Today I want to give some answers to the question that some Irish businesses might be asking themselves; How can Irish companies benefit from Chinese imports? How shipping from China to Ireland?
Well, the main advantage that can usually be achieved is the costs of reduction. Many Irish businesses today are struggling with rising costs, only last week we heard about a 5% hike in electricity charges coming down the tracks in October 2010. Increases like this, allied to the fact that businesses are finding it increasingly difficult if not impossible to access credit, will surely ring the death knell for some small businesses. So, what then of turning to China?
It's accepted at this point that China is a low-cost economy, and in spite of the exchange rate unsteadiness and the augmented freight costs, there is still good value to be got there. If you think about it, there must be, the Chinese economy is thriving, only recently, it was announced that China's economy had overtaken that of Japan to become the world's second largest economy after the US.
However, with the assertion that there is a possibility to reduce material costs, be that raw materials or sub assemblies, or products for resale, the next move will be to answer the question 'How does one access the Chinese Market?'
The internet has been utterly magnificent in opening up the global market and with email, instant messaging and VoIP solutions such as Skype, etc. the world has become a tiny place indeed. Moreover, with exchange websites such as Alibaba.com and Made-In-China.com, it becomes easy to browse Chinese suppliers and advise of your requirements and let suppliers contact you with their proposals, and there have a lot of ways Shipping From China to Ireland.
So why then isn't everyone taking advantage of these opportunities to reduce shipping from China costs? Is the story too interesting to be true? Well, to talk from experience there are a few things at play here. Like in all walks of life, some scammers and cheats will try to take advantage of unsuspecting folks. For instance, I heard only yesterday that scam emails are circulating from people pretending to be charities and seeking to extract money from people under the guise of assisting the people of Syria who have displaced hugely in the aftermath of the violence. China is no different, and while there are many official Chinese businesses offering quality products which would bring excellent cost improvements for Irish businesses. There are also deceptive people more than happy to build a friendly website, register it on Alibaba, etc. and spin a good yarn to convince you that they will supply you with all your requirements. They will even go to such extent as shipping you a sample to further persuade you to part with your deposit. Nevertheless, once they have your deposit, you will find it harder to contact them. The only way to get out of this type of situation is to use Letters of Credit issued by the banks whereby the money only get to the supplier once the goods are in your possession. ( pay on delivery) These give the vendor a guarantee that he will get paid, and the buyer will get his rights intact and will help to get rid of some of the issues.
The key point of the question lies in being assured that the supplier is trust worthy, can supply good quality products persistently and is ready to build a lasting business relationship with the customer. Can suppier provide good cost Shipping From China to Ireland? If an Irish customer could somehow assure of this, it would take away the uncertainties, and then the cost reduction benefits can be achieved without the fear element looming always.
Another solution is to use the services of a sourcing company that has personnel on the ground in China, who will audit suppliers to ensure they are reputable and real, and who will inspect the products before shipment, look after the shipping and customs clearance, and delivers the products to your door. The benefits of this are clear. The uncertainties are removed, you know the supplier is real because someone has visited them on your behalf. You are aware that the products will meet your requirements because they inspect the criteria. The sourcing company manages the shipping from China to Ireland and delivery, so the product is delivered to your door step. In the meantime, you can continue to focus on keeping your customers happy which is your number one priority. Where's the catch I hear you ask? And there is an added cost here because sourcing companies are not charity organizations. Supply companies take two different approaches to charges, some charge you a one-off fee for finding the supplier and checking their credentials and then leave you deal directly with the vendor, the other type remain involved in the process dealing with the supplier directly and conducting inspections and managing the shipping, etc. These companies typically buy the products from the provider add a margin to cover their costs and sell the products to you.