5 Steps To Save When Importing From China

5 Steps To Save When Importing From China

In 2017, China replaced Japan as the top bilateral trading partner of the Philippines with a 20.7% increase in imports from 2010.

This 2018, the imports shoot up to 51.2%, which is more than twice as it was last year. The said imports include electronics and machinery, mineral fuels, iron and steel, plastics, vehicles, ceramic products, furniture and lighting, and paper among others. No wonder why many businesses, whether big or small, import from China. If you’re one of them, here are five steps to help you reduce your expenses:

Plan ahead of time

China is 3,096 kilometers away from the Philippines, which means that the importation of your goods will likely take five days or more, depending on the mode of transportation. Although you can request for faster transportation, you will be asked to pay for a rush fee.

If you want your goods to arrive on-time without the extra charges, it’s better to plan it in advance. Moreover, it will also give you more time to find a local freight forwarder that will assist you throughout the importation procedure.

Find a local freight forwarder

Most freight forwarders in the Philippines are affiliated with numerous international transport organizations and companies worldwide, including local Chinese logistic companies. Hence, you should choose a freight forwarder that can and will use its connections to negotiate for better prices on your behalf.  

Furthermore, your chosen freight forwarder should also be knowledgeable about the freight peak seasons in China (e.g., Chinese New Year) because during peak seasons, importing can become complicated due to high demand, high prices, and a probability of container shortage.

If this is a no-brainer for your local freight forwarder, you’re in the right hands. Knowing the peak seasons beforehand will help you save by importing non-urgent goods during regular seasons and avoid struggling to find a container spot during peak seasons.

Choose a suitable transportation method

You can import either by sea or by air. Sea freight is ideal for large shipments that aren’t urgently needed. On the other hand, air freight is suitable for smaller and lighter shipments that are time-sensitive.

Importing by air is more expensive than importing by sea because it’s faster and more secure. It goes through fewer hands, therefore minimizing the risk of damages and theft. To cut back on expenses, use air freight only if its necessary.

Another option that you could try is splitting your shipments. For instance, if you have one hundred boxes of imports wherein thirty boxes need to be delivered immediately, and the other seventy aren’t, consider putting the thirty on a plane and the rest on a cargo ship.

Although split shipments might seem inconvenient because it involves preparing two invoices, packing lists and handling charges among others, once you already have a local freight forwarder, it will be hassle-free because they will assist you in accomplishing the necessary paperwork.

A friendly tip: When importing by air, it is best to book six to seven days in advance of the Cargo Ready Date (CRD) while when importing by sea, consider booking three to four weeks ahead of the CRD.

Ensure proper product packaging and insurance

Proper packaging reduces the risk of product damage and loss while in transit (especially fragile and perishable products), whereas cargo insurances can be converted into cash claims in case of damage and loss.

Although the proper packaging and cargo insurances might seem more like spending than saving, neglecting them will cost you a fortune in case your goods get damaged or lost. Better safe than sorry, right?

Obtain rates with the lowest GRI (General Rate Increase) possible

General Rate Increase is the adjustment of container shipping rates and is only applicable when importing by sea.

General Rate Increase and demand are directly correlated. When the demand is high, the GRI also goes up and vice versa, which means that GRIs go up during peak seasons.

The good news is, if you followed the first four steps mentioned earlier, especially planning ahead of time, you will be able to choose between multiple ocean freight rates and obtain the lowest GRI even during a peak season because as the saying goes ‘the early bird catches the worm.’

These five steps only prove that there are always ways to save when you are determined to look for them.

Here at Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics, we have equipped people who are knowledgeable regarding import procedures and are committed to reducing your expenditures as much as you are.

We also conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn about importation & exportation. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience for 17 years in the business. 

Contact us today at (063) 525-9775 or email us at wecare@excelsior.ph



Why Importers Choose Freight Forwarders Over Shipping Lines (Infographic)

For the past years, freight forwarding companies have been doing good in the world of logistics, wherein most of the importers right now is choosing to use the service of Freight Forwarder rather than choosing the service of Shipping Line. 

In order to understand why more and more importers rely on the service of freight forwarding companies, we detail in this infographic the biggest advantages that freight forwarders have over traditional shipping lines.

Why Importers Choose Freight Forwarders Over Shipping Lines1. Flexibility 

Freight Forwarder could be more flexible in terms of quality service and rate which is very critical for importers these days. Instead of going directly with the shipping line, a freight forwarder will negotiate on your behalf to get a competitive deal and discover the most suitable arrangement for your shipments.

2. Service 

A freight forwarder is a total logistics provider, which means that an importer can access a wide variety of services more conveniently. Freight forwarder could offer different types of Incoterms depending on what arrangement of importer wanted to do.

In fact, there are shipping arrangements that a freight forwarder could offer to a budding importer that a shipping line cannot, such as such as Ex-Works and Air Freight. Lastly, freight forwarders provide brokerage services which are a critical aspect when running a legitimate importing business.

3. Rate 

Of course, a freight forwarder will still use the service of a shipping line to transport the goods since they do not have their own vessel to do so. However, to make their rates more competitive than shipping lines, freight forwarders use the extreme competition in shipping line industry as leverage. They do this by proposing rates to all shipping lines instead of using only one shipping line, allowing them to charge the most cost-effective rates to their customer more effectively.

