Importing and exporting goods internationally can be intimidating and overwhelming to exporters and other businesses. The documentation required, the procedures, and the rules and regulations that surround exporting and importing goods are extensive and complex.
This is why many people contact companies which provide export consulting services. These services help business owners handle the many different entities involved in the import and export process, such as different governments, banks, customs brokers, and warehousers/distributers. Their job is to make sure that the goods being shipped are received in a safe and timely fashion.
How to Choose the Right Export Consulting Company
There are a handful of companies that provide export consulting services, though not everyone is qualified to take on the task of exporting your goods.
Look at the Company’s Experience
Experience is the first and most important characteristic the company providing export consulting services should have. If it has been in the industry for a decade or more, you have the reassurance that the export consulting service has dealt with numerous different entities that are involved in the exporting process.
Ask if They Have Exported Your Specific Product
In addition to looking into their years of experience in the industry, ask the company if they have ever exported the product you will be sending out. Some products are less complex to ship than others. If you have a specialty product (such as a food or beverage), then it is important that the consultant you meet with has helped export such products in the past.
Your consultant may be able to provide you with additional help, such as:
- Determining which mode of transport is best for internationally shipping your goods
- What size and type of container should be used
- How your goods should be packed so that they remain secure and intact
Ask if They Have Exported to Your Specified Location
Different countries and even communities will have varying laws surrounding what can be imported and exported, and what documentation is necessary for any shipments to be accepted. Ideally, the consultant should have helped other business owners export goods. This will give you the reassurance that the consultant will be able to ensure that your products will be received without issue.
Read Reviews Online
If, after meeting with the export consulting firm, you feel that they will be able to competently assist you in exporting your goods, take the time to do a bit of a background check on the company. Look up reviews online and see what other business owners have had to say about it. You can also call up the Better Business Bureau and see if there have been any complaints made against the company, and what the company did to resolve the issue.