Management InSites

Logistics 101 – Part 2

In our previous logistics inSite, we provided insider tips and information to help navigate the sometimes-complicated world of international shipping. Here, we dive deeper into the world of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and specifically inspections.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to Customs is that inspections happen randomly. They can happen to anyone, at any time, and there is no way to determine if an inspection will take one day or two weeks.

Important Information About Inspections:

  • There are three types of inspections (in order from least invasive and inexpensive, to most elaborate and expensive):
    • The container gets X-rayed;
    • The container is opened, the seal is broken, and someone physically inspects the goods inside;
    • The container gets an Intensive Exam – after a container is opened, if Customs finds something they want to further inspect, they take the goods to a Customs Examination Station (CES), and they thoroughly inspect them. This type of inspection can take a long time to complete.
  • Since there is no way to tell if the inspection will be completed quickly or not, the only way to guarantee a delivery date to the final customer is to provide it once the container has been released from Customs and it is in possession of the carrier.
  • If a shipment is stopped, the importer must pay all fees associated with the inspection. This includes fees for the inspection itself, for the drayage (stocking fee to hold parts in a warehouse during the inspection), and the carrier fee for holding the trailer while the container is in possession of customs.

How to Avoid Inspection:

  • Avoid red flags: Get your paperwork in order, make sure it’s clear, and provide accurate valuations of your goods (such as quantity, price, and HTS codes).
  • Work with an established partner: Use a transportation company that routinely manages international freight.
  • Try to avoid condensing the shipment with another company. You don’t want to be penalized if the other company makes a mistake in its paperwork or process.
  • Hire a broker (3rd party company) to present the documentation and get a Customs clearance 2-3 days before the arrival of the ship. In this way, you can avoid inspection and won’t need to wait for Customs to clear the container when it arrives.
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  • The Changing World of 3PLs

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  • International Shipping and Incoterms

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How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.
Read more
  • To Palletize or Not to Palletize?

    When it comes time to ship inventory to the United States, many foreign companies are unaware of the standards surrounding palletizing their shipments. While it is possible to ship a container oversees without pallets, it might not be the most cost-effective solution, especially when using an established warehouse or 3PL.

    October 4, 2021
  • Breaking Into the U.S. Water Sector: The Vast U.S.A.

    When considering entry into the U.S. market, it is imperative to remember how vast the U.S. is. While the water in most areas of another country with a small geographic footprint might be similar to one another, that is not the case here.

    July 26, 2021
  • The Changing World of 3PLs

    Third-party warehouses (3PLs) have historically provided companies with an invaluable service: the ability to store inventory and ship it out to customers around the globe. These warehouses are experts at packaging products to maximize order fulfillment.

    July 1, 2021
  • International Shipping and Incoterms

    When dealing with shipping internationally, especially from abroad to the U.S., setting the terms of the transaction from the moment the customer requests a quote is incredibly important. To avoid problems, unwanted costs, and even potential legal issues, there should be no room for confusion or ambiguity in the contract you set up with your customer.

    March 8, 2021
How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.

Logistics 101 – Part 2

In our previous post on the topic, we covered some important things to remember when setting up your company in the U.S. market. Beyond operations, sales, and marketing, a manager would be remiss not to focus on how cultural differences might impact the success of a subsidiary.

The U.S. is not homogenous

Unlike several other countries, the U.S. is vast – and not just in its size. Americans tend to break up the country into its East and West coasts, and the Midwest. But there are even more segments, like the South, Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, Florida, and Texas – all of which differ greatly from each other. There are several big cities, countless medium-sized markets, and even more rural or suburban areas. Interacting with people living in big cities will differ greatly from interacting with people in smaller towns. While it would be unwise to generalize, it is best to understand the culture of the part of the U.S. in which you are doing business before having expectations.

Patience is not always a strength among Americans

When in negotiations or conducting business, Americans tend to want to just get the deal done. While many other cultures take their time, get to know everyone involved, and move along at a comfortable pace, those in the U.S. do not always see a need to drag things out. Get ready for what looks like impatience, when in reality it is just a desire to be efficient and effective.

Don’t plan on in-person meetings 

At least not all the time. The tendency for Europeans and Asians to conduct most business in person is not the same in the U.S. Phone calls, emails, and now even video conference calls are the norm. Businesspeople like to work efficiently, and don’t gather in person unless it is necessary. First meetings, larger negotiations, and important topics are generally discussed in-person. Otherwise, don’t be offended or surprised if many of your interactions are taking place remotely.

Open-minded over traditions

A positive aspect of Americans in general is their ability to have an open mind. Many other cultures rely heavily on traditions, and act in certain ways because history dictates that they should. That is not the case in the U.S. Americans tend to welcome new ideas and concepts perhaps more freely than their foreign counterparts.

That being said, Europeans tend to rely on strongly forged bonds in which trust is paramount. Loyalty is key. Americans tend to be looser and more pragmatic when it comes to doing business. They don’t necessarily need to have known someone for years to begin working with them. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the deal done.