Airline Travel

Rising fuel prices have impacted airline travel. Be prepared, and adjust your plans accordingly.

Continental Airlines plans to slash 3,000 jobs and reduce domestic flights in an effort to reduce operating costs. The cuts include pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, administrative personnel, and management.

“These actions will help Continental survive the crisis,” wrote Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Kellner, and President Jeff Smisek, in a letter to Continental’s 45,000 employees. In a move to demonstrate a personal response and commitment, the executives also announced that they would forgo incentive pay for the rest of 2008.

It has been estimated that charges for fuel will be $2.3 billion higher in 2008 than in the previous year. Beginning in September, Continental will decrease capacity by 11%, and will remove 67 airplanes from the fleet by the end of 2009.

United Airlines announced 14% reduction of capacity planned for fourth quarter of 2008. United Airlines is cutting 1,600 jobs.

United Airlines said that it will eliminate Ted, the discount arm of the airline launched in 2004. Ted catered to leisure travelers with only coach-class seating, but in the spring of 2009, the 56 Airbus A320′s will be reconfigured with first class seats and returned to the United Airlines fleet. At the same time, United Airlines will retire 94 Boeing 747′s as unprofitable planes and routes.

Delta announced 10% reduction of capacity in the fourth quarter of 2008.

American Airlines announced plans to reduce capacity by 12% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

As oil prices continue to rise, airlines are forced to respond with fewer flights, fewer routes, less staff, more passengers per plane, and higher prices. Reduced capacity translates to fewer flights, and this means that many of the smaller airports may be the first to feel the pinch. While some travelers may have enjoyed the convenience of smaller airports for proximity or to avoid the crowds of large airports, the availability of flight options may be greatly reduced. Airlines simply cannot afford to move aircraft with empty seats, so expect full flights, or expect that route to be on the chopping block.

In an effort to increase the number of passengers per plane, flights that do not have enough passengers may be canceled to combine passengers with other flights to the same destination. While many frequent flyers have experienced this interruption in travel plans in the past, it is likely to become commonplace while the airlines adjust to the new demands. When incomplete flights are combined, the result is typically an overbooking situation, which means more passengers than seats. As a result, some passengers may be temporarily stranded in a city overnight, pending an available flight the following day. Overbooking will become even more common as airlines endeavor to keep prices down by filling every seat on the plane.

What does all this mean to you?

Expect full flights. You will be able to tell your grandchildren about the days when you secretly counted the remaining number of individuals boarding the plane in hopes that you would have an empty seat between the window and aisle. Your grandchildren will think that you are making up stories when you tell them about the complimentary meals and movies that you enjoyed on the plane ride. One day the free meals and movies may sound as ridiculous as allowing smoking on a plane, imagine that.

Expect longer delays at security and check-in counters. Yes it is true, security is becoming more efficient, and automated check-in counters are intended to facilitate faster service. Nonetheless, as routes are consolidated and oversold crowds are consolidated into flight patterns that maximize the productivity of reduced staff to handle them, human traffic jams will occur. It is inevitable that consolidation will occur in the battle to control price increases, and in many ways the check-in lines will more often resemble the crowded lines at theme parks, mouse ears and all.

When possible, book direct flights. While this may be slightly more expensive than those connecting flights that enabled you to eat lunch in Houston and dessert in Orlando, it will also decrease your risk of spending an unexpected evening in Texas. When making your travel plans, consider the risk of an unexpected hotel and transportation in a connecting city, while your luggage goes on without you. Try to schedule your travel on morning flights, as opposed to the typical evening business flights, to allow greater opportunity for another flight without an overnight delay. If you do need to book a connecting flight, make sure that you have at least one hour between flights at the connecting airport. Remember that next flight boards thirty minutes before the scheduled flight time, which means that your seat could be on the roulette wheel if there is any delay on your original flight. Take responsibility to check your travel carefully when booking flights, and reduce your risks.

Allow some flexibility in your schedule, just in case you are delayed. Whether your travel is personal or professional, you will get where you need to go, eventually. If all goes well, you will arrive on time, and without incident. In the event that you are delayed, or your plans need to be adjusted, remember to always be courteous to the individual on the other side of the counter. Odds are that the staff member has lost many good friends and colleagues in the workforce reduction, and is now striving to do multiple jobs at once. Have compassion, for they are attempting to resolve the personal challenges for every passenger, every inconvenience, and every emergency that comes over the counter. Show your compassion, and you are more likely to receive a little in return.

