Understanding U.S. Export Logistics & International Trading: A Study by American Trading International (ATI)
A Brief History & The Scale of U.S. Exporting
The US has always historically been a major exporter of agricultural products. Moreover, the U.S. has relied heavily on agricultural export sources for foreign exchange for many decades.
The sector faced a few problems initially since the production was low-cost, and a huge chunk of European markets across Germany and England had already adopted cheap policies to uplift their industrial development. American farmers continued to support the liberation of tariffs.
As a country, the US was a major debtor until WWI. But, after that, the rules of conventional trading were suspended and replaced by more systematic allocations and requirements. It invited all the sectors to come on board.
The U.S. food and agriculture industry contribute to more than 5% of its GDP in terms of its magnitude. It may seem like a tiny figure, but it amounts to more than a trillion dollars, which is huge.
The Importance of Export Logistics in International Trading
The FDA regulates the food and beverage industry in the U.S. Before any product can reach the shelf, it has to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA’s motto and guidelines are simple – “Any entity exporting food must follow all the U.S. regulations, laws, as well as requirements of the country where the product is being exported to.”
It’s not uncommon for many foreign buyers to demand a certificate approved by the FDA. The certification is a means of testifying that the product complies with all the federal requirements and guidelines. This is where export logistics come into place.
It’s one thing to fulfill a contract, but it’s quite another to make sure that the export goods and services reach the buyer ahead of schedule and in the right conditions. Logistics ensure that:
- The buyer and sellers have adequate knowledge of how services and products must be delivered and shipped aboard.
- They know how to train their staff members on the export and logistical details.
- They know how to troubleshoot unforeseen issues and circumstances with efficiency, wit, and quickness.
What is a U.S. Based Export Trading Company?
As per U.S. or state law, a U.S.-based export trading company engages exclusively in international and foreign trade practices. These trading companies organize and operate mainly to export goods/services to foreign markets.
What to Look for in an Export Trading Partner?
The kind of export trading partner you pick can make or break your business. So, it’s important to do your legwork and research. With that said, here are a few qualities to look for in an export trading partner:
Finance and Budgeting Knowledge
An import/export manager is responsible for drafting the expenditures report, determining the budget, and ensuring all the involved parties stick with approved budgets. This is where financial skills come in handy.
They are essential when small businesses are involved because of major financial constraints. Any deviations from the set plan could severely hurt the business.
Foreign Language & Cross-Cultural Knowledge
Sometimes the subtleties and nuances of cultural differences may impact a business deal negatively. That’s why any exporter must be keen on getting to know the target culture. In addition, they must show a willingness to learn a foreign language and better understand their mindset.
It’s good to plan a visit to the target country for a week or two. Such travel plans allow you to immerse yourself in the logistics, local customs, and everyday living of citizens in their raw form. You can draft better products, packaging, and marketing strategies with that knowledge.
An import/export trading partner/manager must interact with critical business players such as freight forwards, stakeholders, customers, government agency representatives, custom officials, and transport agencies.
The long-term success of trading companies depends on how well you can nurture those relationships. The good news is, today, maintaining these relationships is easier than ever, thanks to social media.
Almost all social media sites allow business profile creation to direct customer interaction. In addition, you get regular updates on industry events like fairs and conferences that you can attend to strengthen your network/business relationships.
Dealing with transport service providers, customers, government officials, and other stakeholders requires solid communication skills. A trading partner must know how to communicate concisely and articulate their thoughts. This is essential to avoid often costly misunderstandings.
It’s important to be on the same page with people you regularly deal with. Other than communication, you must also have great listening skills. Only then can you know what the other party wants.
An Understanding of International Logistics
Securing a huge international contract and failing to deliver it is a logistical and business nightmare. You can avoid that by –
- Making sure that suppliers can provide the necessary components and raw material to meet the business commitment
- Ensuring enough space storage to meet sudden and unexpected foreign demand
- An agile system in place allows for modification of productions and services to meet the foreign market standards, regulators, and cultural demands.
American Trading International: What is ATI & What Does it Do?
ATI or American Trading International is a service-based trading company that handles international exports. It deals with major global brand names and domestic companies to level the ground for finding new opportunities for importers and exports.
It does so by connecting the key players with new and existing markets. In addition, the company maintains networking capabilities to handle profitable international deals. It’s not uncommon for American businesses to export their products but doesn’t know where to start.
They are unclear of the logistics, necessary documentation, opportunities, and underlying practices to deal with overseas markets. In the same way, many overseas buyers are interested in buying American products but don’t know where to start. In addition, they may not know the governing laws, regulations, or language.
ATI acts as the intermediary to negotiate the best prices between involved parties. In addition, it takes care of customs, documentation, and laws regarding local import/export.