So you want to be an Importer/Exporter ?

The current pandemic and economic upheaval will lead many people to change jobs or careers by necessity. Some will make the leap to entrepreneurship and the arena of international trade. Allow me to provide a little perspective.

In my past experience teaching Supply Chain courses, many students expressed the desire to start their own importing or exporting business. In some cases they were motivated by an interest in a particular product they encountered on an international trip. Others wanted to turn a hobby into a business. In these early stages the nuts and bolts of international logistics are less important than the product, the markets, and realistic expectations on the part of the entrepreneur. As an instructor I always wanted to provide guidance and assistance along with real world business facts. The attached Twenty Questions are a good way to start the process,


LinkedIn Comments

Dean Maciuba 

Marek, I disagree with your comments regarding legacy mind-sets at UPS/FedEx as both are well run companies and have huge customer bases to serve. There enormous size, much larger than European carriers, make it harder to implement change, yet both carriers are changing dramatically.  Cultural consumer differences do drive how US consumers use/access carrier resources versus European based consumers, like how consumers use access points, but things like parcel locker availability/usage are just a small part of both carrier’s global networks. Look at the size and scope of FedEx/UPS global operations, with both carrier’s operating in every European country and practically no European carriers operating in the US. Also, FedEx is the largest cargo carrier in the world and no single European carrier can match UPS/FedEx reach, FedEx being the largest cargo carrier on the planet. Both carriers do have legacy cost issues that they are both addressing and FedEx will adjust to the Amazon threat. Now, the USPS is struggling with numerous organizational problems. 

Mitch Kostoulakos, LCB   

Dean, your posts have described how UPS and FedEx are making dramatic changes. Certainly these changes are like turning an aircraft carrier due to the size and scope of these operations. Legacy mindset does exist but it can also be a positive factor in establishing the values and culture of service in both UPS and FedEx.

Time For Some Spring Cleaning?

Ad Hoc Logistics recently completed a project for a Massachusetts manufacturer consisting of an extensive parts list “scrub”. We analyzed the harmonized codes and descriptions used for their imports, checking codes for validity. We then reviewed catalog descriptions and specs for all parts. Here is what we found:

10% of harmonized codes were invalid or out of date.

21% of parts had descriptions which were not relevant for the codes listed even though the codes were valid.

Our report to the client included recommendations for changes to the parts list with up to date and more accurate harmonized codes.

Invalid harmonized codes and descriptions can result in customs delays and possible exposure to fines and penalties. Why not give your parts list a good scrub?

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