Category Archives: Blog

MOVING TO BRAZIL? Check out MELLOHAWK Logistics at CARASSAUGA 2014

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Carassauga is Mississauga’s Festival of Cultures and MELLOHAWK Logistics is proud to be a sponsor of the Brazilian Pavilion, located at Grace Church 6670 Campobello Rd. Mississauga, ON L5N 2L8 (near Argentia and Creditview Rd.).

Our pavilion will feature music, dancing, evening concerts and djs, with an ongoing barbecue and lots of tasty sweets. Local Brazilian artists and crafts people will present their varied creations for sale and there will be lots of glimpses of soccer, bossa nova and samba.

If you are thinking about moving to Brazil, please come and talk to us!

FESTIVAL HOURS

Friday, May 23
7:30 pm – 12:00 midnight

Saturday, May 24
1:00 pm – 12:00 midnight

Sunday, May 25
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Do you know how to get there? If not, here you find some of the options:
http://www.carassauga.com/carassauga-2011-transit-info/
For directions, click here

For more information about the festival:
http://www.brazilcarassauga.ca
http://www.carassauga.com/pavilion/brazil-2/

The 8th Annual Immigrant Success Awards announce its WINNERS

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Peter Hawkins and Arnon Melo at the TRIEC 10th anniversary

MELLOHAWK Logistics is very proud to support the Toronto Region Immigration Economic Council (TRIEC) on its mission of creating solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the Greater Toronto Region labour market. After being short-listed the RBC Immigrant Advantage Award in 2012, MELLOHAWK Logistics has become a very active player in the council. For two years in a row, Peter Hawkins has sat on the IS AWARDS judging committee and, last year, he participated in the Stakeholder consultations for the Annual Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) meeting.

We contributed with our experience in hiring and managing immigrants and how it has directly benefited our company.

Peter Hawkins, MELLOHAWK Logistics Managing Director

Celebrating its 10th anniversary on last Thursday, TRIEC and RBC has announced the winners of their 8th annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards. TRIEC IS AWARDS recognize how skilled immigrants have a direct impact on innovation and success within each organization. This year, the honours awarded two organizations and one individual for their contribution to immigrant employment in the GTA.


WINNERS


Entrepreneurship Connections

Entrepreneurship Connections, a partnership between ACCES Employment and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), is an innovative program to help immigrants launch their own business in the GTA.

emergiTEL

EmergiTEL is a growing recruitment agency that is becoming the go-to source for hard-to-find skills in  the telecommunications and IT industry. How? By recognizing the wealth of skills that newcomers bring, and positioning them to contribute to the success of Canadian businesses.


Emiliano Mendez

To say Emiliano Mendez supports new immigrants is an understatement. Both inside and outside of work, all of his spare time is dedicated to supporting diversity and immigrant inclusion in the labour market.

We are so proud of the role TRIEC and its partners have played in helping skilled immigrants succeed during the past decade. The IS Award winners really demonstrate the magic that can occur when immigrants have the opportunity to contribute to their full potential.

Margaret Eaton, Executive Director of TRIEC.

Source:

TRIEC’s 10th Anniversary.

8th Annual IS Awards Winners announced!

10 tips for exporting to Brazil

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As the world’s sixth biggest economy and host of the World Cup 2014 and Summer Olympics 2016, it’s not a surprise that Brazil is receiving a lot of attention from the international business community. However, when it comes to do business with Brazil, it might be very challenging if you do not follow some basic steps. But don’t forget if you need it, you can always ask us for help. Here are 10 basics tips for you to start exporting to Brazil.

1. Research and plan as early as possible

Is there a market there for you? Is your competitive edge in Canada transferable to Brazil?

Start by asking some crucial questions and getting some FREE research via the internet, suppliers, customers, trade associations, trade journals and exhibition organizers.

2. Seek out early sources of advice and expertise

This should save you time and money on wasteful activity and help you mitigate risks. For instance, third party logistics companies, like MELLOHAWK Logistics, do not only assist you in scheduling transport, it will support you to find the most cost-efficient method for shipping your goods considering all the risks related to customs, documentation, compliance, time and storage.

