How can a freight forwarder help me expand overseas?
Freight forwarding is a no-brainer for businesses looking to tap into international supply chains. It can reduce inventory, warehouse, transportation and logistics costs, whether you're B2B or B2C.
What is freight forwarding?
It’s a lot like car-pooling: sharing transport costs to save time and money.
Instead of every single business individually organising the logistics of getting their products to a certain market, they can all reduce costs by using a freight forwarder. It's especially attractive to businesses that need to transport less than a truck load or container load of product.
Freight forwarding involves aggregating the transport needs of several businesses in order to find efficiencies. Anything can be transported with a forwarder, from parcels to pallets, so it’s the right choice for any business that needs to move products from supplier to market. It lets you focus on your core business without having to worry about the logistics of your behind-the-scenes supply chain, especially if the supply chain is complex and involves international borders.
What are the benefits?
Myriad of benefits come from using a freight forwarder, such as getting your products to market faster, reducing your inventory costs, and creating a reliable supply chain.
For example, if you wantto get your products on shelves in foreign markets, you will need a secure and reliable supply chain. Pathways to overseas consumers already exist, but these have traditionally been dominated by large players. These days, more businesses are taking advantage of existing trade routes, and freight forwarders are making it happen.
The freight forwarder can help you navigate complex areas like overseas customs clearance and foreign tariffs; as well as running logistics on the ground. With less paperwork to worry about, you can focus on your core business.
Breakdown of services
No two businesses are alike, so you can tailor a suite of services according to your needs. Below we've listed the main services related to freight forwarding, but there is some cross-over between them.
- Air, sea and road freight
Products are moved to the desired market. The speed of delivery largely depends on the mode of transport.
You rent space for your products in secure warehouses around the world.
- Container de-stuffing
Staff unpack (de-stuff) your shipping container when it arrives at the warehouse and put productson shelves or in ready-to-ship parcels. This process also involves quality assurance.
- Order fulfilment
With some systems, orders can be received and fulfilled at the warehouse, so the product is shipped straight to the customer without the retailer ever seeing it.
- Pick and pack
Warehouse staff pick your products from shelves and pack them into parcels ready for sale and shipping.
- Kitting and pre-labelling
Market-specific labelling is printed and stuck on parcels in the warehouse before shipping.
- Safety and tracking
Customers are able to constantly tracking their parcels for peace of mind. The parcel's delivery status is visible from order to final delivery.
- Customs clearance
Your products are classified and the right tariffs are paid at the dock.
If your product falls under quarantine laws, freight forwarding will work towards the parcel being held for the right amount of time.
- Final delivery
The final step in the supply chain, getting the product to the end customer. Freight forwarders can work with last-mile delivery services to hand over the product.
How much does it cost?
Pricing ultimately depends on the type of transport and the volume of product that you're sending. The final cost depends on the size and type of your product. Once the unit cost is determined, you simply pay for the volume you ship. It's that easy.
To calculate the potential savings to your bottom line, conduct a comparison between your existing arrangements and other services on the market. Speak with sales consultants to find the best pricing structure based on what you want to do.
I'm interested. What next?
Whether you want to move small parcels across Australia, medium-sized pallets to China, or shipping containers around the world, there are freight forwarding options available that can give your business the competitive advantage.
Reaching overseas markets is becoming increasingly possible, making this a particularly exciting time for growing businesses. Get in touch today to discover your freight forwarding options.