Memphis, TN, January 20, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Building on the success of last year's Cotton Forum, Mallory Alexander International Logistics invited clients to communicate their challenges and needs in the cotton export industry at the second annual event. “We were pleased to host this forum with such strong participation from our cotton shippers, major portals, railroad representatives and ocean carriers,” said Donna Lemm, director of business development for Mallory Alexander International Logistics.
Preparing to handle what is forecast to be the third highest volume of U.S. cotton exports in history, participants explored a wide range of issues. “This year's Forum touched on a variety of important issues, but its most valuable results were in the areas of electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic warehouse receipts (EWR) and other efficiencies,” said Barry Gibson, director of national accounts, Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL), one of many carriers in attendance.
Participants revealed that the requirements for moving cotton to port are tighter than ever. “Shippers are dealing with tougher carrier rules on equipment usage, as well as rail and port demurrage regulations,” said Lemm. “On top of that, trucking capacity is extremely tight. The bottom line is that shippers, carriers and forwarders must be in synch throughout booking, dispatch, return of equipment and loading on-board vessels.”
“The most prominent issue we currently face is the speed of information,” said Gibson. “Until all parties involved with this commodity become fully automated with EDI capabilities, it will be difficult to make the full transaction of an international cotton shipment truly efficient.”
U.S. cotton exports are expected to reach 16 million bales in the 2006-07 shipping season. Development of better supply chain practices through the Cotton Forum paves the way for future growth. “The majority of carriers are ready to handle the volumes,” said Gibson.
Another participant, Jim Newsome, Senior Vice President, Southern Area, Hapag-Lloyd America Inc., notes that the event brought the right people together. “The information communicated in the Cotton Forum helps the industry get ready for the large anticipated volumes. The meeting gave us a comprehensive understanding of the anticipated market developments and the business requirements of cotton shippers in a few hours' time.”
“The Forum allowed us the opportunity to discuss mapping issues and carrier EDI cut-off requirements,” said Lemm. “We are working with the carriers and the portals to develop reporting tools that will provide more accurate shipment status information.”
About Mallory Alexander International Logistics
Mallory Alexander International Logistics (www.mallorygroup.com) is a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider. As a specialist in global logistics and supply chain services, Mallory Alexander acts as a single source for all logistics and supply chain needs. Specifically, Mallory Alexander provides public and contract warehousing, freight forwarding (international, domestic, air and ocean), custom brokerage, import/export services, intermodal trucking and transportation, logistics services and consulting.
Mallory Alexander is a fourth-generation company, with 19 offices and 32 worldwide warehouse operations and distribution centers. The company has more than 500 employees. Previously, Mallory Alexander was known as Alexander International and Mallory Distribution Centers, which operated as separate subsidiaries of The Mallory Group.