Shipping locally manufactured products from Chinese factories is a popular practice for both American and Multi-national companies. The advantages are obvious and the most important one of them is the low price of the products and labor when compared to the American market. But there are also a series of problems that can appear when you are shipping from Chinese factories to America and we will focus on these potential issues in this article.
3 Major Hurdles
First of all, and maybe the most important difficulty is the language barrier that can appear when you negotiate with Chinese sellers. Chinese is not an easy language to master and even if some Chinese sellers know English it can still be a challenge to reach a common understanding. The differences between the two languages are so big, and the specific terms when it comes to certain products can be so problematic, that you will need a lot of patience. The best approach is to have a translator or a bilingual employee that you can lean on to translate any mixed language communications.
Another barrier is the cultural barrier, which involves both holidays and Chinese way of negotiating and doing business. You will learn fast that Chinese people cherish their work a lot and they know how to sell it at its best price. But they also cherish their free time so if you have any plans to order products for China you should check their holiday calendar beforehand so you will not be surprised by any delays.
This leads us to another common issue when you import products from China: time zones. China is on UTC+8 time zone, while America is on a time zone that varies between UTC-11 and UTC+10. This creates a big difference when you communicate with Chinese sellers and have a deadline of sealing the deal. You might need to make some sacrifices when it comes to your schedule in order to meet the Chinese schedule or the other way around so that the two parts involved in the business negotiation will have a communication that is as interactively as possible. The time zone will also influence the shipping process. Shipping by sea will take in average 30 days which is a significant amount of time. There are faster ways of shipping of course but they come at a high cost. It is important to calculate the shipping price and the value of the products to make sure that it is worth to do the business or not.
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When it comes to shipping from China to America, as a general rule, it is better to import more products at once. The costs will be better and the final price will be in your advantage. If you order 100 products from a Chinese factory, chances are you might get a big discount from them or even free shipping and all this will result in a cheaper price per product.