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Exporting Basics

CHAPTER 3. Making Export Sales
  Deliver the Goods
  Transport Options

The sooner the goods arrive, the sooner you get paid, so speed is essential. However, faster transport may cost more. The procedures, routes and rates vary with the transport mode -- truck, rail, air or sea. It’s best to use international freight forwarders to ship the goods. They're the experts. They can compare the costs, lead times, and transit times for each transport option; select the best one; and make the booking. If desired, they can also prepare the required documentation; handle the packing, marking and labeling; transport the goods from the factory to the exit point; secure the cargo insurance; and arrange to clear the goods through customs on arrival. Their modest fees can be factored into the export price.

Trade Compass has Logistics and Transport tools to assist the exporter or the forwarder, including the Ocean Transit Analyzer, Ocean Sailing Schedules, and links to “best of breed” commercial logistics management services

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance offers important protection against delays in transit and losses or damage from bad weather, rough handling by carriers, and other common hazards. Either the supplier or the buyer is at risk for the cargo in transit, depending on the terms of sale. For all CIF transactions, the supplier is liable for any loss or damage to the goods up to the point the buyer takes title. For FOB or FAS sales, the buyer assumes risk at the exit point. The responsible party must insure the cargo for its portion of the risk.

To cover your share of the risk, you can take out a company policy, or insure the cargo under a freight forwarder's policy for a fee. If the foreign buyer has responsibility, don't assume (or even take the buyer's word) that he or she has adequate insurance. You could still be liable if the buyer fails to obtain coverage or takes too little. The carrier will not insure the cargo. For international shipments, the carrier's liability is frequently limited by international agreements, and the coverage is substantially different from domestic coverage. Check with an international insurance carrier or freight forwarder for options and advice.


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