Importing Cargo for your Business is as easy as 1-2-3-4!
So, you want to import some foreign cargo for your business? It is 2019 and globalization is running at full speed. With the internet, even the average business owner has access to the world’s biggest suppliers and manufacturers. So, you’ve found a vendor overseas to reduce your expenses and maximize profits – NOW what? Here are a few steps, tips, and tricks to help you get started.
1. Research and investigate your product.
Every product has its own classification code that comes with its own provisions for copyright, government filings, markings, and more. Each product has its own duty rate and Customs requirements dependent upon the classification and country of origin. You’ll want to know all of this so that you can understand if you’re able to import it at all, and if so, how to fit those costs into your margins.
2. Gather your documents. After confirming that your product can enter into the United States legally, and considering the additional costs for customs, it’s time to gather all the necessary documents. You will need the commercial invoice and packing list. Depending on your commodity, you may also need additional documents such as a safety data sheet or a certificate of origin. The packing list and commercial invoice should have the dimensions and weight of the cargo, which will help determine the best mode of transport for your product and your needs. All of these document requirements should be listed on your Purchase Order with the supplier. And if you’ll shoot us a request, we happen to have a handy little PO checklist just to help you keep it straight…
3. Determine your sales terms and select your transportation vendors.
When determining your sales terms with your supplier, you’ll be able to discuss who will be the responsible party to take care of each portion of the transport. Many importers will often leave the transportation up to their supplier; however, we suggest having some authority over the move in order to have a hand in the logistical costs as well as control in case any issues arise. If you are able to hand pick your vendors for each portion of your shipment, you can easily follow up on status updates. Ultimately, as the importer of record, you are responsible for the shipment regardless if the supplier controls it or not.
4. Contact a customs broker and carrier.
Once your vendors are selected and your cargo has shipped, you’ll want to send all your shipping documents and commercial documents to your customs broker to submit to US Customs. Once fully released by all necessary parties, you’ll be able to dispatch a trucker to pick up and deliver your cargo. It is important to communicate with a broker BEFORE your cargo even ships, as in most ocean shipments, customs filings (such as ISF) must be submit prior to movement of cargo.
This process can be intimidating, particularly for new or first-time importers, which is why we suggest taking the easy route and follow these steps in lieu of the above:
1. Call ARCA World Logistics.
We have a team of professionals that has extensive logistics experience, especially with new businesses. We also have a wide network that extends to cities all over the US and contacts all over the world and are fully capable of satisfying your transportation needs.
Your cargo is in good hands. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way and care for your cargo the way that you care for your cargo.
Give our office a call at 562-343-7600 and learn how you can start importing today!