Logistics of exporting
Moving your product or service
From the outset you need to think about the best way you can physically get your product or service to your international market. If you have an existing business, be sure to consider the impact that your export logistics will have on your current operations so that you don’t negatively affect your local trade. This is just as important if you are selling a service that will require people to work overseas as you will need to ensure that you can fill their role while they are away.
If you are selling a service to the UK or overseas, then your main consideration will be whether to have people permanently in the market or whether your existing employees can travel to where they are needed to complete the contract. Alternatively, you might be able to provide your product or service over the internet.
Your decision will depend on the relative costs of each option but things to consider are:
- Can your service be provided remotely? Software, for example, can be downloaded anywhere in the world.
- What will you include in your package in terms of product, time and resources?
- If you have people who are travelling, do you need a travel policy, travel insurance and professional indemnity insurance for the countries you are working in?
- How will you allocate resources to working abroad and still make sure your local business stays afloat?
- What payment terms have you agreed and how do you make sure you are paid in a timely manner?
If you have a product to move, then the practicalities of selling over long distances and across borders are more complicated. The best method of moving goods into different countries will depend on a number of factors including:
- Whether you or your customers, distribution partners or logistics partners, are in control of the shipping process.
- How quickly you need to move the products.
- If the products need special packaging or transport arrangements.
- Whether you need a specific route or mode of transport.
- The level of risk you are able to take if your product is lost or damaged whilst in transit.
- Whether you are moving products from Jersey or warehousing elsewhere and moving from there.
The most common modes of transport from Jersey are:
- Sea freight
- Air cargo
- Jersey Post
Other things you will have to consider when planning your logistics are:
- Identify the correct customs code for your products so you understand the duties and taxes (import tax, VAT or other sales tax etc.) you will incur when sending products abroad and can factor these into your costs.
- Decide on whether to include shipping costs in your price.
- Decide on your payment terms so you know when you will receive your money.
- If there are specific regulations for your product, for example, food and drink, chemicals and pharmaceutical products have additional levels of control and require specific paperwork.
- Whether you should appoint a freight forwarding service to move your products and help you with the logistics process and paperwork.
- If you need separate insurance to cover loss or damage in transit although often your freight forwarder will handle this for you.
- The documentation you will need to ship your goods which usually will include:
- Your invoice
- A list of the parcel(s) in the shipment
- The shipping or transport documentation
- A Certificate of shipment/airway bill or Bill of lading
- Certificates of origin
- Any additional documentation depending on your product and the country you are exporting to
- Remember to get proof that your products have left Jersey.
Although this looks like a daunting task, help is available and it is worth spending time getting finding the organisations that have the most experience of working with products like yours and into the international markets you are selling to.
A good freight forwarder can be worth its weight in gold because they can help you manage the transport, documentation, customs and regulations and will deal with a lot of the red tape you’ll come across.