Importing goods to South Africa can be a great strategy for small businesses, whether you’re importing for Takealot or for your Shopify store. In this article, we’ll go over some tips, tricks, and strategies for importing goods to South Africa, with a focus on air freight. We’ll cover the two types of importing, air and sea freight, as well as a new company called Airpool that offers an affordable shipping consolidation service for small businesses.
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Types of Importing: Air and Sea Freight
When it comes to importing goods to South Africa, there are two types of importing: air freight and sea freight. Sea freight involves shipping goods on a boat, which is generally for bigger consignments that are more expensive in terms of volume. Sea freight is slower but much cheaper. On the other hand, air freight is for smaller consignments that are more valuable in terms of the value of the goods, not necessarily the quantity. Air freight is much quicker than sea freight but much more expensive.
For small businesses, air freight is generally the better option. You might want to get your hands on those goods faster, even at the price of a smaller margin. Some popular air freight companies in South Africa include FedEx, DHL, and Aramex. However, there’s a new company on the block called Airpool, which is a South African-based consolidation service that focuses on air freight to South Africa.
Airpool is a consolidation service that offers an affordable service for small businesses and entrepreneurs that don’t necessarily have the start-up capital to buy in bulk or do sea freight. One of the big advantages of using Airpool is that you won’t need an import license, which is a huge barrier for people in South Africa. April acts as the importer and exporter of record, so you won’t need any of the formal licenses that you would need as an importer.
To use Airpool, you’ll start off by negotiating with your supplier in China. You’ll need to get the weights, dimensions, invoice, HS code, packing list, value of the goods, and description of the goods. You’ll put all of this information into Airpool’s online quote generator, which will generate all of the costs for shipping as well as taxes and duties.
Once you’re happy with the price, you’ll accept the quote, and Airpool will generate a label. You’ll send the label to your supplier, and they’ll stick it on the box. Then, you’ll send the parcel to a warehouse in China. If you have just one parcel, you’ll let Airpool know that you’re ready to send that good to South Africa. If you have multiple parcels, Airpool is perfect for you. You can decide to split your shipment into two different consolidations or hold back some of the packages and send everything on one console.