Cold-Calling is Officially Dead

Cold-calling has been getting less effective for years. Back in the day, decision-makers either answered their own phones (usually off-hours) or had admins screening their calls. And any salesperson worth their salt could sweet-talk, bully or fool an admin into putting a call through.

Then came voice-mail. While admins still sometimes picked up calls, rather than putting the calls through, they sent salespeople into the decision-maker’s voice-mail. Calling the bigwig at 6 A.M., before the admin came in, became hit-or-miss. Chances are you’d end up in voice-mail.

Caller-ID was next. Suddenly cold calls were the second class citizens of the phone world. Admins and decision-makers alike quickly figured out that answering a call from an unknown or blocked number was a waste of their time.

Increasing desperate, cold-callers learned tricks, like calling accounts receivable and asking to be transferred, since most decision-makers will pick up a call with a caller ID from accounting. Other salespeople became voice-mail pests, leaving message after message, usually in vain.

Then came the smartphone, texting and always available email. Now there was no reason, really, to answer a phone for fear it might be important. If it were, you’d get a text. So why pick up unless it’s a scheduled call?

As traditional sales organizations frantically watched their cold-calling get less and less effective, they latched onto robo-calling, figuring that if they called thousands of numbers they’d maybe get one or two people willing to talk.

As an increasing number of companies clamored for a decreasing population of people who still answer unexpected calls, spammers and scammers have flooded the phone system, making all cold-callers seem like they’re con-men.

Which puts us where we are in 2019: approximately 50% of all calls placed are robo-called cold-calls from companies both legit and non-legit. Now only the elderly and their grand kids actually answer phones in person. No true decision-maker is dumb enough to answer a cold-call.

While there are still sales trainers around who are pretending it’s still the 1970s and that you can build a business with cold-calling, their success stories are either bunk or outdated. Cold calling isn’t just dead; it’s buried and rotted to the bones.

And you know what? Good riddance. Cold-calling was always rude and obnoxious, the electronic equivalent of street touts who grab your arm and try to pull you into their place of business. Most salespeople hated cold calling because… who wants to be that guy?

So cold-calling, RIP. You won’t be missed.

PUBLISHED ON: JAN 12, 2019 by Geoffrey James

Service & Market Update

Service Updates


Felixstowe port is currently claiming that their productivity and volumes are rising towards previous levels before the ill-fated introduction of the new Terminal Operating System (TOS). Unfortunately, vessel discharge is still too slow, leading to carriers changing port rotation and leaving the port early before all containers are loaded/discharged. Low levels of productivity continue to cause delays in the supply chain. Additionally, upcoming winter weather conditions are likely to cause closures and delays in the next few months.


Southampton port had previously reported high levels of empty containers impacting their productivity, this seems to have eased. However, Southampton Port continues to handle higher than usual volumes, resulting from the peak season and diversion of services and vessels away from Felixstowe. Again, the winter weather is likely to cause closures and delays from time to time in the next few months.

UK haulage: 

Significant challenges are continuing to disrupt the UK container haulage sector.

There currently remains a lack of qualified drivers as has been widely reported for many months. This is caused by retirement, UK drivers taking higher paid tanker and trailer work, EU drivers leaving the UK because of Brexit and the depreciation of Sterling against the Euro. Additionally, drivers are having increased responsibility and liability from CPC and Working Time Directives.

Road infrastructure is more now ever congested than ever before, with major roadworks disrupting traffic near the ports on the A14, A13 and A34, as well as further inland on major motorways and trunk roads. Allied to this is that the majority of businesses insist on AM collections and deliveries.

Escalating costs are being experienced, as fuel prices have gone up by 30% and driver’s wages have increased significantly.

When vessels divert because of congestion or technical problems, trucks and drivers may have to go to unfamiliar ports, with different procedures leading to additional congestion and delays.

The above challenges all lead to increased rates being needed to secure haulage, as well as increased flexibility required from clients to accept PM collections, deliveries and late running containers. Increased notice periods are still required and we would advise/recommend at least 7-10 days. Late running deliveries which are not accepted, will incur rent/demurrage and potentially another delivery charge. Hauliers are increasingly refusing to pay when circumstances are beyond their control.

Rail update:

Similar types problems are affecting the rail network, including:

Shortages of available drivers, while the pay is better on the rail, training can take up to 12 months.

Poor infrastructure with too many 60-foot wagons, not enough bridge clearance for 40’HC containers, engineering works and priority for passenger trains.

Government subsidies have been removed, meaning cost by rail is less economical. Shipping lines insist on empty containers back to the ports because of trade imbalance between UK imports & exports.

Most freight trains are contracted to bulk cargo or shipping lines buying up the entire space on the train.

