+1 800 967-0030

International Fulfillment: What You Need To Know

Domestic product fulfillment can be a breeze if your company has the time and staff to manage the process, and of course thanks to the great fulfillment networks that businesses have readily available to them, including UPS, DHL and FedEx.

But that simplicity can be why too many businesses assume that going global will be just as simple. Unfortunately, international fulfillment is another beast entirely — and without the help of an experienced fulfillment house, you may lose customers in emerging markets before they even receive their first shipment.

There are several stumbling blocks that keep international fulfillment from being the simple process that domestic fulfillment is, including:

Erratic distribution chains. Although UPS, FedEx and DHL are universal members of the supply chain in the United States, these companies may have little to no presence in your target country, or any of the countries along the way. Depending on which internal markets you have in mind, your packages may have to change hands several times before they reach your customer, making management difficult and delivery times unpredictable.

VAT, customs and other country-to-country regulations. Unless you do a lot of international shipping, you’re probably unaware that sending products into foreign nations may require additional value added taxes, or at very least, clearance through customs each time they’re handed off in a new country. The forms and regulations governing these transactions vary widely from country to country, so you must know both the route your package will take and the paperwork it’ll need to get there.

Slow delivery times. The last mile can be the biggest hurdle of them all. Slow deliveries can certainly discourage customers from ordering your products in the future, but if your shipment requires a signature, collecting a package can become an ordeal. Many countries lack the saturation of distribution warehouses that the U.S. enjoys. Instead of running across town to collect the package they missed because they were at work, your customers may have to drive significant distances just to collect your shipment. You can be certain that customer will never order from you again.

Who can help with international fulfillment? Hiring a company that provides global fulfillment services eliminates many of these headaches. These fulfillment houses already have networks in place to ensure your customers are getting the lowest cost and fastest shipping the world has to offer. Even in those situations where packages must trade hands repeatedly, electronic tracking and document processing will keep them moving along smoothly.

Global fulfillment services. When your company captures enough of a foreign market, your global fulfillment company will arrange for your products to be stored locally to speed up product distribution. Products that are shipped locally to your new customer base eliminate the extra fees and long wait times that may be keeping many customers from purchasing your merchandise. By adding a global fulfillment company to your team of professionals, entering or expanding in a new market will be more of a seamless process.

International fulfillment is a complicated process, but that doesn’t mean your small business should be limited to domestic customers. Teaming up with an experienced international fulfillment service will open up the world for you and your products.

 

December 18, 2014
Share This:

Related Posts

RECENT POSTS

Avoid These 3 Common Order Fulfillment Mistakes With Shipwizard 3PL

Order fulfillment is a multi-step process that requires a complex dance of coordination. Mistakes are common along the way, as businesses grow, change suppliers or add new products, all while customer expectations change in response to market trends. At ShipWizard, we...

Outsource Fulfillment To A WooCommerce-Friendly 3PL

As a WooCommerce-based merchant, chances are, you are very familiar with the primary e-commerce plugin for WordPress and its capabilities. The WooCommerce plugin is downloaded over 30,000 times every day from WordPress.org. 8.7% of all websites use WooCommerce....

Find A 3PL Partner for your Tempe, AZ Business

If you run a business in Tempe, AZ, we know you need to get your product stored securely and be ready for fulfillment at a moment’s notice. Tempe is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in Arizona and is among the top “boomtowns” in the country. It is...

Gearing Up For Fall Supplement Season

The back-to-school season is upon us, which means the cold and flu season is right around the corner. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons varies, but according to the CDC, influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Consumers are stocking up on...

Back-To-School Order Fulfillment

Is Your Order Fulfillment Process Ready for Back-To-School Season? We are reaching the end of the summer and, to many school districts across the country, that means it is time to think about the kids heading back to school. Shopping for back to school is a yearly...