis ‘even worse’

Retailers and manufacturers are overordering or placing orders too early amid panic over the massive supply chain crisis, and that’s making things much worse, those in the industry told CNBC.

“Suddenly, retailers and manufacturers are overordering because of these supply chain issues, and that’s just leading to essentially an even worse scenario,” Jonathan Savoir, CEO of supply chain technology firm Quincus told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.

Supply chains everywhere have been hit by massive disruptions this year, from container shortages to floods and Covid infections setting off port closures.

That’s gotten worse because demand is rocketing, as economies reopen after the worst of the pandemic.

The energy crises in mainland China and Europe are the latest to roil the shipping industry.

China’s power crunch caused widespread disruptions as local authorities ordered power cuts at many factories. Europe is also grappling with a massive gas shortage.

However, Savoir said the situation of retailers overstocking is causing a bigger crunch on capacity, and leading to what he called a “bullwhip effect.” That’s a term describing how small changes in demand at the retail level can progressively cause larger movements in demand to impact wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers. The supplier of raw materials will feel the biggest impact.

The end result of this effect could include distorted demand forecasts and unfulfilled orders.

RBC Wealth Management also flagged a similar issue in an Oct. 15 note.

“Because the problems are well known, orders for raw materials, component parts, and finished goods are now being placed earlier than normal, which is lengthening the queue, creating a vicious cycle,” the firm said in the note.

As the holiday season approaches, those in the supply chain industry have warned that there’s likely to be a shortage of goods, or prices will rocket due to high demand and low supply.

The supply chain crisis is expected to hit growth worldwide, with the International Monetary Fund cutting its global growth forecast last week. It cited supply chain disruptions in advanced economies as one of the factors.

“The bottlenecks are unlikely to disappear overnight,” RBC Wealth Management wrote.

The firm’s data analytics team, RBC Elements, conducted a study in September which found that 77% of the major ports it monitored were experiencing “abnormally long” turnaround times, and that this overall global supply chain problem was trending “unequivocally worse.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal 

 

PGL Employee Spotlight: Michael D’Angelo

Please extend your warmest welcome to our Vice President of Business Development, Michael D’Angelo. Michael was born in New York and spent most of his childhood in New Jersey. He currently resides in the Philadelphia area with his wife and three children. He joined the Point Global Logistics team in March of 2019.

Michael’s day-to-day job duties start with providing excellent customer service to existing clients and developing new business for the company. In addition, he also works with our operations team as a customer liaison, to make sure that the new businesses that come in are handled with the client’s expectations at the forefront. He also travels to meet with clients and attends industry trade shows to help promote our brand. His favorite part of the job is meeting with clients, listening to what they need and helping them improve their supply chains.

In his free time, Michael enjoys golfing, cooking, trying new foods and wine, traveling and spending time with family. One day, Michael hopes to play golf in Scotland and explore Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico City. His favorite food is pepperoni pizza from Lucali in Brooklyn, and some of his favorite restaurants are Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and Peter Luger’s Steakhouse in Brooklyn.

Michael’s biggest career lesson relates to starting and maintaining a long-term partnership with a client. He believes the best way to do this is through listening and collaboration. He goes on to say, “When I first meet a new prospect, I always try to ask the right questions, then I listen. I want them to tell me what their needs, roadblocks and goals are, not the other way around. That’s how you create customized solutions. We consider ourselves an extension of our clients supply chain and logistics team. I want to work together with my clients to help them achieve their goals and make their company better than before we became their partner. If I can do that, then I have succeeded.”

Thank you for taking the time to get to learn more about Michael! We are so happy to have him as part of our Point Global team.

Point Global Logistics News of The Week — 10.8.21

Get On Point with news from Point Global Logistics.

Global supply chain nightmare may be behind California oil spill

An unremitting shipping logjam in the waters outside of Los Angeles has already contributed to higher costs, delays and intermittent goods shortages across the U.S. Now, it could be to blame for California’s biggest oil spill in 27 years.

Although the official cause of a pipeline rupture that spilled as many as 3,000 barrels of crude oil into the ocean off Orange County remains unconfirmed, preliminary reports indicate an anchor may have hooked the pipeline, tearing the metal open. About 4,000 feet of the pipeline had been moved 105 feet from its original position and divers found a 13-inch split in the line that’s likely the source of the release, the Coast Guard said.

The pipeline was “pulled like a bowstring,” Martyn Willsher, chief executive of line operator Amplify Energy Corp., said at a briefing this week. “It is a 16-inch steel pipeline that’s a half inch thick and covered in an inch of concrete, and for it to be moved 105 feet is not common.”