As airline travel is impacted, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the travel industry. As prices increase, leisure travel diminishes, and routes are eliminated, so too must car rental companies adjust the inventory of available vehicles at appropriate airports. Consider booking your car well in advance, especially when traveling to a popular destination or busy airport. It will become more likely for car rental agencies to sell out.

The hospitality industry will also be impacted by decreased activity. Although this will be a delayed result, based on the adjusted number of travelers, the good news is that hotels may offer competitive discounts and incentives to retain loyal customers. You should sign-up for programs and be vigilant for special deals.

Those special airline rates for leisure travelers, and the last minute special deals for under $100, are likely to disappear. Prices for all seats are expected to increase, and fewer route options with fuller flights will mean that special discounts will be placed on the endangered species list. And for those hardy business travelers who have saved those frequent flyer miles in hopes of tropical vacation paradise, expect black-out periods and greater advance planning to use those miles in the crowded skies. If fuel prices continue to rise, consider your options to use those accumulated miles this year. Rising costs will force some airlines to introduce even more restrictions on the use of accumulated miles, since these free seats become a liability to cash-flow. Airlines have adjusted the policies on mileage in the past, and are likely to do it again in 2009. Your mileage may not be protected if your carrier of choice is forced to merge, be acquired, or enforce restrictions as a part of an economic reorganization plan. Take a break of the bad news of rising gas prices and fuel charges, and use your miles to go on a well earned vacation while you can still get the most for your miles.

It’s not all bad news. If hotels offer special rates, you might find some nice local vacation packages before the end of 2008, and early 2009. Rising fuel prices, reduced routes, and prohibitive restrictions on air travel may encourage more businesses to use teleconferencing, VOIP, and other technology to collaborate over long distances. A little less travel may mean a little more time at home, and that is always a good thing.

Words of Wisdom

“The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” – Mark Russell

“The saying “Getting there is half the fun” became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines.”
- Henry J. Tillman

“Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.” – Kurt Vonnegut

John Mehrmann is author of The Trusted Advocate: Accelerate Success with Authenticity and Integrity, the fundamental guide to achieving extraordinary sales and sustaining loyal customers. This revolutionary book applies peak management techniques and leadership skills, with common sense and practical applications to grow business, sustain loyal customers, and use personal talents for personal success.

John Mehrmann is author of The Trusted Advocate: Accelerate Success with Authenticity and Integrity. The book that is changing everything by reawakening personal values in business as a competitive edge.

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Making Airline Travel Less Stressful

Get cheap airline tickets and avoid the crowds

The Air Transport Association is predicting that 2006 will see record numbers of passengers; especially during the summer season. With nearly 207 million passengers boarding commercial airplanes in the United States this year, terminals are going to be crowded and people are going to be crabby. Additionally, due to the rise in gas rises, which especially affects airlines, the domestic capacity will be down this summer, leaving fewer planes to carry more travelers. Don’t let this discourage you from traveling though; you just need to plan ahead. Follow these few travel tips and you’ll make airline travel less stressful and make summer vacations moreenjoyable.

Booking your tickets: How to get cheap airline tickets and avoid the crowds Trying to book airline tickets is always stressful. There are so many things that need to be considered, especially the price. Just break down the decisions into steps and the task will be less formidable. The more flexible your travel plans are, the better deals you will get. First, when are you traveling? The best deals can be found if you leave during the week and stay through Saturday. Second, the time of day you leave is almost as important. Often less popular times like early morning or late night departure times will be less costly. Also, the airport will be less crowded during the times and alsoduring the week.

If the prices still are high, try looking at departing or arriving at different airports. Sometimes neighboring airports will offer better deals. For example if you are vacationing in
San Francisco, arriving in Oakland or San Jose may save you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, if you are looking to save money, nonstop flights can oftentimes be more expensive. If layovers are not too bothersome, they can oftentimes save travelers money. The more you shop around – the better deals you will find. Visit multiple airline ticket sites like Priceline or Travelocity. Another great place to find cheap airline tickets online is Studentuniverse.com. This Web site offers cheap airline tickets for students and educators.

