Getting your products from A to B

A guide to international fulfilment and logistics

Getting your products from A to B

3 Transportation matters

Your overall international logistics and fulfilment strategy should involve planning your transportation and compliance strategy together. Your decisions on compliance will affect your transportation strategy, and vice versa. You should also make sure your delivery providers know the range of products they are shipping. Be sure that you know the cost and delivery experience of your transportation provider.

Assess and understand the local customer expectations on delivery speed, options, and experience

Over 50% of calls and emails export businesses receive are related to transportation issues. It’s understandable that customers want to know where their package is, Keep your customers happy by having a trained customer service operator who is able to handle the calls and track their goods.

If you are fulfilling your orders yourself, be sure to research the couriers who will be delivering your products in your new export market. Why not ask your customers what their ideal delivery method would be using Google Surveys?

Determine the local transportation landscape

This could be fragmented, mature, or dominated by a few players.

A fulfilment house centre will, of course, know the best carriers for you to use in your new export market.

If you are fulfilling your orders yourself, research the local transport carriers in your export market thoroughly, from the reputation and reach of long-standing courier firms to smaller firms who may give you more flexibility.

Analyse the right provider strategy

Make the most of your third party relationships. They may be able to offer more savings than transportation partners.

Ask your fulfilment provider what their transportation strategy is. Many international fulfilment companies are expert in keeping shipping costs down.

They do this by using government carriers which don’t charge customs brokerage fees like private carriers do. They can also use local global warehouses to reduce delivery costs, and carry out bulk shipping from your office to their warehouses.

This has the happy effect of lowering the shipping costs your new market customers have to pay, giving them even more reasons to choose your products.

Analyse your last mile strategy

You can use a combination of postal and courier options, depending on your product’s value, and the speed it needs to be delivered.

Make sure you procure your courier in advance. This is most needed during the last three months of the year, when shipments get congested across the world. This is caused by seasonal gift purchasing, retail end of year promotions, and other industries completing end of year sales. Prepare to increase your delivery lead times during this busy period.

Determine your first mile strategy

You can build your own first mile strategy by using the established transportation providers of your choosing to distribute your products.