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Effortless Exports: The Role of Global Couriers

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

June 13, 2024

8 min read

Ever wondered what bridges the gap between the goods in warehouses and delivery destinations? How they are transported to faraway destinations, even crossing borders? The world has come a whole lot closer through effortless exports. Exporting goods has gained immense popularity over the last few years with the rise of eCommerce businesses. International couriers are a crucial element of all supply chains. To expand the market presence, it is important for businesses to gain global exposure and this requires dealing with the intricacies of the logistics world. Global courier companies make this process easy for businesses. 

This blog highlights the importance of global courier companies and the role they play in exports. We also provide an overview of the clearance process, alternative shipping methods for restricted goods, and more.

Effortless Exports

Role of Global Couriers in Effortless Exports

The global supply chain encompasses everything from manufacturing and transportation to distribution and delivery. For the efficient running of the supply chain, it is necessary to maintain a delicate balance between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers who are spread across different countries or even continents. 

As businesses continue to grow, their operations have expanded internationally. This creates a strong need for efficient and reliable methods of transportation and distribution of goods and services across borders. This is where global courier companies come into play. They play a primary role in modern supply chains, implementing swift, effortless, and efficient solutions for international shipping. Unlike conventional methods of shipping, global courier companies today are flexible enough to send shipments of different sizes with different delivery options. They are capable of handling small and large cargo with the same efficiency. 

Benefits of Utilising Global Couriers for Exporting Goods

Disruptions in the supply chain can severely affect a business’s operations. Hence, it is necessary to employ an efficient global courier company to export goods swiftly and safely. Here are some of the key benefits of using global couriers for exporting goods:

  • Worldwide reach: Global courier companies allow you to reach markets untouched. These companies have vast networks that cover several locations worldwide. This provides you with an endless avenue to market your products to new regions and expand your business. 
  • Expertise with customs handling: Customs clearances are the trickiest part of exporting goods and services. The complexities are immense, and the regulations can be stringent. Global courier companies are well-versed in handling these issues and can help you deal with all the documentation and processes. They can help you avoid delays and penalties through proper work.
  • Swiftness and reliability: Reputable global couriers are swift and efficient in their services, as well as extremely reliable, ensuring on-time delivery. When it comes to international shipping, reliability and efficiency are prime criteria for any export operation. 
  • Real-time tracking: Modern tracking systems enable businesses to easily monitor their shipments throughout their shipping journey. They ensure complete transparency throughout the shipping process and give the business complete visibility. They also enable them to plan their supply chain activities more efficiently. 
  • Secure handling: Global courier services prioritise safety and security during shipping. They employ advanced packing and handling techniques to ensure the quality of your products remains intact during the shipment. Moreover, they offer insurance options to reduce any financial risk arising from consignment loss or damage during shipping
  • Consumer satisfaction: Efficient and reliable delivery services boost consumer satisfaction. They allow you to meet delivery deadlines and give you a seamless post-export experience. Moreover, they also help your customers have a good shopping experience. This will help you enhance your brand loyalty and company reputation. 

Restricted and Prohibited Items for Export

Some goods are either prohibited or restricted from importing and exporting. These are regulated to ensure the safety of transporting vehicles and the health of the staff handling these consignments. Security concerns are also the reason for banning the import and export of certain goods. Although there is no definitive list, here are some restricted and prohibited goods for shipping:

  • Psychotropic substances
  • Narcotic drugs
  • Obscene items and pornographic items
  • Antiquities
  • Goods that are infringing any intellectual property rights 
  • Exotic birds, wild animals and products obtained from them, like skeletons, sea shells, fat, oil, etc.
  • Ammunition and firearms
  •  Endangered plant species
  • Non-ornamental silver and gold
  • Pharmaceutical substances
  • Soil and sand

Alternative Shipping Methods for Businesses

Here are some alternative shipping methods:

  • Hybrid carriers combine traditional and alternative shipping methods to offer both local and regional services.
  • LCL: Less than Container Load is a type of sea shipment where multiple shippers share a container. 
  • Air shipments: This shipping method is a faster option than sea shipping. Air shipment is suitable for transporting goods that need to be delivered urgently.
  • Ocean freight: This shipping method is a preferred mode of transport for heavy cargo like minerals, metals, ores, and steel coils.
  • Sea freight: This is a greener transportation mode with a higher carrying capacity.

Overview of the Export Clearance Process

The export clearance process is extremely complex. It has several steps, and this section provides you with an overview of the entire process:

  • Registration: A business-based identification number is needed to get through the procedures at the Directorate General of Foreign Trade before filing a shipping bill to gain customs clearance for the export goods. 
  • Processing of shipping bills for EDI and non-EDI: For the EDI system, the declarations must be made and filed through the Customs Service Center. After checking and verification, the shipping bill is generated. For non-EDI cases, the exporter will complete filling the shipping bills as per the regulations. Then, export duties are levied and duty-free exports are performed. 
  • Allocation of quota: It is a label that needs to be pasted on the invoice of the exported products. This number will be entered into the system during shipping bill entry. The quota certification must be submitted by the exporter during customs check. 
  • Arrival of goods at the docks: Here, a thorough inspection will be conducted. The designated authorities will verify the quality of goods and their documents.
  • System appraisal of bills: Based on the declarations made by exporters, a shipping bill is created.
  • Examination by the customs authorities: The details on the system and the gods will be cross-checked. Then, the shipping bill, along with the necessary original documents, will be handed over to the authorities for examination.
  • Loading and handling: A customs officer will monitor the entire loading process into the vessel. Once they give the “Shipped on Board” approval, a copy of the shipping bill will be transferred. 

Common Challenges and Solutions in Export Clearance

The most common challenges in export clearance include the following:

  • Clarence by customs: The process of ensuring that all goods brought to a country follow all the necessary protocols is crucial. This is challenging when you are unaware of foreign trade policy. The customs clearances can be time-consuming and can hinder the following processes:
    • Compliance with legalities: When your documents and goods are not in order, it can become an issue. It will fail to comply with the legal rules and cause problems during exporting. You will be subjected to penalties and legal action.
    • Movement of goods: Transit time will increase if there is an issue with clearance by the authorities. Ensuring you comply with all the necessary regulations can hasten the shipping process.
    • Revenue collection: When you fail to pay the taxes and duties while exporting, you will not get clearance. Timely payments must be made to avoid unnecessary fines and delays.
  • Logistics: Distance, time, cost, environmental impacts, etc., all influence logistics. It might be hard to factor in all of these elements while shipping. Businesses must ensure that their goods are carefully shipped without compromising on quality. Here are things to consider while planning your logistics processes:
    • Estimated delivery time
    • Cost efficiency
    • Customs clearance 
    • Supply chain processes
    • Compliance with the rules of regulatory bodies
    • Satisfaction of the buyer
  • Political instability: Political instability in a region can disrupt the exporting and importing of goods. Transportation can be hindered in cases of war or riots. You cannot do much to control such factors but take all the necessary measures like insurance to secure your goods.
  • Currency fluctuations: The profitability of exporting can vary depending on the country’s economic situation. If the value of goods is low in the importing country, the profits will be lower. 

Conclusion

Global courier companies are the spine of worldwide trade. They connect and bring together customers and sellers around the globe. They enable hassle-free flow of goods from one part of the world to another. Businesses seeking to expand their market will need the assistance of international couriers. 

Exporting goods is a complex process, and challenges are almost inevitable. Reaching out to global courier companies can make this process hassle-free.

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