Picking the best seat So, you’ve found the best deal out there, now you get to choose where you are sitting — this is one of most important airline travel tips. The first decision is front, back or middle. If you are in a hurry or have connecting flights that need to be made, a seat near the front of the plane is your best choice. If you are traveling with children, the bulkhead seats are a good choice because it allows for more legroom, but these seats also do not have seats in front of you to store items under. Children are not allowed to sit in the exit rows. So, if you want to keep clear of children, the exit rows are a good choice to sit in. They also have more legroom, but you are responsible for opening the exits and assisting if there is an accident. If you get airsick or just hate turbulence, the seats over the wings offer the smoothest ride for airline travel. The last decision is window or aisle seat. If you want to sleep the window seat allows you to lean against the side for comfier snoozing. If you have large legs or have to get up and move a lot to get things from your carry on bags, the aisle seat will be the best choice to make airline travel more comfortable

Check-in: Airline travel tips Once again, the crowds will be smaller during the earlier departure times and during the week. However, to expediate the whole check-in process there are several things you can do. First, if you have an electronic ticket, make sure to have your confirmation number and you may want to call ahead and confirm with the airline to avoid any last minute problems. Departure delays and any other flight information can be found on-line prior to leaving for the airport. To ensure you do not miss your flight, arrive at the airport at least 1 ½ hours prior to departure or earlier if it is a busy flying season like holidays. Electronic check-in kiosks are the quickest; make sure you have a credit card and your ID handy. If you have luggage that needs to be checked in, make sure there is an attendant at the electronic check-in to do that. One way to beat the check-in line is to use the curbside check-in service. There usually are no lines outside. The only downside to curbside check-in is if you’re checking luggage that it may not get to your destination as quick, and it is not available for international travel. However, I have never had trouble with my luggage getting lost with curbside check-in and it always saves me plenty of time.

The second check point before boarding the plane is security. After September 11, security has been enhanced, but if you know what to expect you can breeze through the security without any problems. First, no lighters, scissors or knives are allowed so don’t bring them with. Most airports will you require to take your shoes and belt off, before going through the metal detector. Also, laptops need to be taken out of the case and placed in their own receptacle. Have your ID and ticket ready at all times, because it will be checked here as well. Once you’re through with security it’s time to find your terminal. If you are unfamiliar with the airport, it is beneficial to print a map off on-line or at least look at it before departure.

No Elbow room: How to deal With fewer planes and record numbers, planes are going to be crowded. According to the Air Transport Association planes may be at as high as 85 percent capacity. So, when choosing your seat keep in mind that the plane may be overcrowded. If you’re sitting in the middle or window seat, make sure that you have everything from your carry-on bag that you will need so you do not have to get up frequently. There is nothing you can do about bad airplane food, bad movies or the fact that you are stuck in the middle seat next to a fat guy, with an annoying kid behind you, so prepare for it all. Pack a snack or eat before you leave and bring plenty of things to entertain yourself with. Earplugs always are nice too, if you want to mask out the screams of small children. Most importantly though, just remain calm and do not stress out, you are on vacation.

Elvis has left the building After being crammed on an airplane for hours, leaving the airport as quickly as possible is most surely on your mind. Plan your exit travel plans before leaving. Some hotels offer airport pick-up service, so when booking your hotel ask if that option is offered and plan a pick-up place. Some airlines also offer package deals with airline tickets, car rentals and hotel reservations. If you’re traveling with your family this is a great deal, especially if you have lots of children and need a larger vehicle to fit them all. The Transportation Security Administration said it is expecting nearly 200 million air travelers nationwide between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so in order to avoid the crowds as much as possible, get cheap airline tickets and make travel less stressful, follow these simple airline travel tips and you’ll be on your way to fun.

Jillan Scheeler makes it easy to provide cheap airline tickets and also provide the ways to avoid the crowd while traveling.To recieve your free 4 part minicourse visit the cheap airline tickets website.

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Airline Travel Tips Today

If you can’t afford a first class ticket and its privileges then you need to prepare all yours travel gadgets and patience in order to make your airline travel more comfortable. There are many useful advices about comfortable airline travel. You need to follow them all and you will avoid boring, uncomfortable hours in a plane.

How to get more sitting space and make your airline travel comfortable? This is a question that most frequent travelers have. There are three important things to know about your seat on the plane.

