Running an import business involves numerous operations that require to be run simultaneously. It also requires a lot of planning and adherence to timelines. A trader is required to factor in time when placing orders to ensure that they arrive in the country in time to be delivered to clients at the right time.
Establish sourcing links
Any trader that deals in the direct importation of goods requires to establish sourcing links in the foreign market. For example, a trader in the UK importing from China requires sourcing agents to assist them in the identification of suitable manufacturers from whom to get their goods. Sourcing agents also come in handy in procuring the shipment of the purchased goods. With established sourcing links, a trader does not require to travel to the sourcing country to place their orders. Additionally, the sourcing agent plays a vital role in inspecting the goods before they are placed in containers for shipping.
Evaluate shipping periods
Importing goods differs from sourcing from local suppliers. That is mainly in terms of the waiting period. Locally, you can place an order for goods and have them delivered to your warehouse within the next 24 hours. That is not the case with imported goods. Imports require to be ordered in advance to allow for their timely arrivals. That explains why traders order goods almost one month in advance.
Unlike local sourcing, international sourcing is accompanied by additional costs that need to be taken into account. This allows a trader to calculate the final cost per unit and hence establish the profit margin. Examples of the costs to be considered include agent sourcing fees, purchasing fees, shipment fees, import duty, and any other local tariffs that need to be paid. When calculating shipment costs, remember to include the cost of moving the cargo from the port to the warehouse. You might also want to add some miscellaneous costs that are often incurred as a factor of logistics.
Consider local laws on imports
Every country has its own laws and policies regarding the importation and exportation of goods. The policies may either facilitate or hinder the ease of importing products to a country. Such laws are often put in place to protect local business. It is essential to consider such rules whenever planning to import goods from foreign markets. This allows you to assess the situation and determine whether it is bearable. It would be unfortunate to incur all the costs only for the goods to get to the port and be held. This can result in huge financial implications for your business. To be safe, review government policies on not only the importation of goods but also on the type of goods you are to import.
At the end of the day, how smoothly your business runs depends on how well you plan it. That starts with establishing good relations with international sourcing agents. It may then be followed by proper logistics management to guarantee the timely delivery of goods to your clients.