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Exporting & Importing Goods/Re: Export Dog Food to China

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Dear Mr. van Duzen,
I am part of a graduate course in international studies and am currently studying and living in China.  As part of my course work, I am working as part of a group of 3 to create an export business plan that is implementable. My part of the plan is to research and create the Logistic and Legal side of the plan. Our product is (hypothetically) Innova Organic Dog Food, for medium-large dogs, 30 lb (13.6 K) bags. Consumer cost is 75UDS per bag.. Our business plan is for distribution to the Shanghai, China upper middle class market.
Basically, I will be using a freight forwarder to coordinate and ship the product as well as assist with logistics on the ground. I would like to know several tips for choosing a freight forwarder and suggestions as how to work with a freight forwarder. For example, several companies that I have found online work more with wholesale commodities (such as clothing, jewelry etc) yet seem to have established connections and relationships with vendors. As our product is a (pet) consumable-are freight forwarders/companies that usually deal in non-consumables trust worthy or worth seeking partnership with? What are some common mistakes that happen when exporting pet food?  I know that an IATA registration is required… Does the freight forwarder usually chose the distributors or delivery method?  Are there consultants that can assist in finding reliable warehouse/delivery/logistic coordinators in China?  How does one negotiate the details of cost and labor distribution?
If these questions are too broad, might you suggest a resource where I could find answers? As the plan progresses, I know there will be more specific questions, however, starting out seems always to be the most challenging!

Regards

Answer
Good day,

Use a freight forwarder as a tool, not as a partner.  The more work you can do on your own, the better off you will be.  The more preliminary work you can do, the smoother and easier the entire shipping process will be.

These questions seem a bit involved for an answer back in writing.  These types of questions are better answered through a conversation, as I am sure my answers will spawn more questions.

A short 20 minute discussion should answer all of these for you, and I am willing to help.  I would suggest we do a skype call.

Send me an email to info@machineimports.com and we can set something up to get your questions answered.

Best regards,

Steve

Exporting & Importing Goods

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Steve Van Duzen

Expertise

Questions about general import and export sources, procedures, financing terms, shipping, classification, harmonized tariff, and negotiations are all within the area of my expertise.

Experience

For the last 12 years I have been the CEO of International Machine Imports, Inc. We have operations in Germany, China, Brazil and the United States. Over the last decade we have imported and exported such goods as machinery / capital equipment, parts / componentry, tooling, consumer goods, products and assemblies which are used en-masse by factories. Our company can be viewed at http://www.machineimports.com

Publications
Wire Journal, Wire Technology, SME.

Education/Credentials
Michigan State University and Florida Atlantic University.

Past/Present Clients
While my confidentiality agreements prohibit me from divulging my client names, I can tell you that several components you use on a daily basis stem from our efforts on importing and exporting materials, equipment, components and other goods to manufactures across a wide array of industries. Presently, we provide our services within the Global Alkaline Battery market, Automotive, Bearing, Dental, Medical, Aerospace, Wire and Cable, Ammunition and Fastener Industries.

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