First of all, aisle seat gives more space for your legs when you sit on the plane for long hours. Many people always try to get the window seat because they want to enjoy the view of the city during the takeoff or landing. The fact is that there are only few minutes of possibility to enjoy the view and later all of the flight is above the clouds. You yourself should consider if these few minutes are worth of long hours sitting in an uncomfortable position. To make sure that you will get an aisle seat it is advised to book the seat in advance. If your airline travel is planned only a few days before the flight or you don’t have time to call and book an aisle seat then you at least should try to come to the airport well before your flight. First people to check-in always have a better chance to get seats which they prefer. What is more, aisle seat lets you to feel more comfortable when you want to go to the toilet or just to have a short walk in the plane. You can easily leave the aisle seat without disturbing anyone.
Second, seats near the emergency exit have more space as well. You can try to book this seat and save your legs and back from pain.
Third, don’t be afraid to recline your seat only because you will disturb people sitting behind you. It will allow you to sit in a position which is better fit for sleeping and it gives more space for your legs. Of course, use this advantage with respect to others.

As you can see, there are quite a few things that you can do if you want to make your airline travel more comfortable. You can be able to take advantage of only one of them and this will be a bit of a help for you during your travel. If you have a chance to have them all for your flight then you can be sure you are taking most space and comfort that you could.

Is there anything else a traveler can do to make his airline travel more comfortable? Correct and comfortable sitting helps a lot but still there is a lot that can be done to make your body feel better. Tiredness and stiff joints are very serious issues which affect your airline travel a lot. One thing you can do about that is leaving your seat and walking on the plane for a few minutes each hour or two. But it may happen that you will have to sit in the window seat and a person next to you will be heavy asleep. If you don’t want to disturb your neighbor every hour then you should consider doing some exercise while sitting in your seat. You can start from moving your toes, then rotate your ankles, stretch your foot. Stretch out your hands, bend elbows. If you keep moving your body from time to time you will avoid tiredness and stiffness in your body.

What clothes are the best to wear for your airline travel? Most of us want to look good when they reach their destination city because there might be friends or family meeting them at the airport. However, it is also important to consider wearing comfortable clothes. You should choose lose fitting clothes. The best choice would be long pants and a long sleeve top. Sometimes it gets a little chilly on the plane or while waiting for your flight. If you still want to meet your loved ones gloving and looking at your best, then think about packing extra clothes which you can change after our flight on your backpack. What is more, choose comfortable shoes which you can take off easily while going through the security at the airport and once the plane takes off. Have your own extra socks for the airline travel or use socks which are provided by your airline company. It will help to feel you more relaxed and free if you follow this advice.

Are there any other things to do which help your body to cope better with an airline travel? One of the reasons why we feel tired after long flights is the dry air inside the plane as well as the feeling of being dirty. A best way to avoid it is to bring some cleaning napkins with you. Don’t forget to pack good moisturizer in your backpack. It is a good idea to pack a mini spray bottle with refreshing water and oil which keeps your face wet and fresh. Chewing gum or mint candies are also very helpful. They help you to fight bad breath, changes in air pressure when your ears pop, and calms down your nerves.

Here are listed only few things which help travelers greatly to have their airline travel more comfortable and enjoyable. If you successfully follow them all then be sure to get to your destination city fresh and ready for new adventures.

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Valuable Tips on Airline Travel – How to Save Big-Time

If the traveler were to ask passengers of the same aircraft traveling exactly the same schedule just how much they paid for their tickets, he would find an enormous variation in costs. If the same traveler would like to be the individual aboard the airline that paid the very least for his ticket, he must understand how to find inexpensive tickets. We would like to share some valuable tips on airline travel here.

Utilizing all available resources including websites and checking with local agents through newspaper, TV, and radio ads can yield values for airline tickets. Websites are available which allows the traveller a quick and easy way to compare rates. Merely enter your trip schedules and preferences and the rates for a variety of airline carriers and destination routes will appear. It is best to search at least three different sites to find these valuable tips on airline travel.

In general, there are some guidelines to follow when booking that can help to secure the most inexpensive airline travel:

1. Book in advance. Aim to book a minimum of 21 days in advance since airline carriers give reduced prices for early booking. When the traveller has months before he intends to travel, it’s important to check the costs regularly and watch to find the best package. Sudden price wars among airline carriers may possibly abruptly drive down prices. Some consumers have even noted that rates have a tendency to drop at certain times during the month as well as on certain days of the week. Look for trends and book a trip when the best price appears.

2. Flexibility. When looking for valuable tips for airline travel, having flexible travelling alternatives could yield even more low-cost bargains. The most affordable flight deals frequently include travelling during the week with a Saturday night stay. Also, the time of day during which an individual journey is taken can certainly make a difference. Early morning and late evening flights are often the least popular and offer the best deals. Also, attempt to plan a trip during an off-season or off-peak time period.

