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What is international logistics? International logistics definition is the process of planning and managing goods and products from your company to your customer – where part of the route involves crossing more than one international border.

Logistics is a term widely used in the business sector referring to how resources are handled and moved along the supply chain. It becomes quite complex when it includes the entire process of movement control of goods from one county to another.

Find out more about the importance of international logistics here…

International logistics and supply chains

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Supply chains are sensitive as they depend on your customers changing demands. Knowledge of your products international supply chain is essential for business planning such as the number of orders that can be processed within deadlines and delivery times.

Managing the supply chain involves overseeing the goods from the time they leave you until the final point of destination. Aspects of this management also include inventory, production, packaging and material handling, labelling, insurance, storage, distribution, and transportation.

If you intend to manufacture your products in one country and sell them in another managing international logistics will be vital to your success. Constant monitoring to ensure prevention of major issues is the key.

International logistics and warehousing

Warehousing and the handling of materials are extremely important. To sell goods outside of their country of origin requires timely, reliable, and cost-effective shipments. A component of supply chain management that’s crucial is a fleet of forklift trucks.

With careful monitoring, maintenance can be carried out ongoing, with spare parts kept on the premises. This ensures that storage facilities are operational at all times. Large forklift fleets are ideal for optimal international performance – and the installation of battery room outfitting and other equipment can keep your business effective and productive ongoing.

International logistics and cargo movement

There are four important elements of international logistics related to the movement of cargo and these are:

Integrity – the buyer is entitled to receive a product in accordance with contractual requirements. Therefore, quality assurance with the inclusion of temperature monitors for temperature critical consignments, for example, is standard practice.

Proper packing and labelling of the goods alongside written instruction of handling procedures are essential to minimise any improper treatment during transportation.

Pedigree – it’s important to know the origin of the product for customs and for the quality perspective of the goods. Traceability to origin may be regulated, and in some cases, goods must be labelled with the place of origin.

Chain of custody – the handling of the product affects the integrity of the shipment as problems will arise from damaged goods. The importance is attached to individual stages of the transportation process in order to identify any responsible parties that have led to delays and any compromises.

Transport visibility – knowing exactly where the shipment is at any time is imperative as it allows for timely delivery and contingency plans for delays. Track and trace options provide real-time information and early warning signs that can allow alternate actions to be put in place, avoiding major issues.

Logistics and international transport

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Experts from international logistics companies will decide on the best mode of transport – regardless of the shipment and where the items are coming from and going to. The options presented will be air, rail, sea, and interstate trucks.

International trade is dependant far more on sea routes than air – mainly due to the higher expense of air travel with its limited weight capacities, and the transportation of perishable cargo where shipping would be impossible.

The shipping trade has shipping companies owning vessels and specialising in the transportation of certain types of cargo. Detailed schedules are announced in advance for mother vessels – with higher cargo carrying capacities – and feeder vessels that carry cargo from individual ports after the mother vessels have been unloaded.

Decisions will be influenced by the cost of transporting the materials and security to ensure the product reaches the merchant who sells it on to your customers safely and on time.

Logistics and customs clearance

Foreign goods will need to be cleared by customs – an agency charged with the enforcement of trade and tariff laws. These procedures are highly technical and long delays can be caused by not following them correctly. Working with a freight forwarder can be of great value when dealing with specific legal customs requirements.

Benefits of international logistics

Hiring experienced professionals to ensure the international logistics for your business are perfectly coordinated will:

  • Create and increase the value of your business as your products become available to an increasing number of people
  • Help reduce costs with the outsourcing of transportation and warehousing, providing faster delivery of products
  • Ensure timely delivery of your goods with the ability to provide effective and safe shipping options
  • You build a positive brand image, understanding customer needs, resulting in satisfied clients worldwide