3. Get in touch with a global support network through the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)

Find your local International Trade Commissioner and overseas-based Trade Officer through http://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca. MELLOHAWK Logistics regularly consults with and refers clients to trade offices. They are there for Canadian businesses.

4. Consider your pricing strategy

Pricing must be real and competitive. On top of production costs, your product’s final price is still going to include additional financing costs, insurance, freight forwarding, customs brokers, marketing, agents, commissions, and import and/or export taxes

5. Think about language implications

Make the effort to produce brochures in Brazilian Portuguese – it makes a huge difference. Also, think about translating parts of your website. Portuguese marketing material demonstrates that you are serious about the Brazilian market.

6. Think about cultural implications

This is a big issue. Make sure your business cards are up to date including titles. Brazilians place a lot of importance on titles and good quality business cards. Take business suits – Brazilians generally wear formal suits to all meetings. Try to visit Brazilians at their offices, rather than invite them to your hotel, they are busy people too.

7. Define your strategy

It is often beneficial to have a local partner or local presence. Think about your strategy – can your business model support margin reduction or transfer of intellectual property? How can you magnify the benefit to Brazilian buyers.

8. Arrange a program of visits in the market

If you are new to business in Brazil, it is strongly advisable to arrange a program of meetings through the local Canadian Trade Commissioner or other local contacts prior to travel.

In planning your itinerary, allow time at the end of your stay in Brazil to pay a second visit to those potential clients who have asked you to come back and see them again.

Be prepared to socialize and do working lunches. Do not over-cram your time with meetings.

Allow plenty of time between meetings, as the larger cities can get very congested with traffic.

9. Take part in a guided market visit

To take advantage of travel grants, local contacts, experienced mission leaders and business networking, why not consider joining a group-guided and supported market visit with The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

10. Follow up

Don’t forget to follow up and don’t let the contacts go cold.

Stay in touch with your Brazilian contact/partner; don’t let relationships drift, and visit the market regularly.

Source: http://www.brazil.doingbusinessguide.co.uk/ and the longtime experience of MELLOHAWK Logistics staff

Important links to help you getting knowledge on export to Brazil

  1. Getting ready to export (Ontario)
  2. How to export to Brazil guide
  3. Country overview: Economic and Political Intelligence center
  4. Export development Canada: Country info, Brazil
  5. World Bank and International Finance Corporation – Country Snapshot, Brazil
  6. Doing Business in Brazil - Ernst & Young (PDF)
  7. Doing Business and Investing in Brazil - PWC (PDF)
  8. Ease of Doing Business in Brazil - World Bank and International Finance Corporation
  9. Invest in Brazil - ApexBrasil
  10. Latin America and the Caribbean – A Global Commerce Strategy Priority Market - Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  11. Taxation and Investment Guide: Brazil - Deloitte

Other references and news:

One word on logistics: Intermodal Freight Transport

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“One word on logistics” is our way to introduce you some “complex” concepts which surround our international freight forwarding and transportation industry. This week our topic is Intermodal Transportation, one of the most basic concepts when it comes to international logistics. Feel free to share, comment, and suggest new topics for us.

What is it?

It’s the movement of the same containerized cargo over air, land, or sea through the use of different transport modes (aircraft, truck, rail, boats, ships, barges, etc.) capable of handling containers, without having to unpack and repack the cargo. By extension, the term intermodalism has been used to describe a system of transport whereby two or more modes of transport are used to transport the same loading unit in an integrated manner, without loading or unloading, in a door-to-door transport chain.

What is the importance?