Asia/Europe Capacity forecast & outlook:

The blank sailings and temporary suspension of the 2M AE2 loop Asia/Europe/UK, has continued since the 1st of October China Golden Week holiday period. 2M just announced the service will resume, starting in Qingdao, during week 49 to coincide with the expected increase in volumes during December/January, as we approach Chinese New Year on 5th February 2019.

Freight rates are expected to increase during this time as space will be tight and carrier’s losses throughout 2018 have been significant and cannot continue. Increased fuel costs will be passed on, either through increased all in rates or increasing emergency fuel surcharges.

In the longer term, the new IMO Super Low Sulphur regulations starting 1st of January 2020 will lead to increases. These are estimated to be about USD150-200/TEU. As ships will need to use this new fuel during Q4 2019 it can be expected that these increases will occur sometime during the 2nd half of 2019.

An increase in the much larger 18-22,000 TEU vessels, which take much longer to discharge and when they are off schedule, ports cannot always allocate sufficient cranes to complete their loading and discharge, this leads to carriers diverting them away to Europe before returning at a later date.

What does all this mean and what can be done to help?

Most definitely costs are increasing, fuel surcharges are currently rising to 19%, rates have to increase both on ocean freight and inland trucking.

Increased notice for container collections/deliveries needed, around a minimum of 7-10 days

Longer lead times should be built into your supply chains, add 1-2 weeks ideally.

More flexibility with collections/deliveries, particularly in the afternoon. Clients can help by accepting late deliveries, as in most cases it is better to pay a few hours overtime than reject a container and then risk incurring lost journey and potential rent/demurrage costs. Ports will not pay, and hauliers are increasingly rejecting additional charges when events are often beyond their control.

The coming months will continue to make day to day planning and business more difficult with no immediate end in sight for many of the above-mentioned items.

Beleaguered UK Importers Face Further Delays

Chronic congestion at the UK’s two largest container ports is forcing ocean carrier planners to make further last-minute ship diversions, causing chaos to the country’s supply chain.

Landside congestion at Felixstowe and Southampton has added to the woes of the UK haulage industry, which is already suffering from an acute shortage of HGV drivers.

Even before the botched implementation of a new terminal operating system at Felixstowe in June, which was the catalyst for the current congestion, the UK haulage industry was running on empty and reckoned to be short of more than 75,000 drivers.

Indeed, one haulier told The Loadstar, before the Felixstowe IT meltdown, that he was “very worried” about his firm’s ability to cover all of the contracted work during the busy peak season this year

Advertisement“We just can’t get the drivers,” he said at the time, “even though we are paying over the odds, and to add to it all we are seeing a couple of our existing guys retire every month.”

Container lines serving the UK are trying to push shippers to use merchant haulage but if they are contracted to cover the delivery of containers they are hitting importers with a variety of extra charges.

MSC, for example, has told some of its customers that it will charge them an additional £20 per teu for line haulage, which it said was “to cover the cost of putting on extra haulage units”.

An eleventh-hour diversion of a ship that results in thousands of boxes being landed at another port can cause weeks of delays to the arrival of goods, due to the fact that deliveries were programmed from the intended hub.

Due to the worsening congestion at Southampton, the Ocean Network Express (ONE) advised its customers late last week that the 20,180 teu MOL Truth would no longer be making an import call at the south coast port on 4 October, but would instead discharge its cargo at London Gateway.

In a statement to The Loadstar today DP World Southampton confirmed that the MOL Truth would discharge its imports at London Gateway, but that the vessel would still load exports at Southampton at a later date.

It said: “DP World is uniquely positioned in the UK to offer shipping lines and cargo owners a two-port strategy, with both ports able to support one another, ensuring greater certainty and resilience to UK supply chains.”

The terminal operator issued a ‘terminal alert’ on 27 September advising that its ship and landside productivity was being impacted by “very high stack levels”.

DPWS gave the reasons for its congested terminals as too many empty containers; the pre-Christmas peak; vessels cutting and running and a lack of haulage.

It appealed to its shipping line customers to ship out their empties; stop using the port for transhipping empty equipment and not to discharge containers for other ports without consultation.

In fact, according to today’s DPWS stack report over one-third of its some 18,000 teu on the quay for export consists of empty equipment.

One local source said that carriers had been regularly shutting out planned shipments of empty containers after the boxes had been transferred to export stacks, thus causing productivity to “fall off a cliff”.

Meanwhile, the problems mount up for UK importers: the Ocean Alliance carriers advised cargo owners today that the 20,388 teu Ever Goods, scheduled to arrive at Felixstowe on 6 October will instead be diverted to Rotterdam.

APL, in a customer advisory, said that UK imports would be transhipped to the CSCL Mars scheduled to arrive at Felixstowe on 13 October.

But for UK exporters who have booked for the Ever Goods there was no substitute vessel nomination and thus there could be a lengthy delay before shipment.

