Freight Agents Network Shippers Association
45 Gardenville Parkway W - Suite B
West Seneca, NY 14224-1321 USA
Phone: 1-716-240-2107 Fax: 1-586-314-0201
International Shippers' Association is a non-profit association dedicated to international shippers and forwarders of commercial, military and government household goods, unaccompanied baggage, and general commodities. Our purpose is to provide our membership with the lowest rates (FCL & LCL) and best service for the movement of household goods throughout the world by establishing volume-induced discounts through ISA preferred vendors.
According to 46 USCS § 40102, the term shippers' association means “a group of shippers that consolidates or distributes freight on a nonprofit basis for the members of the group to obtain carload, truckload, or other volume rates or service contracts.”
What is a Shippers’ Association?
The American Institute of Shippers’ Associations (AISA) defines shippers’ associations as:
“Non-profit membership cooperatives which make domestic or international arrangements for the movement of members’ cargo. They are a means by which the small and medium sized shipper, and even the large shipper, can obtain economies of scale without the markups charged by other transportation intermediaries who perform consolidation services in order to obtain volume discounts.” Shippers’ associations allow multiple shippers to pool their volumes in order to increase shipment volumes. With a larger shipment volume, the shippers’ association can negotiate volume discounts or service contracts with ocean carriers on behalf of its members. Shippers’ associations, unlike non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCC’s), which are regulated under the new shipping act, are able to maintain confidentiality in their contracts.
Services Offered and Benefits of Membership to Shippers’ Associations
Because of the new shipping act, many more shippers’ associations are being formed as “rate negotiators.” Rate negotiating shippers’ associations negotiate for volume discounts and may also make transportation arrangements for the shipment. However, “rate negotiating” shippers’ associations often do not manage other transportation or logistical arrangements. Another benefit is that since the new shipping act will allow shippers’ associations to keep service contracts confidential, shippers wishing to keep such costs concealed will find that membership in a shippers’ association is a means of doing so. For more information on the new shipping act and its affect on shippers’ associations, go to “Ocean Shipping Reform Act and Shippers’ Associations.” Larger shippers’ associations are able to reduce the amount of cargo transshipped to less frequented destinations due to consolidated shipments. Often a small shipment bound for a minor port is shipped along with cargo destined for a major port. Upon arrival at such ports, the cargo is separated and redirected to its final destination. With larger shipments moving to less visited ports consolidated by shipping associations, there will be a reduced need for transshipping. This reduction in transshipment can result in lower costs and less damage, as well as faster transit times.
In large volume rate negotiating for service contracts, shippers’ associations can negotiate for improved terms of service, in addition to better rates. This is important when trying to secure space and equipment for busy trade lanes, where ensuring better service can be difficult. Also, shippers’ associations, which are able to provide volume movements in multiple trade lanes, as well as movements in both directions of the same trade lane, will achieve lower rate discounts and better service since carriers will be more eager to negotiate with them. Some associations offer consolidation or “consignment of cargo which is insufficient to fill a shipping container” (Brodie, 1994), also known as LCL or LTL, “less than container load.” LCL is a useful service for smaller shippers unable to fill an ocean shipping container with their cargo. Some shippers’ associations offer marine cargo insurance, as well.