Between the transport, storage, and allotment operations and the customs procedures, international freight transport is no small matter. Here are 5 tips to simplify international transport operations.
1. Establish Technical Specifications Before Choosing Your Logistics Services
When it comes to transportation, there isn’t just one solution. The selected logistics solutions must be an extension of the company’s commercial policy and be compatible with:
- the flows of goods – namely, the nature of the goods to be handled, as well as their volume, weight, fragility, and value
- the customer requirements (delivery times, etc.).
- the ancillary services, both on departure and on arrival, such as storage
- the reception on arrival
- the customs formalities
- the desired level of service (deadlines, frequencies, reliability, costs)
2. Make your Logistics Choices
The choice of transportation methods and types of intermediaries requires studying the different transportation submissions. These days, transport duration is an important criterion, as most companies work on tight schedules. Other aspects should be taken into account, such as the service quality, the security of the goods during transport, and, of course, the price.
In parallel, it’s often necessary to provide a storage solution: the company must decide between the size of the stock, which represents a cost, and the benefit of being able to deliver small quantities quickly to the customers. The location may be – at the company’s choice – close to the production site or the customers.
3. Pay Attention to the Packaging
When it comes to exports, packaging is an essential factor in success. Paying special attention to the preparation of the packages also lets you preserve and protect the products so that they arrive at their destination in perfect condition. Rejections and returns of goods are thus limited.
4. Use a Freight Forwarder
Exporting or importing without mastering the procedures related to international transport isn’t a problem if you use a freight forwarder. They have the know-how and the authorizations to organize the liaisons between the different carriers on behalf of the sender and to handle all the administrative operations relating to transport, including the customs clearance of the goods.
5. Rely on a Transportation Consultant
It’s also possible to rely on a transportation consultant. They act as an intermediary between senders and providers of supply chain solutions. Before starting the delivery or shipment, the consultant draws up the work procedures for each step of the transportation process and submits them to the parties for approval. They can thus offer a complete solution integrating all modes of transportation (road, rail, air, and intermodal) and storage, in addition to fully taking care of the transit procedures and documents from the origin to the destination.
As they haven’t mastered the international transportation solutions, many companies decide not to import or export products that are less expensive abroad. However, to sustain a business, it’s essential to diversify its clientele, to capture new markets on both the national and international level, and to buy its materials and machines at the best prices. By opting for simple solutions to transport goods internationally, it’s possible to import and export without much more hassle than working on the national level.