Market Letters

Laufer Fast Tracks PPE on Behalf of the City of Memphis

The city of Memphis needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to safeguard its healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Jim Strickland had proposed deadlines for securing life-saving PPE in Memphis from its origin in China. Understanding how critical it was that these goods should arrive on time and without any regulatory issues, a local business owner familiar with Laufer’s high level of responsiveness and innovative thinking reached out for help in formulating and executing a best-fit solution.

Laufer’s compliance team took the first step of reviewing all documents related to the shipment to ensure that there would not be any customs delay at origin or at destination. First-time importers of PPE have been falling victim to fraud, licensing violations, and improper documentation. Laufer knew that this extra step could be the difference between timely arrival of needed PPE, or leaving the Mayor and his task force at a serious deficit.

After giving the green light to proceed, and with much at stake, the shipment began its journey from China to Hong Kong Airport, but not without unforeseeable trouble. New regulations, implemented by Chinese officials over the weekend and as the cargo was in transit to the airport, added extensive, time-consuming inspections at the border. The Laufer team personally owned every step of the process, expediting the shipment through Chinese Customs as quickly as possible, and holding the timeline intact. This would not have been possible without the late evening/early morning coordination between Laufer and their overseas affiliates. Finally, as the goods moved on a direct chartered flight into Chicago, committed team members monitored the shipment throughout the night to oversee smooth passage and ensure “wheels-up” customs clearance.

Laufer’s airfreight team, with intimate awareness of airport workings, was able to execute an expedited turnaround that is rarely seen: Upon arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport at 9 pm, the plane was immediately unloaded, and the cargo was made available within one hour of arrival. Laufer’s dedicated team of drivers quickly collected the consignments and delivered the precious cargo the very next morning more than 500 miles away in Memphis.

Being Built Different, Laufer continues to successfully execute tailor-made solutions by thinking ahead, responding swiftly, and standing by their customers each step of the way, day and night. This is especially true when it comes to meeting the humanitarian needs of our country.

If you need help importing goods quickly under these challenging conditions, contact