Do you feel international logistics is a long and complicated process? This blog helps you find out what you can do to help make it run smoothly to avoid any disruptions.

International logistics is the entire journey the cargo makes across international borders from the point of origin to the final destination. For the cargo to go from point A to point B, a container needs to be secured to transport the cargo.

Now if your client needs to transport cargo internationally, you’ll need to get the right type of container for your client’s cargo from a trusted supplier who is not going to rip you off. And finding a trustworthy supplier is a very challenging chore. You also have to keep in mind the high prices you’ll have to pay for your container.

To save you from all these hassles our online neutral marketplace for containers is here to the rescue. Thanks to our mandatory vetting process, only certified members make it through to our platform. With us, you only get to work with reliable partners right from the very start. We have 1000+ vetted companies you can choose from for all your container and logistics needs.

You’ll also find 50,000 container types to choose from in 2,500+ locations worldwide. And in terms of costs, you’ll get reasonable deals, that don’t exceed your chosen budget. This is possible because we offer you full market transparency with competitive pricing and zero hidden fees.

If you already have a container type in mind and want to know how much it’ll cost you in your location, then use our public search below to find out before moving ahead. All you have to do is click on “I want to use containers”, select a drop-off and pick-up location, and hit “search” to find the best offers near you.

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What is international logistics?

Let’s break it down in layman’s terms. International logistics is the planning, strategizing, and managing that goes behind controlling goods flow and storage, from your client’s warehouse to their end customer.

Logistics is a term that is used to represent how goods are handled and transported along the supply chain. It’s a complex process because it administers the movement of goods from one country to another.

How does the international logistics chain work?

The logistics chain is the path of goods from the manufacturer’s factory to the end user. Along the way, there are several procedures and resources used to ensure that the goods reach their desired location safely.

To break it down with an example, let’s say your client is a large American jewelry company based in Los Angeles. The company has a widespread international supply chain and they need to send out an order of diamond rings to India. They’ve hired you to help with their shipment. We’ll take you through a basic logistical process that you need to undertake to get the shipment to India from Los Angeles.

Your responsibilities for this international shipping logistics order will include:

  • Picking up the order from your client’s warehouse and taking it to the depot. Here you’ll have to ensure the goods are packed safely onto the truck and remain secure during transit with good packaging.
  • Next comes, choosing the right mode of transportation, for your client. This is where you need to help your client choose the most affordable form of freight shipping and bargain for the best cargo shipping rates. The goal is to provide your client with reliable freight transportation to India at competitive rates.
  • Your next step is to secure the best container type for the rings to be transported safely.
  • Then comes the preparation of transport and trade documents required for export and import, such as the Bill of Lading. You need to review all of the documents to make sure everything is perfect and in order to avoid any unexpected problems during custom clearance.
  • You then move on to assist in the customs clearance processes. Here you need to interact with customs agents in India to ensure that goods and documents comply with the customs regulations of the land.
  • Another important factor you need to keep in mind is advising your client on export costs, including freight costs, port expenses, consular fees, special documentation costs, insurance costs, and merchandise costs.

international logistics  Importance and advantages of international logistics

So, then what could be the importance of international logistics for you? As you can see above, logistics centers around the movement of goods. Managing logistics, the right way can lead to:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Lower costs
  • Easy and hassle-free custom clearance
  • Better inventory control of goods
  • Smarter and economical use of freight transportation
  • Increased client trust and satisfaction
  • Improved client experience

You can now see how investing in coming up with a strong logistics plan can do wonders for your international shipping logistics orders.

Disadvantages of international logistics

So far, it’s been a positive ride when it comes to international logistics. But we want to make you aware of its challenges too so you can make informed decisions.

1. Time-consuming

If not managed properly, the entire process can take up a lot of time. From the cross-border supply chain, to figuring out custom rules and documentation to transit times, it’s a lengthy process. And let’s not forget procuring containers and negotiating shipping rates. This also adds to the time consumption.

2. Late shipments

There are a lot of reasons for shipments getting delayed. From far away drop-off destinations, to customs clearance, and port delays. There are lots of causes for postponements in delivery.

