LTD Management
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The Cost Controller

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Ocean Transport Costs Cut By 10%

K's Merchandise (Decatur, Illinois) has trimmed around 10 percent from its ocean freight costs through membership in a shippers' association.

The catalog showroom chain uses the association to move full containers of furniture to Chicago from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, reports Dave Kimmel, Director of Transportation.

The company joined LTD Shippers Association, Inc. (Exton, Pennsylvania) in 1995. "It's one weapon smaller importers can use. We can band together, go to the shipping lines and offer greater volumes. We collectively get better rates."

The company made a commitment to LTD for a set number of containers for the year. Then, when shipping arrangements are made, the instructions specify a specific shipping line under a specific service contract. LTD's name is on the bill of lading as a notify party, he continues. The bill of lading is faxed to LTD, then LTD sends K's a bill for its fee. K's pays the carrier directly.

"It's very little additional work," he states. "There's also an advantage to dealing directly with the shipper versus a freight forwarder." In addition to discounts for ocean shipments from the Far East to the U.S., LTD has negotiated discounts with a van line for service within the U.S., reports Tom Craig, General Manager of LTD.

Source: Dave Kimmel, Director of Transportation, K's Merchandise, 3101 N. Charles St., Decatur, IL 62526; phone (217) 875-5629, fax (217) 875-4848 .

Source: Tom Craig, General Manager, LTD Shippers Association, Inc., 56 East Uwchlan Ave., #437, Exton, PA 19341; phone (610) 458-0823; fax (610) 458-8039.