This week for our Emerging Market Global Lab class to Brazil, we had the honor and privilege of presenting to Mark Locker, who works for The Ohio Department of Transportation. Each group focused on the transportation and logistical concerns when exporting a product to Brazil; the feasibility of using dry ice to preserve perishable and time-sensitive frozen vegan burgers as well as the advantages and disadvantages to flying the goods by airfreight in comparison to shipping by boat.
Mr. Locker offered invaluable information that was specifically relevant to the product of a particular group. He spoke at length about the future capabilities of 3D printers and how some companies are making them competitively priced with regular printers. He also touched upon how baby formula is a key product to export especially to emerging markets like Brazil because the native population has increasing concerns about the health and wellness of their babies. Mr. Locker talked about the insurance required to export a product to Brazil along with which Incoterms the exporting company chooses as a brand new company exporting to a foreign country.
Incoterms stands for International Commercial Terms and they are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that are widely used in International commercial transactions or procurement processes. Incoterms state what costs the exporter will cover as well as what the importer will cover. As a new exporter, it is wise to take on most of the responsibility and pay for majority of the exportation costs if possible. This is because the exporting company needs to establish a strong relationship with the importers before they negotiate new Incoterms.
3D Printing Group
Only three of the five groups gave their presentations because after each group presented, we got a myriad of suggestions regarding our logistics and transportation plan. This proved to be very helpful because every week for the last 4 weeks, the groups have been giving micro “check- in” presentations about one certain topic regarding the exportation process, such as legal considerations, transportation concerns, or a market overview. Even though doing a new presentation on a completely different subject every week is a lot of work, the groups have enjoyed the fast-paced atmosphere because it is very realistic to what a real-life job could be like in the corporate world.
Luna Burger Group
We spent the last portion of the class with Mr. Locker talking about why transportation and infrastructure are imperative to grow the United State’s economy as well as other countries’ economies. The students were shocked to find out that over 60% of CEO’s in the U.S. had never been to a port where his or her goods were being exported; they did not even know the process of getting their own goods to another country. This is why what we are learning is so essential to our future careers; we will be able to offer assistance with the complicated export process and provide reputable references where the company can find more information regarding exportation. Even some very successful companies do not have a solid handle on the help services available when exporting a good.
In the last few minutes of class, Mr. Locker handed out some fun baseball “transportation” cards with essential facts about the presence and future of transportation and freight in Ohio specifically. One would never guess that Ohio is the 7th largest exporting state in the country or that they are 4th in the country for the value of the goods shipped. Ohio has robust rail lines and is ninth in the nation for how many rail tons are moved in one year. In regards to air transportation, it is projected that 1.3 million tons will be flown out of Ohio by 2030.
It is clear that knowledge about transportation and logistics is a major stepping-stone for a company wanting to expand internationally, and if they do not take the time to learn about these essential topics, the transportation stepping-stone will turn into a tumbling roadblock. Mark left us with these powerful words of advise, “The infrastructure is here, it just needs to talk.”
Mark Locker talking to groups about transportation and logistic concerns when exporting a product to Brazil.