Posts Tagged: storage

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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The majority of business types require you to store inventory, which can often make a difference between an increase in efficiency and failure. According to many entrepreneurs, introducing self-storage is a stepping stone towards success and they aren’t wrong – self-storage provides more space for inventory, as well as for other supplies, which means improved productivity. However, properly organizing your inventory is a necessary step towards a well-functioning self-storage space.

List it!

Lists are useful in various branches of businesses, but organizing a storage space without one is absolutely impossible; at least if you want to make sure you can actually find what you are looking for in your storage. Before even putting items into self-storage, you need to outline your entire inventory and consider which items should be designated for storage. For starters, think about what you will need at the office for everyday usage and what you won’t use that often. A majority of documents, for example, can be safely tucked away into your storage. To complete your list, make sure that you group the items into two categories: one with the items that can be stored in boxes and the other with the items that will go on shelves.

Pack ‘em!

Regardless of the item type, you need to make sure that everything is packed efficiently and safely. Office inventory, paperwork and other items all need to be packed in a way that won’t cause damage. Don’t be too stingy when it comes to packing supplies – use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, plastic bins and proper packing tape – everything should be done in order. When it comes to furniture, think about whether or not you might need it anytime soon – if not, feel free to stack the items on top of each other in the back of your storage unit. As a rule of thumb, heavier boxes should be placed on the bottom. Finally, label everything; failing to do this can lead to a logistical nightmare!

Map Everything

The main issue with storing items is not knowing where exactly they were stored. This can lead to hours of time wasted on looking for these and even cause damage due to having to literally ‘dig’ through piles and piles of boxes. Mapping everything out pretty much goes without saying, but doing so during the listing part of planning might not be a great idea; some changes might occur during the actual storing and this can cause further complications. This is exactly why mapping where every item is stored immediately after it’s stored is the proper way to go.


Regular maintenance of your storage unit or units is obligatory. You should keep things tidy and clean as well as protect and revitalize your floors in a timely manner. Concrete floor paint is a must inside any storage space, but keep in mind that the floors need to be cleaned with a high-water pressure hose prior to applying the paint in order to remove dust, dirt and debris so that the paint adheres properly. Additionally, in order to remove previous coatings from a concrete floor, you should opt for floor grinding, which will open the pores in the concrete.

When it comes to maintaining proper order, it is crucial that you keep the aisles clear. The biggest cause of clutter inside a warehouse or any other type of storage is not storing the items in their designated places. Regardless of how tight your daily schedule is, always take time with your inventory.

The success of your business hugely depends on how efficiently your storage space is run. Things should run smoothly, which requires you to properly list your items, pack them securely, map everything out and, above all, provide proper maintenance.


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