3. International customs & taxes

Speaking of customs, each product has a tariff code associated with it for customs. You’ll need to ensure that your client puts in the right codes assigned to each SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), taxes and other import costs. Otherwise, they can face costly delays if they accidentally assign the wrong code.

Key components of international logistics

So the first step to efficiently managing your logistics flow is understanding the key components that it entails.

1. Planning- This includes storage, warehousing, and goods handling. Your responsibilities will include storing your clients goods at warehouses before delivering them to the final location.

2. Packaging- You’ll also need to pack the goods for your client, paying close attention to the condition of the products. Proper handling and storing of products are crucial in logistics management.

3. Inventory control- Along with warehousing you’ll need to take care of the arrangement and storage of inventory. This is crucial to the global supply chain.

4. Transportation- Providing your client with affordable means of transportation and giving them the best cargo shipping rates can do wonders for your business and business relations.

5. Information and control- From inventory flow to warehouses and transportation, digitizing your information improves the efficiency and performance of activities throughout the supply chain. So be sure to include that in your plan.

The image below captures the 4 major components of international logistics.

key processes in international logistics

5 tips to improve international logistics

With the proper knowledge of the key components secured, you can now optimize your logistics flow, let’s take a look.

Right packaging

With international orders, goods have to travel long distances and are more prone to packaging tears and damages. You need to pay extra attention to packaging. This is why it’s important to secure the right container for the cargo and make sure the goods are packed safely. You also need to ensure this when it comes to loading and unloading of goods, especially, when they need to be moved via roadways. For your shipments pay attention to the weight, because the weight may likely apply to cargo and cause the shipping cost to increase.

Calculate international shipping charges

Keep in mind the shipping costs based on package measurements, shipment type, weight, international destination, etc. Also make a note of import laws, taxes, and import duties to determine your costs. This is where you can use your bargaining skills to provide your client with the best shipping rates.

 Efficiency in custom clearance

Before sending out your client’s international shipment be sure to check that all of the products are allowed to cross and enter foreign borders. There are restrictions on many types of goods that are imported from other countries. Try to avoid customs issues at all costs. Make sure all your customs clearance documentation is up-to-date and accurate.

Digitize your shipping logistics

Have everything online. From your client’s documents and inventory records to the customs documents. Keep a virtual log of everything so incase you need to access something quickly you’ll have it at your disposal. This will lower your manual work as well and cancel out any chance of human errors.

Opt for shipping container tracking

Be realistic. Manage your client’s expectations by letting them know when their package is expected to reach their customer. You can do this easily on xChange. Because if you buy a container on our platform, you’ll get to track all your container movements from the initial release to the final drop-off.

ways to improve international logistics

Now, when it comes to international logistics, often the term international shipping logistics comes up. And it has also popped up on our blog in the sections above. So, before we move ahead, we wanted to clear the air about these two terms.

International logistics vs international shipping logistics

International shipping logistics involves the transfer or movement of goods from one place to another via ships. Global logistics on the other hand is a larger process that involves several steps one of which is shipping itself.

So, what is the difference between the two you may be wondering? Well, the primary distinction between international shipping logistics and international logistics is scope and scale. Logistics operates on a significantly larger scale than shipping. Shipping has a smaller scale and is a part of the international shipping process. They both need to work in unison for businesses to operate efficiently.

To get more insightful information on container logistics, market trends in international logistics, and global container prices, you can read our monthly report: Where are all the containers?

You can see how certain international occurrences such as lockdowns affect international logistics and container prices. This will be valuable for you in making decisions for your client’s shipments.

To download the report click here.

Become a member with Container xChange and smoothen your international logistics

Let’s see now how Container xChange helps you with international shipping logistics. Remember the mandatory vetting prices we talked about? Well with us you can make deals with confidence. Companies who refuse this process are not allowed on our platform.

With this advantage in place, even medium to small-sized players can work with big names in the industry such as Kuehne and Nagel, Seaco Global, Conway, and Trident. Which would be otherwise hard to do outside the platform.

You can secure your boxes for your international shipping logistics orders from our 1000+ vetted suppliers. You can also lease a range of SOCs on our platform. These containers can help you save a lot of money on demurrage and detention charges because they are shipper-owned containers. So, you don’t have to pay any surcharges if your containers get held up in the port or there is a delay outside of the port.

