Another reason to expand/relocate your business to the USA?

By: Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

According to a recent article in Business in Vancouver, a minority government in BC could be the “Worst fear for BC Business”. Besides creating more uncertainty, they indicate that the “Future of some major resource and infrastructure projects would be in doubt under a government dependent on co-operation of opposition parties.”

If they hadn’t already made plans based on the continuing weak loonie and increasingly strong U.S. economy, savvy BC business entrepreneurs will view this additional news as a strong signal to seek business and marketing opportunities in the USA. And, for those worried that the new president will close the border, our advice is GET OVER IT! While some trading relationships will obviously be reviewed, U.S. businesses and consumers will continue to consume foreign goods and services in even greater volume. Start planning right now to earn your fair share of the predicted extra-heavy fall and holiday buying season.

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

 

The impact of e-commerce on truck manufacturing.

There’s little doubt digital online buying – a.k.a. the ‘Amazon Effect’, is impacting traditional retailers, especially since Walmart has stepped up to the plate to compete with Amazon in this competitive e-commerce space.  While consumers enjoy the benefits of their e-commerce ‘warfare’, another dynamic to the ‘Amazon Effect’ being brought into the forefront is truck and trailer manufacturing.

The supply procedure of any online purchase is run ‘not as a marathon but rather as a relay,’ says Bruce Sauer, of Truck/Body Builder. Adding, “Track coaches typically assign their fastest, most reliable runner to anchor the final leg of the race. It’s where many relays are won and lost”. His clever analogy highlights the importance and emphasis supply chain management and 3PL (third party logistics) companies are putting on the ‘final mile’ – the shipping, handling and delivery phase, of any e-commerce order.  Retailers need to be paying attention too.

Delivery vehicles are being re-designed to have better maneuverability at distribution and fulfillment centers moving away from full truckload models to more ‘metro-friendly freight patterns.’  Additionally, vehicles will likely be lighter and also get better gas mileage; ‘optimized’ so as to maximize cargo space and keep drivers comfortable, safe and able to conduct their job most efficiently. E-commerce has created a ‘trucking revolution’ that has really only just begun.

Since the physical size of the United States remains enormous, trailers will remain to play a vital role says Brent Yeagy, president and chief operating officer at Wabash National, a leading producer of commercial trucking equipment.  However, “E-commerce is not linear,” Yeagy says, “It’s growing exponentially. And its implications for the trucking industry promise to be more disruptive than 99% of us can even fathom at this point.”

Consumer expectations are also a big influencer. AlixPartners, LLP recently found in their 2016 Consumer Shipping Survey, seventy-five percent of e-commerce consumers are ‘greatly impacted’ by free shipping when they are making purchasing decisions. ‘Free and fast’ are what consumers expect and this expectation is another reason delivery vehicle manufacturers are rethinking their designs.

Simply put, a consumers’ last impression of a retailer is based upon their interaction with the ‘delivery company’.  An all out effort to streamline the supply chain down to redefining the design of the delivery truck, are underway.  Ultimately, consistent and reliable order fulfillment and delivery are imperative to any successful e-commerce retailer’s sustainability – especially in the competitive U.S. market.

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: Alix Partners, LLP article: “Final-Mile Delivery: What Do Online Shoppers Want? And How Should Retailers and Their Logistics Partners Respond?”)

(Source: Truck/Body Builder, “How the shipping model of e-commerce is impacting truck body and trailer manufacturers –the ‘Amazon effect’ of fast, free shipping re-routes truck body/trailer builders’ thinking”.)

“Return to Sender” – What’s Your Policy?

According to UPS, January 6th is officially ‘National Returns Day’. The global shipping giant reportedly expects to handle approximately 5 million package returns by the end of the first week in January with over a million consumer returns on January 6th alone! With online shopping exponentially increasing each year, particularly during the holiday season, e-commerce retailers need to consider their return policies.

Returns play a huge role in a buyer’s decision process. Structuring a ‘flexible policy’ to provide online shoppers with ‘free, fast and easy returns’ helps make a consumer feel much more comfortable buying something sight unseen. UPS reports just 32% of retailers offer free returns. Further, less than half outline a ‘merchandise exchange timeline’ which, UPS says, “is a key component of the return policy that is viewed by 88% of online shoppers.”

Canadian retailers and small businesses expanding their businesses online and selling into the U.S. market should recognize a no-hassle return policy will give them a competitive edge in a very competitive market.

Establishing a business identity in the USA and using reliable trade partners can eliminate unnecessary border crossings, clearance expenses, freight costs and time delays while providing your American customer base with the reliable, quick turnarounds they’re after.

If you need a trusted (reverse) logistics partner to handle your USA warehousing and ‘pick & pack’ shipping needs with accuracy and attention to detail, please consider our team at UCanTrade, Inc. (Ref. “Six Eyes On Every Box”)

To learn more about our Technical Repair and Return Services click HERE or call us at 360-380-6900.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news and/or follow us on Twitter @UCanTrade.

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

(Source)

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