If you are in importing and exporting business in Saudi Arabia, maybe you are looking for a way to cut your expenses. But before you start cutting back on your product quality or quality of packaging, read these import/export cost-saving tips and learn how to lower your expenditures. Of course, the good thing would be to have an experienced freight forwarder in Saudi Arabia that would guide you through the whole process. However, you will also have to learn about the shipping industry if you want to be more efficient.
Find a competent and experienced freight forwarder
One of the first import/export cost-saving tips you will find is to hire a good freight forwarder. Your freight forwarder company will act as an intermediary between you and your shipping company. Organizing paperwork and everything else regarding your shipment. However, it is vital to find a good freight forwarder. Good freight forwarding company could mainly do much though their connections with different shippers and customs officers.
But how to determine which freight forwarder is the best? The best way to recognize a good forwarder is according to the time they have been in business. If they have in business for more than a decade, for example, there is a good chance that they have developed reliable personal contacts in the shipping industry. And that could be of much help to you.
If you have some experience, one of the excellent import/export cost-saving tips is to ditch the freight forwarder
Hiring a good freight forwarder could be a way to lower your import/export expenses. However, if you are also in this business for a while, you can maybe do this without their help. That means that you will have to organize the shipping on your own. But if you do it right, cutting the freight forwarding expenses out of the equation could be one of the best import/export cost-saving tips you will find.
Import/export cost-saving tips on how to choose the right carrier
Your logistics company declares the price of shipping your goods. However, different logistics companies could offer you various means of transportation or different routes. And, after contacting several different logistics companies, you will find that all that diversity of offers comes with a big disparity in prices. If the Saudi Arabian companies are too expensive, you can quickly try with logistics companies in Bahrain, for example. As long as you find the best deal.
Nevertheless, you will have to decide what your priority is. Here are the ways to ship your goods:
- Ship your items by sea is one of the best import/export cost-saving tips you will hear today.
- If you are in a hurry, ship your items by air.
- When you are shipping large quantities, use rail.
- Ship your items by road if you want to save money, but the sea option is unavailable.
Sea freight forwarding is usually your cheapest option. Naturally, it is also the slowest. However, different shipping companies use different routes. Therefore, you can find a significant disparity in prices and time required for the shipment to arrive. That is also the most common way of shipping goods.
Airfreight is the fastest but most expensive option. But, if the time is crucial, then it may be your only option. Luckily, there are some ways to send cheap air cargo to Saudi Arabia. However, you will need to know where to look. Another downfall is that air shipments usually require special packaging. But, the good thing is that it requires less paperwork.
Rail freight is a very effective way to ship your merchandise. Especially if you are dealing with large quantities. It is, at least, 70% cheaper than air freight and only 50% slower. It is the safest shipping option. And one of the good things is it doesn’t depend on the traffic.
Road freight could be your cheapest option if you are shipping around the Persian Gulf. One of the downfalls it heavily depends on the traffic. And it could quickly get stuck at Saudi customs clearance. And it could be days before your shipment arrives.
Import/export cost-saving tips on how to capitalize on bilateral agreements
Knowing your markets is very important, especially if you are trying to cut costs. Relations between countries change constantly. So, your task is to follow the situation and try to benefit from free trade agreements. Of course, that requires some agility and the ability to act and change your business orientation quickly. But if you want to capitalize on this, that is what you will have to do. Because those agreements could go as quickly as they came.
Import/export cost-saving tips on how to handle your documentation
Another of the important import/export cost-saving tips is to learn to manage your documentation. Import/export documentation is very complicated. And sometimes you will need ten to fifteen documents for just one shipment. And the number of documents is not the only issue here.
The first problem is that you will need to prepare different documents for different countries. The second problem is that those documents have to be correctly filled. If one letter is off, you could have real trouble. The third problem is that regulations sometimes change daily, and it could be tough to guess what is asked from you. Finally, the interpretation of your documents sometimes depends on the mood of the particular customs officer. If you run into a stickler, your documents could easily be dismissed.
Take care of your old documentation
Be aware that the customs hold its right to refer to the documentation for up to five years back. Sometimes they will go through the old documentation, and if they see an error, they could ask to take a look at your papers. To avoid penalties, keep your old documentation safely stored.
Learn about this business
So, the number one of the import/export cost-saving tips is to learn about this business. If you know everything in advance, you can plan your expenses much better. On the other, hand if you are not in the mood for learning, a good freight forwarder could save you a lot of money, but with a small fee, of course.