According to Statista, container shipping volume has increased from 102 million metric tons in 1980 to 2.8 billion metric tons in 2017. To stay competitive, your business needs to constantly expand into new markets. As long as you only sell within the U.S., you might be able to handle your own shipping. There are many opportunities to expand to international markets, however, but additional shipping and administrative expenses come along with the additional revenues. Let’s take a look at some of the approaches you can take to ensure your international shipping strategy is sound.
Approaches to International Sales
Inc. magazine offers the following advice to small business owners. You can hire an Export Management Company to handle the details in return for a commission that’s likely to be passed on to the customer. This is the most hands-off option, and it eats up a bit more of your profit margin. It’s still a viable option to ramp up quickly in an international market.
Some small businesses decide to do this on their own. This requires more research and set up, but can yield higher profits.
- The first step is market research to determine the best country for your products.
- Next, find a freight forwarder to deliver your products.
- A good international bank can handle the financing.
- Market research helps you connect with buyers overseas.
Where Can I Get Help?
There’s a lot of help and advice when it comes to making these decisions. Because the government wants you to export (It reduces the trade deficit!), There are numerous government resources online. You can google whatever you need to know and start your research at US Commerce Department.
Companies that Act as Shipping Agents in the U.S.
Some small businesses buy products in the U.S. because they are cheap. They then ship them back to their own country to sell for a profit. U.S. agents handle these products via trusted international shipping agents. This model caters to U.S. small businesses that run virtual logistics centers. Some of these companies have partners in their home countries that help them strategize cheaper shipping costs.
In today’s increasingly global environment, it’s more important than ever to be active abroad while maintaining good relationship with U.S. shippers who can help you save money.