The volume of oil that flowed from the leak is likely to be revised downward, Willsher said on Wednesday. About 5,000 gallons have already been recovered, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The spill discovered over the weekend, which sullied nearby wetlands and closed popular beaches along the Orange County coast, happened at a time when there’s a near record backup of ships waiting off Southern California ports. The massive vessels are queueing to unload containers of goods to satisfy booming American demand for everything from construction materials to bicycles. A shortfall in the number of truck drivers and a lack of available warehouse space are slowing deliveries.

“The more ships you have at anchor, the more risk there is that something could happen,” said Paul Blomerus, Executive Director of Vancouver-based Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping. “There are some examples of anchors snagging critical infrastructure” in the past, including power cables, he said.

Such accidents are a rare occurrence, according research group Clear Seas. In 2017, in two separate incidents in January and April, ship anchors snagged power cables in Vancouver, the organization said.

On Monday, as workers scrambled to contain the southward drift of crude oil from the pipeline incident, a total 146 vessels, almost two-thirds of them container ships, were anchored or at berth in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, close to the record reached late last month, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, which monitors ship traffic off the coast. Nine out of the ten so-called contingency anchorages off Huntington Beach, near to where the pipeline breach happened, were occupied and 33 vessels were drifting in deeper waters in the ocean.

Critical infrastructure such as underwater pipelines are carefully marked on nautical maps so vessels can steer clear. But ships can sometimes drag their anchors when moving for “any number of reasons,” James Kipling Louttit, the Marine Exchange’s executive director, said by phone Wednesday. He said he couldn’t comment on the cause of the pipeline rupture specifically other than that it’s not interfering with marine traffic. Spokespeople for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach also said the spill hasn’t impacted their operations.

The oil spill was first discovered early Saturday after a low-pressure alarm on the pipeline sounded at about 2:30 a.m. The pipeline carries oil produced and treated on three platforms located in the Beta oil field, more than eight miles off the coast.

Satellite imagery shows what appeared to be an oil slick forming at 10:58 p.m. Friday, according to John Amos, president of SkyTruth, an environmental watchdog group that tracks incidents in the oil and gas industry.

“What could cause this kind of a sudden, high-volume release?” Amos said in a Zoom interview. “An anchor strike.”

One of the ships in the vicinity at the time of the leak was the Rotterdam Express, owned by Hapag-Lloyd AG, according to Amos. The Coast Guard didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Nils Haupt, spokesperson for Hapag-Lloyd AG, confirmed the Coast Guard went on board the vessel at around 12 p.m. PT  Wednesday, where it interviewed the crew and examined the navigation systems. “The anchor was dropped exactly as requested and confirmed by San Pedro Traffic. During the period in question the vessel has not moved from anchorage and has not passed over the pipeline,” he said. “During anchorage no oil in the water has been spotted. Hapag-Lloyd is fully cooperating with all authorities involved.”

Source: Bloomberg News

Global supply chain nightmare may be behind California oil spill

Plateauing and even declining container spot rate indices, coupled with weakening US economic barometers and modest port flow improvements in Southern California, are signaling a cooling trans-Pacific, at least for now.

Yet with import demand forecast to be strong for at least the next six months and capacity from Asian ports to US destinations maxed out and easily shaken by new disruptions, analysts warn any easing will likely be temporary and fragile. Container lines and analysts warn that US import pressures will continue through 2022 and even into 2023, challenging efforts of major US ports to restore cargo flow.

As measured by Drewry, trans-Pacific spot rates this week plunged $1,000 per FEU to the West Coast and more than $700 per FEU to the East Coast. But a Drewry analyst and US forwarder see the dramatic decline as a temporary reaction to a drop in production in China and not the beginning of a downward trend in freight rates.

“Drewry’s reading of the current trans-Pacific market is that record-high spot rates have now paused their crazy upward curve — and softened a bit — but we do not rule out further increases in the next few months because the supply chain disruptions have not been resolved,” Philip Damas, Drewry’s managing director and head of supply chain advisors, told JOC.com Thursday.

Given the delays in the supply chain, most retailers can’t get goods currently in Asia for the Christmas season into stories in time via ocean shipping , but there’s still plenty of imports needed given low retail inventories-to-sales ratios, Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence Maritime Analysis, told JOC.com Thursday.

The import pressure may be waning, but it’s still strong. US retailers on Thursday said they expect to bring record volumes this month, but Global Port Tracker sees signs of a slight dip in volumes when compared with last year levels. October volumes are on track to be down 0.3 percent in October, which was the busiest month in 2020. November’s projected imports of 2.16 million TEU will be 2.9 percent higher than November 2020.

