Universal Cargo’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2020 – You Won’t Believe What #1 Is!
For many, today couldn’t get here quickly enough. At midnight tonight, we say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021, hoping for a better year. Traditionally, Universal Cargo has said goodbye to years by reviewing the top 10 international shipping news stories of the year. This year, we thought we’d change it up a little bit because COVID-19 so thoroughly dominated the news cycle that almost the whole countdown would be coronavirus related.
Thus, instead of the top international shipping news stories, we’re going to count down the top 10 most popular blog posts of 2020. And you won’t believe what came in at number one. The rules are simple. Posts are ranked in order of unique views they received. Only entries that were posted in 2020 qualify (many posts from previous years would crack the list if we were looking at all blog posts visited in 2020).
Remembering the days of funnier late night comedy than we have today, we’re doing this list David Letterman style, counting down from number ten to number one. If you want to visit the blog posts yourself, just click on their title headings to follow links to the individual posts. No more waiting. Let the countdown begin!
A guest post by Kelly Skangale cracks the top 10 list. Cryptocurrency is increasing in popularity and there is a push to get its blockchain technology more involved in international shipping. In this post, Skangale goes through blockchain benefits for the logistics industry as well as challenges to consider in adopting the new technology to the international shipping industry.
Breaking into the top 10 at number 9 is a guest post by David Fan about how the Chinese New Year affects international shipping. This was Universal Cargo’s first blog post of 2020, and not only did Fan get into how the Chinese Spring Festival holiday affects international shipping with this post, he shared background on the holiday like what it means in China and the time span of its celebration.
Of course, it would be impossible for the pandemic not to have affected this list at all. Coming in at number 8 on our countdown is this blog post about importing pandemic supplies like masks, gloves, gowns, thermometers, sanitizers, and disinfectants. Many people found this post, with information straight from a webinar Universal Cargo’s house customs broker gave, extremely useful as their businesses needed to import supplies to protect their employees and customers and follow pandemic-related regulations.
Coming in at number 7 is a post I wrote examining what was happening in the international shipping industry and making predictions about how the 2020 peak season would look. Many had been predicting 2020 would not have a peak season at all. I didn’t buy into that narrative, predicting we would have a peak season and freight rates would high; however, the peak season ended up being even stronger than I projected. In fact, demand remains strong even now as if we’re still in the middle of the peak season. Our readers ask for posts like this, as such articles give indicators of what to expect in the industry, helping shippers better prepare for their importing and exporting operations.
Guest writers did extremely well in Universal Cargo’s blog this year. Already the third post from a guest contributor, this article by Shawn Mack about choosing shipping containers comes in at number 6. Mack covers the topic of choosing the correct shipping container well, outlining factors like type of sea freight, varieties of container designs based on function, and shipping container sizes. This is an especially useful article for businesspersons who are new to importing and exporting goods.
Coming in at number 5 is a blog that explains one of 2020’s shipping buzzwords: shipageddon. Was the word designed by the mainstream media mainly to scare people? Probably. Still, there was a perfect storm leading up to the Christmas holiday that has created great difficulty for U.S. shippers who import and export goods. However, shipageddon was supposed to be more about last-mile and domestic shipping problems creating great inventory shortages around the country. That was not seen anywhere near the level of deserving such an ominous word, and this post is worth reading just for the awareness of the “descent into chaos” language and fearmongering tendencies we’re seeing more and more from the mainstream media.
Not all international shipping comes from across an ocean. Our neighbors right here on our own continent can make great international trade partners. This post is all about importing from Mexico, and who knew it would be so popular, coming in as Universal Cargo’s fourth most popular blog post of the year. Then again, why not? Between the trade war with China and COVID-19 originating there, people who import from China have been looking at alternate countries to import goods from for a while. Mexico could be an excellent option for many with much faster delivery.
While COVID-19 would have dominated an international shipping news story countdown, it really hasn’t dominated the most popular blog posts of 2020. This is the last time the coronavirus pops up on this list, though it is quite high at number 3, and only the third post on the list heavily influenced by the pandemic. Actually, this article is all the way back from January, before COVID-19 hit pandemic levels and was still being called the Wuhan coronavirus by all major news sources. At this point, the virus was a new disease, spreading in China, and the fatigue of hearing story after story after story about it hadn’t set in yet. Shippers needed to know what was going on in China and how it would affect their trade with business partners in that country. This blog post supplied those details back when the confirmed infection rate was only 7,711 people.
Coming in #2 on the list is another guest post; this one from George McKinley. I told you guest contributors did really well in Universal Cargo’s blog this year. McKinley wrote a great article about the differences between two commonly interchanged words that proved to be of interest to more than just linguists. Many think it makes no difference whether you use the word cargo or freight. They’d be wrong. What differentiates cargo from freight? Check out the post McKinley wrote to find out all about it and perhaps use this knowledge to impress friends or colleagues later on.
This post almost never got published. Mary Walton had submitted the excellent article about international shipping and marijuana to Universal Cargo many months before it actually made it onto the site. There was worry at the time of submission that the article might result in many false leads to Universal Cargo that might waste some of our team members’ time. Instead, after we finally decided to publish the article, it became our most viewed blog post of 2020. I guess we underestimated the popularity of marijuana. With all the legalization movement on the plant over the last several years, many people and businesses are looking into what they need to know to ship it. Congratulations, Mary, on writing the most popular blog Universal Cargo published in 2020!
Amazingly, half of this year’s most viewed blog posts came from guest writers, including the number 1 post. If you’re interested in submitting articles for publication in Universal Cargo’s blog, check out our submission guidelines and tips post. Who knows, maybe you’ll write the most popular blog post of 2021.