Summary: As the world continues to grapple with the growing ramifications from COVID-19 pandemic, global inflation, and major global conflicts, small businesses need to be aware more than ever of the evolving best practices of international shipments to best save money.
2022 continues to be a tricky year for small businesses. Although there have been some optimistic signs including the Consumer Price Index being fairly resilient throughout the year along with some prices falling, the overall mood for small businesses have been still fairly volatile, especially in regards to overseas shipments. In this latest blog post, we will explore several, practical best practices that we use here at TRG Fulfillment that you can apply to your small business in regards to international shipments. .
What Is Affecting the International Markets
The summer of 2022 has been affected by highs and lows that have been important considerations for fluctuating pricing both domestically and internationally.
Inflation fears still remain high. Although several key indicators showcase a much more complex fight at work in the background, governments worldwide are rallying behind increasing their national interest rates in order to reign in inflation, and this price fluctuation and hardships in borrowing power will affect both consumer demand and pricing for small businesses.
Inventory is also a growing issue. Small businesses have been noted to offload a lot of the stock they built up throughout the last two years due to the pandemic that is taking up space and pricing. Owners have been trying to balance out how best to save money while being more nimble dependent on economic issues.
Finally, the global supply chain has seen some improvements from the messy state of 2021, but it still faces lingering issues that have not been solved yet. Although shipping containers may not cost as much as $20,000+ as it did in 2021’s peak shipment crisis, costs today are still significantly higher than average. Companies worldwide are still watching key issues that are playing out such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine which are affecting flour prices to the continuing semiconductor chip shortage from lockdowns from China’s no-COVID policy.
All of these factors lead to complicated choices that small businesses need to continue to be cognizant of and ways to try and save money in these uncertain times. However, there are a few factors that small businesses do have control over to help with getting items shipped internationally.
Best Practices in Saving Money in International Shipments
One important point is to make sure to have a good relationship with your carrier (or a well-versed intermediary) who can point out specific international shipment notes that many may not commonly know of. Every country has their own regulations of what can or cannot be shipped to and from their borders. For instance, if you are a small business that ships books to China, you need to be careful as there are certain kinds of books that will be stuck at customs depending on the subject matter.
In addition, these rules change constantly as well, so it is important to keep up not only with the news but to make sure you have a good rapport with the people you ship with. Most small businesses have a difficult time with international shipping because they have to ship less across borders versus domestically, creating less familiarity.
In this example, certain shipping fees applied to countries like the United Kingdom are not applicable to other locations. Perhaps you are shipping an item to Cambridge, but because it does not fit the correct parameters, you have to pay over $1,000 because it gets stopped at customs. These fee increases also hit important areas like international taxes where they may charge you everyday the shipment is in London. These fees quickly add up if you are not keeping up with the news and carrier relations.
Because of our good relationship with the carriers, TRG has a designated representative from each company talking to us and telling us about a specific new change taking place all over the world. If you would like more information on our staff’s work and knowledge of international shipments and other logistical questions, contact us here.