Global Port Tracker (GPT), published monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, expects imports to then slip 0.2 percent in December to 2.1 million TEU. But in January, GPT expects imports to surge again, rising 5.7 percent year over year to 2.17 million TEU, and then inch up 1.4 percent in February to 1.9 million TEU.

“Although we see no signs of [beneficial cargo owner] orders slowing down, the recent Covid outbreaks in China and Vietnam coupled with the power crunch in China may be affecting output by spreading out shipments,” said Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director and COO at the Port of Long Beach. “At the same time, the US supply chain is beginning to show signs of adjusting to the record cargo flows.”

Reflecting modest improvements in cargo flow through Southern California, the average rail dwell has fallen from a high of 12 days to eight days. The number of vessels at anchor has also fallen from a peak of 73 to 62, he said.

Consumer confidence ebbing?

US consumer spending was weaker than expected in August, according to IHS Markit, and is happening in parallel with a slowdown in demand for imports. Year-over-year growth in US containerized imports from Asia has fallen steadily in recent months — albeit from stronger year-on-year comparisons in 2020 — from 44 percent growth in May to 23 percent in June, 11 percent in July, and less than 1 percent in August.

Economists at IHS Markit, parent company of JOC.com, said the slowdown in personal consumer expenditures was partly related to supply chain shortages, particularly in automotive, but most is linked to an easing of underlying demand, which makes the trend meaningful as a potential leading indicator of port congestion. US consumer sentiment is near a 10-year low, according to a University of Michigan index.

Container spot rate indices measuring US-West Coast spot rates have also been softening in recent weeks, although it’s not yet clear whether the ranges of premiums and surcharges that are added to spot rates to guarantee bookings are also easing.

David Bennett, COO at the non-vessel-operating common carrier Farrow, said spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific have indeed softened a bit over the past 10 days for several reasons, including production cutbacks in China and a steady increase in vessel capacity this summer in the largest US trade lane.

Due to electrical power shortages, manufacturers in China have been forced to cut back production over the past month as the government rations power supplies to the plants. Many factories in China shut on Oct. 1 for the annual Golden Week holiday.

Vessel capacity has increased this summer as some eight to 10 large retailers chartered vessels to handle their freight, with some of the unused capacity on the ships being opened up to third-party shippers, Bennett said.

“I see some softening [in rates] in the next few weeks, though not a huge drop,” he said.

Source: Journal of Commerce

Inbound containers staying elevated into 2022, congestion limiting ‘larger gains’

The National Retail Federation expects imports to the nation’s largest retail container ports to continue at a high clip through at least February. In a Thursday update, the group said its forecasts would have been even higher but congestion, capacity and labor headwinds are limiting throughput.

“The cargo is there for larger gains at several ports but congestion issues are impacting fluid operations,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president of supply chain and customs policy.

Final numbers for August didn’t produce a new monthly record as expected. The ports tracked by the NRF handled 2.27 million twenty-foot equivalent units in August, up 3.5% sequentially and 7.8% year-over-year. That was tied for the second-busiest month in the dataset’s 20-year history.

May produced the highest monthly throughput on record at 2.33 million TEUs.

Congestion and bottlenecks were the reasons for the August shortfall.

“Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse with the logistics supply chain, we’ve been proven wrong,” said Ben Hackett, founder at Hackett Associates, which works with the NRF to forecast future container throughput at the ports. Hackett called out numerous issues from port shutdowns in Asia to congestion and a lack of drivers and equipment in the U.S. as the reasons.

For months now, ships have been waiting longer for berths at the ports and freight is being further delayed once it has landed. A lack of equipment, truck capacity and labor have impacted fluidity throughout the supply chain. Delays unloading containers at warehouses as well as a lack of industrial space to store them have caused most points in the flow of goods to consumers to become pinched.

Further, a high level of consumer spending and retailers still catching up on and pulling forward inventory has the NRF calling for the current dynamic to remain in place through at least February, its last month forecasted.

The group’s preliminary expectation for September, as numbers are not yet final, calls for a 6.7% year-over-year increase to 2.25 million TEUs. October is forecast to decline 0.3% compared to a very strong comp from 2020, “when imports surged dramatically … and retailers rushed to meet pent-up consumer demand.” That would be the first monthly decline since July 2020.

November (+2.9%) and December (-0.2%) round out the forecasts for the year.

Growth expectations for January (+5.7%) and February (+1.4%) compare to tough comps from a year ago; +13.2% and +23.8% in January and February 2020, respectively. Those comps weren’t really impacted by COVID shutdowns as it was March 2020 when Asian factories didn’t come back online after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The NRF’s new full-year 2021 forecast was raised 50 basis points from last month’s expectation. This year is on pace to see container throughput of 26 million TEUs, up 18.1% year-over-year and a new annual record.

Source: Freight Waves