In Praise of the Lowly Pallet

By: Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

According to a recent article in Inbound Logistics magazine, “Some 80 percent of all U.S. commerce is carried on pallets, making them an indispensable part of nearly every supply chain.” They estimate there are over 2 billion pallets circulating around the United States of all sizes and makeup. The most common standard size of 40-inch by 48-inch is set by the grocery industry, but many other sizes are also used.

Many newer businesses using our third-party logistics services are not aware of the most common ramifications, including (1) fumigation requirements when receiving wood pallets from offshore, (2) the “art” of stacking wrapping and banding a pallet so it will withstand frequent handling and cross-docking along its journey, (3) the cost of pallets and shipping materials needed to properly palletize an outbound shipment, and (4) the issue of dealing with grossly oversize, cheaply stacked and non-reusable incoming pallets from suppliers trying to minimize their cost. As usual, pre-planning and consultation with experts is always a good idea.

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

Article Link: Inbound Logistics

Optimize For Customers. Optimize Your Business.

So much more than business analysis or software upgrades, optimizing your business means taking a global approach to reviewing the processes required to satisfy your customers’ needs.

By definition, to optimize, is to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).  “It is not something only for the big companies,” says Casian Glavce, General Manager at Hewitt Material Handling, “if you do not optimize, you’re not going to be in business.”  This is particularly true for small and medium exporters where the supply chain process is very involved and oversights can cripple a business.

Packaging optimization for example, which is often overlooked, can significantly impact a company’s transportation costs which ultimately impacts pricing, one of the most important decisions a business owner has to make.  Inefficient order fulfillment can also be costly.

UCT Ops Mgr, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

UCanTrade’s Operations Manager, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

JR White, director, solutions engineering at KNAPP explains, “With the ecommerce orders … items can’t just be dumped into a shipping carton willy-nilly. There is a logical order to the packing that prevents damage and ensures the order arrives neatly presented to the customer. In other words, the shoes are not on top of the shirts.  That’s the first thing the customer sees and if you screw that up they’re not going to like it. They’re going to complain about it online and then ten other people aren’t going to shop here—all because of one missed order.” Accurate, considerate order fulfillment dramatically impact a company’s sales and market sustainability.

Through an ‘export lens’, trade experts and government organizations can provide invaluable assistance to help you outline your ‘best, most effective’ plan, to both optimize for your customer’s needs while simultaneously optimizing your business goals and returns on investments.

Interested in doing business in the United States?  Learn more at our upcoming seminar, October 19, 2016 in Richmond, B.C. Canada.  (Click HERE for more information.)

(Related: Six Eyes On Every BoxHow Much Should I Charge My U.S. Customers? )

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)

Selling to big retailers? Beware of charge-backs.

By: Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

In recent years, most “big box” retailers have followed Walmart’s lead by introducing “Vendor Compliance” programs. While understandable due to the huge volume of goods being received, the practice has also come under criticism for becoming a “revenue stream” rather than a reasonable business practice. Typical reasons for “fines” of $250 or more can include: early/late delivery, ASN/EDI violations, improper labels, purchase order violations, pricing errors, overages/shortages, broken pallets and damaged cartons.

Our advice to Canadians entering the US market has always been, “build your distribution channel from the bottom up”. There are thousands of local and regional retailers with whom you can build a “win-win” personal relationship while learning the ropes. And when you do venture into deeper water, make sure you negotiate profitable pricing and work with a third-party logistics company that can help you minimize delivery issues.

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

B.C. Businesses Cut Cross-Border Costs

“Canadian companies want to consolidate several small shipments into a larger one to minimize customs clearance costs,” says Jim Pettinger, UCanTrade, Inc.’s president and CEO. “This is where UCanTrade can step in and provide cross docking services and work in conjunction with our client’s U.S. Customs Broker to expedite this process at a low cost.”

Further, UCanTrade’s state-of-the-art warehouse and shipping facility, conveniently located on I-5 only 10 minutes (24 km) from the border in Blaine, WA, is strategically positioned to help British Columbia businesses save money. Our cross-docking, ‘pick-and-pack’ and third party logistics (3PL) services, combined with years of cross-border experience, give our clients a competitive advantage. By eliminating the border, Canadian businesses lower their shipping and handling costs whereby increasing their profits.

Noteworthy, if you are making acquisitions in the United States, ask your vendor if they offer free delivery to addresses in the U.S.  If they do, call us for cross-docking services and you could save thousands on freight fees and international shipping charges.

Get in touch with the logistics experts at UCanTrade, Inc. today, and find out how your company can save money with cross-border cross-docking and 3PL services.

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

Subscribe HERE to receive our TradeTips Newsletter – Cross-Border News & Upcoming Events in the Pacific Corridor

What in the world is Amazon doing now?

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

Spend a little time on Google and you will soon discover that Amazon is slowly but surely expanding its logistics reach both vertically and horizontally. Vertically, by investing in ships, planes, trucks, drones and warehouses, and horizontally by establishing operations around the globe from Europe to Asia and beyond. And besides all that, they are tying it all together with a staggering array of “web services”.

Order fulfillment and international logistics services.

A recent example is their expansion into ocean freight forwarding as reported recently in this article distributed by Reuters. As a former stockbroker, I remain amazed how Amazon can make this happen with a reported P/E ratio over 500 as compared to Apple at a paltry P/E of about 15. Perhaps this article in Yahoo! Finance will clear it up for you.

