Many times the manufacturing overseas is the easiest step in the buying from China. A great majority of the time, the shipping departments for the manufacturers have no knowledge of the process of shipping. They fill out the shipping label, attach it on the box and call the courier to pick up the boxes.
Let’s look at this one task at a time:
1) Preparation of the label – this seemingly simple task can cost the recipient of the shipment over charges in import duty tax. The value of the products should be what it costs the manufacturer to produce the products. However, shipping departments will use the value stated on the purchase order. This value is many times 2-3 times the cost of manufacturing the products. Hence the substantial over charge of duty taxes for the buyer in the USA. Additionally, I have seen the shipping department include the shipping cost in the value of the shipment. Again the manufacturer is falsely driving the purchaser’s cost up on the products purchased. There are no US Duty Taxes on the cost of shipping from an overseas manufacturer.
2) Courier pick up of the shipment – when the shipping department calls the courier to pick up the shipment, the shipping department believes their task is complete. In reality, the shipping department should be making sure the courier actually comes that day to pick up the shipment. If the shipping department does not follow up to make sure the shipment is picked up, it can add days to the actual shipping time.
3) When there are issues with the paperwork not meeting the Courier’s requirements or not meeting the US Customs requirements; it can take days or weeks to resolve the errors. Many times, only the shipper (the manufacturer) can address the issues because they completed the paperwork. US Customs will not allow a US company to make any changes to the shipping paperwork. In their eyes, it is equivalent to changing your tax return after it was submitted and accepted by the IRS. Therefore, the purchaser must work with the manufacturer to resolve the issue(s).
4) After the shipment arrives in the States, the US Courier (FedEx, UPS or DHL) must present the boxes or container to US Customs. If Customs deems the shipment needs further inspection or the paperwork is brought into question; then the recipient of the shipment must work through Courier’s Customs experts to resolve the US Customs issues. This process can be resolved in a day or it can take many days.