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Shipping sports equipment from Pakistan

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As the world increasingly leans towards a health-conscious mindset, the global demand for sports equipment is surging. According to a report by Straits Research, the global sports equipment market size is expected to reach US$611.27 billion by 2031, expanding at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. 

This upsurge is driven by people worldwide becoming more aware of the health benefits of regular exercise and the role of quality sports gear in enhancing their fitness routines. For businesses in Pakistan, this global trend presents a promising opportunity to export sports goods to the international market, especially given the country's capacity to produce high-quality sports equipment.

Popular sports equipment for export

In 2021, Pakistan solidified its position as a significant player in the global sports equipment market, ranking as the 20th largest exporter in this category, with exports worth US$304 million, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). 

Pakistan's reputation in this industry is anchored in its exceptional craftsmanship and quality, attributes that are internationally recognised. Sialkot, in particular, has garnered international recognition for its superior sports goods, as highlighted in reports by the Financial Times. A notable mention is Forward Sports, a company that has been at the forefront of sports equipment manufacturing in collaboration with global giant Adidas for nearly two decades. It produces the Al Rihla, the official ball for the FIFA World Cup, featured in training fields in Qatar and sold as replicas to fans globally. With an impressive production capacity of about 15 million footballs a year, the company has maintained Adidas as a loyal customer since the 1990s.

This exemplifies the potential and global reach of Pakistan's sports equipment sector, offering a glimpse into the opportunities that Pakistani businesses can tap into with the right strategy, quality assurance, and international partnerships.

Packing and shipping sports equipment

Proper packing is paramount when shipping various sports equipment, from electric bikes and golf clubs to boxing gloves and gym equipment, as it ensures each item reaches its destination in pristine condition.

Choosing the right packaging

Selecting appropriate packaging is paramount when shipping sports equipment, as the integrity of the items relies heavily on their protection during transit. Standard packaging may suffice for non-fragile items like soccer balls or certain types of sports gear, but more delicate equipment, such as golf clubs, exercise machines, or a vaulting pole, necessitates additional protective measures.

Non-fragile items: Standard packing protocol

Select materials that are high-quality and robust, ensuring they are durable enough to withstand the rigours of handling, weight pressure, and potential impacts.

  • Box selection: Utilise strong, corrugated boxes to withstand common shipping strains.
  • Fit and fill: Arrange items snugly; fill extra space with eco-friendly packing materials or paper to prevent in-box movement.
  • Sealing: Use high-quality packing tape, reinforcing box edges and corners for enhanced durability.

Fragile items: Advanced packing techniques

When it comes to shipping sports equipment, the safety of the items is paramount, especially for delicate or high-value items, like boxing equipment or fishing gear. To prevent any damage during the often rigorous shipping process, enhance packaging when shipping fragile items overseas by using advanced packing techniques.

  • Individual wrapping: Encase each item separately in bubble wrap, ensuring complete coverage and securing with packing tape.
  • Internal cushioning: Employ protective fillers like styrofoam insets, packing peanuts, or crumpled paper to restrict movement and provide shock absorption.
  • Custom protection for unique items: Implement corner protectors or custom inserts for irregularly shaped items or those with sharp edges.
  • Double boxing for extra security: Place the initial box within a larger one, adding protective materials between the two for added cushioning.
  • Sealing and labelling: Seal boxes securely with heavy-duty tape and affix clear handling instructions (e.g., "Fragile," "Handle with Care").

By categorising the packing strategies based on the fragility of the items, the process becomes more organised, making it easier for businesses to follow the protocols that apply to the specific types of sports equipment they're shipping. This structured approach not only ensures the safety of the items during transit but also bolsters customer confidence in the care and quality assurance provided by the business.

Tips on shipping sports equipment internationally

1. Calculate customs taxes and duties

The customs value should include the cost of the sports equipment, insurance, freight, and any additional expenses incurred until the goods arrive at the destination port. This comprehensive valuation ensures the accurate calculation of duties and taxes.

In tandem with this, the application of Harmonised System (HS) codes — internationally standardised product classifications — is indispensable. Correctly identifying and applying these codes to your sports equipment is crucial as they dictate the applicable customs duties and any trade restrictions. Misclassification under the wrong HS code can lead to incorrect duty payments – either overpayment or underpayment – and potentially trigger customs audits or legal issues.

2. Prepare export documents

Assemble all required documents, such as commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, and export licences, ensuring they are filled out completely and accurately. Depending on the destination and the type of sports equipment, additional documentation (e.g., health and safety certificates, product compliance documents) may be required. Research and procure these documents well in advance of the shipment.

Provide explicit, detailed descriptions of each sports equipment item in the shipment. Vague or generic terminology can cause confusion and suspicion, leading to unnecessary delays during the customs clearance process.

3. Partner with a reliable international logistics partner

When scaling your small business for a global audience, partnering with a reputable logistics provider is perhaps the most critical aspect. A reliable partner like DHL Express not only ensures your products are delivered on time and in perfect condition but also assists with customs clearance, providing an end-to-end service.

With its global network and expertise, we can help Pakistani businesses navigate the complexities of overseas exports. They offer assistance at every step of the shipping process, ensuring your sports equipment reaches its international destination efficiently. This partnership is not just about shipping; it's about leveraging DHL Express' infrastructure, expertise, and global reach to expand your business horizons. Embark on this experience with a business account with us.