How Do You Like Them Apples?

At Arpin, we try to recreate this feeling for our clients, to make moving to a new continent feel as simple as moving down the street. Sometimes, though, our interests collide with others’ in ways that would have been impossible 20 years ago, tugging globalization out of the background. These occasions remind us that those things we take for granted are the end-products of a supply chain stretching around the world and involving countless other people.

In the international moving industry, we are stewards of the human supply chain, handling those gritty inner workings of globalization on a daily basis. Our work is often challenging, but never dull. In fact, the challenges are the most interesting part. Just last week, we faced a general rate increase from one of our air freight providers, an unremarkable occurrence given frequent fluctuations in the price of jet fuel. But this time, the culprit wasn’t oil, but apples.

It turns out that we are in the midst of peak apple-picking season. And as harvests are shipped around the world, the increased demand for air freight has driven up rates. Apples may be one of those taken-for-granted products of globalization, but they too must come from somewhere and reach us somehow.

A little research has also revealed that cost pressure doesn’t just come from seasonal harvests, which, while inconvenient, are at least predictable. Apple (the company, not the fruit) currently faces unprecedented demand for its newly-released iPhone 6 and anticipates shipping millions of iPhones around the world in the coming months, so shipping industry experts are forecasting even further price increases for air shipments.

Despite the extra layer of preparation required to handle these contingencies, it’s impossible not to marvel at just how interconnected we have become, for better or worse. And at the end of the day, that’s always a plus for Arpin and the international moving industry.

Submitted by Lauren Forman, Intern – Arpin International China