If your business depends on Chinese exports, it’s critical to have a knowledgeable consultant on your team. Otherwise, you’re left to fend for yourself amid a labyrinth of complex import regulations, language barriers, logistics disputes, and other hurdles you may not have even realized existed. Expert consultation services are designed to save you time and money when exporting from China, and they can help you to avoid the common pitfalls that so many U.S. businesses face.
Why Export Consulting Is So Important
Here are just a few reasons to hire a consultant when exporting from China:
- China has complex export regulations. For starters, certain types of products are off limits or heavily regulated—and it’s not just the obvious products like firearms and tobacco. Even products like flammable fabrics, gold, and wood-packing materials can be a regulatory nightmare. In addition, there’s a lot involved in facilitating the import process: you have to determine the tariff classification number for each item, calculate the rate of duty and landed cost (among other fees), arrange for cargo transport, and deal with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- Chinese exports are volatile. The Chinese government has a tendency to impose new trade restrictions without warning, and you may get blindsided if you don’t have a knowledgeable consultant who stays abreast of the market changes. For example, in 2021, China suspended fertilizer exports in response to price increases, and the government also restricted steel exports in response to reduced production. And then there’s the fallout from China’s COVID lockdowns, which continue to disrupt trade worldwide.
- A consultant can save you money. One of the primary reasons for exporting from China is to save money, but if you go into it blind, you’re going to end up paying far more than you should. The right export consulting service can help you to get the most value for your efforts, such as by helping you to choose the most affordable suppliers and determine the best freight options for your business—whether that means air freight, ocean freight, or courier service. If you’re just starting up or expanding your business, a consultant can also help you to select products that are affordable and export-friendly. For instance, certain types of goods—like electronics, textiles, and building materials, are subject to China’s Section 301 tariffs and can come at a hefty cost.
- A consultant can take care of the documentation. There’s a lot of paperwork associated with exporting from China: shipping lists, customs declarations, bills of lading, contracts, invoices, insurance…the list goes on. It can be time-consuming and confusing to keep track of all the required documents, but a failure to do so may result in hefty fines and penalties. It’s better to leave the paperwork in the hands of an expert so you can focus on keeping your business running smoothly.
How to Choose an Export Consulting Service
When exporting from China, it pays to have an expert on your team. But it’s extremely important that you choose a consultant with a proven track record of success, a thorough understanding of the Chinese market, and the ability to take a hands-on approach. In other words, it’s not enough to simply hire an adviser. The Chinese export process is incredibly complex and, ideally, you want someone who serves as more than just a consultant—you want someone who can oversee the entire export process, from interfacing with suppliers to handling documentation to tracking shipments. The consultants at Partner Trade excel in these arenas.
When export consulting isn’t enough, it may also be worth your while to outsource your logistics to a trusted 3PL company that manages your entire inventory on your behalf. At Partner Trade, we handle logistics, warehousing, and fulfillment. We interface with the suppliers, track all imports, and ensure that all inventory clears customs.
Contact Partner Trade today and streamline your supply chain.