Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Why investment in commercial office space is risky...

More companies are allowing their team members to work from home or remotely and adopting a "results" based approach rather than a "presence" based approach thus leading to less of a need of office space. 

With video conferencing, VOIP, smartphones and internet paperless tech these days, what is "presence" anyway? The young members of my team at Depth would argue they are just as "present" if not more via the net as they are in the office and our tech makes this possible. 

The fact is that research actually supports that people are more productive(between 9-20%), they are generally happier and far more attracted to work for companies that allow them this freedom even if only sometimes. This stands to reason with no time wasting, vibe sucking traffic or public transport for them to contend with for starters. Client satisfaction is the winner from happier team members.


Attracting and retaining great people is one of the cornerstones of success of any business. These days one of the biggest attractions to working for a company is the culture of "Freedom" they have particularly for Gen Y and Millennials. 

I am not saying you can abandon a traditional office totally but I am certain it at least doesn't need to be as big as it used to be if you embrace modern management philosophy, outsourcing and technology. A good meeting space and a hot desk environment for most companies is all you need now...and...if you really want to go one step further, you can rent space like that by the hour or for the cost of a latte at your local cafe that probably has free WiFi to boot.

Working remotely has never been easier and it will get easier still as companies learn how to train their team and foster their corporate culture and teamwork in this environment. It is possible!

So...if you are looking at investing in office space, think again. The landscape is changing fast and it isn't the investment it once was. Companies with a results based management approach won't need much office space that's if they need an office at all.

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Now you can travel with Depth Travel - We're live and taking bookings online NOW!


Depth Travel is now live and taking bookings online.

In creating Depth Travel, my goal was to build a travel booking portal that is easy for our clients to quickly and competitively make their travel bookings whether they are going for business pleasure.

Our platform is a no nonsense, high tech, cloud based travel booking engine that instantly scans the web for the very best available prices and options on flights, hotels, car hire and travel insurance.


You can create your own profile and our system will automatically save your preferences, passport details, frequent flyer numbers or hotel loyalty programme numbers. This will allow you to get in and out faster the next time you book with us.

For inspiration of great places to visit and to be the first to get access to some special offers you can follow +Depth Travel on Google+.

I hope you will try Depth Travel next time you need to travel. 

We Go Deeper!

Thank you and all for now,

Monday, 23 June 2014

Click>Ship>Save with myCargo by Depth Logistics


People are increasingly internet savvy and seeking quicker, easier, more affordable and enjoyable ways to do business. Depth Industries DNA is to strive to meet our clients needs and revolutionise the way they can access services while engaging with them as deeply as possible.

The vision that my team and I at Depth Logistics have had for myCargo has just been realised with the deployment of a quantum leap making upgrade to the platform last Friday. myCargo is now a true game changer that creates competitive advantage by allowing clients to arrange 100% of their shipping needs digitally if they chose in the same manner you can make travel bookings these days.

It enables us to offer myCargo members radically lower rates in a simple, personalised and easy to use platform. A "Best Price Guarantee" is one of the pillars of the myCargo service offering and so are the special offers we will constantly deliver. Currently members can get a customs clearance done for as low as A$80.00!

The depth of resources available go way beyond an "old school" track and trace facility. By the way myCargo offers this but in true real time! It is packed with tools that enable members to monitor, analyse, compare and consequently partner with us in reducing their logistics spend right from within their own personal dashboard.

Online quotes, marine insurance, quote history, shipping document archives are just a few more of the capabilities available.

+Julie Magnone or I would like to do a demonstration for you or otherwise feel free to sign up now and start making your shipping easier, more enjoyable and cost effective.


All for now,




Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Saturday, 17 May 2014

How does global business flow now? A MUST READ if you are in business.

In this blog I have been regularly talking about global business changing rapidly and how the internet and modern transportation methods have impacted the landscape of competition for numerous industries. Distance does not matter anymore!

If your overhead structure and prices are not GLOBALLY competitive you better get your skates on and make them so before the freight train runs you over.

To say it again, regardless of international borders, overseas competitors are now able to take you and your company on at home and are doing so. 

I follow the McKinsey Global Institute and this month they released a research report with some stats that you cannot afford to ignore. 

Here they are:
-There was a $26 trillion flow of goods, services and finance in 2012 which is equivalent to 36% of global GDP.
-By 2025 it is estimated that cross border business flow will reach $85 trillion.
-Global GDP will grow by an estimated $450 billion each year.
-18x increase in internet traffic from 2005 to 2012.
-90% of commercial sellers on eBay export their goods to other countries vs 25% of traditional businesses.
-500% increase in Skype call minutes since 2008
-In 2012 China accounted for 12% of global trade in goods which was up from 2% in 1990.
-In 2012 emerging economies accounted for 38% of the total cross-border flow of goods, services and finance which was up from 14% in 1990.

These confirm the trend I have been writing about in this blog for quite some time now about how global competition is developing.

All of the businesses I am growing in Depth Industries are geared to help companies stay globally competitive by accessing the goods and services that will help them not only survive, but prosper in this landscape of truly international competition.

