When your company participates in international trade, you can reach more customers, drive revenue, and expand brand awareness. However, if you’re not aware of all the intricacies involved in working outside your country’s borders, this can leave you open to mistakes and shipment delays.

Partnering with an experienced transportation and logistics provider, however, can help mitigate these headaches and allow you to instead focus on your core business. The concept of cross-border logistics covers all the planning, scheduling, transportation, and related services that are involved in moving products across international borders. 

Ultimately, cross-border logistics ensures the seamless and timely delivery of goods to a customer. Learn more about the challenges facing companies making international shipments and how to select a cross-border logistics provider that will deliver the optimal support for your business needs.


Top Three Challenges of Cross-Border Logistics and Shipping

Even for domestic shipments, companies across industries are plagued with:

  • Ongoing supply chain disruptions worldwide
  • Insufficient workforce and hiring difficulties
  • Persistent inflation with the looming threat of economic recession
  • Negative impacts of climate change

Making shipments that cross your country’s borders can amplify these issues, while also adding three new concerns.

1. Customs: Delays and Regulatory Compliance

To ensure public health and safety, governments have regulations in place for any imports into their borders. These rules cover not only what products may enter the country, but sometimes a product’s allowed ingredients or overall quality, as well. 

When your business fails to comply with customs regulations — or is unaware of them to begin with — this can delay your shipments, put you in violation of local laws, and potentially result in fines. Such delays will also leave you with dissatisfied customers. Working with cross-border logistics service providers will help you navigate international regulations, ensure all necessary paperwork and fees are in order, and lessen the risk of costly delays.

2. Managing the Expectations of Your Customers

With the prevalence of online shopping in today’s world, consumers are increasingly making e-commerce purchases from outside their home countries. Despite a product’s origins, however, customers want and expect rapid order fulfillment in addition to high-quality products. To maintain brand loyalty and company reputation, businesses must strive to ensure efficient production and shipping to deliver a positive customer experience. Optimized cross-border logistics can help you meet these goals.

3. High Shipping Rates

Not all businesses handle the product volume necessary to receive optimal rates on international transportation options. Rates for freight services by airplane or marine vessel can be cost-prohibitive if you’re not shipping large amounts or making frequent shipments. A company specializing in international transportation services and logistics, due to the volume of goods they handle, often has access to better rates, and they can pass those savings on to their customers.


How to Choose a Cross-Border 3PL Partner

Cross-border transportation has become a critical component of an increasingly interconnected global marketplace. It’s about more than just getting your products from point A to point B, however. Your chosen 3PL partner will have a tremendous impact on the success and reputation of your brand.

Third-party logistics (3PL) companies offer various services to provide packing, shipping, warehousing, and supply chain logistics support. The ideal logistics solution for your company will help you meet deadlines, streamline and scale your operations, save on costs and product waste, and achieve your business goals. 

When trying to select the right cross-border 3PL provider for your individual business, consider the following:

  • Point-of-entry warehousing and cross-docking. In addition to asking yourself if the company ships to your intended location, also consider whether or not they have warehouses or cross-docking options near your points of entry. This not only adds a degree of convenience but can also help streamline your operations.
  • Bilingual staff. The optimal 3PL partner for cross-border shipments employs staff members who can speak another language. For example, service representatives who are fluent in Spanish and French can facilitate communication with shipping partners and customers in Mexico and Canada.
  • Less-than-truckload (LTL) consolidation capabilities. LTL freight consolidation for cross-border shipments can help you save on costs. By sharing trailer space with goods that have similar destinations and temperature requirements, for example, you increase efficiency and often receive better rates.


Mulder Brothers Brokerage: Experts in U.S. Cold Chain Transportation and Logistics

Since 2008, Mulder Brothers Brokerage has specialized in LTL transportation, 3PL logistics, warehousing, cross-docking, and more for the U.S. cold chain. Through our trusted carrier network, we provide efficient services for clients with refrigerated and frozen goods nationwide. However, we’re always looking to expand into new markets. If you’re looking for a trusted partner to handle your transportation and logistics needs, contact us today to see what the Mulder Brothers team can do for you.

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