Domestic Transportation of Hemp
The Real Risk of Hemp Transportation starts domestically. There are a number of factors that logistics firms don’t tell you about. There is no perfect company out there that can ensure your products are going to safely arrive, but they can mitigate the risk of certain aspects. Things like damage to product, low-risk routing, certified drivers, and company reputation can all play a factor on if and when your hemp products will be delivered. Long story short, most hemp shipments are at high-risk all the time.
There are a lot of massive companies that are jumping into hemp logistics. Unfortunately they are just reading articles online and tell you what you want to hear. “Yes you’re in good hands, we do this all the time” and “We have a good relationship with law enforcement” are a couple of common answers that they will tell you. Unfortunately, most are not being truthful. Here is how you can spot a logistics consultant who is “faking” it.
- Ask them about some key choke points that the US Law Enforcement agencies are cracking down on. Simple answer: Inbound California department of Ag, Reno NV Highways, Border patrol checkpoints along the southern border. These are the most troublesome areas and if your logistics provider says otherwise, then know you are dealing with a naïve person. Do not do business with them.
- Ask them about the states that require permits. There are a few, but only one is enforced. UTAH. Unfortunately not everyone follows the rules, but if you get caught without a permit in Utah, then your shipment could be seized. Unfortunately, the logistics world is very fragmented and going after your logistics provider for making a mistake like this is next to impossible. Make sure you do your due diligence and protect your shipment.
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Mitigating Risk of Damage
No one can eliminate the risk of damage, but you can certainly mitigate it. Avoiding common LTL carriers is a must. Not only do they increase the risk for seizures, but they are notorious for damaging products. They work by sending dozens of shipments from one hub to another in an overloaded trailer. This ride sharing technique allows them to reduce costs, but increases the risk of damaged goods. To further the issue, if you have Hemp Products, their insurance most likely will not cover the value. Read into their rules and guidelines before shipping and do so at your own risk.
An experienced hemp logistics professional will recommend dedicated shipment solutions. These are not only quicker and more efficient, but the only cargo going in the truck is yours. There is no transloading from one terminal to another, so they cannot damage it with a forklift or other means.
This one is very important. Hemp shipments will be stopped and if your logistics guy or girl doesn’t have a reputable name, then your shipment can be at greater risk. Think about it, if Fide Freight gets pulled over, then their brand and image carry’s its weight and helps validate the conversations. They have relationships with law enforcement who have vetted and approved them. Now if Joe Schmooze Transport gets pulled over, then law enforcement might inspect and find a reason to seize your cargo. Once it is seized, the cargo is most likely not going to be delivered. Insurance will not cover seized material, from any company. Read Fide Freights article here about how they regained possession of a hemp shipment that was wrongfully seized: https://fidefreight.com/2021/04/23/hemp-shipment-seized-then-returned-with-apology/
International Hemp Logistics
Welcome to the big leagues. International Hemp Transportation is a real mess. There are lots of uncertainties and an endless book of laws that you must know. To find a reputable agent to assist, you need to vet them on the following:
- Domestic Hemp Transportation (above)
- What if situations
- US Customs interactions
- Plan for imports
- Have they done it before?
- HS Codes
What if Situations
Here are some “what if” situations you can run by your freight forwarder:
- What if we are stopped for inspection by US Customs? Do you have a contact we can call to get in front of the problem? Answer should be yes, we have a direct phone number and email for the head of customs in that airport. If there is a problem, they should notify us right away.
- What if US Customs calls, how would you handle that phone call? Answer should be with professionalism and transparency. You are doing nothing wrong and you understand their concerns as hemp and cannabis can easily be mistaken. Talk openly and truthfully while pointing them to the long list of paperwork you provided on the shipment itself. Everything you do will help them validate your intentions.
- What airlines do you use? Answer it depends. As the client you should fact check your freight forwarder. If they suggest using British airlines, then look up their cargo section and call the corporate office. Inquire yourself and get hard copied proof that they will take that commodity. It is not worth leaving it to chance or trust.
Plan For Import
Sounds simple, but did you know most foreign freight customs brokers have never imported CBD or Hemp before? Its TRUE! They are simply going to go to their book and look up how to and then hope it works. Your freight forwarder needs to talk to them before they do this. CBD and hemp have special rules that not only need to be researched, but talking to the local customs and border patrol agents to see if there is anything else they want done before sending. This bids rapport and helps mitigate the risk of inspections and seizures.
Want to read more about different countries and CBD laws? Read this article: https://bonavoluntate.com/2021/10/30/cbd-international-transport/
Next time you have an international transport, look to an expert and get the job done right. Bona Voluntates team has 2 years experience working in the logistics industry. We can not only get your products delivered, but go above and beyond with ensuring everything is being done properly. Our sustainability is based off our clients success. We will do everything we can to build a strong, long-term relationship. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our company.