Intermodal transportation has gained importance for 4 critical reasons:

  1. Boosting inventory management. Many businesses that historically warehouse a large amount of inventory now embrace just-in-time systems that minimize inventory holdings and increase flexibility for both production and product offerings. Timely shipments are crucial for this approach to succeed. Failure to receive necessary parts on time can result in costly production slowdowns. Transportation providers, recognizing the importance of timely deliveries, have responded by offering just-in-time services. Intermodalism expands the scope of shipping alternatives by allowing shippers to weigh the timeliness and cost of the different transportation options and choose the option that best meets their needs.
  2. Encouraging the improvement of information and Communications Technologies which leads to better tracking of shipments. Shippers, carriers, and recipients are able to obtain real time information about the location of shipments in transit as well as expected delivery times. Fewer reliability problems exist due to improved coordination and communication. Reliability may be compromised when the amount of handling and the number of parties involved in a particular freight movement increases. However, good coordination between modes and the efficient transfer of information can offset that risk. Communication also improves when freight handlers and shippers use these technologies to track and transfer shipments.
  3. Impact on environmental goals and objectives. Intermodalism can play an important role in reducing motor vehicle emissions. Improving intermodal connections, for example, could increase the use of public transportation since passengers are more likely to use transit services to get to rail or air terminals when there are direct connections. With respect to freight movements, increased use of truck-rail movements instead of truck-only movements may decrease pollution since rail transport has lower emissions per ton mile than truck transport.
  4. Contribution to less traffic Congestion. Vehicle miles traveled have increased at a much greater pace than lane miles, resulting in increased congestion. Congestion not only contributes to delays in travel times, it also wastes fuel. One solution to the problem of congestion is to build more highways, but highway construction involves large capital expenditures and is not likely to contribute to air quality improvement. Other constraints to highway expansion plans include: insufficient land availability in densely populated areas; land-use policies and zoning restrictions; and air quality regulations and other environmental concerns, such as preserving environmentally sensitive areas and ecological diversity. Thus, policymakers and planning organizations may increasingly look to other alternatives, such as intermodal transportation, to reduce congestion on state highway systems and perhaps avoid highway expansion costs.

Today container shipping has standardized many types of general cargo and thereby improved efficiency, reduced costs and minimized handling and risk.

How does it work?

Source:

International Union of Railways: http://www.uic.org/

Bureau of Economic and Business Resarch: http://www.bebr.ufl.edu/

In manufacturing, the U.S. is surprisingly competitive

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Harold L. Sirkin, Bloomberg Businessweek, Friday April 25, 2014, published some research conclusions on manufacturing costs in different countries around the globe and verified that the fact U.S. cannot compete in the manufacturing arena with low-cost competitors such as China and Brazil, is no longer true.

I recently completed a review of manufacturing costs in the top 25 export economies with my colleagues Justin Rose and Michael Zinser. Our research shows that when the most important economic factors are considered—total labor costs, energy expenses, productivity growth, and currency exchange rates—Brazil is one of the highest-cost manufacturing nations in the world, Mexico is cheaper than China, China is virtually even with the U.S. (as are most of the traditionally “low-cost” countries of eastern Europe), and the low-cost leader in western Europe is none other than the country that launched the Industrial Revolution: the United Kingdom.

As Chinese labor costs rise, American productivity improves, and U.S. energy expenses fall, the difference in manufacturing costs between China and the U.S. has narrowed to such a degree that it’s almost negligible. For every dollar required to manufacture in the U.S., it now costs 96¢ to manufacture in China, before considering the cost of transportation to the U.S. and other factors. For many companies, that’s hardly worth it when product quality, intellectual property rights, and long-distance supply chain issues are added to the equation.

Previous cheaper havens, including Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Russia, experienced a significant increase in relative manufacturing costs since 2004 because of some combination of sharp wage increases, lagging productivity growth, unfavorable currency swings, and dramatic increases in energy costs.

The two countries making the greatest strides in manufacturing competitiveness were Mexico and the U.S. The key reasons were stable wage growth, sustained productivity gains, steady exchange rates, and the big energy advantage the U.S. has captured since the shale-gas boom began.

Click here to access the full article

U.S., Japan to Push Ahead on Trade Talks

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Mitsuru Obe, Wall Street Journal, Thursday April 24, 2014 – The U.S. and Japan failed to reach a trade agreement before the summit meeting on Thursday between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but the two sides will push forward with efforts to resolve the main points of contention.

