International trade relations for small and medium-sized businesses are an opportunity to develop in their niche, regularly maintaining a competitive advantage among similar companies.
As a rule, small businesses order small batches of goods that they can sell without unnecessary leftovers. And in order not to overpay for international cargo transportation, it is necessary to use a consolidated method of transporting goods for the delivery of such small consignments.
What is consolidation
Consolidation of cargo is a grouping of small-volume cargoes from different consignors, which are delivered in a single batch to one destination. As a rule, such grouping takes place in warehouses specially designed for these purposes, located on the territory of the exporting country.
Consolidated cargo can have both a minimum volume and a fairly large one. The main condition is that simultaneously with such a cargo, a group of goods with similar characteristics can be transported in a container.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cargo Consolidation
Its main advantage lies in the significant savings in financial costs that fall on the sender or recipient of a small consignment of goods.
International shipping costs, for example from China to Ukraine, are divided among all customers whose cargo is in a container. At the same time, an individual amount is calculated for each, which directly depends on the volume of a particular cargo.
You can order the delivery of the minimum batch of goods, which is necessary for testing or studying the demand for this type of product. You can also order several small batches from different manufacturers to expand the range of goods;
The consolidated method, or as it is also called groupage cargo transportation, can significantly reduce customs costs, due to the fact that the customs invoice is issued one for the entire cargo combined for transportation.
However, among all the advantages of this method, some disadvantages can also be identified. For example, delivery time increases as it takes time to assemble a full container of goods. It should be said that for experienced cargo companies with a large cargo turnover this is not a problem at all, since in the presence of regular customers, cargo consolidation occurs as soon as possible.
How cargo is consolidated
The process of consolidation or collection of consignments from different clients has several stages, each of which should be carried out by experienced specialists who are able to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Consolidation begins from the moment the cargo from the customer is accepted at the warehouse of the cargo company. In some cases, cargo representatives can independently pick up the customer’s cargo from the sender’s warehouse.
Warehouse workers check the packaging for integrity and re-pack if necessary. Additional packaging is necessary in cases where the original packaging of the goods or the packaging of the sender does not meet the standards and requirements, as a result of which the cargo may be damaged on the way.
After that, the accepted cargo is weighed and marked. Taring is necessary to determine the exact weight of the cargo from which is part of the calculation of the shipping cost. In addition, the workers of the consolidation warehouse take measurements of the packed goods for the final determination of the cost.
The next step is the sorting and distribution of goods into categories that unite them. This stage is of no small importance, since not all groups of goods can be transported in one container. For example, textiles can be transported with clothes, shoes with bags, etc. At the same time, delivery in one container of electronics and various equipment, machine tools, goods with a strong odor and textiles, pillows, etc. is not allowed.
After all the preparatory stages, the placement of goods in the container begins in such a way as to place them in the most beneficial way for everyone.
The final stage of consolidation can be called the registration of accompanying documentation for a quick and hassle-free customs clearance.
In order for the delivery of the consolidated cargo to be as profitable as possible for both the customer and the organizer of the transportation, it is necessary that each stage is carried out accurately and quickly. This is possible if the cargo company has its own (or rented) consolidation warehouses and an experienced team of specialists who have considerable experience in organizing international cargo transportation.