You get all this plus full market price transparency. Where you can compare and negotiate prices to find a deal that best suits your needs. You also get competitive prices on containers without hidden fees so you don’t overspend.

You also get to see the profiles of companies and have a look at the ratings and reviews given to them by their partners. This can help you make informed decisions about who you want to work with.  

We know how tricky the international logistics process can be. So let us help make your international shipping logistics a smoother and easier process. Find hot deals on a variety of boxes directly from certified members by clicking the banner below and letting our expert team guide the way.


What are the three types of logistics?

Now coming to the 3 types of logistics, there is inbound, outbound and reverse logistics. For all 3 types, your client will need you to help them with their shipments.

Inbound logistics  Outbound logistics Reverse logistics 
Inbound logistics refers to the movement of goods from suppliers to production. For example, if a company produces automobile parts in a factory, it will need to use door-to-door inbound transport to send the car parts to various recipients. This is where you could help them with the transportation of the various parts to manufacturers or retailers and distributors. You can assist your client with outbound logistics by helping them ship the finished products from your client’s production facility to the next supply chain link which is the customer. Taking the same example above, after the manufactured vehicle parts make their way through the inbound logistics flow to a retailer, they will then be sold and distributed to the end-user. Thus, moving through the outbound logistics flow to reach the desired final destination. Reverse logistics flows the opposite way, where goods from the end-users are moved back through the supply chain to the manufacturer. Now you go backward, you help ship back the items from the customer to your client again. Sticking to the same example, let’s say a specific part may be faulty when fitted into a consumer’s vehicle. This part will need to be returned to the manufacturer for replacement or repair.

International logistics: Legislation and the international sales contract

Before we leave you, here’s some extra information regarding legal matters when it comes to international logistics. An international sales contract is an agreement between a buyer and a seller. It chalks out the different parties involved in the transaction, the goods or services being sold, the terms and conditions of the sale, and the price to be paid. This contract protects both parties legally.

An incoterm is one such document that is especially important in international shipping logistics. They are universal marketable rules and regulations that buyers and sellers use in an international sales contract.

To read more on incoterms click on our blog right here.

Find certified suppliers for your cargo for international logistics on Container xChange

This blog was nothing short of the actual lengthy process of international logistics, isn’t it? But we’re happy to announce that you’ve made it to the final destination. We hope you had a lot of information to take away to help you with international logistics and international shipping logistics.

Before you go, check out what we’ve got here to offer you and make the process easier:

  • 1000+vetted and certified members to make deals directly on our platform via chats or calls without the interference of a middleman prolonging the process.
  •  50,000 SOC container types to choose from.
  •  Full market transparency – all rates and fees that you see are stated upfront and are negotiable. This way, you can be sure what you’re paying and why, before signing a deal.
  •  Competitive rates for leasing and trading which is difficult to find outside of the platform.
  •  An easy-to-use and secure payment handling feature, the xChange wallet. Which generates only one bill for you to pay, so you don’t have to deal with different companies and country regulations. And manages all your transactions in one place.
  • To save more time you also get to skip long contract negotiations, so you have more time to focus on your logistics work.
  • You get to view profiles of companies and see the ratings and reviews given to them by their partners to help you make informed decisions about who you want to work with.
  • You also get to monitor your containers in real time. You receive container status updates and tracking alerts – such as ETAs and misuse warnings.
  •  You also get container insurance and damage claims.

So, are you ready to simplify your international logistics process? We can start you off with our membership plan, where you get unlimited access to buying searches and transactions. Click on the banner below to let our expert team show you around the marketplace.


International logistics: Common FAQs

What is international logistics?

International logistics is the planning, strategizing, and managing that goes behind controlling goods flow and storage, from your company to your customer’s company. It’s the entire journey the cargo makes across international borders from the point of their origin to the final drop-off destination.

What are the types of logistics?

There are 3 types of logistics, there is inbound, outbound and reverse logistics.

What is the logistics chain cycle?

The logistics chain is the path of goods that makes their way from the exporter’s factory to the importer. Along the way, there are several procedures and resources used to ensure that the goods reach their desired location.

What is the process of container logistics operations?

This process refers to the moving of finished goods, i.e., from the manufacturer distribution centre to the end user.

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