The Loonie – A Hindrance or An Opportunity?

Whether it was to catch a cheaper flight from Bellingham to Las Vegas or to shop at an I-5 outlet mall, since 2013 many British Columbians were flocking to the nearest lower-mainland border crossing and travelling to the states in search of a good deal.

Canadian dollar the loonieHowever, a weakened Loonie curbed many Canadian shoppers who’d been making the trip south of the border to stay home. Indeed throughout Washington State’s Whatcom County, retailers in border towns like Sumas, Blaine, Lynden and further south to Ferndale and Bellingham have seen dramatic drops in Canadian shoppers since 2013 (BPRI Winter 2017 Brief: Changes in Canadian Shopping Visits in Northwest Washington, 2013 to 2016).

Interestingly though the loonie has rallied in value to a little over 80 cents to the American dollar. Will we see a surge in cross-border activity again here in Whatcom County? We hope so! However, even in light of recent news, there’s more to the ‘cross-border currency’ story than shopping. Like SELLING! CADUSD20yrs

Historically the USD has dominated over the Loonie as reflected in this 20 year chart. (Source)

A paradigm shift. Can Canadians consider the exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar (CAD) – USA Dollar (USD) not as a hindrance, but rather as an opportunity? They should! Here’s why.

Assuming all the proverbial ducks are in a row, ‘I’s dotted and ‘T’s crossed, the savvy B.C. business owner and entrepreneur stands to earn at least 20% more on their U.S. sales in part due to the favorable exchange rate.

“Here are the simple facts” says UCanTrade, Inc. president and dual citizen, Jim Pettinger: “(1) most U.S. land border crossings have been upgraded and are fully open for Canadian goods and people, (2) each sale you make for US$100 nets you C$120 or more, (3) your business presence in the U.S. can lead to a green card and dual-citizen status if you wish , and (4) American buyers (a) love Canadian goods, (b) have double the available money of their Canadian counterparts and (c) make their buying decisions at least  three times as fast.”

If history is an indicator then a long-term outlook is for a weak Loonie. Canadian companies need to immediately seize the opportunity to stake a position in the lucrative U.S. market. With careful planning, the initial cost can be minimal, but the payoff could be enormous.

Interested in learning more about doing business in the USA? Attend our next DBUSA Seminar &/or download this whitepaper “Ten Tips for Better Border Business”.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Doing Business in the USA – Seminar

Canadian companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs who attend this ‘fast-paced’ seminar will learn from cross-border experts how to ‘determine an export strategy’ and ‘understand their responsibilities’ to U.S. government agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration.

Professional veteran cross-border immigration and business lawyers, accountants, customs brokers and logistics providers will guide attendees through the steps of exporting into the U.S.A., as well as be on hand to answer questions and offer consultation.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Place: Hyatt Vancouver, 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7
Fee: $75.00 CAD plus GST (per attendee)

Questions?  Contact us at (360) 380-6900 for more information or,

CLICK FOR EVENT INFO / TO REGISTER

The Doing Business in the USA seminar is presented by:

dbusa
TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1983.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Order Returns – Cause and Effect

Attributed to the overwhelming increase in e-commerce holiday orders, UPS has hailed January 5th ‘National Returns Day’ because of the volume of product returns it manages during the first week of January – in particular on the 5th.

Ecommerce is on the rise and it’s not only putting increased pressure on shipping couriers like FedEx and UPS but the entire supply chain (Related Article: A Logistics Revolution). While business increases all parties struggle to adapt to the demand. In order to ‘stay ahead of the curve’ both shipping giants have partnered with specialized companies, like UCanTrade, Inc., to better control the costs and challenges presented by “reverse logistics”.

Further, their specialized third party logistics (3PL) partners work closely with retailers/e-tailers to establish (among other things) an effective return policy to best maximize their profits. “[An] easy-to-use returns experience should be one of several retail strategies to enhance customer loyalty and manage the cost of returns processing,” said UPS chief marketing officer Teresa Finley.

This is especially true for Canadian (e-commerce) companies exporting their goods to the U.S. and selling to American consumers; notorious for their high customer service expectations. An effective return policy can give exporters a competitive advantage not only with other Canadian businesses but also with US retailers as well. (Related Article: Return to Sender – What’s Your Policy?)

