If your business is involved in shipping large consignments to Germany, you have the option of hiring either a basic freight forwarder or a logistics company for your Germany shipping needs. The option you exercise depends largely on the needs and the scale of your business operations.
Regardless of the size and business model, running a business is a complicated process. However, basically every business activity boils down to customer service. This assumes even bigger significance for businesses involved in moving large amounts of cargo to international locations. Businesses involved in shipping goods to Germany are constantly on the lookout for efficient service providers for German shipping solutions to ensure customer satisfaction. What differentiates a basic freight forwarder from a logistics company is the range of services provided.
While choosing a service provider for outsourcing your Germany shipping and logistics needs, you may either choose a third party logistics or a fourth party logistics provider. Third party logistics refers to a service provider that offers a part of the functions of supply chain management. This is different from fourth party logistics, which refers to integration of the capabilities of both your business and the company to which you outsource your supply chain management.
While a third party logistics service provider renders a single function, fourth party logistics takes over complete management of the supply chain right from packing to managing truckers and freight forwarders and customs house agents to final delivery to the end customer. Considering the trend and the high costs of in-house logistics, the fourth party logistics model is preferred by most businesses.
Inasmuch as German shipping requirements of a company exporting to Germany are concerned, the role of logistics starts from the time the goods land in Germany. German shipping needs may vary according to the specific needs of a business and also on individual consignments. Assuming that a consignment is meant to be delivered to one single customer, the logistics involved include unloading from material from the ship and loading it on trucks or railroad for onward movement and delivery to the customer.
However, this is not always as simple as it appears. There is the issue of customs house clearances, paying duties and taxes and checking the consignment to establish or rule out in-transit damage. This can be extremely important and needs to be handled by professionals who know the documentation required in case an insurance claim has to be filed.
Single delivery consignments are relatively easier to handle as little or no warehousing is required. Warehousing is required only in case the onward movement of goods involves a long haul to destinations not well connected with the rest of the country. In other cases, particularly in case of one consignment for multiple customers, there is an express need of warehousing. Warehousing may also be required by businesses wanting to maintain inventory for the convenience of their German customers.
Warehousing is one of the more important services provided by a logistics company. These days, buyers are wary of maintaining large inventories especially if the product they deal in is a big ticket purchase. At the same time, competition is so huge in certain industries that manufacturers do not want to lose customers. This has led to evolution of a business model where manufacturers try to stock their product near their customers rather than keep it in their own warehouses that may be far away. This allows manufacturers to get goods delivered to the customer quickly as and when the demand arises. Since it is not practically possible for businesses to have their own warehouses near their customers’ locations, getting a logistics provider to handle German shipping can prove to be the edge that businesses require over competition.
Germany is a highly industrialized nation known for its precision engineering. It is a big exporter of cars, textile machinery and other engineering products. It also exports chemicals, electric appliances, optics, metals and motor trailers. At the same time, it also imports plastics, food products, minerals, agricultural products and clothing. A vast majority of German manufacturers also depend upon imports of auxiliaries from other countries.
Germany’s traditional trading partners include the USA, Italy, France and other neighboring European countries. While India was the major South Asian country from where Germany was importing, recently Germany has opened its doors to imports from China as well. Germans value quality and a high standard of service. A good German shipping service can add much to the satisfaction of your customers and the reputation of your business.
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