Emile Spamer - Director
With Christmas time just around the corner, global retailers and online retailers are starting seasonal promotions to help kick off the festive spending spree. Many of us will soon sit down with a cup of coffee in front of a computer browsing gift ideas for family and friends. What some of us might not realise though is where the retailer (sometimes also known as eTailer) is actually based - and I don’t mean where they are based within the South Africa, I mean the world.
Online retailing has grown massively in the last 10 years, and sales figures peak massively around Christmas time, but its fair to say that without the support of International Courier companies these online retailers would not have been able to grow at the pace they have if they were not able to distribute their items efficiently to customers. The International Courier may have become something that we take for granted. After all, getting around the globe seems to becoming an everyday occurrence for millions of people and is no longer something considered only by the rich and elite within society. What should never, ever be taken for granted though is the planning and expertise that goes into fulfilling an international shipment. Each shipment may change hands 5 or 6 times depending on its destination, and within that exchange the parcel needs to be logged in and out of a hub where it may spend any period of time waiting for the collection and next stage of its journey.
On top of that the international courier must handle all things concerned with customs and excise which is no easy task as different borders may require different protocols to be upheld. The different types of transport that the courier companies need to use to extend their network world wide and support global retailers can vary from job to job. The method of transportation can often depend on the type of package that is being shipped. For example, it would be very difficult to get larger, bulky items into an aircraft so shipping by sea might be the only option. For smaller time sensitive deliveries air travel is the best way to go as it is much quicker and cost effective for smaller items.
International Couriers aren’t new to us or the industry, but they are becoming more common place than ever. They silently get about their work whilst we sit in front of our computers ordering gifts and products that eventually turn up on our doorstep. The next time you order something from the U.S. for example, why not take a moment to think about exactly how it has ended up on your doorstep.