Guide to shipping footwear globally from Indonesia

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The footwear industry in Indonesia has gained worldwide recognition for its exceptional shoemaking expertise, fueled by a long history of craftsmanship and a skilled workforce. The country has become one of the leading footwear manufacturers in the world, with the export value of leather, finished leather and footwear reaching US$4.62 billion by June 2022 – a 41.26% increase from 2021, official figures indicate.

In this article, we'll explore the demand for Indonesia's shoemaking prowess, and tips for breaking into the global market with international shipping.

Indonesia's shoemaking expertise

The footwear industry in Indonesia is deeply rooted in its cultural heritage. The country's traditional crafts have been passed down through generations, and shoe manufacturing has been a significant part of the Indonesian industry for decades. The industry's growth is supported by the availability of high-quality raw materials, low production costs, and a skilled workforce.

Global demand for Indonesian footwear

The global demand for Indonesian footwear is strong, with key foreign markets being the United States, China, Japan, Belgium and Germany. The US is the largest importer of Indonesian footwear, accounting for approximately 33% of total exports, followed by China, with a 12% share. The demand for Indonesian footwear is driven by its competitive pricing, high quality, and unique designs.

Tips for breaking into the global market

For companies in Indonesia looking to ship shoes internationally, it's essential to have a thorough understanding of the global trade landscape. This includes understanding the regulations, customs requirements, and market demand of the target country. These are some best practices when courting the global market:

1. Utilise free trade agreements (FTAs)

Indonesia has signed several free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, including Japan, China, and Australia. These agreements can provide opportunities for Indonesian footwear exporters to access new markets by reducing or eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers. For instance, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) allows for duty-free access to the Australian market for Indonesian footwear products, among other items.

2. Consider brick-and-mortar vs. e-commerce

When expanding globally, companies should consider whether to sell their footwear products through brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce platforms. Brick-and-mortar stores can provide a physical presence in the target market, allowing customers to see and try on products before purchasing them. E-commerce businesses, on the other hand, can provide access to a wider audience with lower overhead costs. For example, companies can use online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay to reach global customers. 

3. Establish distribution networks

Putting a reliable distribution network in place is critical for the successful international shipping of shoes. Companies can work with local distributors or establish their own distribution channels to ensure that their products are readily available in the target market. Distributors can help with logistics, customs clearance, and local marketing efforts, among other things. Companies can also consider using third-party logistics providers to manage their transportation and warehousing needs.

4. Understand new markets

How to start shipping shoes to international markets? Understanding the target market first is essential. Companies must research consumer behaviour, preferences, and regulations to be sure that their products meet the market's demands and comply with local laws. This includes understanding the target market's size, demographics, income levels, and cultural norms. Companies should also be aware of any relevant regulations and certifications required to sell their products in the target market.

Tips for exporting footwear from Indonesia

Wondering what’s the best way to ship shoes overseas or how to ship shoes internationally without a box? We’ve got you covered with some valuable recommendations.

1. Understand restrictions

Exporters of footwear from Indonesia should research and understand the target market before shipping their products. This includes regulations on materials, labeling, and packaging. For example, some countries may have restrictions on certain materials used in footwear, such as animal products or specific chemicals. Exporters should also be aware of any labelling requirements, such as country of origin labelling, and verify that their packaging meets the target market's standards. 

2. Prepare shipping documents

Exporters of footwear from Indonesia must prepare several shipping documents, including commercial invoices, bills of lading, and packing lists. These documents provide critical information for customs and transportation providers and ensure that the shipment complies with relevant regulations. Exporters should also make sure that their documents are accurate and complete, as errors or omissions can cause delays or fines. 

3. Proper packaging

Proper packaging is essential for shipping shoes internationally. Exporters should ensure that their packaging is sturdy and can withstand the rigours of transportation. They should also use appropriate packaging materials, such as bubble wrap, to protect the shoes from damage during transit. Additionally, exporters should consider the weight and size of the package so that it meets the target market's shipping requirements and doesn't incur any additional costs.

4. Choose a dependable shipping provider

Choosing a dependable shipping provider is critical for successfully exporting shoes from Indonesia. Exporters should work with reputable shipping providers who have experience in international shipping and a proven track record of delivering packages on time and in good condition. It's also vital to choose a shipping provider who offers comprehensive tracking and insurance options to guarantee that packages are protected throughout the shipping process.

Efficient international shipping of footwear with DHL Express

The footwear industry in Indonesia has gained worldwide recognition for its shoemaking craftsmanship, with more and more people shopping online. For companies looking to leverage this interest by exporting shoes from Indonesia, it's essential to have a thorough understanding of international trade, regulations, and procedures. It’s also imperative to work with a trusted logistics partner to implement seamless international shipping — whether your customers are buying slippers, sneakers or boots, or a variety of men’s, women's and kids’ shoes online through your shop, their purchase will reach them expertly. 

At DHL Express, we understand the importance of reliable and timely shipping for the footwear industry. If you're a manufacturer looking to break into the global market or an online retailer shipping shoes internationally, we offer tailored solutions to meet your needs. With our global network and expertise in customs clearance, we can help you navigate shipping requirements and regulations. From documentation to delivery, we provide end-to-end support to ensure your shoes arrive safely and on time. Open a DHL Express business account to successfully export footwear to the global market via international shipping now.