3. Ask the service representative. There could possibly be further inexpensive airline travel deals that are unadvertised or that travellers were unaware of. Many airline carriers have special reduced prices for active armed service personnel. When checking-in the day of travel, determine if any particular upgrade options are available. There may be fantastic bargains to be had–but a person just must inquire.

4. Bundle your trip. Should you book your trip together with a package that included hotel and rental car, it is feasible that the purchase price would be less expensive than booking individually.

When looking for valuable tips for airline travel, it really pays to shop around. The prices on airline tickets change rapidly, but the traveller who knows the ins-and-outs of how airline pricing works can have a definite advantage.

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The Unintended Consequences of Globalism

Globalism might be good for the world economy as a whole, but does not necessarily mean it has been good for the American worker. Whether intentional or unintended, the American worker has suffered through the philosophy of free trade. Do not miss quote me, Globalism has a lot of positives. Now more than ever the people of earth are connected through the internet and can communicate information faster than any other time in history. People are exposed to different cultures and ideas, and the free flow of information is exponentially evolving our society. “Free trade” plays a big part in globalism, which is why there has been a “backlash” from non-college educated workers in wealthy countries in direct response to the effects of free trade policies. When wealthy counties openly trade with developing countries it can overvalue the wealthy countries currency, which in turn makes imports cheaper while exports become more expensive. However, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the real culprit is not the valuation of the dollar and the increasing trade deficit. (Bivens, Economic Policy Institute)

The USA has increasingly shifted its economy from manufacturing to services like banking and investing. It is cheaper to import products of manufacturing from a country that has extremely cheap labor than it is to employ American workers in the United States. This in turn means there now is a premium on college educated Americans who are filling job openings within the service industry. On the other side of the coin, manufacturing jobs are leaving the country and lowering wages of workers without a college degree. This fact coupled with increasing technology that replaces workers and a trade policy that out prices “expensive” American workers is leading to decreased wages. As the US trades more with developing countries as a percentage of GDP, the wages of unskilled workers continue to decrease. (Slaughter and Swagle, International Monetary Fund)

Though Globalism has a net increase in GDP and employment for countries involved, most of the gains from free trade is disproportionately received by the top 1% of Americans. Policies that protect corporations and their interest at the expense of the American worker exacerbate the problem. Trade policies like NAFTA and others have little protections for workers and heavily favor the multinational corporations that seek to benefit from free trade. This only adds fuel to income inequality, which for poor countries can increase economic growth while having a negative effect on rich countries. Rich countries are also at higher risk of financial crisis when they have high levels of income inequality. (Malinen, Huffington Post)

Globalism and free trade are linked very close together, which is why there is a stigma attributed to the word. There has been growing resentment within the US and other wealthy nations of globalism as a whole. They do not just condemn free trade, but openly blame minorities and marginalized groups for their decrease in wages and “eroding” their cultural dominance that they claim dominion over. This is a deadly cycle, as income inequality only feeds this type of behavior. In a country that is not adequately educating its people, more of the workers within its country will become more ignorant. With free trade putting a premium on college educated workers and decreasing wages of unskilled labor, we are now almost at a tipping point, socially and economically.

Globalism has many unintended consequences that inadvertently caused huge social and economic problems within the US. The problems that globalism is causing is not a hard fix. Reducing the income inequality will eradicate more of the negative effects of globalism. Universal Education, Universal healthcare, and a rewrite of our tax code are just a few ways to reduce income inequality. All of these possibilities are well within our means. We have to take care of these problems swiftly, before globalism becomes an integral part of our own decline. (Mason, Post-Gazette)

Bivens, Josh. “Using Standard Models to Benchmark the Costs of Globalization for American Workers without a College Degree.” Economic Policy Institute. N.p., 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Malinen, Tuomas. “The Economic Consequences of Income Inequality.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Mason, Bob. “Single-payer Health Care Would Help to Treat Three Separate Threats.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. N.p., 26 Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Slaughter, Matthew, and Phillip Swagel. “Economic Issues 11–Does Globalization Lower Wages and Export Jobs?” International Monetary Fund. Imf.org, Sept. 1997. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

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Global Trends in the Cosmetic Industry

Cosmetic dyes and colours: Explained

Cosmetic colours are also known as cosmetic lakes. These colours are produced by taking the help of absorption of dyes that are water-soluble onto a substrate. It makes the colour insoluble in water. Cosmetic lake colours are made by making use of unique technology. The technology helps in attaining extremely fine particles. These particles help in achieving shade consistency. In comparison water soluble colours, cosmetic lakes are much more stable & safe. They also generate vivacious and brighter colours. It has been seen that cosmetic pigments and lakes are more suitable for food products that contain fats and oils. They are also suitable for those products that do not contain enough moisture for dissolving colours.

