Global Trade Logistics: 6 Tips for Smoother (and Cheaper) Shipping

You’ve experienced supply chain disruptions in recent years, and now you’re wondering if seamless international shipping is achievable.

Although international shipping is complex, implementing these 6 tips can make the experience smoother and more profitable.

1. Choose shipping companies strategically  

When vetting potential shipping partners, consider more than cost. Factors such as robust customer service, knowledge of customs procedures, and reliable tracking will all affect your experience.

Even though working with a reputable local courier or a well-known shipping company may be more expensive initially, the value you receive throughout the relationship will be worth it. 

2. Organize and secure your documentation

The amount of documentation required for international shipping can quickly become overwhelming. 

Organizing and securing your documentation in a secure database makes it easy to find the certificates of origin, product classification codes, and other key pieces of information you need to comply with international shipping norms and to provide a seamless customer experience.

3. Utilize bulk shipments

Shipping consolidation is one of the best ways to save time and resources. Consolidating smaller packages into one bulk shipment means they are treated as one unit, so they can clear customs and ship more quickly. 

4. Reduce taxes and tariffs with Foreign Trade Zones

As the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) explains, when inside a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), “foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in international commerce and outside of U.S. Customs territory.

Incorporating the use of FTZs into your international shipping strategy allows you to legally reduce your tax and tariff burden, which affects your bottom line.

5. Expect shipping delays and losses

Even the most reputable, efficient shipping companies will still experience unexpected delays and losses. Factors such as piracy, natural disasters, and global events will continue to affect international shipping. 

Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to mitigate the effects of delays and losses. Some ideas include:

  • Using plain shipping materials that do not indicate their contents
  • Maintaining thorough, easy-to-access documentation
  • Planning for supply chain disruptions by ordering well in advance

6. Leverage automation and digital solutions 

If you’re attempting to manage all the complex aspects of your global trade business manually, mistakes are inevitable. Global trade management software can support several areas of your business, from filing customs paperwork to comparing service options. 

Choosing robust global trade management software will eliminate headaches and ensure you’re managing your imports and exports as efficiently as possible.

Shipping & Logistics Software Solutions

OCR Global Trade Management’s user-friendly shipping and logistics software solutions make it easy for you to manage your global trade business.

You can integrate OCR’s software with what you’re already using to easily implement all 6 tips for smoother and cheaper shipping. 

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to our sales team to discover how our software can help you streamline your operations and save money.

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