Posts Tagged: warehousing

No matter if you are importing and exporting via land, sea or air, you are bound to be looking for ways to cut down on operational and administration costs at some point in your company’s lifetime. The trade business is an intricate system entailing numerous legal and logistical rules and regulations, with each task and rule labelled with a price tag to ensure all the requirements are met and your goods secured.

Decreasing expenses and increasing revenue is the main goal of every commercial business, so here are the best ways you can cut import and export costs to ensure bigger financial savings and calculate long-term business growth.

Cutting import costs

First, you’ll need to invest time into confirming your HS codes, issued by the World Customs Organization (WCO) before importing. Customs classifications are intricate and detailed, and more likely than not, the code provided by the supplier won’t match the classification system in your country. This could lead to unnecessary financial expenses. Bear in mind that you will only be able to know the full cost of imported goods with a correct HS code.

Secondly, you should factor potential shipment checks into your equation when calculating your transit expenses. Your shipment might be scheduled for examination or it can be selected at random, but in any case, you need to be prepared for five to seven days of delay. In case you are transporting time-sensitive goods, you should use air shipping as your preferred method that will allow for long-term financial savings.

Finally, you want to make sure your import forwarder or broker is thoroughly aware of all ocean imports before the shipment sets sail. The importer must fill in all the necessary documentation correctly and ahead of time as failing to provide importer documentation will elicit substantial fines reaching thousands of dollars.

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Cutting export costs

When trying to cut export costs, you first need to know and thoroughly understand your Incoterms issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that relate to international commercial laws and regulations. Failing to understand the intricacies of your Incoterms will facilitate misunderstanding between parties and you can end up running into unexpected fees or paying more than you have previously concluded.

Next, you need to secure the best shipment deals possible. The costs of returning empty shipping containers are too high, and you are better off buying new ones for every shipment. That is why you should minimize your shipping container expenses and buy those that offer the best quality/price ratio. Luckily enough, today you can find a wide variety of new and used containers according to your needs and your budget.

Thirdly, do market research. Venturing into a new, unfamiliar market can be quite a daunting and expensive task, but if you manage to attain some valuable market insights before stepping into the competitive arena, you can alleviate some of the financial and logistical pressure. Be sure to research local currency and tax systems, and be on the lookout for their added-value-tax system as well. Moreover, don’t forget to research local businesses and social cultures in order to establish a trusting business relationship with your partners.

Finally, do your paperwork. Research the necessary paperwork for your shipment thoroughly to make sure it passes the customs inspection process with flying colours and reaches its destination. Different markets require different legalisations, stamping and original or copied documents, all of which can vary depending on the country, region and commodity you are selling.

Storage consideration

Efficient warehousing operations are vital for both the import and export segment of your business venture. With this in mind, you should implement contemporary materials handling techniques, such as using heavy-duty, adaptable pallet racks and paperless technologies. When it comes to constructing the warehouse, you should consider contemporary cost-effective building materials, such as the structural steel solutions by Wallandra, for instance.

The international trade business can be a costly venture, yet if you follow these simple guidelines, you will have no problems cutting down on unnecessary expenses and thus calculating your way to long-term success and solvency.

About the Author

As an experienced senior business consultant, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. You can check her out on LinkedIn.


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Organizing an efficient warehouse is no small task and could make or break your business if you’re not careful with it. Each zone of your warehouse plays a crucial part in making sure that your staff can get around with ease. Likewise, you’ll reduce the risks of any warehouse hazards, which will keep your workers safe.

Define a Zone for Goods

Unless you want your employees to bump into each other and damage the stored goods, it’s necessary to set up zones for each type of goods you offer. Also, create clearly indicated pathways to help everyone move around more easily. Make sure to create separate lanes for the machinery to avoid collisions and accidents. Dividing your warehouse into specific areas will make it easier to manage in the long run, and you will have a better insight into which parts need to be improved.

Keep Track of Your Inventory

While it’s imperative that you know what’s in your warehouse, you must be also aware the quantities of stored goods. Not only will it make it easier to serve customers, but when you need to restock, you will have exact numbers to refer to. Labelling inventory can help clients get an overview of what you offer and whether or not you have it in stock, which will ultimately lead to increased productivity and a decrease in overall waiting time.


Only Employees Can Come In

Make a distinct rule that only employees are allowed inside the warehouse. Have your workers wear identification to ensure that uninvited visitors aren’t allowed to wander around. If someone must enter the warehouse for any reason, be sure to provide an escort to show them around and to keep them safe. After all, your warehouse will be working like a well-oiled clock, everyone will have a place and role they should respect. Otherwise, the overall safety of warehouse workers will be jeopardized, and emergency situations will be more difficult to handle.

Are You Spending Too Much on Warehouse Maintenance?

A warehouse can be difficult to maintain since you have to make sure that everything has an appropriate place. That includes your spending, unless you look into where your budget is being spent and how much, you might be losing a lot of money. Try out various management techniques to ensure that you’re not squandering money, which will slowly but surely ruin your business. Make sure you maintain proper and up-to-date inventory to avoid delays and other unnecessary expenses.

Do You Need More Storage?

Whether you need to expand your warehouse or if you’re in dire need of space, you will have to look into what your options are. In most of the cases, expanding can be problematic as it will require a lot of paperwork regarding permits, as well as plenty of investment. However, with simple mobile storage solutions, you can ensure that your business has enough space for inventory, without having to spend too much time and money into providing it.

Good warehouse management is necessary to maximize worker efficiency and to lower the chances of anything going wrong. There are many dangers waiting to happen, and the main culprit is usually bad warehouse organization. Assess how much space you have and how you can make the most of it. Be sure to ask warehouse staff to give you ideas, as they will be the most familiar with the layout. Also, focus on educating your workers on how to best utilize warehouse space and how to make their work easier and more efficient overall.

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