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Tips for New Traders 

Wondering how to export from Britain? If you’re a manufacturer and looking to take your business,  brand and products global, find out your best route to new international markets with some of our tips for exporters and importers.

At Wallis Shipping our expert staff have put together a handy little guide to help you with the main aspects to consider and ask when looking to start exporting or importing....



  • Transport – each method will have a different price: sea, road, courier or airfreight. Which is best for your goods/time scales? Large and heavy cargo may need a 20’ or 40’ container. Ask us for a quote for each.

  • What is your ability to load containers/trailers at your premises? Do you have or need a forklift and packing equipment?

  • If you are shipping a container, international marine law now requires shipping lines to know the Verified Gross Mass weight of each container on a vessel. You either need to be certified to weigh the container yourself at your premises or you will need the container weighed at the port. We can arrange this for you.

  • Research export licence requirements or Dangerous Goods restrictions – or ask us at Wallis if you need to consider these for your destination country.

  • Research documentation requirements for destination. What has to be done in advance of loading goods?

  • What is your client’s ability in terms of unloading cargo once it arrives? And do they need one of our overseas agents to help them at their end? We can refer them to one of our worldwide partners. Remember: for full load containers you or your client will need to break the seal upon delivery to access the container.



  • Agree terms of shipment with your client using Incoterms – these decide between you and your client who clearly pays for what charge and how long they have to pay. This may need a contract agreement to confirm.

  • Which currency and method of payment does your client use and how can you plan to mitigate any risks involved in selling with this currency?

  • If you can’t store, pack or load your goods yourself find out what warehousing, packing and loading charges you will need to pay. We can help you organise all of these.

  • Check with us when you will have to pay the transport costs.

  • Where you are shipping in the world could affect additional surcharges including war or terrorism risk, so be prepared for these extras.

  • Consider customs clearance expenses both in the UK and at destination.

  • Consider Duty/VAT costs at destination - What is the destination’s local tax that we call VAT? What documents can be prepared to reduce the Duty your client will have to pay?

  • Do you need to pay for shipping insurance to protect your goods against loss or damage in transit? Have you got it already in a company open policy - check with your Finance Department (you don't want to pay twice!)


  • Research and target one market at a time. Prioritise countries that have a demand for your product and are suitable, but also look at potential competitors already trading in that market. Currency, geographical location and language may make some markets more suitable than others to begin with.

  • Research and understand the cultural differences in your target market. Failure to do this could mean a costly mistake. Begin by looking into different business etiquettes, what is appropriate? Could your logo offend or mean something else internationally? For example, colours evoke different meanings and feelings around the world – red is lucky in China but what does it mean in other markets?

  • Research linguistic differences. Translations are important: is it law that you operate in the local language? Will you need a translator?

  • Research your trading name - can you use it in its current format? What does it mean locally? And is someone else using it in that country? Check the market’s attitude to copyright, design rights and trademarks.

  • Are there any potential partners who you could work with? We can put you in touch with our overseas agents, who may be able to put you in touch with others in your market and can give you real insight into business in your target country.

  • Explore UKTI’s Exporting Is Great new markets section and sign up to their sector-specific new opportunity alerts. You can also find these daily on Twitter with the hashtag #ExportingIsGreat. They also hold regular events and webinars on target markets so you can ask questions and network with others who have traded in the same country.

Take advantage of free assistance available:

  • From your local Chamber of Commerce.

  • From the Department for Business and International Trade

  • From your bank and trade finance providers.

  • From The Intellectual Property Office - check all designs, trademarks and domain names are registered and secure before taking your products and brand overseas.

  • From us at Wallis Shipping. Call us on 01206 751133 for freight forwarding and logistics advice. We can also offer bespoke logistics training and consultancy at your premises.

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