Livingston International

ShipHapens

New Member
2
Livingston held up a Rims Truck for 69 hours last weekend. Totally frustrated poor Kevin probably has no hair left and I got involved only Monday morning from 8 am and was ready to kill someone by 5 pm when we finally got released.
 

Salma

Well-Known Member
20
Livingston held up a Rims Truck for 69 hours last weekend. Totally frustrated poor Kevin probably has no hair left and I got involved only Monday morning from 8 am and was ready to kill someone by 5 pm when we finally got released.
I honestly believe that Livingston is the leading cause of PTSD! (In trucking, anyway)
They are the Harvey Weinstein of customs brokers - everyone knows but not much can be done.
 
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chica123

Site Supporter
20
Well I learned a little interesting tidbit today after it took 7 hours for them to set up a shipment for me. The driver was at the border for 3 of those 7 hours. After approx. 8 phone calls to their useless call center and speaking to several people all over the globe, I was transferred to a local office. (I don't want to say which one because I don't want to cause trouble for the lady that answered my call.) Progress!!! Not so much. She was kind, she listened patiently to me and sensed my frustration...you all know the feeling. She must have been frustrated too, because she let something slip to me. She said that Livingston has brokered out the work to companies overseas. I don't mean the people that answer your calls at the call center; we all know they are not here in Canada. I mean the actual setting up the entry. She said she could not even call the team that does the entry because they don't have a phone...only an email contact. So now it all makes sense. No wonder there is so much pushback when you ask to speak to the team. I don't know if all customers are served by these overseas subcontractors, but now you know that many are!
 

Nawk

Well-Known Member
20
To many large companies... a good customer experience means nothing anymore. It's all about the all mighty dollar.
 

loaders

Site Supporter
30
Especially for a company with multiple entries per day. A couple of bucks off the rate and thousands are saved every week.
 

Jim L

Well-Known Member
20
It is a sad testament of how business decisions are made every day. The company puts someone in charge to obtain rates/quotes for a service. Usually this junior person has no idea on what the service consists of but is asked to get prices. These prices are then put into a spreadsheet, sorted Z-A and the company in the top row is awarded the business.

Years ago, RFQ's came with a scope of work and this is how someone was measured. Service providers made sure that they priced things accordingly based on the scope of work or risk being dropped or worse because they did not meet the scope of work.

I like to call this the SPIRIT AIR effect. Spirit has identified that being in the top position on web searches gets them business so they lowered their prices and charged add-ons instead of a higher flat fee. This was so effective at the that Spirit obtained profit margins much higher than their peers and thus, other airlines followed suit.

Livingston is no different. They have obtained a market share by purchasing other brokers and charging a small base fee to keep them in the top row of the spreadsheet.

Hopefully some day, some cost accountant will identify that the low cost on this spreadsheet leads to a higher cost on the opposite spreadsheet and that they will go back to identifying the needed scope of work to keep their costs in line and acquiring service providers that work within the scope of work.

As for Livingston, start charging your customers an added fee for using Livingston's service. I have had some success with that for my direct shippers. At the very least, it adds to the discussion and you can call on them when you're having real problems, like you described above, and get them to share in your pain. For some customers I have passed the buck to them, they take my PARS and follow up with Livingston directly so they understand when I charge them 'WAIT AT BORDER' time.
 

Vachon

New Member
2
Hello everyone.
Just the last week I have waisted 2 trips between. Montreal and Connecticut thanks to Livingston.

All loads are regular clients and same shipments all the time. One load got loaded at 1PM on Tuesday, set appointment for 6 AM Wednesday. Guess what : customs were cleared only on Wednesday at Noon. Had to reschedule an appointment for Friday 6 Am (that was the nearest opening with US Foods in CT) , keep frozen goods for 3 days in my reefer and not run anything else. Loss of gross income around 2500CAd.

Saturday got another load loaded at 8 PM to be delivered to Cheshire CT from St Remi QC. Sent paperwork to Livingston several times, never got it to enter onto their system. After sitting for 13 hours at the border I have returned the load of produce back to the original shipper. Livingston completely waisted the entire shipment , screwed both shipper and receiver of the load, made me run my truck and reefer in continuous mode for 14 hours .
Now I have message on my email stating that we refuse all of the loads with Livingston name on it or the customer has to accept $50 an hour border detention fee.

Point made, I'd rather stay home. Instead of burning my time, fuel and turning trucks around for the negative profit.
 

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
20
Wow ... this is 2020 and you still work for $800 a day or $50 an hour ???

Livingston ... quite a story to tell there. Generally we don't have a problem with them, although there are occasions. The most recent being when CBSA turned of the Legacy system and switched everything to SWI. Livingston was simply not prepared for the switchover. That caused us about a week of grief but it's all good now.

But heading into the U.S.? That's really odd because that system has been in place for a few years now and is really pretty idiot proof. My guess would be the problem was not with Livingston as much as it was with FDA and U.S. Ag. There are only certain hours these folks work and it can be quite troublesome especially in the east and midwest.

Regardless, I think we all feel your frustration in these situations. Quite often it is well worth the time to ascertain who the team is that is working your load and to have a quick conversation with them about pending border crossings, especially if they seem a little off right from the get-go.

