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In the international shipping industry and commercial trade, there is often the need for long-term storage of goods and materials. This storage can be used for goods waiting to export or for products that have arrived from overseas and have not moved forward in the shipping chain.

Businesses need to understand that a warehouse is more than just a big building to place goods and materials. Because a warehouse is a vital part of the logistics chain, they have many uses. In warehousing, there are several ways to store goods and materials, and it is up to the shipping professionals to find the most efficient and the most cost-effective way.

The regulations and guidelines for storage in the U.S. are similar to those in other countries although they may use different terminology, and the rules may vary slightly.

In general, most goods and materials are treated the same internationally. If there is ever a question or concern about the long-term warehousing practices that apply in any given country, it is always a good idea to consult with a shipping company that knows the particular country and its requirements.

What to Look for in a Warehouse

No matter what size or type of warehouse you decide to store your goods in, there are some basic things to look for when evaluating whether the warehouse, in general, is a good place to consider. The most obvious of these is to ensure there is enough storage space for your goods and that the facility is safe and secure.

Other things to look for is the quality and training of the warehouse staff, the mechanical and technological capabilities within the storage system, and the practices and procedures of the company that ensure efficient handling of the goods or materials.

There should be special guidelines for different types of goods like long-term food storage and long-term household storage. These two types are very different and may require different safeguards. The appropriateness of any long-term storage system depends on the goods being stored.

Types of Long-Term Storage

Public Warehouses

Public warehouses are owned by the government and can be used by the general public if there is a need for storage. Many times these are good for personal items like a long-term household container or even as long-term vehicle storage if you are moving overseas and need a place to store your car. Public warehouses can also be a good option for the small business owner who needs long-term storage space while expanding or handling seasonal products. The public warehouse is usually not technologically advanced, but they are very safe.

Private Warehouses

When a wholesaler or manufacturer owns their warehouse it is considered to be private. This warehouse space can be purchased and developed anywhere and may serve the company well if there is ample need for storage. It is usually more expensive and may be considered a luxury in the storage scenario. However, this method of storage does exist and can be very effective for the right manufacturer or corporation.

Bonded Warehouses

If a company needs to store goods for an extended period after they have been shipped to a foreign country, it is best to consider using the services of a bonded warehouse. This type of warehouse provides extra protection for the goods or materials stored, and the best thing is that the company does not have to pay any duty on the goods until they are removed. The government authorities offer a bond for the value of the goods to ensure that the company does not lose money due to damage when the products are removed after storage.

Besides being able to store goods duty-free, companies can also store restricted goods until they are cleared for removal. Bonded warehouses are perfect for importers who want to store their goods until the market is such that it is a good time to remove them, and the safety and security of the storage facility are usually very good.

A bonded warehouse is most often used exclusively for goods that have been imported, and that will require a duty. However, they are sometimes used for agricultural exports that need port storage before they are shipped.

In all situations, the proper documentation is required to receive the clearance necessary to move goods in and out of the facility. International Shipping Company, Asiana USA, has a great deal of experience working with the regulation for bonded warehouses in all parts of the world. We can ensure your cargo is handled and stored correctly.

Consolidated Warehouse

When two or more, smaller businesses want to combine their storage in a common warehouse, the consolidated warehouse configuration can work very well. However, when they are consolidating their goods, there has to be a single geographical location where the goods will be distributed. This approach can save the businesses involved storage costs as long as their shippers coordinate the transaction.

Cooperative Warehouse

Wineries, farmers, and other agricultural entities may want to form a cooperative storage agreement that allows them to store their products for longer periods while still saving money. These agreements can work very well in all parts of the world.

Final Thoughts

Long-term overseas storage is ubiquitous in the general supply chain of shipping international goods. In every country and every port, there are a variety of ways to store products and materials for long periods, and in some cases, this can be done while postponing the payment of import duties.

Understanding the many facets of overseas storage is not for the company with little experience in this area. The professional and knowledgeable International Shipping Company at Asiana USA has the expertise and resources to make sure your international storage requirements are met with efficiency and at an affordable cost. We can also meet your warehouse needs in multiple locations whether in the U.S. or abroad in China, Bangladesh, or Vietnam. Contact us at Asiana.com or call us at 855-500-1808 for a free estimate.

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