How to optimise your business’ import strategy

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Many businesses rely on importing goods and materials from suppliers in order to keep their shelves stocked and their doors open. However, the import process can be complex and time-consuming, which is why it's important to have a well-thought-out strategy in place.

In today's global market, importing goods and services is crucial for many businesses. According to findings from the 2022 DHL Export Barometer Report, two-way trade is on the rise, with 88% of Australian export businesses bringing in imports from mainly China, North America and Europe. While a successful importation strategy can make your business more competitive, help you source new products and services, as well as provide opportunities to enter new markets, imports can also be costly and bureaucratic. 

However, by understanding the potential risks and opportunities associated with importing, as well as how to take advantage of available import financing options, businesses can save time and money while still getting the products and materials they need. In this article, we'll give you some tips on how to optimise your business' import strategy. 

How to start an import business

The 2022 DHL Export Barometer Report found that larger businesses that have been exporting for longer periods of time were the biggest drivers of two-way trade, with mining and manufacturing businesses the most likely to be bringing goods in. If you are an export company, starting an import business can be a great way to engage in two-way trading and open markets to more successful industries. 

That being said, it is important to have a solid import strategy and marketing plan in place before getting started. This will involve research into potential suppliers, shipping routes, and customs regulations. You'll also need to create a business plan and secure the necessary financing. Once you've established your import business, you'll need to build strong relationships with your suppliers and customers, as well as keep up with the industry trends and developments. With exceptional ideation, careful planning and execution, an import business can be a successful and rewarding venture.

3 ways to optimise your import strategy

It is no surprise that many businesses are looking to expand their operations internationally in our highly-globalised economy. For businesses in Australia, this often means importing goods and services from overseas. While imports can bring many benefits to a business, such as increased profits and a wider range of products to offer customers, it’s important to ensure that your import strategy is optimised in order to minimise costs and maximise efficiency

1. Know your tariffs and keep track of your Goods and Services Tax (GST)

When importing goods into Australia, it's important to be aware of the tariffs that apply. The rates vary depending on the type of goods you're importing, as well as the country they're coming from. You can use the Department of Home Affairs' Tariff Concession System to search for applicable tariff rates. By knowing the tariffs in advance, you can make sure you're not paying more than you have to.

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In addition, you will need to pay GST on imported goods for your business in Australia. The current GST rate is 10%. However, if your goods are worth less than AU$1,000, you may be eligible for GST exemption. Be sure to keep track of your GST so that you can claim it back if necessary.

2. Stay up-to-date on trade regulations

An important aspect of having a successful import business is staying up-to-date on trade regulations. The rules and regulations surrounding imports are constantly changing, so it's important to have a team in place that is dedicated to keeping up with the latest updates. This includes changes to free trade agreements, customs regulations, taxation rules, and quotas or tariffs that may be introduced by the government. Keeping abreast of these changes will help ensure that your import strategy remains compliant with all relevant regulations and avoid any costly mistakes.

3. Build strong relationships

Establishing good relationships with your suppliers is another key way to optimise your import strategy. Open communication will help ensure that there are no surprises along the way and that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities. Additionally, building strong relationships with your suppliers can allow you to negotiate better terms and get access to exclusive deals that aren’t available to other buyers. You may also be able to take advantage of early payment discounts or extended payment terms, which can help improve your bottom line.

How DHL Express can help with your delivery process

Importing can be a complex process, but with careful planning, it can be an excellent way for businesses to source goods and services from overseas at a competitive price. All you have to do is make sure you're aware of all the relevant regulations, plan your shipping transport and logistics carefully, and have a solid financing plan in place before proceeding. With these things taken care of, you'll be well on your way to optimising your business' import strategy.

DHL Express is one of the world's leading logistics companies. We provide courier, package delivery and express mail services to businesses and consumers around the globe. With our global reach, vast resources and expert team, we are uniquely positioned to provide an unmatched level of service. Whether you need to ship large shipments or pallets of goods quickly for upcoming events or to stock up your brick-and-mortar store, we offer a wide range of solutions that are designed to meet all your international shipping needs. With fast, reliable and convenient services that you can count on, we can get your shipment where it needs to go quickly and efficiently. Discover how we can help you boost your business and open an account with DHL Express today.