Consider your supply chain, the cause and effect of returns and then manage it in both directions – there AND back.

UCanTrade, Inc. is a boutique, third-party logistics and warehousing services provider situated 15 minutes south of the B.C. / Washington State, Blaine border crossings. Proudly providing business and logistics services to Canadian importers and exporters, since 1984.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

(Source Article)

Direct Access to Your US Market

The Bellingham International airport (BLI) is located in Whatcom County (map) and borders the Lower-Mainland / Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada. With four motor vehicle ports of entry into Blaine, WA and Blaine’s close proximity (20 miles or 32 kilometers) to the airport, BLI offers multiple advantages to the BC business traveler.

From most B.C. locations like White Rock, Delta, Surrey, South Surrey, Langley, Aldergrove or Abbotsford, BLI is less than an hour drive away. That travel time is expedited when traffic at the border crossing is light &/or you use a Nexus card (more information about border times and Nexus can be found at UCanTrade.com).

In fact, border wait times are down. There has been a 10% decline in motor vehicle traffic at the Pacific border crossings to date this year compared to the same period in 2015, reports Dave Gallagher of the Bellingham Herald, the weakened Canadian dollar primarily to blame. “When the loonie was nearly at par with the U.S. dollar a few years ago,” reports Gallagher, “it was estimated that more than half of the [airport] passengers were Canadian.”

Even with current exchange rates, travel through BLI still continues to offer “executives and personnel from B.C. companies who conduct their business through Whatcom County … low cost business travel [options] to their U.S. market,” says Jim Pettinger, president of UCanTrade, Inc. Direct flights offered by regional airlines to major cities within U.S. states like Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and California save B.C. business travelers both time and money.

Bellingham International Airport

We welcome visitors! If you are planning a trip to your U.S. market via Bellingham International airport, please consider stopping by UCanTrade, Inc. for a visit! Our 25,000 square foot warehouse is conveniently located just off Interstate 5 between Blaine and Bellingham, at Exit 260, Slater Rd. We’re right on the way and would love to give you a tour.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Read more from the Bellingham Herald HERE

How Much Should I Charge My U.S. Customers?

By:  Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Most Canadian companies preparing to launch into the lucrative U.S. market are unsure how to price their offerings. In a recent issue of his free e-newsletter, “Verne’s Insights”, Verne Harnish recommended a book by Dr. Hermann Simon of Simon-Kucher & Partners, entitled “Confessions of The Pricing Man – How Price Affects Everything”. Pricing is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in business and one that is at best an educated guess at most organizations. One of the books key assertions is that price is the most effective profit driver. Manage for Profit, not for Market Share.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Focus, Focus, Focus

During the recent Doing Business in the USA seminar held in Langley, B.C. June 9, 2016, cross-border veteran, Jim Pettinger detailed practical, affordable marketing strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business into the USA.

Pettinger, president and C.E.O. of UCanTrade, Inc., provides Canadian
businesses, particularly those in British Columbia, with USA business
and logistics services from his Ferndale, WA warehouse, located just
south of the Peace Arch border crossing.

UCanTrade.com

He advised the group of attendees, made up of SMEs, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, to ‘think domestically’ when selling goods and services to the U.S.A., adding the “number one obstacle is not the border, it’s dialing in on a target market.”  (Related Article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA)

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

You Can Trade! We Want To Help.

At UCanTrade, Inc., we exist to help Canadian companies market and distribute their goods and services profitably to the U.S.A.  We aim to assist them in removing any ‘border barriers’ and to provide them with a low cost, fully equipped and fully staffed extension of their Canadian office on the American side of the border.

U.S. based third-party logistics (3PL) service providers, like UCanTrade, Inc., offer Canadian exporters many benefits. Here’s a list of our ‘Top Ten’:

