Everyone eventually discovers that “never assume anything” is one of the first rules of business, or at least it should be. When it comes to overseas manufacturing, the lesson is especially pertinent because different countries have their own ways of approaching problems that may not be congruent with the assumptions held by their international partners.
As a result, it is imperative to check and double check every facet of an overseas manufacturing venture in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. One of the ways in which these different methods of doing business can be especially harmful is found in the humble field of packaging.
Most businesses understand that the lengthy logistical chain that leads from China to the United States requires product packaging that shaves down shipping costs by reducing bulk to an absolute minimum. Given the multi-modal means of transportation, however, another factor comes into play as well.
Packages that are designed solely with cubic efficiency in mind may well expose the contents to an unacceptably high ratio of shipping damage due to their failure to adequately protect against the hazards of the journey to market. In this case, the assumption that smaller packaging is more efficient and cost effective might actually turn out to be incorrect.
Bigger and more carefully padded shipping containers can reduce damage sufficiently. This sometimes proves to be more cost effective overall than what would normally be gained with the more compact size. It is also possible that some intermediate package design would prove more efficient than either, due to a slightly higher shipping cost than the small package but a slightly lower degree of transit loss.
It is likely that there is a point on the curve somewhere between the most compact and the most secure package that turns out to be the best solution to the matter. These questions can undoubtedly be nailed down through a process of trial-and-error. It is also possible that consultation with someone with a great degree of experience in the particulars of shipping goods from China to the United States could short-circuit the lengthy process of discovery.
In addition to these advantages, engaging the services of a local expert offers still another bonus. One of the purposes of setting up a China-based operation is undoubtedly to take advantage of the growing Chinese domestic market, as well as serving overseas customers. Chinese tastes, however, are not in perfect alignment with western ones.
This adds another wrinkle to the packaging problem. Different sizes, colors and even packaging materials may be required in order to appeal to the expectations of the local customers. For a firm that has never sold anything in the country, this oversight could mean the difference between a disastrous product launch and a roaring success.
Utilizing the services of someone with the institutional knowledge to tackle these questions with a high probability of success is undoubtedly a way to get to market faster and at a significantly superior price point than would prove possible by going it alone. Contact ITI today for assistance in everything from product specs to packaging and shipping from Chinese manufacturers.