U.S. market should remain hot for the 2018 holiday season.

By Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Despite the current trade and political firestorm, the U.S. market remains the place to be for the remainder of 2018, and into 2019. Hopefully, you put your marketing plans in place earlier this year, and your samples have already been distributed, and your containers are already on the water. For some sectors (e.g., fashion), you may have already missed much of the market – but many niche opportunities still remain. For many other sectors there is still time. However, one caveat – transportation and distribution costs are steadily increasing, so please review your pricing. For most mid to high-end U.S. markets, price is not the driving factor as it may be elsewhere in the world. Rather, buyers want to be assured of availability, quality, delivery and after-sale service. Don’t be afraid to price aggressively and charge for “freight and handling”.\

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Surrey Board of Trade – International Trade Awards and Business Expo

Please visit our exhibit booth at the following event:

Surrey International Trade Awards

When: Thursday, September 13, 2018 – 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Surrey, BC – Civic Hotel
Cost: FREE
Info: Surrey Board of Trade

SBOT_Inter_TradeAward_LogoJoin us in recognizing and celebrating recipients of the 10th Surrey International Trade Awards. Winners will be presented at a celebratory networking reception. Awards will be presented in “Small Business” and “Large Business” categories. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres, make new business contacts, mingle with government representatives and consuls general, and celebrate the achievements of Surrey’s finest importers and exporters. The event will feature speaker presentations and an International Trade Show.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Reflections on Staff Training

By Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

For some years I have always been amused when business advertisers brag that their staff are “highly trained” professionals. However, now that the marijuana business is being legalized across North America, I can see at least some validity to the phrase. Here’s hoping that the remainder of your summer is highly enjoyable.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Are You Ready for the 2018 Peak Holiday Selling Season?

Are you ready for the 2018 peak holiday selling season?

Many companies will be receiving their fall stock during the next two summer months in preparation of their peak holiday selling season. Whether you are selling direct to consumers, or supplying retailers or wholesalers, you should be getting your plans in place.

E-Commerce

The U.S. economy is booming and consumer confidence is high. The “Loonie” is still relatively weak against the U.S. dollar, so the USA should probably be a primary target. However, it’s not all gravy – competition will be more fierce than ever, and shipping costs may be higher, especially since UPS announced “surge pricing”, or what it calls a “peak shipping charge”. This will affect package shipping charges for the peak periods November 19th to December 2nd and December 17th to December 23rd.

There has never been a better or more exciting time to broaden your market to take advantage of the newest trends in marketing and logistics.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Who Are Specialized 3PL Providers?

Who Are Specialized 3PL (Third Party Logistics) Partners?

First, what does 3PL mean? 3PL stands for third party logistics and is a company that provides B2C (business to consumer) and/or B2B (business to business) inbound/outbound product handling, storage and freight forwarding services. For example a 3PL partner can receive overseas bulk orders, empty the shipping containers and ‘cross-dock’ the products for either storage or forwarding. On their clients’ behalf, 3PLs will hold product in their warehouse (storage), or pick-and-pack orders (fulfillment), arrange delivery (freight management) and then inevitably also accept returns/repairs (order returns). Outsourcing logistics services with a reliable 3PL partner can significantly reduce overhead costs particularly in areas of inventory, freight and human resource management.

How does a ‘specialized 3PL’ differ from the Amazon’s of the world?

Quite simply they know their niche. A ‘niche 3PL provider’ can be determined by a company’s ‘geographical market’, their limited ‘service offerings’ and/or that they serve a ‘specific industry’.  A company the size of Amazon by comparison is filling orders in bulk with little to no special shipping/handling options and they’re doing it as fast as possible. Where large scale order fulfillment companies are focused on volume, specialty 3PLs are focused on high performance, quality customer service and client success. Further, 3PL specialists often offer critical marketing, pricing or business consulting which is critical to breaking into new markets and staying competitive.

At UCanTrade, Inc. we consider ourselves a specialized 3PL (Third Party Logistics) provider. Our niche is Canada/USA cross-border business. We exist to serve Canadian importers/exporters and proudly provide them with an array of ‘hands-on’ business and logistics services.

Our clients – most of whom are situated within a 100 mile radius of the Blaine, WA – Surrey, BC Peace Arch Border crossing, leverage our 30 plus years of cross-border experience and professional relationships to facilitate their business expansion into a lucrative, yet massive U.S. market. (Related article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA). From our 60,000 sq. ft. facilities, located off Interstate 5 between Blaine and Bellingham, WA, our clients are encouraged to think ‘domestically’ and consider our facilities merely as an extension of their own head-office ‘stretched’ across the border.

As logistics specialists, our team of professionals operate at a high level, navigating our long standing ‘systems and processes’ with expertise and accuracy. Our size and experience allow us to be responsive and flexible to satisfy our clients’ needs quickly and efficiently.

Even within the current Canada/USA political climate and amidst NAFTA uncertainty (Related article: Status of NAFTA Negotiations) the historically favorable exchange rate between the US dollar and the Canadian ‘Loonie’ translates to most Canadian companies earning up to 23% more on their U.S. sales. (Related article: The Loonie – A Hindrance or An Opportunity?)