Time to face the brutal fact. International competition is commoditising goods and services more than ever before in history and whether you like it or not price is increasingly the driver in the decision making process.

Are you globally competitive and chasing down international markets? If not, why not?! There are some great opportunities if you are rigged the right way.

I'd like to help you develop a strategy for your business and would welcome you contacting me.

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Is marine cargo insurance essential?

I was talking to a Depth Logistics client yesterday who has asked us to ship a container of parts for her.

As is our standard operating procedure, I asked her whether she had marine insurance cover for the shipment? She told me that they wouldn't worry on this shipment as it wasn't big enough...or in translation to me, not worth enough that if it were lost or damaged there would be a serious financial impact on their company.

To most people it would seem commercially astute to save the small cost of an insurance premium where they believe the risk of loss or damage to their cargo is negligible. Sound logic if it were just the cargo that is at risk but it isn't!

Centuries of maritime law precedents have established an entirely different principle that make it important to have marine transit cover in place on even the seemingly small and low risk shipments. Shipping has numerous uncontrollable risks at sea and is inherently a high risk activity for any business.

Maritime law tends to side with the ship owner whether you like it or not. Most people don't realise that when they ship their cargo on any ship for a particular voyage then at law, they are considered to be in a joint venture for that voyage. What this means for shippers is that should the vessel get into distress, suffer a mishap, be forced to jettison cargo to save the ship, be lost at sea or hypothetically require salvage to remove it from a shipping channel then each shipper with cargo on board proportionately shares in these costs. That is the spirit of a joint venture after all and maritime law precedents support this regardless of fault or blame.



Therefore cargo even with a low value can end up costing the shipper a literal fortune for their share of costs incurred to deal with the mishap properly. In my career there was one occasion where a client had a single container on a ship that ran aground in a shipping channel. The vessel had to be cut up at sea and removed from the channel as it presented a risk to other vessels and the environment. My client got a bill in the region of $400,000 for their share of costs even though their cargo was worth only a fraction of this. Had they not taken been prudent enough to ask me to take out marine insurance for them this would have been a ruinous event for their company.

So you should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS...(have I shouted it enough?) ALWAYS have marine cargo insurance. It is false economy not to.

Feel free to contact me or my team if you would like some free advice on this critical aspect of shipping.

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 


Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Australian federal budget 2014. Some suggestions from a humble shipping bloke.

On the 13 of May the new Australian Government hands down the Australian Federal Budget 2014. The speculation as to what will be in it seems bigger than ever in the media. While in no way do I consider myself an economist, at very best perhaps a bush economist, I'd like to enter the fray with a couple of suggestions for the Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

I think most Australians accept our country is now back in debt and it needs to be addressed. Generally I think we are prepared to take some pain rather than go the way of other countries whose debt grew to such an overwhelming level that their economies became dysfunctional. The Australian government must raise tax revenue, cut costs and help our exporters. Pure and simple.



With my background and qualifications in international trade and customs I think one area that government should use is with import duties. An increase in import duty of just 1 or 2%, on imported goods from countries that Australia does not have a free trade agreement with, would generate huge revenue and also help protect our local jobs and manufacturers who are rapidly disappearing with increasing global competition. Furthermore it would make imported goods slightly more expensive and hopefully slow imports down and thus improve our balance of payments. Such an increase to import duty is easy to apply and cheap to administer as Customs have the IT infrastructure to do this already.

Back in my college days, about 25 years ago, I wrote my final paper suggesting that protectionist policy had had it's day and we would see free trade between nations and trading blocks emerge. I was severely marked down on this at the time as my lecturer had a strong protectionist and differing view. Essentially what I predicted is what has come to pass though. 

I have not been a protectionist for all of my working life however I now think in the next 5-10 years we may go full circle and we will start implementing protectionist policy once again. I believe many other countries in the west will be forced to as they cannot compete with other other countries and keep their population employed. So as global competition is intensifying I am gradually becoming a protectionist conditional upon import duties imposed being kept to a bare minimum. In my mind an absolute maximum of 5% as we do not want our local industry to become complacent or reliant on import duty for survival.

The other area is GST. While I do not profess to know the finer points of Canadian taxation, it seems to me that the Canucks are doing it pretty well and adjust the rate of GST up or down accordingly to act as another economic lever. During the GFC they lowered their GST progressively from 9% to 5% where it is now which in effect helped stimulate the economy by making things cheaper.

In Australia the main and seemingly only lever we use is interest rates to slow down or to stimulate economy. Pretty crude approach in comparison to our Canadian mates who have very similar economy to ours with mining, tourism and agriculture being key drivers and two levers to pull economically. We should follow their lead.

Apart from that, help is on the way to our exporters. This month the government increased expenditure on Export Market Development Grants and simplified the process. A positive initiative that will certainly assist.

If only the AUD would weaken to sensible levels for our exporters then we'd be knocking down that foreign debt in no time.

I'm happy to take your call Mr Hockey if you'd like a few more suggestions...

All for now,

+Brad Skelton