To effectively manage your supply chain, you should know the basics of international customs. It is true that your freight forwarders will manage all aspects of the shipment but having knowledge about the fundamentals of customs brokerage, transportation, and international freight forwarding will help you go ahead than your competitors. The comprehensive door-to-door global logistics is dramatically rising. International shipping today spans air, rail, and oceans and so does international customs. If you are a part of this supply chain, the chances of your success increase manifold if you choose to work with the correct freight forwarder. You will not find it difficult to prove that battles and wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Elements of International Shipping
We know and understand that expanding your business globally is an exciting adventure you are embarking on. There are hundreds of other things to look into. But relying only on your vendors to educate you is a mistake that often costs the shipper (you) heavily. “You need to remain in a constant state of curiosity about the world of international shipping to be successful because there are changes every day,” Mark Baxa, a prominent member of Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals remarked.
Who is involved in an international shipment?
There are a lot of people involved in shipping cargo internationally but the ones who you should be concerned about includes
- The International Shipping Company
- The Freight Forwarder
- Customs Broker
They are the ones with whom you sign your contact and who are in touch with you throughout the process. Your concerns, bills, damages or any other problems will be addressed by them.
Usually a licensed party or authorized agent, Freight Forwarders are the most significant part of this supply chain. They arrange the ocean freight as well as export documentation. In many cases, freight forwarders often play the role of the shipping company as well as a customs broker. To manage all the nitty-gritty of the process involved, freight forwarding companies today are often using ERP solutions to help them achieve efficiency. These effective and accountable solution keeps you (the shipper) and the freight forwarder in the loop about the package at all times by sending alerts and notifications. Hence, ERP for freight forwarders has become an integral part of shipment management.
When exporting your good internationally, every nation has its own set of rules and regulations. These rules are constantly changing over time and to keep a track of these A custom house agent will help you to seamlessly get your shipment delivered across international borders. In addition to being updated about the laws and documentation, they also act as the forefront for your company. Custom brokers deal with customs government officials to ensure your shipment sails through all the borders.
Mistakes to avoid while shipping your cargo internationally
Customer is your king. Once the king is disappointed, it's really difficult to win them back. To avoid customer complaints and losing money, let’s understand a few international shipping mistakes you can avoid
- Every nation has a different set of rules. Make sure you or your customs agent is updated with the country’s trade law and requirements before you ship the cargo.
- Pick a shipping company who are experts for the country you are sending the package to. This ensures that your shipping company will be able to talk out of a situation if they have established relationships with customs for that region.
- Choose a freight forwarding company who are digitally sound. Won’t you like to choose a freight forwarder who notifies you about your package at every step so as to avoid late delivery? Consciously choose to work with freight forwarders who have a recognized ERP solution installed.
- Stay updated on the rules and regulations as much as you can. You don’t want your vendors, customs broker or anyone to fool you.