APL said that “exports will remain on the quay for the next sailing”

ASIA Capacity Crunch

North European shippers are scrambling to book space on October sailings to Asia ahead of a new capacity crunch.

The decision by ocean carriers to void 11 voyages from Asia to North Europe next month to halt the slide in container spot rates will result in a similar number of canceled backhaul sailings in November and December.

One UK forwarder told The Loadstar today he was encouraging his customers to bring forward as much cargo as possible due to the uncertainty of export ships.

“We can’t get any sense out of the carriers as to what ships they will be running and when,” he said, “some have told us that there will be other options, but they have yet to give us any detail. “We are also being restricted on receiving windows at the container terminals, due to congestion on the quay, and some carriers are deciding not to load exports on the nominated calls. That is adding to the supply chain mess,” he said.

Meanwhile, the peak season to North Europe appears to have fizzled out early, supporting the decision of carriers to withdraw around 200,000 teu of head-haul capacity next month. And the weak demand outlook sentiment has continued to put pressure on freight rates on the trade. This week’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) recorded another dip in spot rates to Europe.

Rates from Asia to North Europe declined by a further 4% this week to $735 per teu and for Mediterranean ports, there was a decline of 4.6% to $767 per teu. Both CMA CGM and Maersk Line cut their FAK rates this week which, according to anecdotal reports, has had some smaller NVOCCs jumping ship. This was confirmed in the latest Containers Update from S&P Global Platts, which reports “the cracks had started to show” in the trade, noting that by 21 September $200 per box had been eroded from market rates.

Indeed, the North Europe component of the SCFI has shed 21% in value in the past month, which will be of great concern to carriers paying higher prices week-on-week for the fuel for their ships.

And rates on the hitherto buoyant transpacific trade lane also lost ground this week. The SCFI recorded a slight reduction from Asia to the US west coast to $2,332 per 40ft, but a much steeper 5.2% fall for spot rates to US east coast ports, down to $3,319 per 40ft.

After a long bull run of successful general rate increases since June, transpacific carriers were obliged to cancel their latest GRI planned for last week.

“Despite the GRI cancellation, the White House’s announcement of another round of China trade tariffs this month may help stave off an early end to the peak season,” noted Eytan Buchman, VP marketing, of Freightos.

However, shipping lines remain concerned at the long-term impact of the duty hikes and the escalation of the trade war rhetoric between the superpowers.

Source: Mike Wackett

UK Container Haulage in Crisis

Shippers & Importers are facing an anxious wait as the crisis in the UK haulage sector tightens its grip, with CMA CGM subsidiary ANL has announced a six-day delay on export collections due to a reduction in haulage availability, and HMM revising its policy at all major ports, including Felixstowe, London Gateway and Southampton. It said the reduction in haulage availability was linked to “continued issues” at Felixstowe, and rail engineering.

The delays also affect the UK ports of Immingham, Liverpool, Teesport, and Tilbury, and are now extending to imports also. Clearly delays are now being suffered on import collections, which apart from giving problems to the supply chain, will also increase costs linked to rent and demurrage.

One line HMM has issued new rules on UK haulage, telling customers that, from 1 October, shippers must undertake all export collections and import deliveries at “their own risk”. Blaming the UK haulage for the policy change. The carrier said: “The UK road haulage market continues to face ongoing challenges as a result of road congestion, a general shortage of vehicle, driver and rail availability, plus increased cargo volumes.

The delays have been exacerbated by other external factors impacting haulage productivity such as port congestion and vessel diversions. Reliability and punctuality of all export collections and import deliveries has been impacted and these issues are likely to continue as many are ongoing or long-term rather than seasonal. The carrier said, it had reserved the right to be up to 90 minutes late, while still expecting any containers arriving within that period to be loaded or unloaded. The line also advised no consideration of extended free time or additional costs will be given. Wasted journey costs will apply for any container arriving within this 90-minute period which is rejected for loading or unloading.”

The haulage situation is likely to deepen further as we go into the traditional peak period.

FCL Import Container Services

Are you aware that KTS can offer both Ex-Works (EXW) and Free on Board (FOB) container rates from areas such as the Far East, Middle East, India, USA, Canada & Australia?

The FCL container import sector is a volatile market and freight, fuel and surcharges can fluctuate daily but we have good secured deals which mean we can hold your agreed rate for longer validity, in turn allowing some measure of continuity when quoting your customers (excluding any emergency charges which can be implemented by the carriers at any given time).

We can also tailor your quote and fine tune to exactly what you need, i.e. fast transits, best routing, cheapest price, etc. and offer a number of different ports depending on where in UK you need the container delivering to. We also offer a great deal on free time once the container hits the port in the UK, meaning you have a little more time to arrange Customs clearance or resolve any container issues ample time!

