US-Hungarian trade increased for another consecutive year in 2020, with a high surplus for Hungary as a result. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, during the last year Hungarian exports to United States reached US$3.54 Billion. Among the most frequently exported goods were electronics, machinery, and vehicles.
Growing demand for Hungarian exports has led to more logistics service providers entering the space. Choosing an experienced one to work with, therefore, has become a critical business decision.
According to Botond Kovacs-Mate, the AsstrA international corporate group’s Branch & Country Manager in Hungary, the top things to look for in a logistics partner for shipments from Hungary to the USA are as follows:
- Worldwide presence
Diverse customs regulations and specific countries’ local transportation security requirements can often delay international shipments. Ideally, the logistics service provider should have offices in both Hungary and the USA to ensure a single point of contact throughout the delivery process. This way, the provider will have knowledge of both markets, especially related to customs legislation and compliance with foreign trade rules. AsstrA has been operating on the global logistics market for 26 years and employs more than 1,100 people in 22 countries across Europe, the CIS, Asia, and the USA.
- Strong reputation
The longer a transport services company has been on the market, the more experience it can draw on to understand clients’ unique workflows, project complexities, specific industry requirements, and how to proactively support their businesses in general. It will have proven procedures and be better able to find a common ground when it comes to communication and interpersonal relations. To judge the quality of services the company provides, it is also worth checking if it is a member of any industry associations (e.g FIATA, TAPA, or NCBFAA) and is ISO certified (e.g. for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, or ISO 45001).
- End-to-end capabilities from a single partner
In addition to forwarding services, a logistics partner should be able to provide assistance with customs clearance, warehouse support, consulting on project design and execution, contract logistics capabilities, and help arranging insurance. This way, all logistics processes will be simplified and it will be possible to monitor the delivery via a single point of contact. There will be no need to organize shipping in the USA and then later in Hungary with separate providers who may handle the freight differently.
Our customers can use AsstrA’s proprietary Track & Trace app to track their cargo’s GPS position 24/7, get real-time updates about any schedule deviations, and ensure the efficiency of the entire supply chain.
- Predictable pricing
Apart from exchange rate fluctuations and cases where cargo parameters differ from expectations, delivery costs should be locked in at the start of a transportation project. There may be unforeseeable additional charges related to customs or expediting shipments in extenuating market conditions (e.g. a lack of vehicles or drivers), but any new costs should be agreed to in advance. There should be no surprise costs.
- All modes of transport
A logistics partner working with multiple transport modes can provide more flexible solutions that can significantly reduce transport costs. AsstrA Hungary provides clients with combined (sea/road/rail/air) transport schemes. A client’s logistics budget, scheduling requirements, and cargo characteristics are all taken into consideration when proposing a given scheme.
Depending on the cargo’s destination in the USA, sea transport from Hungary takes 3-6 weeks. It typically takes 3-4 weeks to the east coast and 4-6 weeks to the west coast. In addition, it can take up to a week to transport the cargo from the port by train to a recipient in the interior.
The fastest and most expensive air freight solutions to the USA take 2-3 days, with the more economical ones taking up to 12 days. To help customers, the AsstrA Hungary team proposes several options for air freight. The most expensive option takes 2-3 days, the mid-range option takes 4-6 days, and the low-cost option takes 7-12 days. Clients can weigh their options to best meet their specific requirements regarding rates, scheduling, and other individual factors.