What Should I Consider When Importing Goods?

Have you been trying to get into the import industry but are a bit intimidated by the complexities that come with it? All the regulations, tight restrictions, and strict adherence to those or shipments get rejected. We agree it can be a very challenging field to get into. However, the rewards far outweigh those challenges. So, let’s take a look it’s just what it takes to get into the business of importing goods.

What You Need To Know About Importing Goods

If you want to begin to start importing goods there are some considerations that you need to pay close attention to. Naturally, the top priority is to consider what type of product you’re looking to import. Are you looking at finished goods or are you looking at raw materials? If you’re choosing to go with finished goods you have to consider that those goods could be subject to tariffs or restrictions. You also need to consider shipping costs and turnaround time. Now, when it comes to raw materials you really must focus on quality control as well as making sure you can source enough to make it worth the cost of importation. Looking at this first, we’ll help to answer all of the other questions that follow but you have to know what you’re dealing with first. The second thing you want to look at is where the goods you’re looking to import are coming from, the country of origin. This is very important because there could be some potential roadblocks to entry such as tariffs and strict regulations depending on the country of origin. Additionally, don’t forget about the cost of importing goods. You need to factor in not just the price of the goods but also the total cost of shipping. That means including any duties or taxes that may apply. Once you take all these things into consideration you can make sure that you’re making the best deal on the goods you’re wanting to import. We’ll get a bit more in-depth on these things in a moment. First, let’s look at why you would want to import goods in the first place.

What Are The Benefits Of Importing?

So, why would somebody wanna get into the business of importing? Well, there are quite a few benefits to your business when you start to import goods. The most obvious benefit is the fact that you will be able to offer a wider range of products to your customers. Also, if you’re able to get goods overseas for less than you would domestically that will improve your profit margin. Another important benefit is that when you import goods you end up building relationships with key supply chain players in other countries. You want these relationships because they can be beneficial both in getting better deals on your products as well as long-term business relationships. You never know when those relationships will come in handy sometime down the road. Now, although there are great benefits that doesn’t mean they don’t come without risks. Importing goods is most definitely not risk-free. However, if you do the research and source reliable partners and suppliers you can mitigate your risks. One of the most important choices is finding a trustworthy and reliable logistics partner such as Hawthorne. We have the knowledge and the expertise to help navigate all the possible roadblocks that can get in your way when importing goods. As a first-time importer hitting some of these roadblocks and not knowing what to do can derail your import business. That’s why it’s important to have an expert in the field on your side guiding your decisions for you. With that being said there are some things that you need to take a look at before you decide to pull the trigger on getting into the import business.

What to Consider Before Importation

So you can’t just go right into importing goods left and right and kind of winging it so to speak. That’s the fast track to bankrupting yourself and getting nothing in return. So you want to consider a few things before you begin to import goods into the US. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it does cover some key highlights to get you started.

Type Of Goods You’re Importing

The first thing you want to look at is the goods you want to import. Are they even allowed in the United States you’d be surprised how many items are either restricted or completely prohibited from being brought into the country? A great example of this is some agricultural products such as fruits and imported meats. You must contact The US Customs and Border Protection agency and ensure that your product is allowed. Also, if there are restrictions on the good you’re trying to import you need to find out what they are and how to follow those. Failure to do that before you actually import it could result in confiscation and you do not get compensated for that, furthermore, you may get fined.


Continuing with that, you also need to make sure all your paperwork is lined up properly before even attempting to import. This includes commercial invoices bills of lading and other required documentation for US Customs. Without the proper documentation, your goods can be delayed or even rejected and that’s going to cost you a lot of money and time.

Tariffs & Taxes

If there’s anything you can be assured of as a guarantee in this industry it’s going to be taxes. But also, there may be tariffs associated with your shipment. These will vary depending on what’s being imported and the country of origin so that’s why you must do your research. If you fail to pay the tariffs and taxes you can be penalized significantly.

Shipping Costs

The cost of shipping is also going to be very important. It can vary based on the weight and size of your shipment and the distance is going to travel. The mode of shipping is also going to play a factor. Shipping freight by sea it’s less expensive than shipping by air. However, the trade-off is that shipping by sea is slower and air is much faster.

Navigating Customs

Although this one goes without being said we still wanted to touch on it because it is at the center of everything in imports. When your shipment arrives in the US it will need to clear customs before you can receive it. This process can be fairly expedient but also it can be extremely complicated and time-consuming. You must be prepared for the possibility that there are delays. However, we come back to the fact that when you work with an experienced logistics provider you can increase your odds that things go smoothly. But, it should be noted that even with everything filled out perfectly and prepared there can still be delays.

Packaging Needs

As Randy mentioned you will definitely need to consider the packaging requirements for the goods you’re importing. These requirements are often not just to avoid damage but also to comply with federal regulations on imported goods. The example of the wood pallets that Randy mentioned is a perfect way to illustrate that. That’s why it’s so important once again, to partner with an experienced logistics provider.

Don’t Dive Into Importing Goods Alone

We can bed by now you may be a bit intimidated about getting into the import business—we don’t blame you. There are so many things to consider, so many regulations, and so many things that can go wrong that there’s an entire industry built around that. The logistics industry has hundreds of providers that provide services such as customs brokering, freight forwarding, warehousing, and more. At Hawthorne Global Logistics we offer a comprehensive solution to all your import needs. We know how the US customs systems work and what pitfalls to avoid. If you want to get into the import business need to partner with Hawthorne. Contact us today and let us do the leg work of dealing with customs so you can focus on your business.

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