International shipping companies such as 3PLs and international freight forwarders can help streamline the complicated process of importing furniture in the United States.
At Asiana USA, we believe that American companies should have access to the foreign markets that allow their companies to thrive and contribute to a strong American economy. We pride ourselves on providing furniture import logistical services that help American companies take advantage of those benefits and have simplified the process into three, easy-to-follow steps.
What does a 3PL do?
A 3PL, also known as a third party logistics company, is a brokerage service or company that offers comprehensive supply chain and logistics operations solutions and administration.
Essentially, 3PLs serve as an expert outsourcing opportunity for companies that are otherwise engaged or do not have the experience to oversee the complicated import and export process of their goods.
These fulfillment services allow companies to focus their efforts towards their business rather than bureaucratic shipping procedures. 3PLs also have access to better pricing options for their clients through an extensive network of industry connections.
Typically, a 3PL will offer cross-docking, inventory management, order processing, domestic and international transport, warehousing, distribution, freight forwarding, customer brokerage, and retail scan and packaging services.
Though 3PLs are considered full-service providers, companies do have the option to only take advantage of some of the services provided according to their company’s specific shipping needs and ignore added services.
In terms of transportation services there is a lot that a 3PL can do. 3PLs can interact with carriers in the field, consolidate products, monitor your payment and insurance papers, and partner with private transportation fleets.
3PL services allow you to navigate and optimize your supply chain management. Outsourced logistics allow you to reap the benefits of transportation cost savings. 3PLs also provide accurate and up to date supply chain visibility so you’re never out of the loop.
Most types of third party logistics companies use specific technology to optimize their third party logistics services. Electronic Data Interchange or EDI allows 3PLs to monitor product in transit which lends to supply chain visibility and smoother transport. Using the technology at their advantage allows 3PLs to provide excellent transportation management.
Warehouse management, online commerce, and customer service can all be managed via application programming interfaces as well. 3PL employees will know how to use and properly implement this technology to better achieve core competence for your management system.
Third party logistics also represent an incredible long term improvement in shipping products overseas. Shipping globally can present a whole number of headaches but it doesn’t have to be that way when you employ logistics and supply chain services.
3PLs can take care of customs, product consolidation, and freight forwarding. This represents a massive leap in energy and time savings. 3PLs will also ensure that you are within the necessary regulations and requirements surrounding international shipping. Everything will be above board.
What are the benefits of importing furniture in the US?
There are various benefits to accessing and importing foreign furniture goods for US-based companies. However, the main benefit is quite simply the opportunity to take advantage of larger stocks of foreign products at more affordable rates than those found in the US.
These rates are the result of various factors, including the competitive furniture market found in countries like China that keep prices low, as well as the comparatively low labor costs and tax rates.
Such advantageous rates allow American companies to significantly increase their profit margins and add diversity to the products that they have on offer.
How will your business improve by using 3PLs?
Knowledge is power, and through implementing 3PLs into your business you will have a lot of knowledge. Shipping and trade logistics can be incredibly complex and confusing, but after receiving data from your third party logistics company you will be more knowledgeable and more confident in your abilities.
3PLs simply represent a major investment that will pay off in terms of both time and of course money. Streamlining any process will reap better rewards and the shipping industry is definitely no different. A 3PL can advise you on whether or not you need to purchase warehouse space or navigate fluctuating shipping rates by providing their industry forecasting.
3PLs also foster growth for your company. When expanding into new markets you will appreciate the boost provided by a 3PL helping you out.
What are the steps involved in importing furniture with a 3PL?
The many legal and political hoops that companies must jump through when importing furniture cargo, however, can make the process seem impossible. With the help of a 3PL team, like the experts at Asiana USA, it doesn’t have to be.
Choosing to outsource your furniture import logistics streamlines the process into the following three easy steps:
1. Designate your product and the country of origin
The first step in the furniture imports process and any imports process is to decide which type of furniture products your company will ultimately import. After designating a product, you will then need to choose a country of origin.
Currently, the most popular countries of origin for furniture imports in the US are China, Mexico, and India, in that order. China accounted for nearly $34.8 billion worth of American furniture imports in 2018.
One thing to keep in mind, however, when choosing an import country of origin is your time constraints, as goods arriving from China will take longer to arrive than those coming from Mexico.
2. Determine your shipment’s eligibility
Even the best of the best international freight forwarding companies cannot import your goods if they do not comply with US regulations.
Check US laws and trade regulations before purchasing foreign furniture to ensure that it is eligible for import.
3. Find your supplier
When determining which supplier to work with, it is best to give yourself time to build a relationship with potential manufacturers and see if they represent an asset to your business before purchasing their products.
The remaining logistics and paperwork will then be turned over to your freight broker agent, so you won’t need to be involved until your goods arrive at the warehouse.
In today’s shifting and uncertain political and economic climates, importing furniture your company needs to succeed can be a hassle.