Obama and Abe have instructed their chief trade negotiators—U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Economy Minister Akira Amari—to bridge the gap on a bilateral trade agreement seen as crucial to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade initiative, Mr. Abe said in a news conference after their meeting.

The U.S. and Japan had hoped to demonstrate the strength of their alliance with an announcement of a landmark trade agreement during Mr. Obama’s visit to Tokyo. But after months of talks, including intensive negotiations over the past several weeks, significant differences remain on key issues, particularly U.S. access to Japanese agricultural markets.

Japan wants to protect its own products, including rice and beef, while the U.S. is demanding full market access. Meanwhile, the U.S. is apparently seeking more time to cut tariffs on Japanese vehicles.

Interest groups in both countries have voiced concern about TPP. In the U.S., the auto industry argues that Japan has the most closed market among developed nations, while the U.S. farm lobby has pressured the Obama administration to maintain a tough negotiating stance on Japan’s markets for agricultural goods.

Mr. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, long-reliant on rural votes, has framed the issue of protecting farm products and food production as one of national security.

To read the original article click on here

Truck-Based Shipping Leads February Nafta Trade

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Jonathan S. Reiskin, Transport Topic, Thursday April 24, 2014 – Companies involved in international trade in the United States, Mexico and Canada put more of their volumes in trucks in February, the Department of Transportation reported April 24.

The truck-borne component grew by 2.6%, the highest rate among all transportation modes, while the total cross-border freight among North American Free Trade Agreement partners rose 1% in February from a year earlier.

Trucks brought in $25.8 billion worth of imports from Canada and Mexico and delivered $27.8 billion in exports, for a combined total of $53.6 billion, DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported. Cars and light trucks were the most carried commodity by trucks over the border, while mineral fuels, oils and waxes were the most heavily traded commodities across all modes.

Total North American trade dipped in January, but February’s upswing tilted the two-month, year-to-date figure to a gain of 0.5%. The two-month value of the trade is $179.9 billion, according to BTS.

Pipeline volume also grew in February, by 0.1% year-over-year, but all other modes — rail, air and pipeline — declined.

Original article available here

Transport Canada introducing “concrete measures” on transportation of dangerous goods

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Canadian Shipper, Wednesday April 23, 2014 – The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, said the government is taking decisive actions to address the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s initial recommendations regarding the ongoing investigation into the Lac-Mégantic train derailment.

The Government of Canada is introducing “concrete measures” to further strengthen Canada’s regulation and oversight of rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods. Effective immediately, Transport Canada will:

• Issue a Protective Direction removing the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars from dangerous goods service;

• Require DOT-111 tank cars used to transport crude oil and ethanol that do not meet the standard published in January 2014 in Canada Gazette, Part I, or any other future standard, to be phased out or refitted within three years;

• Issue a Protective Direction requiring Emergency Response Assistance Plans for crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and ethanol;

• Create a task force that brings stakeholders such as municipalities, first responders, railways and shippers together to strengthen emergency response capacity across the country; and

• Require railway companies to reduce the speed of trains carrying dangerous goods and implement other key operating practices.

Emergency Response Assistance Plans will be required for trains that have even a single tank car loaded with one of the following flammable liquids transported in large quantity by rail: crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, or ethanol.

Click here to access the full article

News for food importers and manufacturers for 2015

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MELLOHAWK Logistics has been happy to be involved in the SIAL Food Expo (held this year in Montreal) and we have some news for food importers and manufacturers for 2015.

Our CIFFA e-newsletter has just announced that there are huge changes to Canada’s food and beverage sector that will have the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforcing federal licensing for all food makers, importers and exporters in the country.

A standardized set of inspection criteria for all food products, as well as an expanded list of goods that fall under the watchful eye of inspectors, are also on the way. As part of the CFIA’s efforts to modernize, many of these new regulations will replace regulations that date back to the 1940s. Ushered in with the Safe Food for Canadians Act in 2012, the modernization program calls for all companies to develop and implement scalable preventative control plans. Read more here.

