New To Importing From China

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Kit26, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Kit26

    Kit26 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 1
    Hi All

    I'm new here, but I've been reading many posts in this forum for some time. I am new to importing from China and looking for some advice and assistance. Mostly with the logistics side.

    I have spent many weeks now talking with suppliers. It's an interesting world. After some considerable searching I have found the products I want, and I am currently waiting on samples from some of the suppliers who appear to tick the boxes of my requirements.

    I will be conducting my initial business via Alibaba as their Trade Assurance scheme gives some level of assurance, even if only small.

    My question is this; it appears I will likely be purchasing a number of products from a number of different suppliers, is there anyway that someone new to this industry, such as me, can enable a logistics plan where by all my purchases come together to fill my own container? I feel this would be the most economical way but I am unsure how easy this will be to orchestrate.

    Up until now I have only been dealing with suppliers who are able to offer FOB, and then working with a UK freight forwarding company who can offer LCL (customs, paperworketc) and the delivery to me here in UK. For someone new to the industry, this seemed to be the most straightforward way, without suprises. Although perhaps not the cheapest, I felt that the extra costs did bear a value to me.

    I look forward to your replies, thanks.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2018 By: Kit26 Member since: Feb 1, 2018
    #1
  2. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    4,948 1,061
    OK, so this is your question!

    Many many importers would like to do this.

    It can be done, its not easy and it is fraught with potential problems. For example where will the container be and who is paying for the container while it is waiting for all of your purchases to arrive (or not arrive)? Who will QC the products after the internal transit before loading ? Who will load the container and keep it secure? Who will pay and sort out the problem when one of the suppliers documents fail at Chinese customs? There are many more issues, including Chinese taxation for mixed loads and preparation of the export documents.

    For a beginner, I would advise you to steer clear. LCL is by far the best way for 'medium' sized loads.

    (To be honest I am glad it is difficult, because it is was easy, the UK market would be flooded!)

    Have you read all of these:-
    https://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/new-to-import-export-read-these-before-posting.175/
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2018 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #2
  3. Kit26

    Kit26 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 1
    Hi Graeme

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.
    All the questions you discuss are very much the types of questions that have been swirling around my head. I think I was hoping to sign up to the forum and ask the question in the hope that someone would say 'Ahh there's a service for this type of thing.' Wishful thinking!

    I must say that I really do agree with your parting comment. Barriers to entry regarding trade can be beneficial, providing some of the determined ones can get through.

    I have indeed read through all the posts on the link you provided, although it was some months ago now and it may be revisiting.

    I will continue then with my current plan of LCL with FOB from the supplier.

    This leads me on to a request for some further information regarding quality control.
    As I mention above I plan to use Alibaba trade assurance for some piece of mind, although anecdotal internet stories do put this into question a little. I'm particularly concerned about dodgy QC guys if I use the Alibaba apppointed people.
    Does anyone have any experience of this, good or bad?
    I would rather appoint my own QC, I keep reading good things about Ron from My Office In China, so I will contact him also for advice.
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2018 By: Kit26 Member since: Feb 1, 2018
    #3
  4. Maple Sourcing

    Maple Sourcing UKBF Regular Full Member

    325 71
    Yes, it's possible. Below are some options:

    1) Hire an agent to consolidate all your goods, do quality control, and work with your UK forwarder to arrange sea shipment in FCL.

    2) Use a fulfillment center with its own warehouse, which receives your products from various suppliers. You hire an independent QC to do quality inspection and container loading check.

    3) If you are lucky, you find a big supplier who is willing to help. So, all other suppliers send products to the big supplier, combine there and load in a full container. You hire an independent QC to do quality inspection and container loading check.

    You need to compare the cost and quality, there could be some issues, but technically it works, as in last few years, my different clients actually tried all above 3 options, and all worked OK.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2018 By: Maple Sourcing Member since: Oct 8, 2012
    #4
  5. Ecowritingtablet

    Ecowritingtablet UKBF Contributor Free Member

    40 2
    correct. if you want to save cost, you can actually ask the biggest supplier with enough space to help stock all goods and help load them all in their factory in the loading day.
     
    Posted: Mar 28, 2018 By: Ecowritingtablet Member since: Mar 14, 2018
    #5