Email, call or use our website form for more details we will be pleased to provide rates by return!


On 16 August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones national marine sanctuaries, off the US Pacific coast, honored MSC and a select number of other companies that have shown a high degree of cooperation with their vessel speed reduction requests.

The purpose of this speed-reduction program is to improve air quality, reduce the risk of fatal whale strikes, and protect whales within National Marine Sanctuaries. Award recipients have set an industry example by voluntarily reducing vessel speeds in areas where endangered whale species regularly feed.

Being struck by large ships is one of the leading causes of whale mortality worldwide. The speed restrictions, during the period when whales migrate to the area, help to mitigate potential collisions in two ways: by reducing the risk of serious or fatal injuries if a strike does occur, and by increasing the odds that a whale will have sufficient time to react and avoid the collision.

“This is a great job and team effort by all involved, it reaffirms MSC’s commitment to protecting marine wildlife and preserving the biodiversity of our seas,” said Paolo Magnani, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Quality Control at MSC USA. “We are very proud to be part of the NOAA program and it is particularly noteworthy that MSC had more compliant vessels than any other operator in the program in 2017.”

MSC is committed to promoting a sustainable use of the sea and marine resources, while extensively investing in the latest generation green technologies, to minimize the environmental impact of business activities on land, oceans, and populations.

Source: MSC

South African Revenue Services (SARS)

Following the end of the ‘grace’ period to the 24-hour rule that was implemented on the 1st August 2018:

KTS are now obliged to introduce a SARS Administration fee per bill of lading which will be effective for all UK sailings from the 1st September 2018 onwards.

This £8 fee will apply to all South African ports and for destinations served via these ports.

Thank you for your attention to this advice.

20 years of International Trading…

Today to celebrate KTS’s 20 years of successful trading today we are offering a 20% discount for all new bookings made during August 2018 across our freight and ancillary services.

The discount will automatically be shown on all invoices, no codes or special requests are required for the discount to apply.

We take the opportunity to thank you our clients for supporting KTS over the years and look forward to servicing your shipping and transportation requirements for many years to come.

Cheap Freight – There are Hidden Costs

Whether a new importer or exporter or an established company, when choosing a freight provider you always want to get value for money. Choosing cheap is not always best – think about when you’re buying a new appliance? You can buy the cheapest version/model but you know you will be sacrificing quality.

Risks of Cheap Freight

“Cheap freight” doesn’t guarantee value for money. Watch out for hidden costs when going for the cheaper option:

  • LATE SHIPMENTS – Smaller carriers may hold over freight until they are able to load a whole unit, this keeps your customers waiting
  • LOST SHIPMENTS – Carriers without a wider network will use 3rd party carriers. This increases the chances of your freight being misplaced and makes it harder to get answers
  • DAMAGED SHIPMENTS – Extra handling and the lack of proper loading equipment can put your freight at risk
  • IN THE DARK – Lack of tracking capabilities leaving you with extra customer enquiries
  • GONE – Some carriers will work on profit margins so tight that any unforeseen loss can put them out of business leaving you high and dry without your freight

Look for following in a Freight Forwarder

There’s no substitute for proper research when choosing a forwarder, but here are a few things that should ring alarm bells:

  • Clean depots & transport vehicles
  • Established brand trading for a number of years
  • Nationwide coverage for collections and deliveries
  • Alternatives to move freight and specialised freight
  • Similar pricing levels to other established carriers but offer added value
  • Value-added technology solutions

Choosing a Quality Freight Forwarder

As with most things in life, choosing a quality freight forwarder/carrier will prove more cost-effective than chasing the cheapest price. Here are a few qualities you can look for to start your search for a quality freight provider:

  • SCHEDULED SERVICES – With the volumes that quality carriers move through their networks, they are consistently moving freight with a reliable delivery service nationwide
  • COMPREHENSIVE GLOBAL NETWORK – With a well-established network your freight only needs to be handled by one company
  • VISIBILITY – Information about your freight can be just as important as delivering it. Technology adds value to your business with instant access to tracking and freight information as your business needs it
  • HANDLING – With specialised equipment on hand  a quality forwarder/carrier will always handle your freight in the safest and most effective way
  • LONG TERM PARTNERS – With national or even worldwide networks and continual growth, this is a company you can partner with for years to come
  • FULL SUPPLY CHAIN – A company that offers all your logistics services can be the most cost-effective, through overall efficiency and improved processes

Why KTS Services?

Much more than “just a freight forwarder”, at KTS we see ourselves as your complete logistics business partner. From across town to around the world, small to large shipment and special handling. We go further to understand your needs and help your business grow.

We pride ourselves in providing a quality service; by matching your needs with our services, you get a freight service that makes you money in the long term.

Contact our Team for further information on our services