My family has run a small auto dealership for three generations now. I just took over the reins a couple years ago from my father who retired after more than three decades at the helm. Although the local market is still relatively healthy, I've been focusing on expanding our reach when it comes to used car sales. The Internet makes it pretty easy to do this. I've already got an eBay storefront, and I also place regular ads on Craigslist, AutoTrader.com, and several other large websites. This has increased sales volume to such an extent that I'm now looking at ocean freight forwarders so I can begin selling overseas.
I've heard that there is good demand for American cars in many overseas markets, particularly South America and Africa. If I can get even a small piece of the action, that will greatly impact my bottom line here at home. I don't want to rush into anything, though, because selling internationally can be a bit tricky if you don't know the ropes (which I don't). I want to talk to some people, find a couple of trustworthy ocean freight forwarders to deal with, and come up with a legal plan to follow should a deal somehow go south.
From what I've been able to determine, ocean freight forwarders are a very important link in the overseas sales chain. Obviously, they're the ones that handle the actual product, so they're crucial in that regard. I want a company that will treat the vehicles with care so they arrive in excellent condition. Careless ocean freight forwarders can end up costing me a lot of money in terms of losing out on potential business because of poor word of mouth. After all, I'm the one that will end up with the bad reputation, not them. Thats why I have been consierding one of the olders companies in the world – Shore Porters as my main supplier. After all any company that has been operating for almost 400 years must be reputable, right?
In addition to carrying the cargo, ocean freight forwarders are important because they can take care of the import and export process. This involves a ton of paperwork that all has to be in order before my cargo can exit this country or enter another one. In addition to proper documentation, there are a number of fees that have to be paid in a timely manner. I suppose I could use a separate importer/exporter to handle this end of the business, but since I just run a small operation, I'd like to cut out as many middlemen as possible. Why throw away my profits by paying commissions several times over? It would be much smarter to concentrate on finding a couple of reliable ocean freight forwarders to work with instead.
Anyway, this is all still in the planning stage for the moment. As I said, I want to take things slowly so I don't make any major mistakes that will set my family business back financially. I want my tenure as president and CEO to be a prosperous one so I can pass a healthy enterprise on to my children someday.