For companies that have plans to add the e-negotiation and import of goods from off shore regions, here are some thoughts to consider.

August 21st, 2009

Many companies actually shy away from this process because they don’t believe they are large enough or have a staff knowledgeable enough to manage the process.

So, if you want some of the benefits (cost) associated with this process, there is a great opportunity for you to save on your logistics costs by using Third Party Logistics Providers or 3PL’s

The first step to accomplishing this process is to make sure you are working with a quality e-procurement solutions provider that should already have relationships in place with agents and other companies that can manage much of this process for you. This can allow you to compete with larger companies that have been sourcing lower cost products from these regions for years. Third party logistics professionals can prove very helpful in tracking down shipments when they did not arrive at the expected time or place, as well as tracking them en route.

The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America www.ncbfaa.org can put you in touch with customs brokers and freight forwarders who can help you import your goods. Many of them offer informational websites that contain what is required in order to find the right customs broker or freight forwarder for your shipments. Your e-procurement solutions provider can also manage this process with the 3PL’s for you.

Companies can also visit the following website www.aapa-ports.org (American Association of Port Authorities) for assistance with the technical aspects of the logistics industry including directories of custom brokers and freight forwarders.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.

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