Exporters shipping goods internationally should have the backup of a strong domestic network in foreign markets to make sure goods arrive on time.
BY: VAL LEVESON
With a rather tough global economic climate, courier companies are noticing that customers are looking at ways in which they can consolidate their international shipments, says Senior Vice President – Oceania, DHL Gary Edstein.
“Exporters are looking at a range of services; not just express, but day-definite services too. They’re also looking at sourcing closer to market,” he says. DHL has a 50:50 joint venture in the New Zealand market with Express Couriers Limited (ECL), as well as a long-term relationship with New Zealand Post.
Edstein says that costs for its services are based on the urgency of the shipment (ie: how quick it needs to be at the destination) and the weight and dimensions of the shipment.
DHL offers flexible billing and payment options for transport charges, duties and taxes, enabling seamless integration with your account systems. It also offers easyBill – for fast and efficient electronic invoice delivery.
TIPS FOR SHIPPERS
Edstein’s recommendations to New Zealand exporters are:
• Know your demand cycle. “This is particularly if you’re a smaller exporter, you can save a lot of money by knowing your customer’s demand cycles and scheduling production to allow you to move freight in a consolidated manner. “Shipping one larger box will always work out more cost effective than shipping numerous, smaller boxes.”
• Plan in Advance. Take advantage of a deferred service for deliveries that are less time sensitive in nature. “As a result of the global financial crisis, we have noticed our customers are seeking more cost effective ways in which they can move freight while maintaining a presence in key markets.”
• Time is money. “In these uncertain economic times, it is equally important to look at ways that you can create greater efficiencies in your business,” Edstein says.
• We know manual processes can be time-consuming and costly, which is why we offer a range of online and desktop tools to assist customers in preparing shipping documents, managing addresses, booking a pick up and tracking shipments. Each of our eComm tools are designed to save our customers time and create greater efficiencies for them in using our services.”
• Choose a good networker. “If your provider doesn’t have a large domestic network in other countries, at least make sure they can control the movement of the shipment from pick up to destination with complete visibility.” Edstein says: “It is your reputation on the line if your customers are left waiting because the local freight company doesn’t maintain the same standards as your international freight provider. Proof of delivery is also a very important export feature for you and your customers especially for high value items.”
Simon Hayes, Business Development Sales Manager of New Zealand Post, says that his organisation’s International Economy Courier is a cost effective service when sending items to 25 key destinations worldwide. He says that NZ Post keeps costs consistent by not having fuel surcharges for account holders.
Also, NZ Post charges by weight, not dimensions – which can be cost effective for people transporting light-weight products such as clothes.
He says his company is an extremely well-networked organisation with partners all over the world – these include different country’s postal systems, and DHL when necessary. NZ Post also offers International Economy Courier, which although slightly slower, can reduce as much as 60% of the cost. He suggests that sending things in volume can help financially. “Putting things together can bring the cost per item right down.”
- Its a good idea to look at all the services courier companies offer – sometimes a day’s delay can save a lot of money.
- Efficiency of your courier service reflects on you and how you do business.
- Courier companies are realizing that customers are wanting to consolidate their international shipments.
- Costs are often affected by urgency.
- To save costs it’s important to know your demand cycle, plan in advance, create greater efficiencies in your business and choose a good networker.