The success of your import/export movement depends on proper preparation
Before contacting a transportation specialist, you must have the following ready. You must be prepared with the following 9 questions if you want to succeed with an import/export shipment.
International Import and Export
The difference between non-perishable commodities and perishable ones is huge. Does your company ship apples or pendrives? In order to transport items, a company must know where they’re coming from, where they’re going, and what they’re carrying. They must also know whether the shipment is hazardous or needs temperature control.
At your local international small business association office, you’ll be able to find the commodity number for your product. Using a commodity number, transportation rates can be easily compared between different products. It’s important to be as specific as possible when determining your product’s classification since transportation costs can vary widely, even between products of the same classification. The logistics specialist will calculate an accurate shipping quote if you’re unable to determine the correct number.
When your product is already an established export, a logistics specialist will identify your commodity number and assign an appropriate tariff number. That number will be filed as the industry standard for all future exports to that region. Whenever you export that product to that destination, you must use the supplied tariff number to guarantee you receive the same price.
- What is your commodity? Is it perishable or non-perishable? You have to be able to tell a transportation company what you’re shipping and where it came from and where it’s going. Screwdrivers are one thing; bananas are another. You also have to know if your shipment is hazardous or requires temperature controls.
- What is your product’s commodity number? You can find the particular commodity number in the international small business association directory near your local office. Customs officials can easily classify your product by referring to the commodity number. You must be as specific as possible when deciding on the product category if you want to get a fair estimate for shipping. Even between similar products, transportation costs can vary greatly. If you are unable to determine the correct number, the logistics specialist will calculate an accurate shipping estimate based on your description. Every time you ship that product to that country, you must use the correct number.
- Are you shipping by air or by ocean? Do you ship by air or by sea? When shipping products by air, same-day delivery is possible (even with fresh fish). You’ll have to know the dates of any product’s expiry in advance. By ocean the lead time gets extended which can be a problem for perishable items.
- How many cartons do you plan to ship? How many cartons do you intend to ship? You must make sure that everything that leaves point A arrives at point B, regardless of the size of the cartons.
- What is the size of cartons? What dimensions are required? Not only must you determine the dimensions in terms of linear measurements (height, length, and width), but you must also calculate the dimensions in terms of cubic meters.
- What are the net and gross weights of the cartons in kilograms? How much weight is left on the product after you’ve removed the packaging? The net weight is the weight of the product alone. The gross weight includes the weight of the carton and any protective shipping material.
- Do you plan to stack the cartons on pallets? How many boxes will be stacked on pallets? How much weight and space will each pallet take up? Using the information provided, your logistics specialist can calculate the weight and volume of the shipment.
- Do you have enough product to fill a container? How many cases do you have? Containers are frequently referred to as “full loads” and are regarded as weighing between 20 and 48 cubic feet. Once you’ve calculated the quantity of cases and the weight, your logistics specialist will be able to tell you if you have enough product to fill one. In this circumstance, your items will be the only items loaded into the container (rather than being consolidated with other company’s items in the container) and the door will be sealed. This safeguards against potential theft, burglary, and product tampering.
- From what location will the product be moved? Where will the product be moved from? The answer to this question is the factory door of the manufacturer (i.e., the supplier’s). Some countries require specific documents before shipping products to their ports and those papers might need to be attested.
Make sure to include all the information necessary to ensure that the desired goods are delivered to the desired port. Whether you are unsure about the spelling or have any other questions, please consult your logistics specialist.
When you know what type of merchandise you’ll be selling, it’s best to determine whether your shipment requires an import or export license as soon as possible to avoid delays.
ProConnect Integrated Logistics for your Business
You’re not the only one thinking of outsourcing part of your operations to a 3PL, many companies and shippers agree and rely on us to efficiently support them. Optimizing supply chain is not easy, it requires tying lots of activities and ends together, opting for an experienced 3PL like ProConnect Integrated Logistics can offer many benefits – thanks to their expertise, experience, resources and of course, their network, which can reduce your supply chain risks marginally. You may or may not have a supply chain department of your own, but you still need a trusted team to identify and avoid potential risks and problems that can affect your supply chain operations. Therefore, a 3PL is often turned to and appointed by large companies as well as SMBs.
For any questions or evaluation, get in touch with us.