UCanTrade B.C. New Exporters Tour

Surrey Board of Trade’s ‘New Exporters Tour’ at UCanTrade, Inc. – Spring 2018

We are cross-border specialists. Whether you’re selling high-tech medical devices, delicate works of art, trade show booth materials in ‘clam-shells’ or heavy parking meters, we can help. Learn more about UCanTrade, Inc. at our website www.UCanTrade.com  and/ or to stay current on upcoming BC/WA trade news and cross-border events, subscribe to our monthly TradeTips newsletter.

We love visitors at UCanTrade. Please be our guest and drop in for a tour! We are located at: 1465 Slater Rd, Ferndale, WA (driving directions). Open Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

(source)

Status of NAFTA Negotiations

By Jim Pettinger

Many smaller companies currently selling (or thinking of selling) cross-border ask, “What should I think about the NAFTA negotiations?”. My short answer is, “business as usual”.

Obviously, there is no definite answer, but using common sense and parsing the rhetoric leads me to these conclusions: (1) Serious negotiations are continuing in good faith; (2) All three countries want a deal, sooner rather than later; and (3) Canada may be in a stronger position than Mexico because, if NAFTA was actually cancelled, the USA and Canada would automatically revert back to the original 1988 bi-lateral Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (with, of course, continuing negotiations).

Bottom line: Current economic and foreign exchange conditions are much too favorable for a company to sit on the fence waiting for governments to provide them with a safe solution

Hands Across the Border

For decades ‘Hands Across The Border’ has brought together America’s and Canada’s young and young at heart in recognition of the peaceful camaraderie shared between our nations. We walk and gather together under and around the majestic Peace Arch Monument in Blaine, WA – “brethren dwelling together in unity!”

SAVE THE DATE – 2018’s celebration will be held on Sunday, June 10th in Surrey, B.C. / Blaine, WA at the Peace Arch Park!

Hands Across the Border 2017 from Joey Winkler on Vimeo.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

New, Lower U.S. Corp Tax Rate Attracts Canadian Business Expansion/Investment

By: Jim Pettinger, President at UCanTrade,Inc.

Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs already have many good reasons to look south for more sales and profits – larger market, wealthier prospects, faster purchasing decisions, favorable exchange rate, favorable cost of housing, strong U.S. economy, tepid Canadian economy, and more and more left-leaning government policy. Now there is another incentive, particularly for those that wish to incorporate or purchase a U.S.-based business. As of January 1, 2018, the maximum U.S. corporate tax rate has been lowered from 35% to 21%. This is not all gravy – there are some offsets – but the potential long term benefit to business owners is significant. Highlights can be found in this Salesforce blog.

According to Darrel Degelman, business advisor at Chinook Mergers, Acquisitions and Business Brokerage, “Many free-enterprise Canadians are strongly considering the benefits of owning and operating a U.S.-based company. For some, this could include cashing in the equity in their home, whereby they might be able to use the cash to fund both the purchase of a business and an equivalent or better new home.”

Greg Boos, immigration attorney at Cascadia Cross-Border Law concurs: “We are increasingly helping Canadians obtain working visas, green cards, and ultimately, dual-citizenship for new business owners and their families. Some begin by simply commuting to their new business in nearby Whatcom County before deciding on anything more permanent.”

This more nearby opportunity is amplified by Tom Dorr, a Bellingham business consultant: “In my twenty-plus years working with small business owners and entrepreneurs, there has never been a more optimistic local business attitude than we are currently experiencing. We are seeing many businesses expanding and hiring more employees at higher wages.”

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Ready, Fire, Aim

By: Jim Pettinger

Many Canadian entrepreneurs (including your writer) have used this strategy to enter the U.S. market from Canada. While this formula can work, pre-planning always makes sense. That’s why this newsletter attempts to provide information about resources and upcoming events to provide help before preventable, time-delaying and costly issues can occur. In particular, we are proud to once again present our “Doing Business in the USA” seminar in Surrey on Tuesday, May 18th. Please see the listing below for details. 

dbusa logoWhen:  Tuesday, May 15, 2018 – 8:00 am to noon
Where: Surrey, BC – Civic Hotel
Cost:  $75.00
Info:  Doing Business in the USA

Join us on May 15th for a fast-paced guide to expanding your sales into the United States. Whether opening a virtual store front with a U.S. address or partnering with a distribution center for your eCommerce activity, our seasoned cross-border lawyers, accountants, customs brokers and logistics professionals will present options that will help you determine your export strategy and understand your responsibilities with government agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Shopify – A Canadian success story

By: Jim Pettinger

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is also the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. It was founded by two Canadian entrepreneurs who wanted to set up an e-commerce website, but couldn’t find a decent platform. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the company reports that it has more than 500,000 merchants using its platform, with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $45 billion. The company’s remarkable success was profiled by Fortune magazine in 2017.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade