What to Know Before Exporting
No matter the size of your business, exporting provides a great opportunity to expand internationally. However there are several steps that must be taken to ensure that your company is ready to export. Exporting is a complex process. If you’re thinking about exporting for the first time, we recommend working with a logistics partner to make sure you are following all laws, managing costs and expectations well, and making the most of the opportunity. In this piece, we share what to know before exporting.
There are 3 pieces of the puzzle a company needs to tackle to grow into exporting:
- The sales/marketing angle: Identify a target market for your product, including which country to start with and what sales channels in that country will sell and/or distribute it. It’s smart to focus on just one new export market at a time.
- The manufacturing/ops angle: Adapt your product to the new markets wants, systems, and regulations. The most common example is the voltage difference between Europe and the U.S. –An electrical appliance must meet the systems inherent in the target market country. Check out our Manufacturer’s Resources Page here.
- The Logistics angle: Logistics providers who engineer and execute the movement of goods between countries using multiple modes like ocean, air, and truck are called freight forwarders. A logistics provider experienced in handling shipments to your target export country will save you time and money with their provider network, experience with country-specific paperwork, and knowledge of how it works behind the scenes.
Growing your manufacturing business through exporting doesn’t have to be intimidating. With the right help from both federal and state programs you can successfully understand how exporting can grow your business, make a plan to expand effectively into an export market, and benefit from the experience of other manufacturers who have done it already.
A Logistics Partner can help you:
- Arrange and manage your Customs Broker relationship. A Customs Broker is a required party to any cross-border shipment.
- Arrange and manage any standing Import or Export bonds. In some cases these are required. In other cases they are just financially smart depending on shipment volume. In some cases, as few as 4 shipments a year can justify an annual bond versus shipment by shipment surcharges.
- Provide information and help set expectations about transit times of international shipments and visibility of shipments in-transit. Hint: We are spoiled here in the US!
- Help you determine a strategy for how your shipments should move from the many choices, like full vs partial ocean container or economy vs priority air.
- Help you determine your Incoterms strategy. Incoterms define who is responsible for what in transportation between buyer and seller as well as where title to goods actually changes hands. Rookie exporters frequently learn very expensive lessons because they are negotiating with overseas buyers who understand the value of the right incoterm.
Customodal provides international freight forwarding services for US manufacturers exporting by air or ocean to the entire world (except where prohibited by law!). Call Mike at 800-445-6577 (Ext 111) today to learn how to make the transportation and logistics portion of your export plan work smoothly and cost effectively.
Check out more exporting resources here.