Since most people only ever interact with one leg of logistics (last mile delivery), National Logistics Day recognizes the important role this industry plays in both our national and international economies.
The industry supervises the movement of approximately $12 trillion worth of goods across the globe annually. Knowing that, it’s clear logistics encompasses so much more than just delivering packages to a doorstep. However, you may be curious how and who gets them there with so many steps involved.
While some logistics companies specialize in doing one service really well, others can provide a multitude of services, including customs brokerage, international shipping, cargo and freight, and more. IBC is one of them.
Rather than manage multiple vendors and risk weak links in your supply chain, we explain the benefits of working with an all-in-one global logistics provider to streamline your shipments.
What services are required for international shipments?
Vendors that offer one service are not able to provide the end-to-end solutions that meet the needs of most businesses.
After all, your shipments may need some – or all – of the following services:
- Inventory management
- Inbound / outbound shipping
- Customs clearance
- Last mile delivery
You can work with multiple vendors for each of these services, or have one provider coordinate it all– from pick up to last mile.
What’s the difference between using a provider that offers logistics services in-house vs. outsourcing?
A provider that has to outsource some or all of these services is not ideal for international shipments. Instead, you want an end-to-end global logistics provider that can effectively coordinate all of the activities involved– especially one that owns assets, like trucks and warehouses– or has the partners in place to make it happen. IBC’s in-house capabilities and infrastructure give us the agility to create customized solutions that can expedite delivery times and reduce costs.
For example, IBC offers both LCL and FCL shipping. With LCL shipping, customers can upgrade or downgrade their shipment size according to their needs without making a cash commitment to a full shipping container. Instead, they’re only paying for what they need, which saves them money in the long-run.
Other ways IBC helps its customers optimize pricing and streamline routing is through its facilities and hubs. IBC maintains locations at key U.S. entry ports, including:
- Los Angeles
- New York
Many of these facilities have been approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the examination and clearance of express consignment shipments. These shipments are transported by an express consignment operator or carrier via air and processed in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) through direct electronic transmission of entry data. With express, the exam and release process is quickly expedited since IBC has CBP officers on site, in addition to CBP-AS (Agriculture Specialists).
This benefits e-commerce businesses with time-critical shipments, in-transit, Aircraft on Ground (AOG), trade shows, photoshoots and fashion shows. For parcels sent non-express that may be subject to holds, retailers have to wait until customs inspects and releases them, which can lead to delays. IBC’s express facilities can move parcels quicker because it has more capabilities than other ports of entry into the U.S.
IBC also operates bonded warehouses. These are highly secured areas where goods that would otherwise be subject to duties may be shipped, stored, manipulated and later transported without duty payments.
In other words, this type of facility is recognized as a private, duty-free zone with benefits similar to those that apply to travelers shopping at international airports, sea terminals, cruise ships or during international flights.
When your providers don’t offer these services in-house, you’re bound to have weak links in your inbound / outbound supply chain.
Do I need an all-in-one provider?
How many contracts does your e-commerce business handle to ship goods? Does your team have the proper licensing to resolve issues at the border? What about the expertise to prepare and transport goods domestically and internationally? If unforeseen events cause delays, can your current vendors help reroute shipments? Are you up-to-date with changes to international shipping regulations, like the recent EU value-added tax (VAT) rules for e-commerce?
The above takes significant time and effort to coordinate. And when taking all of these questions into consideration, you may choose to consolidate to an all-in-one provider. Doing so means you only have to manage one contract that may potentially lower costs while streamlining communication between the many partners and services involved.
How is IBC different from other logistics providers?
IBC’s capabilities go far beyond global logistics. Yes, we provide customs brokerage, logistics and cargo, and specialty courier services across a global distribution network. But through our strategic partnership with Jet Mail and GLF, we also provide turnkey access to e-commerce and marketing fulfillment. This allows us to consolidate all of your global logistics needs under one roof through services that include:
- Pick and Pack
- Receiving and Storage
- Quality Assurance
- Returns Management
- Commercial Printing
- Direct Mail Marketing
- Collateral Management
- Kitting and Assembly
- Data Management and Procurement
When you work with a partner that offers end-to-end services across a global distribution network, you’ll have a seamless supply chain that reduces costs, expedites delivery times and grows your business.
To get started, contact us today to learn about IBC’s solutions for smarter logistics.