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OVERCOMING THE HURDLES TO INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION I nter nation al sh i p p i n g p ro v i d e s a m yri ad o f o ppo rtu n i ti es , but w ith that c o m e s c h a l l e n g e s .

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oday, the explosive growth of e-commerce and rapid advances in shipping and logistics have spurred even the smallest companies to reach and engage customers abroad. According to the International Trade Administration, nearly 300,000 US businesses are exporting to countries around the globe, and of those, 98% are small- and medium-sized organizations. Together, these smaller companies account for one-third of merchandise exports, and they are testament to a powerful global reality: 95% of the world’s consumers — and 70% of its purchasing power — reside outside of

30 PARCELindustry.com  MAR-APR 2017

the United States. While the global trade numbers are encouraging, the fact is that less than one percent of the approximately 30 million companies based in the US are involved in exporting. The reasons are numerous, but one stands out: getting a global strategy in place and making it work takes time and financial resources, and complex customs rules and regulations present a significant challenge along the way. While the rewards of going global are clear, the obstacles must be confronted directly. Recently, DHL conducted a survey of more than 4,000 customers, and it reveals exactly what your company

should consider when developing or advancing an export strategy, along with which countries are most promising for future growth. Understanding potential hurdles to trade, along with landed costs and the customs processes in the US and in various countries abroad, can save you and your customers from costly surprises down the road. Here are some key takeaways from the survey: THE ‘BREXIT’ EFFECT In the wake of “Brexit,” 60% of survey respondents remain uncertain about how the move will impact their business, while 25% believe that Great Britain’s exit from the EU will have no impact

PARCEL March/April 2017  

PARCEL March/April 2017

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