4. Reliability 

One of the hardest parts on the side of importers is the communication. Most importers – especially those that are new in the business – can testify how hard to contact shipping line and how inconsistent their service when it comes to updating the arrival details of their shipment.

On the contrary, freight forwarders are known in the industry as reliable service providers. They can come up with solutions on-the-go be it for harsh weather, customs errors, inaccessible routes, vehicle breakdowns, and other problems that could arise and delay the transport of your shipment.  

5. Contract Agreement 

A reliable and trustworthy freight forwarder could get not only the best and most competitive rates but other cost-privileges such as Demurrage, Detention, Ocean Freight, Credit Term and ability not to be affected by General Rate Increase.

By choosing to work with a freight forwarder, you will also be able to choose from a wide variety of shipping line options. They know where to load best in terms of your need/demand. It’s either low rate or transit schedule. You can also enjoy the service contracts/agreements they have with different shipping lines in terms of extended free time and waive of unnecessary charges, thus helping you lower your overall importation cost.

Excelsior Worldwide conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn about importation & exportation. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience for 17 years in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.

Tips to Run a Successful Importation Business

In this post, we will give you some proven tips and tricks that will surely help you run a successful importation business today.

  1. Create Your Website and Start Blogging


One of the most effective ways to find networks, potential investors, and customers is through a website. According to statistics, over 6 billion searches are being made each day, making it the most cost-effective platform you can use to market your business today.




  • Get a domain name. While it is very common for businesses to have domain names that are the same as their business names (such as walmart.com), you can pick a domain name to include any text phrase you want as long as it is not already taken.



  • Choose a website builder. Website builders are tools that typically allow the construction of websites without manual code editing. To know more about this, check this guide to choosing the right website builder.



  • After you build your business website, it’s time to fill your website with content and information relevant to your products and services. Check out this post to learn more about successful business blogging.


  1. Select a Product to Import

There are a lot of ways to select the product you want to import and sell in your locality. For example, you can import the products which are currently trending in your area but is not fully satisfied yet by the local providers.

You can also create your own product, such as handmade crafts, then source the raw materials from other countries. Whatever it is you want to sell, make sure that there is a viable market for it, and you know exactly the selling points of that product in the market.

  1. Find the Right Market

After you identified the product you want to sell, you need to pick someplace to sell it. Here are some tips to help you pick the right market for your product:

  • Know what you are offering and you will be able to determine who will be buying it.
  • Do the right amount of research. By collecting some useful data on the market situations, needs and customer’s profitability you can design marketing strategy which will work in the targeted niche.
  • Your business model matters. Running a B2B or B2C business determines the niche strategy you should develop for your import business.
  1. Find a Reputable Supplier

The easiest way to find a supplier for the product you want to import is to consult some specialized online resources: Alibaba, Global Sources, ThomasNet, Makers Row, and MFG. You can also try searching the internet for specific keywords, for example, “Taiwan, bicycle parts manufacturers” to see what is currently available online. Either way, ensure the following when choosing an overseas supplier:

  • Make sure they are a good fit for your company: provides impressive product information, packaging, process, and has a world-class reputation in the industry.
  • Make sure they have the capacity to keep up with the demand.
  • Make sure you have what it takes to out the import partnership you’re about to make.
  1. Set the Price of Your Product

Typically, importers use the cost-plus pricing method to price their import goods. In this method, the importer takes a markup percentage over cost – which is the price charged by the overseas supplier to you when you buy from them. That markup becomes your profit or commission.

The goal is to price your product with markup that will not exceed what your target market is willing to spend. The more goods you sell, the more profits you’ll generate.

  1. Find Customers

As long as your website ranks well in search engines, customers will be able to find you in the online space. However, you should also use other ways to find customers. Check with local contacts, such as trade organizations, Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, embassies and trade consulates.

These organizations can provide you with contact lists specific to your industry and also suggest trade shows that are taking place locally and internationally that might help you connect with potential customers.

You can also use other digital platforms such as social media to connect with your customers in a faster and efficient manner. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are full of users seeking for products and services, so using these platforms can help you stay relevant and present to potential customers worldwide.

  1. Select a Trustworthy Freight Forwarder

Your chosen freight forwarder can make or break your import business, so choose one wisely. Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp. is a global freight forwarder that can help you transport your import goods to where you will be selling it in an efficient and timely manner.

Our trustworthy and reliable international freight forwarding service has been the backbone of many import business in the Philippines for 16 years. Catering to different industries, our logistics service has saved all our clients a lot of time, effort and anxiety. Not only we help our clients with their transport needs, we also help them prepare all the necessary shipping arrangements to ensure a seamless import process. With our expertise in Philippine importation process, you will be able to ensure a more successful importation business than you could have ever imagined!

These are the proven tips that will help you run a successful importation business in the Philippines. If you want to learn more about our freight forwarding services, Contact Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp. today at (+632) 525-9775 or email us at wecare@excelsior.ph.

Excelsior Worldwide Logistics Corp.