  1. Reduce Operating Costs: Our shared resources can save you as much as 80% of the cost of setting up an independent office.
  2. Increase Marketing Productivity: By delegating the “back-end” of their business to UCanTrade, our clients increase their USA marketing productivity by up to 20% or more.
  3. Improve Prospect Response: A U.S. office will increase sales response, enhance your credibility, and generate confidence.
  4. Increase Sales: By responding to orders and inquiries from your U.S. office you can reduce response time, significantly increasing your selling effectiveness.
  5. Save Time: We know who you have to talk to, what you have to do, what steps you must take to do business in the U.S. We can save you many hours of legwork.
  6. Fast, Easy Startup: With UCanTrade, you literally have an instant office and staff in the U.S., so you can begin operations immediately.
  7. Maintain Control: Our offices are 15 minutes from the border, allowing you to stay in close contact and maintain tight control over U.S. operations.
  8. Minimize Taxes: U.S. federal and state taxes may be avoided or reduced by contracting with UCanTrade instead of establishing an independent office.
  9. Reduce Effect of Exchange Rates: Lower cost U.S. services can be paid with dollars generated by U.S. sales, thus eliminating the exchange rate penalty.
  10. Learn From Others Dealing with Same Problems: UCanTrade has established a community of Canadian entrepreneurs, allowing you to benefit from the experience of others.

Learn how Canadians can earn US dollars (USD) as ‘non-resident importers’ and find additional helpful articles about expanding a business into the U.S.A. here: http://ucantrade.com/articles

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

“Merry Christmas” (it’s just around the corner)

By: Jim Pettinger, President and CEO of UCanTrade, Inc.

The fall (and summer) of 2016 promises to be a banner season for Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses to capitalize on the continuing favorable Canada/USA exchange rate.  Whether you are an entrepreneur with items to sell on eBay or Amazon, or a business with products to sell to other businesses or to U.S. federal, state or local governments, or a BC retailer or tourism operator offering great deals to American visitors, NOW is the time to start planning your marketing strategy.

Canadian Exports To USA

US Sales = More Loonies

There are many positive signs and signals, including: Trudeau’s amazing welcome in Washington, continuing low oil and commodity prices, the awakening of Americans to the plight (and buying opportunity) of the weak loonie, the increase in the limit for “informal” customs entries into the U.S., and the recently reported expiration of exchange hedges bought by larger Canadian businesses.  Don’t be left holding the bag (of loonies).

Subscribe to our TradeTips newsletter HERE and stay current on upcoming BC / WA Trade Events and Cross-Border News.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Selling to Americans – Risks and Rewards

Canadians know they’ll pay more when they shop in the states, but interestingly few consider the opposite scenario, which is how much they could earn by selling in the states.  Even with border clearance costs, Canadians can earn 20% or more on their US sales (Exchange Rate Calculator).

The opportunity to export and sell goods to the American market, offers Canadian business owners a lucrative means of offsetting subsequently higher costs of goods sold (many use US suppliers) as well as provide a growth strategy outside the Canadian market.  (Ref. Online US Sales Help Canadian Retailers Cope With Low Loonie)
Earn More on US Sales
One Alberta-based manufacturing company, whose sales had ‘plateaued’, made the decision to sell to the U.S. and his company ‘literally doubled its sales in just over three years’.  While the owner, a mechanical engineer, admits there were ‘hoops’, risks and the paperwork required patience, in the end he found it was well worth the effort.

Learn how Canadians can earn US dollars (USD) as ‘non-resident importers’ and find additional helpful articles about expanding a business into the U.S.A. here: http://ucantrade.com/articles

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

(Source)

Know Before You Go

By: Jim Pettinger, President & CEO of UCanTrade, Inc.

The “Know Before You Go” slogan is familiar to most Canadians (and some Americans). Along with “I declare” (Je déclare), it reminds us to make sure we know our obligations at the border when traveling. However, when planning to expand your Canadian business into the USA, it’s important to understand two more specific initial obligations relating to both persons and goods. (Dealing with certain other obligations can usually be deferred until your USA business venture gains a foothold.)

First, make sure you know your (or your employee’s) status as a “temporary business visitor”. The last thing you want is to have your (or your employee’s) name and/or license plate entered into the DHS database (or worse, to be instantly and arbitrarily banned from ever entering the U.S. again!). And second, make sure you have a 100% understanding of U.S. Customs (and related agencies) “release” requirements for any goods (and packing materials) you intend to import into the USA from either Canada or offshore (e.g., products, samples, marketing materials, trade show booths, etc.).

U.S. Customs penalties can be enormous and, worse, you don’t want to lose all those precious initial orders because you can’t deliver your first container/pallet/carton of product.

For more, please view/print Ten Tips for Better Border Business.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

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