Cosmetic dyes, on the other hand are used for making cosmetic colours & products. These dyes are widely used by the cosmetic manufacturing industries and businesses all over the world. They are primarily used for manufacturing hair dyes, lipsticks, nail polishes, shampoo as well as other personal care products. It has been seen that generally water soluble & food dyes are very easy and safe to use. These dyes are mostly used for a wide variety of applications. They include cleaning chemicals, soaps, medicine, cosmetic products etc.

Know which ones are safe for use

Be it the use of any type of cosmetic dyes or cosmetic colorants safety of use is a primary consideration. Cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes often make use of a wide range of synthetic colours. These are often referred to as FD&C colours. They are mainly extracted through coal tar and are basically a by-product of petroleum. Research shows that some particular coal tar based dyes lead to different types of cancer. This is why the FDA regulates them. They also determine the arsenic or lead amount they contain. Thus there are many restrictions in the use of such colours.

Some global trends in Cosmetic dyes and cosmetic colours

Worldwide it is seen that North America, followed by Europe, has the largest market for colour cosmetics. This is due to innovations in colour cosmetics. Other factors also include high consumer disposable income and frequent new product launches in colour cosmetic market in the region. However Asia too is expected to show high growth rate in the colour cosmetics market in next few years. This is on account of the increasing consumer incomes and rising in awareness about personal care products in the region.

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Economic Turmoil and the Future of Brazil

For many years, Brazil has been an emerging economic hub, attracting investors from all over the world. The Brazilian economy saw an 368% increase in Gross Domestic Product growth from 2003 to 2011. In addition, Brazil took in almost half of Foreign Direct Investment flowing into South America during 2015. This doesn’t come as a surprise since it reigns as one of the major emerging national economies. However, Brazil has seen a recent economic downturn with increasing unemployment and a contracting GDP. In fact, the Brazilian government cut 2017 GDP expectations from 1.6% to 1% growth. Having been one the most lucrative foreign investments for governments to individual investors, what happened to the so-called “Country of the Future” and can Brazil regain its momentum?

Back in 2015, recession hit Brazil hard and the country is still struggling to get back on track. According to the CIA World Factbook, the economy contracted 32% from its peak in 2011 and unemployment reached a new high at 12.6% in 2016. Being based mostly on services, agriculture and oil, Brazil’s economy has a direct correlation with global demand. With global recession looming, Brazil is feeling the effects of a slow world economy.

Brazil is a top tourist destination offering beautiful beaches, a diverse culture and exciting festivals. However, with the world economy slowing down, people are less likely to travel abroad. Since the majority of the country’s GDP derives from the service industry, Brazil will not be able to rebound any time soon unless there is a major boost in consumer confidence.

The demand for Brazilian exports was slashed when its largest trading partner, China, entered into an economic slowdown of their own. The decrease in exports caused massive layoffs throughout the nation. The notorious economic downward spiral began by wary consumer spending as unemployment rose. Companies that tried to gain capital by borrowing in U.S. dollars found it difficult to pay back those loans as the Brazilian Real crashed 25% in the span of a year in 2015.

One of the major hits came from low oil prices and the corruption of Petrobras, a large oil company and Brazil’s largest source of investment. Brazil is major producer of oil, exporting $11.8 billion worth in 2015, according to the Observatory for Economic Complexity. OPEC delivered a major blow when the cartel decided not to cut oil production, causing oil futures prices to plunge. In order to cope with heavy losses, Petrobras was forced to sell off assets and halt future research and expansion plans.

As if things weren’t going poorly, Petrobras was also caught in a scandal with former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and other high office executives. From 2004 to 2012, the company had spent over $2 billion on bribes to politicians whom would allow the company to charge inflated prices for construction contracts. Now that the scandal has unfolded, Petrobras executives face jail time and the company as a whole is forced to pay billions in fines.

So what does the future hold for Brazil?

