5 Tips for Selecting an International Warehouse
February 27, 2018
If you’ve already tried to sell your products overseas, you know it’s not an easy job.
You need to find reliable business partners, comply with different sets of regulations, advertise your goods in an unfamiliar market, as well as attract customers.
And, last but not least, you need to ship your products to your new customers.
Just reading that is exhausting. But sticking to your local market isn’t an option any more. Going global is the way to go for US small businesses.
Luckily, in today’s interconnected world, there are lots of services aimed at helping small business owners widen their markets and gain a competitive advantage.
International warehousing is one of those services.
There are lots of services aimed at helping small business owners widen their markets and gain a competitive advantage. International warehousing is one of those services.
If you’ve chosen a foreign market and had a couple of test runs, you’ve probably noticed that one of the hardest parts of exporting is shipping your goods. Transporting overseas is expensive, time-consuming, and riddled with uncertainties.
Sending an international shipment every time an overseas customer orders something may work well at first, provided you only have a few customers and a few shipments. But what if your customer base grows? What if they want more products?
That’s when you need to seriously consider picking an international warehouse. Storing your goods in your chosen market cuts down on delivery times and shipping costs, allowing you to provide a more predictable service to your new customers.
Storing your goods in your chosen market cuts down on delivery times and shipping costs, allowing you to provide a more predictable service to your new customers.
Selecting an international warehouse is a not a small task. Here are a few essential tips that can help you pick the perfect place to store your goods.
Your international warehouse should be as close to your overseas customers as possible.
If you’re exporting to more than one country in a region (for example, Western Europe or Southeast Asia), try to pick a spot that’s within easy reach of all your target markets (unless you want more than one overseas warehouse).
Another thing to consider are the laws and regulations of the specific country. Familiarize yourself with these ahead of time to see which country’s related regulations are easiest to comply with.
Naturally, warehousing comes with costs. Your provider will issue a bill covering storing, overhead costs, handling fees, etc.
If your provider offers fulfillment as well (i.e. transportation, handling, and shipping of goods), the fees will be even higher. Consider what services you need, and pick a provider accordingly.
Fulfillment is typically offered by third party logistics providers (3PLs). Read our article to find out whether you need a 3PL, and how to choose one for your small business.
Before selecting a warehouse, make sure their standards fit your needs. Check out how they organize and store goods, what software they use for managing and processing inventory, and what kind of products they handle.
See how the goods (especially those similar to yours) are treated. If you have the time, talk to other business owners using the warehouse and ask them about their experience.
Policies and Procedures
Safety and cleanliness are topmost considerations. Check out various policies like pest control, fire protection, security, disposing of dangerous materials, etc. These are very important considerations, since the life of your products depend upon them.
Paying your international warehouse provider shouldn’t take more than a few seconds, since you don’t want to waste your time settling bills and sending international wires.
In addition, Veem offers great foreign exchange rates, 0 wire fees, and tracking for all payments.
What’s not to love?
Sign up for a free Veem account and enjoy easy international payments.