Onwards and Upwards: How to Plan for Your Next Business Expansion

Own an overseas shipping business and want to expand? There are a number of concerns unique to the industry that can’t be ignored. This article will discuss the most basic of them to give business owners an idea of how to best invest their working capital and what to expect as their companies grow.

business expansion

What to Expect

As the economy continues to globalize, sellers have the opportunity to make more money by expanding to international audiences. Shipping businesses play an integral role in this trend by giving them the means of affordably transporting items overseas. According to one recent UPS study, a large majority of consumers in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil are purchasing goods from international sellers. Freight companies that can offer overseas shipping can expect to get a lot more business as this trend continues.

Required Equipment

Most freight companies that want to get into international shipping know that they’ll need cargo ships. These impressive vessels can’t do their job alone, though. They work in tandem with support ships like crew boats, patrol boats, and fast support intervention vessels (FSIVs).

Investing in the infrastructure to offer overseas shipping requires some serious capital, but buying used vessels can help business owners who are just dipping their toes into the water when it comes to international freight to get more bang for their buck. Visit www.nautisnp.com/crewboats to check out available used inventory. Don’t skimp on support vessels. They’re just as necessary as cargo ships.

Overseas Shipping Restrictions

Every country has different restrictions in place in international trade. Shipping companies need to be aware of these restrictions so they can assure clients that they will be able to successfully deliver their products. Not all restrictions are obvious. New Zealand, for example, bans some types of dog collars, while Nigeria will not allow fruit juice, bagged cement, or suitcases to cross its borders. Shipping restricted items can lead to fines, so freight shipping company owners should do their due diligence.

Clients will also have to fill out specific paperwork. International shipping companies can increase their customer bases and stand out in a competitive market by offering help with filling out paperwork. Expect additional paperwork on the following items:

  • Valuables

International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) regulated items

goods governed by international trade agreements

Offer Parcel Consolidation

Business owners that sell consumer goods are always looking for ways to lower their costs. Parcel consolidation is one option for those who ship smaller items. It involves routing the packages to a shipping center in advance to be consolidated on a pallet before they are sent overseas.

Shipping companies that offer parcel consolidation can cut out the middle man. They’ll save money picking up packages in the US, getting bulk goods through customs, and negotiating fees with local delivery companies. They can then pass on some of those savings to their customers to attract more business.

The Bottom Line

International shipping companies need to focus on infrastructure, but not at the expense of crew safety or customer satisfaction. Offering more comprehensive services like parcel consolidation and help with navigating international trade regulations can help them stand out from the competition. Purchasing used ships can cut back on costs, making it easier for domestic shipping companies to expand to overseas markets. It takes a lot of work and capital investment, but the payoff is worth it.

About the author

Andy Stewart

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