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.
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,
SGSA offers substantial cost savings and many services for
its customers' transportation needshowever, 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 carriersincluding
the selection process, payment process, and information
flowremains 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.
SGSA as Negotiator
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.
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
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
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.
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.