This article is part of the American Express UK Employee series, where internal American Express staff have put pen to paper and written about some of our products and services and how they can support UK businesses.
China has been the world’s largest exporter of goods since 2009 and is estimated to deal with $659 billion worth of goods every year.
The main reasons many businesses, both in the UK and around the world, import from China is down to two elements: price and product availability.
Many clients have voiced that although importing from China comes with huge benefits, it also comes with its own unique challenges.
Below are 5 key things to keep in mind when importing from China:
- Shipping –Shipping from China can be very time-consuming, with an average of 30-40 days on the water. This doesn’t take into consideration the longer lead times that could arise if seas are rough or if items get held up in customs.
- Chinese New Year – During the Chinese New Year many factories see production slow down and staff levels drop. Order lead times are also likely to increase.
- Product Quality – When dealing with mass orders and large quantities, you need to ensure the quality is consistent across each and every product you import.
- Pricing – Strong relationships with your suppliers are key when discussing price. This is especially true in China where they have the upper hand due to product supply and demand. Keep in mind that prices can always change without warning and are usually dependent on the size of your order.
- Supplier Relations – The language barrier and the vast quantity of factories established in China make finding the right supplier vital. Many clients have found that building a strong relationship with a trusted supplier and having an open line of communication can help prevent issues such as:
– Potential Fraud
– Poor Product Quality
– Order Fulfilment Challenges
Overall there is a lot to be gained when importing from China. A good starting point to address the challenges above is securing the right supplier and building a strong relationship with mutual trust and understanding.
If your business is already importing from China or looking to do so in the future find out more about how American Express can support with your international payments here.
Written by Jamie Lewis