Productivity Hacks - How To Get Sh*t Done Faster!

Productivity Hacks - How To Get Sh*t Done Faster!

One of the reasons I founded was due to my frustration with getting the pricing information that I needed. Sometimes you just need a ballpark figure to either continue with plans or considerations or give up the thoughts. So these tools  are for those “Who you just have to know now!”

So now that we have established my lack of patience, I have a set of tools that I use in my daily job routine to alleviate what can appear to be senseless waiting. At Kemcore we love any tools that make our job easier or at least automates repetitive tasks that “seemingly” add not value to the cause.

How To Estimate Transit Times

In general, before importing any products you need to first work on your Total Landed Cost (TLC)  to assess if any profitability or cost savings to be achieved. One of the aspects that make up this TLC is freight costs.

Generally getting a freight quote takes a long time - depending on the route. I have been in situations whereby I just needed to know right there and then either because of my “impatient” nature or because a client urgently needed a budget price before the close of day/week or whatever the case might be. I have found some tools I use that I would like to share. - This is helpful as part of shipment planning.

I love this tool, as it allows you to do such things as “calculate” distances & transit times, plan routes etc.  

Snap short on calculating the "transit times" from Qingdao port to Nairobi via Mombasa port.

How To Estimate Freights Rates

Although the data provided by is grossly out of date for most of the ports,  I  often find myself referring back to it. It gives you a general idea of how much it would cost to ship from one port to the other. I normally take any rates from this and add +/- $300 to allow for any variances with current rates.

Other tools to consider include Freightos marketplace for instant freight rates

How To Estimate Import Duties - This tool is very helpful for importers. As part of your TLC calculation - import duties might make up the bulk of your local costs. A client of mine was surprised to receive a bill of 45% import duties on textile cargo from China to Botswana that was totally “unbudgeted for”.

Unfortunately, i ran out credits while playing around with this tool....

How To Search For Importers / Exporters

Panjiva & ImportGenius  -  Although it is not possible to get meaningful data on a free version, these sites are useful if you’re looking for reputable suppliers in a short period of time. The simple logic here is that if you find a supplier that has consistently made 100’s of shipments of the same product, it is a good first step to finding a supplier.

How To Anticipate And Stay Ahead of Price Changes

It is important to keep tabs on pricing indexes to help estimate future price movements. For long term contracts price, these should also be tied to the prices to make sure that you’re able to anticipate any future price increases.   PPI is also important as it gives a general overview of where costs are headed in general for a particular industry.

 Pricing Indices -Links to consider:

  1.  Good Ol' News Alerts.- I browse through the news in search of business opportunities or any emerging technologies that I might take advantage. Google provide functionality to create custom alerts on topics that interest you. 


Although these tools provide a good starting point, it is still necessary to have more detailed information for informed decision making. If you’re an entrepreneur or business unit considering importing from overseas, these tools can provide "just enough" information as to whether to proceed with an in-depth study or not.

Please share some of the tools that you use in your daily routine...