Consolidated Shipping: The Path To Lower Company Shipping Costs

If you're a business owner, shipping costs can sometimes skyrocket, especially with many customers in different locations. Shipping consolidation reduces your shipping costs by combining the shipments of products from the same supplier into one single shipment to your warehouse or distribution center. It is also known as freight consolidation. This article will discuss what consolidated shipping is, how it works, and how it can help you reduce your company's shipping costs.

What Is Consolidated Shipping?

Consolidated shipping combines multiple orders from different customers into a single shipment, then shipped to a logistics provider in the destination country. Once the shipment arrives at the logistics provider, each order will be separated and sent to its respective customer. Consolidated shipping can save importers hundreds or even thousands of dollars on international shipping, but it does come with some tradeoffs.

Benefits of Consolidated Shipping

Cost Savings and Reduced Financial Pressure

One of the main benefits of consolidated shipping is that it can save you a lot of money. Since the goods are packed into one large container, you only pay for one shipment instead of multiple smaller ones. This can save you more than half of the regular cost of shipping. Small businesses especially benefit from this as they need to reduce costs to ensure their business is on track for success.

Another benefit is reduced financial pressure due to fewer invoices and payments to worry about. Rather than having 10 or 20 separate shipments for your goods, you will only have one invoice and one payment. This makes it easier for you to organize your budget and expenses and reduces financial pressure on you or your business.

Consolidating shipments will reduce all of the following costs: transportation, handling, and warehousing. Transportation costs will be lower since you'll need to move fewer trucks or containers from one place to another. Handling costs will be lower if the items are shipped in larger lots, so you won't have to spend as much time packing them for shipment. Warehousing costs will also be lower since you won't need as much warehouse space for the inventory being shipped at one time.

Reduced Chance of Damages

Since all products arrive together, there is no risk of damage in transit. You will never have to worry about receiving an entire package only to discover that the other packages were damaged and must be re-shipped.

Speed to Market

Speed to market is critical in today's world. Consolidated shipping helps you move your products to market faster, so you can start seeing a return on your investment sooner.

Foreign Compliance for Shipping to International Markets

By consolidating all of your orders into one shipment, you will also benefit from reduced customs clearance delays and related expenses. Having a central point of contact for sorting out your paperwork is simpler than dealing with multiple compliance issues in different countries. This will make it much easier to keep track of every shipment detail and help avoid any mistakes that could lead to costly penalties or taxes.

Challenges of Consolidated Shipping

Finding a Carrier

Consolidated shipments come with several challenges. However, one of the most common hurdles is finding a carrier to meet your needs. This is not necessarily easy because carriers are generally designed to take items from point A to point B and back again in the shortest amount of time possible. On the other hand, consolidated shipping requires that shipments be held in a warehouse until there are enough to fill an entire truck or container, and this means that carriers will have to park their vehicles while waiting. An experienced and knowledgeable consolidation carrier should be able to achieve this without inconveniencing you or incurring unnecessary costs.

Organization and Planning

Consolidated shipping also requires more planning and organization on the shipper's part. If you're going to use this method, you'll need to know ahead of time what you have to ship and when you need it delivered so that your shipment can be included in a load with other shipments being sent to the same place around the same time as yours. That may require coordination between you and your vendor(s) or distributor(s).

Time Consumption

As with any process, time is sometimes required to get things right. For example, if you're consolidating a single large shipment into multiple smaller ones, it could take some time to negotiate the logistics of the entire process. You'll need to talk to each supplier and decide what they can do for you regarding packaging and storage. Then, there's the question of how much time it takes to repackage each item before it's ready for shipment—this can vary depending on how much work needs to be done on each item (for instance, if fragile items are involved). Consolidated shipping is often more time-consuming than standard shipping methods because so many things need consideration during the process. 

How Working With a Trading Company Makes Consolidated Shipping Easier

Network of Manufacturers to Consolidate With

A trading company is a middleman between a manufacturer and an importer (the person or business buying products). Trading companies may represent manufacturers who they partner with, or they may act as the manufacturers themselves. Either way, they can be an excellent resource for consolidating shipments because of the network of manufacturers they work with. They're usually aware of which manufacturers in their network can combine products into one shipment when preparing an order. Working with a trading company helps you avoid spending money on multiple shipments when you could have gotten everything in one package instead. 

Network of Warehouses Across the US

As a business owner, you are constantly dealing with the challenges of running a small business. As you know, one of those challenges is shipping, especially when it comes to international shipping. International shipping consolidation may be the answer you've been looking for. If you work with a trading company with a network of warehouses across the US, you can use them as your consolidation point.

A trading company can help make consolidated shipping easier in many ways.

  • They have warehouses all over the US and will find the most convenient location for your needs. 
  • They can receive shipments from all over the US and consolidate them into containers to ship overseas to your customers. 
  • They can also ship directly from foreign countries and consolidate them at their warehouse before sending them to your customers in the US.

Access to Overseas Markets

 "It's not unusual that US manufacturers cannot change their date codes. We can arrange for foreign compliant date coding, stickering, etc."

Trading companies have set up and experience in foreign markets, making all the difference in consolidating shipping. Here are some things to consider:

How much do you know about foreign markets? Do you know about their culture, customs, and languages? Are you aware of what documents are required for importing and exporting? Do you know the rules regarding product labeling and marking? If not, your goods could be delayed or refused entry into the market—and you could face fines.

Trading companies have experts on staff who understand these markets, including their regulations and import/export requirements. They have years of experience and know-how to maintain strong relationships with overseas manufacturers and suppliers. They will ensure that your goods are correctly prepared for foreign markets so they won’t be held up at the border.

Helping With Specialized Requirements for Products

“We handle export shipments with specialized requirements, including bonded warehousing, refrigerated cargo, and hazardous shipments.”

When you work with a trading company, they often help with handling logistics and consolidated shipping. For example, ATI handles all export shipments with specialized requirements for their clients, including bonded warehousing, refrigerated cargo, and hazardous shipments.

When it comes to getting your goods from point A to point B, work with a trading company for support to understand your best logistics options.

What Is American Trading International, and How We Can Help Companies With Consolidated Shipping

American Trading International (ATI) is a wholesale trading company specializing in exporting American foods and beverages to foreign countries. Finding an easy, affordable way can be tricky if you're trying to get your merchandise to a port in another country. But at American Trading International, we have made it our mission to help clients get their products where they need to go, whether it's a country nearby or halfway around the world.

Our expertise in global trade makes us an ideal partner for any company. Whether you're a multinational corporation or a small business with only occasional shipping needs—because we can always find the best way for you to ship your items based on your specific needs. So if you're looking for a reliable partner to help sell your products overseas, get in touch with our team today.

Questions on what ATI can do for your business? Call us today at +1 (310) 445-2000 or fill out our form on the contact us page.

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