Finding cheaper and faster alternative routing around port congestion and labor disruptions, made easy with Freightos Data market intelligence solutions
A 114-year-old engine manufacturer specializing in lawn and snow care tools like tractors and snow blowers, Briggs & Stratton’s products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in more than 100 countries on six continents.
One logistics office oversees the company’s supply chain, and it’s their job to keep everything moving smoothly. Keeping production facilities and customer dealer networks stocked in time is a challenge, with parts coming from the Far East and production plants all over the United States. Briggs & Stratton also exports finished products to Europe, Asia, and Australia.
There are a lot of moving parts, and getting it right is the difference between success and failure at the bottom line.
Logistics pricing and volatility jumped to historic levels over the COVID-19 pandemic of 2021-2022. Even with negotiated contract rates, the team at Briggs & Stratton found themselves squeezed into the spot market more often than they would have liked. The logistics office realized it needed some kind of benchmark that they could use in making decisions on the spot market, and to measure performance. When looking for benchmarking options, Briggs & Stratton found Freightos indices and data.
Finding a benchmark indicator for their trade lanes’ ocean container pricing helped Briggs & Stratton measure their performance, but a spot pricing benchmark is only the tip of the iceberg. Volatility is not always a function of just pricing, or supply and demand. Pandemic conditions, labor unrest, and climate change led to port closures, increases in transit times, and sometimes constrained available capacity. When you’re keeping factories regularly supplied, lead times matter…a lot. Finding alternative routing options and reliable transit times is the difference between another day at the office and a catastrophe.
Looking for an edge in navigating unfavorable market conditions, Briggs & Stratton’s logistics team opted to go deeper than trade lane container pricing.
Freightos Terminal provides Briggs & Stratton with insights into pricing, market depth, and lead-time data, all on an individual port-to-port level. This leverages fresh and accurate data, anonymized from tens of millions of commercial price points. This enables a high level of accuracy in calculating the market rate, and includes precise ocean freight rate historical charts.
Using this data helps Briggs & Stratton optimize their supply chain for speed and cost. Monitoring price and performance level gives the logistics team the data they need to manage lead times against market conditions. In one instance, they were able to identify cheaper ports with faster processing times during West Coast port backups and reroute shipments accordingly.
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We utilized FBX during the craziness of the last couple years as a gut check for the market. We had contract rates in place, but with the spot market going absolutely berserk the last couple years, we needed a source of truth to be able to tell us if we are competitive with the market or not? Are we buying on the spot market appropriately? So we really utilized your index as a true north for us to understand if we were being competitive with the market.