Import-export consultant: What they do and when you need them

Import Export Consultant: What they do and when you need them

In an increasingly interconnected and globalized world, companies need to expand their operations internationally to maximize profits beyond their home country. However, this field is full of difficulties that cannot always be anticipated if you don't know enough about the subject. That's where import-export consultants come in. In this article, discover the missions, services, and benefits provided by these experts, who are not always well known to the public but are indeed indispensable.

What is an import-export consultant? 

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it's essential to understand the role of an import-export consultant. Essentially, an import-export consultant offers advice and support to companies engaged in international trade. These services include:

They help companies navigate the complexities of global trade regulations, customs protocols, and logistical challenges. Working with an experienced international trade consultant enables companies to streamline their import-export activities, reduce expenses, and avoid potential pitfalls.

DocShipper : Did you know ? DocShipper is a freight forwarding company that offers support from A to Z, from finding a supplier to customs clearance, freight forwarding, and even quality control. DocShipper helps companies and individuals to ship goods worldwide. Contact us via WhatsApp for more information or by asking for a free quote ready in less than 24 hours.

What services does an import export consultant offer? 

Import-export consultants typically assist businesses in various aspects of international trade, including:

  • Market Research: These professionals analyze global markets to identify potential opportunities for import and/or export based on factors such as demand, competition, regulations, and cultural considerations. Afterward, they create an international business strategy as a consequence.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Import-export consultants help businesses understand and comply with the extensive regulations governing international trade, including customs procedures, tariffs, import/export licenses, and trade agreements.
  • Documentation: These consultants assist with preparing and managing the required documentation for shipping goods across borders, including invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, and customs declarations.
  • Logistics and Transportation: They advise on the most efficient and cost-effective methods of transporting goods internationally, including selecting carriers, arranging shipping routes, and managing logistics operations.
  • Supply Chain Management: These experts help optimize supply chain processes to ensure smooth and timely movement of goods from suppliers to customers, minimizing costs and risks.
  • Risk Management: They assess and mitigate the risks associated with international trade, such as currency fluctuations, political instability, regulatory changes, and transportation delays.
  • Trade Finance: Import-export consultants assist businesses in obtaining financing and managing payment methods for international transactions, including letters of credit, trade credit insurance, and export financing programs.

DocShipper advice: Did you know that our network of specialists enables us to offer you a quote that's 17% cheaper on average than the competition? So contact us via WhatsApp if you want to save even more!

Benefits of an import-export consultant in freight forwarding 

As we can see, these specialists act like secret weapons for businesses. They bring a ton of know-how to the table, making international trade less of a headache. Now, let’s see how these consultants make life easier for businesses in the freight forwarding game.

  1. Offers the latest industry know-how 

In the shipping world, knowing what's what is super important. However, rules for imports and exports can sometimes fluctuate. Different parts of the supply chain, like customs brokers, have their own rules too. For instance, some carriers may require specific documentation for high-value items, or there might be updated guidelines for handling specialized equipment. A consultant ensures you're well-informed about these changes, helping you avoid penalties and adhere to regulations, regardless of the type of goods you're shipping.

  1. Helps your business grow  

With better knowledge, a more reliable service, and less risk, growing your business becomes easier. A consultant can boost your confidence in understanding the rules and help your team learn too. And as you get better at one type of shipping, you might feel confident enough to try new things.

  1. Saves you time 

Most business owners wish they had more time to focus on growing their business. Well, with a consultant taking care of the tricky transport and customs stuff, you'll have more time to do just that. They'll explain things in a way that's easy to understand, so your whole team can work better and faster. Whether you're dealing with road or sea transport, you'll have all the info you need.

  1. Keeps things consistent 

Everyone in your business must follow the same rules and procedures. But with so many rules and changes, that can be tough. A consultant can provide training for your team to make sure everyone's on the same page.

  1. Helps you save money 

Running a business involves lots of costs, especially for small ones. But having a consultant can help keep those costs down. First off, you'll be way less likely to get fined for mistakes if you follow their advice. Plus, they'll help you find the best ways to move your stuff, the right contracts, and how to deal with customs. For example, an import-export consultant can help you optimize packaging costs, ensuring you don't spend more than necessary due to inexperience. This kind of optimization, which might seem like a minor detail, can significantly reduce expenses and improve overall efficiency.

