The Lowest Possible Transportation Rates
for the Highest Quality Transportation


The Sporting Goods Shippers Association (SGSA) is a nonprofit organization that has evolved from working solely with the bicycle industry to its current mission of providing dedicated services for exercise equipment and sporting goods importers and distributors. The goal of the SGSA is to provide its customers with the lowest possible transportation rates for the highest quality transportation.

The SGSA's main function is to negotiate ocean freight rates and contracts with steamship carriers and conferences that are favorable to our customers. Through participation in the SGSA, your import/export business can receive the same low freight rates large importers (more than 5,000 FEUs) enjoy. In addition to lower freight costs, you will command a high level of customer service from the SGSA's contract carriers. The SGSA also stands ready to assist and advise customer companies on individual shipping problems, requirements, and procedures.

The SGSA offers substantial cost savings and many services for its customers' transportation needs—however, the SGSA will not select carriers for you. Through its contracts, the SGSA provides its customers with a wider range of carriers than the selection available through NVOCC arrangements or individual carrier contracts. Your contact with carriers—including the selection process, payment process, and information flow—remains intact. The SGSA has shipping contracts with premium carriers like Evergreen® and APL®. These rate and service contracts cover all sporting goods commodities and accessories.

The SGSA as Negotiator
Under the 1998 Shipping Reform Act (S.414), service contracts entered into between shippers and carriers are filed confidentially with the FMC, and only "essential" terms like origins, destinations, commodities, minimum quantity committed, and duration will be made available to the public. In other words, there is no longer any mechanism or requirement for public disclosure of contract rates and terms. Shippers' Associations may also enter into confidential contracts.

The regulations written under the 1998 Shipping Reform Act enable carriers to negotiate favorable rates for large importers (over 5,000 FEUs) without small and medium sized importers knowing what the most competitive rate levels might be. This reduced rate visibility has put small and medium sized importers at a distinct disadvantage in negotiations with the steamship lines.


Like so many other large corporations, steamship lines are consolidating their services in order to be more cost effective. But, the downside in this trend for importers is a loss of flexibility and responsiveness from large, consolidated shippers when it comes to rates and services. In order to negotiate favorable rates and schedules under the conditions that prevail today, importers must position themselves to demonstrate volume, consistency, and value to the carriers.

Participating with a Shippers' Association is the single most effective way small and medium shippers can achieve the volume necessary to conduct rate and volume negotiations with any "weight" behind them. Through the consolidated strength of a Shippers Association, importers are able to receive greater attention, better service, and lower, more cost-effective rates from
the best carriers.



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