In the US, shippers, carriers, receivers, foreign exporters and others in the food supply chain should act now to evaluate how broad new regulatory requirements for sanitary transportation recently proposed by the Food and Drug Administration could affect their operations. Interested parties also have until May 31 to submit comments on the proposed rule, including recommendations for further changes.

The FDA’s proposal is designed to prevent the physical, chemical or biological contamination of human and animal food during transportation by motor or rail vehicles through practices such as improperly refrigerating food, inadequately cleaning vehicles between loads and failing to properly protect food during transportation. Specific requirements that would be established under this rule would apply to the design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment, measures taken during transportation to ensure food is not contaminated, exchanging information about prior cargos and cleaning of transportation equipment, training of carrier personnel, and maintenance of written procedures and records. Failure to comply with the proposed regulations could result in food shipments being refused entry into the U.S.

The sanitary transport rule has been referred to in at least one major trade publication as “the sleeping giant” of FDA’s panoply of proposed regulatory changes to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act. The reason for this characterization has to do primarily with the broad impact the rule would have across the entire supply chain. With some exceptions, the rule would apply to shippers, receivers and carriers who transport food in the U.S. by motor or rail vehicle, whether or not the food is offered for or enters interstate commerce. It would also apply to persons outside the U.S., such as exporters, who ship food to the U.S. in an international freight container by oceangoing vessel or in an air freight container and arrange for the transfer of the intact container in the U.S. onto a motor vehicle or rail vehicle for transportation in U.S. commerce, provided that the food will be consumed or distributed in the U.S.

The rule would not apply to the transportation of fully packaged shelf-stable foods completely enclosed by a container, live food animals, and raw agricultural commodities when transported by farms; food transhipped through the U.S. to another country or food imported for future export that is not consumed or distributed in the U.S.; or entities with less than $500,000 in annual sales or that have been granted a waiver by the FDA. Domestic and international food shippers, carriers and receivers are therefore advised to review their operations, policies and procedures to ensure that they are ready to move quickly when a final food transport rule is in place.

The 5 reasons why you pay high gas prices in Canada

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CBCNews – April 15, 2014: Gasoline prices in Canada are climbing to two-year highs, and could be going higher, according to industry watchers. In Toronto, gas prices are at 137.9 cents a litre, the highest they’ve been in two years, according to TommorowsGasPriceToday.com. At the beginning of the year, gas was 10 cents a litre cheaper. In Vancouver, a fill-up costs 149.1 cents a litre, 20 cents more than at the beginning of the year.

Why does it happen? Get to know the 5 reasons why you pay high gas prices

Source: TheHuffingtonPost.com

1. Crude Oil Prices

It starts with crude oil. Although Canada may produce more oil than it consumes, the country is at the mercy of global markets for the commodity. Increased Middle East instability, sparked by popular uprisings, has lead to concerns about supply. Better-than-expected economic growth, especially in developing nations such as China and India, has also increased demand.

2. Refining Oil into Gas

The next link in the supply chain is refining. In order to turn thick, black crude oil into useful products such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, it must be sent through a mind-boggling array of pipes and tanks, heaters and condensers to sort the components of the substance from lightest to heaviest. This is a complex and costly process, and is paid for by what is known as the “crack spread,” or refining margin. This represents the difference between prices fetched for the products produced, and the cost of crude oil inputs.

3. Transportation to Retailers

Once the oil has been refined into gasoline, it must be transported to retail outlets across the country. This is accomplished through a network of 23 terminals – from St. John’s to Nanaimo, B.C. — forming the backbone of the distribution network.

4. Retail Mark-Up

The retail mark-up averaged 7.6 cents per litre in April. This national average masks wide variation, from lows of 4.6 cents in Calgary up to highs of 25.8 cents in Whitehorse, according to Kent Marketing Services, an industry-consulting group.

5.Taxes at the Pump

Emily Corbett of Mechanicville, N.Y., pump gas at a station in Mechanicville, on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. New York, Indiana, Illinois and New Hampshire are among the first states talking about temporarily suspending part or all of the state and local taxes that can add 14 cents to nearly 50 cents to a gallon of gas.

Original article available at huffingtonpost.ca

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