Your business will be faced with numerous decisions when you decide to import from China. However, there are a few decisions that you need to decide first before you start the process at all. First, it's important to decide if you are going to use a sourcing agent. Next, you need to decide if you are going to use air freight or sea freight for your imported products.
A sourcing agent oversees the entire process of importing products from China. Using a sourcing agent is the best chance for success, and the easiest way to avoid common importation mistakes. Kanary is a seasoned sourcing specialist, and we would love to talk about how partnering with us is an easy recipe for your business to grow.
Air freight is the fastest shipping option and is best suited for small, lightweight products. Shipping costs are based on weight, so if you plan on large volume orders or large, heavy products, your business will want to consider sea freight shipping. Kanary can help your business determine when air freight is an ideal option for your business needs.
Sea freight is the most cost-effective shipping method for the majority of companies importing products from China. While air freight costs are based on weight, sea freight costs are based on the volume of space used. Maximizing your container space will save you thousands on shipping, and Kanary can guide the process, including organizing consolidated shipping.
It is important to have all the correct import documents in order so that your shipment does not face any delays or unnecessary fines. Using wrong HTS codes for the products you’re importing, an inaccurate Bill of Lading, and having a packing list that does not match up with the commercial invoice can all cause problems for your shipment.
In addition, you will need an up-to-date bond on file if you are the importer of record so that you can assume responsibility for the shipment and pay any taxes/duties and/or fines to the government.
This is primarily referring to Sea Freight. In order to ship out your container on time, it must be loaded one week before your departure date. This means that if you are sourcing multiple goods from various suppliers, all of the goods have to be shipped to a designated location on time in order for the container to be loaded.
If any of the suppliers deviate from the appropriate lead time and fail to have your products at the designated location for loading, you will run the risk of missing your departure date. You may be faced with the decision of whether to continue loading and shipping out the container on time without the certain missing products or rescheduling the shipment.
Rescheduling the shipment may take weeks and may not be an option depending on when you need your products. If you ship out your container without the missing products then you will also have to deal with updating all of the necessary import documents. As you can see, it is imperative to manage and prepare your shipment correctly.
Relying on a Chinese manufacturer to handle customs clearance and delivery of your products to a final destination is a big mistake. The manufacturer is not familiar with the importing process, so they will be hiring a Chinese freight forwarding company to handle the shipping.
Most Chinese freight forwarders are not familiar with the rules and processes in the US for importing. As a consequence, there is a good chance your shipment will face delays. They may even be fined for importing your shipment incorrectly and will pass the unnecessary fines unto you. They could use the wrong HTS codes translating into higher import taxes, submit paperwork late which could mean daily fines until they figure it out, and overpay for local trucking companies to deliver the goods because they are not familiar with the local rates.
You should always work with a company like Kanary or customs broker who is familiar with the rules and processes of the arrival destination.