Make Your International Shipping More Efficient
Third-Party International Shipping
International shipping is increasingly critical as global trade expands. Currently, over $10 trillion in intermediate goods are transferred globally each year, and international shipping is one of the highest cost factors for importers and exporters. Shipping costs include both direct and indirect expenses due to transporting goods from their point of origin to their destination. Typically:
- The average travel time for a container vessel shipping between Asia and the U.S. is between two weeks to a month.
- Documentation, handling, customs clearance, and inland shipping adds from 17 to 33 days in additional shipping time in most emerging market regions. It takes another 6 days once the products reach the United States.
- Total shipping expenses include transit costs from the manufacturer to the foreign port of exit, the port of exit to the U.S. port of entry, and the port of entry for the final destination. This is in addition to inventory carrying costs while items are in transit.
Packaging, Container Fees, and More Contribute to International Shipping Costs
You know that even the slightest delay in international shipments can have a huge negative impact on your bottom line. Global competition has made it more difficult for U.S. companies to remain competitive. Your business competes with lowered labor and manufacturing costs as well as government subsidies to lower the cost of raw materials. We all know that this resulted in many manufacturing operations moving overseas. Most imported goods into the U.S. arrive by land or sea. Less than 1% of goods arriving from other countries come by air, which is many times more expensive than ocean freight. You must factor in expenses related to packaging, container fees, broker fees, and terminal handling.
You can find ways to save in these areas. Alliance Relocation Services has compiled these tips to improve shipping efficiency:
By being accurate with the execution of requirements set forth in international shipping laws, you improve your credibility with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This impacts your compliance with the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. Strict compliance should reduce the likelihood of inspections and border delays.
Improve Quality Control
If a shipment of goods has any problems, it may be impossible to receive a new shipment in time. You want those goods packaged as airtight as possible to reduce the risk of problems during shipment. Improving quality control standards can ensure that your shipments pass more easily through checkpoints so you experience fewer or no delays.
Know International Laws
The foreign transportation infrastructure includes rail, ports, roads, and air networks across many countries with varying degrees of quality. This has a direct impact on the total cost and time to ship. In addition, become familiar with each country’s infrastructure through the World Economic Forum. You will find statistics on transportation infrastructure, telecommunications, and electricity generation. These three areas affect export and import times to a great degree.
Use Third-Party Experts
International shipping rates and working capital can slow down your shipment. Using third-party service providers with expert knowledge of international shipping requirements such as global tariff and tax issues, local knowledge of shipping providers, and international shipping laws can help you reduce costs. They can help you stay abreast and in compliance with shipping methods that make the most sense for your company’s products. They are typically aware of political developments that may impact your supply chain as well. In addition, they can help quickly reroute a shipment to a more appropriate carrier should the need arise.
You need to accurately calculate the various aspects of transportation prior to committing to shipping your goods internationally. You need the most efficient shipping that also provides the highest levels of quality control. Variables like freight costs, crating, duties and regulatory costs, and infrastructure all play a key role in arriving at the most accurate estimates. Expert knowledge is critical to assessing which strategy will work best for your company.