In her latest guest blog for Sunny Sky Solutions [click here], Anne Murphy from Innovi Business Growth shared with us three key questions we should think about when getting ready to export. Here are the final three questions every business should ask itself when thinking about trading overseas…

1- Do you have suitable cartons for despatching goods overseas?

Since freight rates are generally calculated on volumetric weight, you need to check that your shipping cartons are the most efficient size for your products.  After all, you don’t want to be paying for empty space.  You also need to make sure that your cartons are robust enough to withstand lots of handling, especially if the shipment is not going to be palletised or containerised. Don’t forget the address label; it must be large enough to stand out clearly amongst all the other labels which will be stuck on your shipping carton by the time it arrives at its destination.

2- Have you spoken with local freight forwarders/courier companies to determine rates and routings?

A good freight forwarder will help to find the best routes for your shipment and can provide a lot of useful advice to help the shipment of your consignment go as smoothly as possible. It is worth meeting your freight forwarder and getting to know each other as they could turn out to be one of your most important suppliers.

3- Have you checked which documents you will need for your export consignment?

There are a number of standard export documents but since requirements vary from market to market, it is best to check what you need for your particular consignment.  Some documents may need to be certified by the local Chamber of Commerce and legalised by the Embassy of the export country.  Making yourself aware of the process for this in advance can save headaches later.

There will of course be other matters that are specific to your products and sector that need to be considered but the above pointers should help kick start the process for getting export ready.

Just as with marathons, planning ahead and investing in training will help and mean that your first steps in international trade are successful and painless.


Anne Murphy has 27 years’ experience of exporting goods and services in a range of markets and sectors.

As a Director of Innovi Business Growth Ltd, Anne provides hands-on support for one-off projects or a full interim export management service for companies new to exporting or for those which wish to expand their current export business.