It is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses and stores of all sizes to reach success and grow in size if they don't internationalize their activities at some point. Regardless of the area of business your are running, the sort of product you're selling, or the activity in which you are engaged, you will need exports and/or imports in order to keep the whole thing going, simply because your competitos are already doing it, and enjoying the benefits.
Purchasing raw materials and manufactured products or parts abroad can lower costs as well as expand the range of supplies you can access, because you're not limited to what is produced within your own country. Also, selling abroad is a great way to increase your revenue and make your brand or your products reach a bigger audience. International trade is now easier than ever thanks to technology, especially concerning tracking, logistics and the Internet.
These technologies have sped up the process a lot, as well as made it far more reliable, with real time information on packages, and better measurements for conservation and protection of cargo. It wouldn't be smart to overlook the possibilities of selling abroad, especially targeting countries that are best known for shopping a lot and consuming good after good, wherever they come from.
Selling to the USA
Oh, Americans. Once a mere spawn of the British culture, now they have developed such a characteristic identity that their products and their behaviour sell them out wherever they go. So many of them swim in money that they would happily trade for quite much any item that calls their eye. It is no wonder that they are often heavy purchasers in international markets, and their internal trade is also very active. In fact, selling an American a product isn't very difficult, you just have to present it the right way, and boom, the deal is closed.
Americans can be very good purchasers, so if you are running a business and you want to sell internationally, you should never discard the United States as a target for your product. You can look for the segment that best suits your offer, but whichever it is, you are sure to find willing and enthusiast buyers.
There are many things that you need to consider when shipping your products to the United States, especially if you are running a business. When it comes to pricing, several factors can impact your final figures, and if they rise you will have to decide whether you eat up the difference or you charge it on the customers. Think of what is best for the business and how your buyers will respond.
Perhaps the most important factor that can alter shipping price is the oil barrel, it is no secret that oil prices impact shipping rates, but you shouldn't give it more importance than it has. Credit operations and fleet availability in your country, and ever foreign nations, could make rates more or less competitive, and you need to keep an eye on that. Shipping time is also seasonal, with some months usually involving a higher volume of cargo and thus, more delays - namely, the holiday season. You should advice your customers in advance on holiday shopping shipping dates in order to save them - and yourself - unneccessary hassle.
The American shipping industry
As Americans are very prone to buying stuff, they have a very active logistics network that connects its huge territory as well as expands to the rest of the world. The Americans are very avid consumers of a number of products, from artistic creations to Chinese small fry. Shipping is a very lucrative market in the US and it is very developed, with millions of containers being transported every day. The strange mind of the American people, so practical and strange at the same time, has even developed the concept of shipping container homes: cheap, easy, isolated and oddly comfortable.
The business mind of the Americans doesn't stop there. Big companies there such as Amazon are casting their eyes upon the logistics business, not only to cut down costs but also as a business opportunity itself. There is no official declaration yet, but Amazon seems to target the shipping market, and this could be a huge impact for the competitors.
The US are developing and expanding their port infrastucture in order to receive more cargo ships from other parts of the country as well as the rest of the world. The recent arrival of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, one of the biggest cargo ships in the world, has put some American ports to the test. It is, indeed, a very American thing, wanting to own the biggest one of all; yet mega ships like this could be a huge step towards a more massive, and cheaper, shipping resource for the USA.