Although at the moment the future looks dim, there are still signs of hope Brazil can turn itself around. The Real has seemed to stabilize in 2016 and heads into 2017 with an upward trend. Moreover, experts’ GDP projections for 2018 through 2020 show promising figures that Brazil can restore pre-recession level growth.

Even more promising, U.S. companies are still showing faith in Brazil’s future. American Airlines plans to invest $100 million in an aircraft maintenance center in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Investment Partnership Minister Wellington Moreira Franco and many countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan agree there are still reasons to invest in Brazil. This should be seen as a sign of confidence that the Brazilian market will grow soundly with the support of both national and international investment.

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The Effects Of The Global Trade Agreement

We live in a world that is increasingly getting connected. In such a world, trade agreements are bound to expand internationally, and to think and act otherwise would be downright stupid.

These global trade agreements, as such, are either bilateral or multilateral understanding between two or multiple countries and govern the trade policies between them. These agreements have a massive impact on worldwide trade and investments and are one of the major causes responsible for shaping business relationships across the globe. And while such agreements might not affect directly affect the place where you live or operate, being aware of the current trade agreements can definitely uncover numerous opportunities.

Forming up opinions is up to you; we do not intend to initiate an argument over how good or how bad these global trade agreements are. This article aims to get you familiarized with such agreements and tell if your supply chain could be affected or not.

While a few countries have settled upon free trade agreements and are in the process of widening them, a number of other nations have formed common markets and unions; this form of development can a have a thorough effect on small-scale businesses.

Two of the most common agreements are the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Brunei, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia and Japan, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, United States and Mexico.

Now, how such agreements impact your local business’s supply chain depends on a simple fact; whether your business is an importer, exporter or neither.

Scenario 1: You neither import nor export

It’s fairly easy to decide whether you are an importer or not, right? I understand that you do not directly source products from a foreign supplier, and technically speaking, that doesn’t make you an importer. However, trade agreements can still impact you. Your suppliers are directly affected by such regulations, and this vulnerability can affect your supply chain.

Keep the distinction in mind.

Scenario 2: You identify yourself as an importer

Owing to the low cost manufacturing in some countries, many small scale suppliers are able to compete with global giants.

With a trade agreement between two countries, most of the times, the country with lower labour costs benefits when the trade tariffs are lowered or eliminated. With trade agreements, importers usually get to source low-cost goods and it allows for the unrestricted movement of such low-cost goods through higher cost partner nation.

In case, such an agreement is dissolved, an importer would inevitably face a higher cost of goods and thus look for cheaper sourcing options, decrease their operational costs, and ultimately increase the prices, which would be borne by the customers, of course.

Scenario 3: You are an exporter

This even counts if you sell products that another firm exports because at some point or other, taxes would be levied on your sold goods. So how does it affect you? Your customers end up paying higher amounts for your products.

With a trade agreement in place between the country where the product originates and the receiving country, the very same products would move through the receiving nation freely. In such cases, you’d definitely want to keep such an agreement intact and leverage this competitive advantage you have in this particular country bound by trade regulations.

As a small or a medium sized business, it is therefore important for you to identify where your business lies with respect to global trade agreements.

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The Paramounted Importance of Critical Analysis in International Trade Policies

International trade is largely based on the constant fluctuations in the world-wide economy, this resulting in constant changes with regards to tariffs, trade subsidies and unending amendments of regulations with regards to international trade. “Trade policy and economic Growth”, a paper by Keith Maskus, PhD, focuses on the relationship between trade policies and the growth of the economy or lack thereof, the main point of interest of the paper was to establish whether the variance of trade policies will affect the economic growth of any country. The conclusion reached was that open economies tend to grow faster than closed economies, ceteris paribus. therefore concluding that open competition is good in the sense that it improves resource distribution and the country gains in Investment and innovation.

An organisation that is involved in international trade has to pay special attention to such information. There might not be any countries with closed economies however there are countries that have low imports to the point that they are regarded as closed economies for instance Brazil. In 2011 Brazil recorded 13% as its import percentage which was quite low for a country of its stature. Is it not then imperative to constantly be up to date with changes in the trade policies of countries one is interested in pursuing trade relations with? since there is a proven positive relationship between the openness of an economy to competition (thus meaning the country is greatly involved in trade) and the growth of that country`s economy, this serves as an indication of how lucrative and profitable a business venture would be under such circumstances. The Critical analysis aspect then comes into play by determining how much gain or loss would result from substantial changes to the policies, which are measures and instruments that can influence export and imports, the objective being the policies influence the trade sector to the result of profit for the business venture. one might feel a degree in commercial management is then needed in order to fully understand all the kinks and edges of the international business, and they would be right, but the eventuality is that it will always boil down to intelligence and efficiency in the analysis of trends, calculation of potential profit/loss, predictions of future stability or fluctuations in the world economy prompting changes to prices in the trade sector.