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

Subscribe HERE to receive our TradeTips Newsletter – Cross-Border News & Upcoming Events in the Pacific Corridor

Packaging – Not Just Impacting Retailers’ Shipping Costs

BY: UCanTrade Staff

With e-commerce on the rise, it’s worthwhile to examine the critical role packaging plays in order fulfillment, a consumer’s satisfaction and how it can influence their willingness to re-purchase or refer your good/service.
Reverse Logistics, Packaging
According to a 2014 online poll ‘Packaging for E-Commerce Success survey’ (conducted by Harris Poll), “58 percent of consumers say that if they receive a damaged or broken product from an online order, they would either consider purchasing from a competitor or would not purchase from that retailer again.” Not only is quality packaging important to protect the goods, it’s important to protect your reputation! (Source)

The survey also indicated packaging is perceived by consumers – particularly those between 18 – 35 years old, as a reflection of the quality of your goods. In other words, better packaging means a better product.

Another important consumer expectation e-commerce retailers really need to know to be successful is that consumers expect an order to be packaged and shipped within 24 hours or less after placing their online order.
Order Fulfillment
At UCanTrade, Inc., we work closely with our clients to fulfill their customer’s orders accurately and quickly. However, we’ve seen first-hand, in the form of returns and repairs, when retailer packaging falls short.

Peering at packaging through an ‘e-commerce lens’, it becomes evident, proper packaging doesn’t just impact a retailers’ shipping cost. Clearly good packaging choices play a huge role in avoiding returns, guaranteeing good customer service and ensuring an overall positive experience that will keep consumers coming back again and again.

Trade Tips Blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc.

UCanTrade Logo Frame Paths

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

How Will the Chinese New Year Impact Your Business?

The Chinese New Year has a huge impact on international commerce. In the upcoming weeks, China will prepare to celebrate their New Year. In 2015 it will be the Year of the Goat. There will be fire crackers, dancing dragons, red lanterns and red parcels but did you know that there will also be month long factory shut-downs?

A little-known fact of working with Chinese producers is that many Chinese factories shut down for several weeks during the month long Chinese New Year celebrations. Subsequently, they ‘amp-up’ their productions and exports in the weeks preceding the festival, to meet North American & global order demands. UCanTrade’s Operations Manager, Terry Dickey, says that one of UCanTrade’s clients is currently receiving double the amount of inventory they customarily import, in preparation of the Chinese New year manufacturing hiatus.

The Chinese New year celebrations will begin on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

At UCanTrade, our core business has always been to help Canadian entrepreneurs market and distribute their products profitably into the United States. A growing part of that business means helping Canadian businesses import directly from China to the USA.

Import from China To USA

With almost 30 years of international commerce experience and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space, UCanTrade is well-equipped to help North American businesses accommodate the surge in production that precedes the Chinese New year manufacturing shutdown.

If your business is looking for a reliable partner to help with USA warehousing and fulfillment, in preparation for Chinese New Year, or year-round, call UCanTrade’s logistics experts at 360-380-6900.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1997.

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

Need help receiving a containerized shipment from abroad? We can do that.

By: Elliott Smith

Seattle Tacoma Vancouver Container Shipment Processing

IMA receives and processes container shipments for Canadian and USA-based clients. We handle and process shipments from the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma or Port of Vancouver BC.

Which port is right for you? “It’s really a case by case basis” says IMA’s Operations Manager Terry Dickey. “We work with our client to find the most cost-effective option, whether that’s the Port of Seattle, Port of Vancouver, or another option.” Dickey added

IMA works with one of our trusted trucking partners to have your container delivered from its arrival port to our Ferndale, Washington facility, conveniently located just 20 minutes from the border on Interstate 5.

Seattle Vancouver Container Shipment ProcessingFrom there, IMA’s crew of experienced logistics staff will receive, process, and warehouse your shipment and await orders from your customers. When your order is received, IMA’s expert staff will promptly pick, pack and ship to your customer via UPS. And we do it with one of the highest accuracy rates in the industry.

More and more companies are taking advantage of low-cost manufacturing off-shore. But getting a container of goods from the port and translating that into individual orders for your retail or e-commerce customers can be a challenge.

Port of Seattle Container Shipment ProcessingIMA provides the missing link to solve that challenge. From the seaport of your choice, to your retail customer’s doormat, IMA makes international manufacturing and USA distribution a snap.

If you have goods being manufactured overseas, and need a reliable partner to manage container receiving, warehousing, and pick & pack shipping, give us a call at 1-360-380-6900

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com


How does Chinese New Year Impact North American Business?

By: Elliott Smith

Import from China To USAIt’s a busy time of year at IMA, both for Christmas/holiday orders, and for the buildup towards Chinese New Year. That’s right, Chinese New Year. The New Year celebrations in China have a huge impact on international commerce. At IMA, our core business has always been helping Canadian entrepreneurs market and distribute their products profitably in the United States. A growing part of that business means helping Canadian businesses import directly from China to the USA.

A little-known fact of working with Chinese producers is the surge in manufacturing and export that accompanies the run-up to Chinese New Year. Many Chinese factories shut down for several weeks, during Chinese New Year celebrations. The Chinese New year celebrations, also known as the Spring Festival, will begin on January 31, 2014. According to Travel China Guide, the festival lasts almost half a month.

The Chinese factories that shut down entirely for the period of the festival often precede this idle period with a run-up in production to meet orders in North America and around the globe. IMA’s Operations Manager Terry Dickey says that one of IMA’s clients is currently receiving double the amount of inventory they customarily import, in preparation of the Chinese New year manufacturing hiatus.

With almost 30 years of international commerce experience and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space, IMA is well-equipped to help North American businesses accommodate the surge in production that precedes the Chinese New year manufacturing shutdown. If your business is looking for a reliable partner to help with USA warehousing and fulfillment, in preparation for Chinese New Year, or year-round, call the logistics experts at IMA at 360-380-6900.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com