Friday 19 January 2018

Does your SME want to export? 6-step guide

Is your SME ready to export in to more markets?

Irish exporters now have an opportunity to trade more effectively and efficiently on the global stage.

While the very large multinational players are well-serviced by existing providers, many SMEs across Ireland have previously faced barriers when looking to access a comprehensive nationwide network for exports and have been traditionally underserved by existing transport and logistics providers.

While there has been a small decline in the number of SMEs exporting to the UK in the period since the Brexit vote, the general consensus is that in the medium to long term, the best way to mitigate the risk that Brexit represents for Irish exporters to the UK is to diversify exports to new markets outside of the UK.

This positivity, coupled with the launch of an innovative, first-of-a-kind new logistics service from An Post, Post Logistics, means that it is an opportune time for SMEs to consider their export needs for 2017 and beyond.

Ease of access to export services had previously been very limited in Ireland, depending where companies were located in Ireland, especially when it came to exporting to Continental Europe.

From reliability and simplicity to speed and value, here is a 6 step guide for companies currently exporting or considering expanding their export network in to new markets:

1. Which new markets work best for your business?

An Post has surveyed companies around Ireland, asking SMEs what markets they want to move in to. The countries specified include France, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Italy.

“We want to simplify the process for them. SMEs in Ireland do have ambition to export to more markets and our aim is to support them with one-stop-shop service, with everything they need,” explains Liam O’Sullivan, Mails Operations Director, An Post.

An Post has launched a new logistics service offering SMEs pallet delivery, freight forwarding and groupage services from Ireland, to Britain and Europe. There’s now a high-quality, reliable, standardised, freight forwarding and groupage service available for SMEs exporting to the UK and Europe.

2. Trust and simplicity

Trust and simplicity are always front of mind with businesses when considering exporting. An Post has teamed up with DB Schenker, the second largest transportation and logistics services provider in the world, to provide a daily door-to-door pallet delivery service designed to make exporting more accessible and easier for SMEs.

Offering a first-of-its-kind service in the Irish market, Post Logistics will operate as the logistics division of Ireland’s national postal delivery service.

“We are utilising our extensive ground forwarding network for groupage and “less than truckload’ (LTT) shipping. We have designed a dedicated and convenient pallet delivery service for Irish SMEs looking to export up to seven pallets at highly competitive rates”, says Liam O’Sullivan.

3. Consider cost and traceability

Price is always a priority when thinking about volumes around exporting. Also, in a lot of cases, SMEs can struggle to specify the date of collection as the process can be quite fragmented. If a company, for example in the West of Ireland is sending a shipment to Milan, it has to travel through a number of carriers along the way. If that company needs to know where their shipment is, it will involve a lot of calls and emails.

The new daily pallet collection and delivery service will now provide an efficient and reliable door-to-door collection service from any location in Ireland with delivery to Britain and Europe. It will combine An Post’s nationwide network with DB Schenker’s ground forwarding service for pallet shipments to Britain and across Europe. The An Post network means guaranteed next working day pallet collection throughout the Republic of Ireland for all orders placed up to midnight.

4. Speed and meeting deadlines

Using the existing An Post fleet and network services, Post Logistics will transport pallet freight from SME customers nationwide to a central Dublin depot from where it will be shipped onwards by global freight carriers DB Schenker.

With 720 branches in 36 European countries, DB Schenker Land Transport possesses a ground freight forwarding network with extensive coverage and high density.

DB Schenker has a local presence in all European countries with the densest network in Europe which enables fast deliveries to customers. Customers do not require a forklift for order collection as they are loaded by the driver using a hand pallet jack. Pallets are collected by local An Post drivers and then transported and tracked throughout the journey.

The An Post nationwide network means guaranteed next working day pallet collection throughout the Republic of Ireland for all orders placed up to midnight.

5. Customs clearance and insurance

Customs clearance is only required for orders destined for Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In these cases, orders will be passed on to DB Schenker, who will contact customers directly to arrange clearance.

In Europe, liability of road transportation service providers is limited by governing regulations regarding loss, damage or material delay. However, according to Liam O'Sullivan of An Post, these limitations are often not representative of the actual value of the goods.

"When we researched this, we found that the standard price for insurance protection when you're moving freight abroad is €400 per shipment. When people are exporting high-value goods, that figure seems very low considering the value of what they are exporting. We looked at how we could make the process easier, so we have agreed a deal with DB Schenker, backed by AIG, which allows customers to get their location and pay for their quotation. It's a one-stop-shop."

6. Technology and tracking

“Our existing national network, logistics capacity and customer service is world-class and it is fully supported by the latest technology. Mails distribution is mainly an evening, overnight and early morning business so during the day we can devote our capacity to servicing the freight forwarding needs of Irish SMEs.”, says Liam O’Sullivan.

“Post Logistics guarantees unrivalled reach, excellent value, know-how and the peace of mind of dealing with one of Ireland’s most trusted companies. We put all these strengths to work for our SME clients”.

If your SME is interested in making exporting more accessible and easier, go to Post Logistics for more information or to get a quick quote. If your company would like further information email or telephone 01 4620810.


Sponsored by: An Post

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