Imports and exports to and from countries, distributors and businesses are an extremely important operation for global companies, and PreGel is no exception. Though the company has been doing it for over 45 years, the daily changes in legislation, paperwork, country requirements, taxes and every other detail can be and usually are extremely tedious. Shuffling through the details and ensuring shipments in and out will be received are part of the efforts of many departments within the company (Distribution, Production and Quality Assurance, to name a few), but one specific guy gets to call this his job each and every day as the Imports/Exports Logistics Coordinator at PreGel AMERICA.That man is Paul Blackwelder.
Blackwelder, you could say, sort of stumbled into imports/exports. He started his transition from trucking in 1989 and began as document clerk with a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) on the full container side, exporting over 200 containers per week. Though he didn’t admit it in an earlier interview, this change of direction was influenced by a lunch with “a girl,” he said.
From there he became more involved as a freight forwarder/Customs broker, then as an exports manager and eventually broke into sales. Fast forward to 2012, and after 23 years in the field he is now paving the way for PreGel’s imports and exports to find the smoothest path possible.
Blackwelder says the most exciting part of his job is dealing with people all around the world, which is a critical component of the job. A typical day for this position requires producing documents for imports and exports, coordinating with vendors, carriers, forwarders, brokers, government agencies, warehouses, production, sales, customers and our customers’ clients in some cases. While Blackwelder enjoys his daily dealings with all types, the most challenging part of his job involves government agencies.
“Each agency has its own agenda,” states Blackwelder. “Some of the information the different agencies require is the same, some are completely different, and the reasons for the requirements can vary drastically as well.” In the worse cases, Blackwelder shares that these agencies can delay a shipment for minute reasons and justify it.The delays then unfortunately can cause a loss in costs, production, sales, dollars and in worse cases, customers.
“The truth is, there is a good, a bad and ugly in any job you do. There’s also complexity, and this is one that has a great deal of it, but it makes the end result more fulfilling,” said Blackwelder. That end result Blackwelder shares is saving time and costs, which in turn can increase the quality and sales of goods, all of which contribute to providing top-notch customer service to PreGel’s clients.