DocShipper Advice: Looking for shipping guidance? Reach out to our specialists via WhatsApp at DocShipper now and discover how we can assist your business in preparing for cross-border shipping.

How to find and choose an import export consultant?

Okay, we have learned all of this, but how to find the right one?

First of all, figure out what you need help with ‚ÄĒlike understanding rules for importing and exporting a specific product, or maybe doing market research. Once you know that, start looking for consultants online, maybe on LinkedIn or other websites where professionals can be found. Prioritize consultants with demonstrable experience in international trade and accreditations such as the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) or the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP).

Additionally, look for¬†client testimonials and reviews to judge the consultant's reputation and track record. Once you've found a few candidates, chat with them to see if you get along well and assess the consultant's knowledge, communication skills, and alignment with your business objectives. And don't forget to ask about how much they charge and what exactly they will do for you. It's like checking out a new restaurant ‚ÄĒ you want to know if it's worth it before you order.

Also, consider consultants who possess cultural and linguistic backgrounds pertinent to your target markets. The ability to navigate diverse cultural landscapes and communicate effectively in various languages can significantly enhance business endeavors on the global stage.

Last but not least, rely on your intuition in making the final selection. Choose a consultant who not only possesses the requisite expertise but also resonates with the ethos and aspirations of your enterprise.

Follow these steps, and you'll find a great import-export consultant to help your business grow internationally.

DocShipper info : DocShipper is not just a freight forwarder. We are also import-export consultants. We'll assist you in streamlining your import-export processes while respecting your needs. To receive a quote in less than 24 hours or to ask us your questions, please fill out the following form.

Importing and exporting in China: Rules, Regulations, and Procedures

If you still doubt the necessity of an Import-export consultant, let’s take the example of importing and exporting in China.

As you know, China is the world's largest exporter and the second-largest importer of goods. It offers a vast market for foreign businesses, as well as a significant source of products and materials. However, doing business in China can also be challenging, as it involves different legal, cultural, and logistical aspects.

To do so, there are several steps, including:

1. Finding a supplier: There are several ways to find and contact potential suppliers in China, such as online platforms like Alibaba and directories, trade shows and exhibitions, personal referrals and word-of-mouth, trade associations, and chambers of commerce.

2. Examine the product: Although pricing matters, it's equally important to maintain product quality at a level that allows you to stand behind your product with confidence. This is why a product inspection must be carried out systematically.

DocShipper Advice: From supplier identification and verification to product sourcing, quality control, and logistics, Docshipper provides end-to-end support to simplify the sourcing process and ensure a successful business partnership. Contact us via WhatsApp to know more about how we can help you, or ask for a free quote today.

  1. Being able to assimilate the Chinese culture and immerse in the commercial habits and customs: In the import-export game, especially in China, blending in with the culture is key. It's not just about speaking the language, it's about getting how things work, the customs, the way business is done, the whole process. Knowing how to do business there is crucial and can help prevent misunderstandings.
  2. Negotiating effectively: The next step in importing or exporting from China is negotiating and securing favorable terms with your suppliers. This can help protect your interests and rights, ensuring a smooth and successful import/export operation.
  3. Understanding import/export regulations and customs procedures: Another essential step in importing or exporting from China is understanding and complying with the import/export regulations and customs procedures of both China and your home country, as well as any international agreements or treaties that apply to your import/export activities.

In short, several quite complex steps require in-depth knowledge, especially when it comes to import/export regulations and customs procedures, which can be too complicated. These steps are significantly facilitated by having an import-export consultant.

DocShipper is a procurement company based in Hong Kong. We help small businesses and individuals, Asian suppliers, and manufacturers. We also control the quality of the goods, and we ensure conformity to the standards of the country you are importing to. Request a free quote today.


Overall, the necessity for import-export consultants arises from their role as essential allies in navigating the complexities of global trade. These professionals offer personalized guidance and insights that surpass basic services, providing ongoing assistance to adapt to market changes, overcome obstacles, and seize opportunities.

With their expertise in international trade dynamics and regulations, import-export consultants become indispensable partners in devising and executing effective strategies for global expansion. Their function extends beyond mere logistical management, they serve as trusted advisors, aiding businesses in making informed decisions and optimizing operations for enduring success in the global arena.

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process, so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product?¬†Enjoy our¬†sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier?¬†Ask our experts to do¬†quality control¬†to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics?¬†Our¬†international freight department¬†supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution?¬†Our¬†3PL department¬†will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


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