There is one other important factor that can alter potential business plans, and that is the politics of the country in question, policies are easily influenced by the politics of the nation, and it is thus advisable that critical analysis be also engaged, this results in better understanding of the country and its stability thus reducing the chances of incurring a bad business eventuality. Nations are not governed by robots, unfortunately, but are governed by people with interests and human nature desires to differ from individual to individual making it difficult to maintain a constant effective system. if politicians are elected they tend to focus on altering policies for their own benefit, and the benefit of those they promised (if there are still honest politician available) from that point it is important that international business consider such factors before pursuing business. Prime examples being, whenever there are strikes in South Africa investors tend to shy away, and most of the strikes are birthed from political influence, thus deeming South Africa an Unstable nation to invest in, or Zimbabwe a nation sanctioned, due to political infringements, making the country undesirable for investment irregardless of the profitability of the business idea. It is thus an excellent idea to firstly research in-depth to the politics of the country before hand and invest with,much-needed information, guiding the innovative decision made.

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The Truth About Shipping Technology and Supply Chain Visibility

In the shipping business, it was once an extra to have shipping technology which supplied supply chain visibility, but it’s become a must in a now competitive and shipping software run industry. Not everyone knows exactly what it means to have complete supply chain visibility, however, so what is supply chain visibility and just how does shipping software help it? You may have learned this stuff about supply chain visibility, so let’s figure out the truth:

Supply chain visibility in a glance

It’s pretty much exactly what it looks like. Utilizing quality shipping software or auditing systems, you’re given awareness over all your shipments through openness of shipping data, organizing, and auditing, and all involved parties gain access to this information: you can plainly view the entirety of your shipments from end to end.

For comprehensive visibility you have to be in a position to trade data around different systems, like shipping data and freight deals to implement the best logistics management strategies you can. How your business and systems connect to your shipping partners along with their system is the number one factor in achieving real visibility so that you can discover how you can save money shipping.

Can a business continue to be competitive without having supply chain visibility?

The quick and candid response would be no. Well, it isn’t really impossible for a shipping business to function without supply chain visibility, but they are more prone to be eliminated or surpassed in the freight or parcel shipping industry by more efficient companies. Merely staying in business differs from being competitive, and supply chain visibility is essential as of late to be able to keep a competitive edge.

Shouldn’t shipping software and visibility be a much more popular strategy?

Unfortunately, a lot of companies aren’t loaded with the proper shipping software and auditing services. Though proper supply chain management and supply chain visibility has been an acknowledged issue for decades, EDIs, manual spreadsheets, etc. aren’t good enough for visibility reliable enough to continue to be competitive. The best supply chain management and visibility option is to use a transportation management system (TMS) and auditing solution.

What does not having visibility mean for a business?

One of the things that can take place is serious damage to a company’s name. About 33% of consumers in the United States put the blame for stock-outs on the store. This gives an adverse influence on long-term consumer retention and brand loyalty. In addition, it will directly injure a company’s bottom line, creating both urgent and extended issues which are hard to remedy.

Where does responsibility for those effects fall?

The real issue ought to be about solving the problem by updating your shipping technology and auditing methods, not setting blame. You can’t position the blame on retailers when 75% of shippers report that their visibility tool doesn’t integrate with their shipping technology, and only 39% of shippers gather data with visibility systems in the first place. There’s just no way to prevent stock-outs without the ability to make radical decisions according to real-time data exchanges.

Approaches to fix the problem

Businesses must find solutions that would provide them with end-to-end supply chain visibility. While legacy systems remain, businesses must invest into transportation management systems and auditing solutions that can operate on both old tech like EDI, and newer technology like API.

API is a wonderful technology for shipping software as a way to join suppliers, shippers, carriers, etc. with real-time transportation data so that they can make better decisions for their logistics management.

You can save money shipping with thorough visibility and improved logistics management, just by embracing more progressive shipping software like a TMS capable of working with both EDI and API.

Shipping TMS delivers transportation software and logistics management services. Transportation industry leading parcel and freight shipping management software helps save money shipping and get cheap shipping rates to improve supply chains.

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