Quite often you can get directly to the team (U.S. side) via email if you use this convention cst464xx@livingstonintl.com where the xx is the two digit team number :)
 

Vachon

New Member
2
Haha, idiotproof system LOL
Last 6 loads with Livingston Canada to USA were all in between 5-8 hours delay and now they became even worst than that.

No reason to look for the particular team that should clear your load since they do not reply to any of the emails sent to them over several days.
There is no direct number to call and the Indian person on the other side of the globe never been to North America and has no idea about what are you facing with customs delays.
Be real. Push client to change broker for anyone else. AN Deringer is slow sometimes up to 3-4 hours , but you can call them direct and speak to thr live person handling your paperwork.

DHL is way better as well as many other.
Every company cares about their image and professional look.
Livingston does not care at all, refuse them at all costs and eventually you will have a decent service from somewhere else .
 

tasuinam

Member
5
They are idiots - I WROTE on my cover sheet and called 5 times to tell them that the PAPS the load had been pre-cleared under needed to be cancelled and just add the shipment to a new PAPS#...it took them 7 hours to understand that!!!! Truck at the border while they tried to wrap their heads around the concept.
And if anyone asks me for my best call back number and what border I will be crossing or how many pages I sent I will defy the laws of physics and materialize from my phone to their location knock some sense into them....
 

RAINDOG

New Member
2
Their customer service reps have no understanding of anything that is not in their "script." When calling several times on an issue, only to repeat the same questions over and over again is infuriating. I tell them, "Just let me talk to the people who are clearing the load, I can tell there is a problem and this is my fourth call! I have already told you my phone number (on the cover sheet), how many pages and port of entry the last few times I have called!" Usually the reply is in a monotone voice, "Sir, I can't help you until you confirm how many pages."
Go through the process again and again, then go on hold for half an hour while they "try" to talk to the team only for them to then to tell us they won't transfer us to a team because they are not picking up so they are going to send an email. I need to call back in 45 minutes if no new updates on the web page.

Sadly, these situations cost operations so much time and money just to clear a shipment that it is getting to a point where it is worth doing anymore. With customs brokers working from home, it seems to only get worse. One time, I even had a shipper call me to tell me he would not use our carrier anymore when all I did was to get people involved to get the load across without putting it in bond. He would not accept my reasoning and hung up on the excuses his customs broker gave him despite my truck sitting at the border for 2 hours as reason for our escalation. Spending 3-4 hours of company time on the phone with these brokers, driver's time being used up costing them time, losing dispatch productivity due to constantly sitting on hold and not getting any compensation for that time is getting tiresome. Especially, when in these cases it should be - was there an adequate ETA given on paperwork? any issues with the paperwork, and if so, was the carrier advised to get some answers to get the load cleared if there were issues? If the answer is customs broker negligence, then the load should just go in bond - maybe if this would happen more, customs broker may actually become accountable from their clients and start doing their job. Take the pressure off the carrier, and the driver and have no ability to do anything and redirect that pressure back to the customs broker.

9 out of 10 times, we don't really have issues but when they arise for some reason they are doozies. Livingston is responsible for many of them, but they are not the only ones.

rant over.
 

MikeJr

Moderator
Staff member
30
Raindog,

Not to worry about your rant. Pretty sure 99% of us feel the same way about this. If we get an order from a customer that indicates Livingston or UPS SCS on it we cringe a little and pray it clears in good time.

There's an overwhelmingly large percentage of after hours calls I pick up are about these 2 customs brokers.

Keep well, keep safe,
Mike
 

Kysanahc

New Member
2
Raindog,

Not to worry about your rant. Pretty sure 99% of us feel the same way about this. If we get an order from a customer that indicates Livingston or UPS SCS on it we cringe a little and pray it clears in good time.

There's an overwhelmingly large percentage of after hours calls I pick up are about these 2 customs brokers.

Keep well, keep safe,
Mike
Had problems with UPS-SCS for months until I spoke to one of the on the guys in the Mississauga. His name is Juan, always answers emails/calls during normal business hours and gets things cleared quickly. Afterhours though you are 100% screwed lol
 

shayne

Active Member
10
everyone hates Livingston- even their own customers. but if you have good credit they extended great terms and huge sums of credit , thus companies chose them as their brokers. their call center is in the Philippines .
 

KT2020

New Member
1
We charge a “Livingston fee” as well! We should get more people on board for that! Although I have a hard time recommending a good broker these days. They’re few and far between!
Speaking of which, has anyone had the displeasure of dealing with Kuehne and Nagel lately???
 

tasuinam

Member
5
We charge a “Livingston fee” as well! We should get more people on board for that! Although I have a hard time recommending a good broker these days. They’re few and far between!
Speaking of which, has anyone had the displeasure of dealing with Kuehne and Nagel lately???
I had one load with them last month - was during business hours so everything was smooth...I dread weekend and after hours....
 

RAINDOG

New Member
2
We charge a “Livingston fee” as well! We should get more people on board for that! Although I have a hard time recommending a good broker these days. They’re few and far between!
Speaking of which, has anyone had the displeasure of dealing with Kuehne and Nagel lately???
I find Kuehne and Nagel are good until there is an issue. They purposely won't help over the phone (if they even answer) and insist we use their online tracking system that they are so proud of and never hold themselves accountable. I find with them, issues seem to go in waves and when they are at a low - it is really tough to get anything cleared in good time.
 
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