May 13, 2020

With Covid19 lockdown looming, TecEx’s proactive response overcomes the odds

BACKGROUND

As a specialist Importers of Record, TecEx works to facilitate the efficient, seamless distribution of technology worldwide, and to manage the risks usually associated with global shipping and distribution.

When a business needs to ship high-value technology across international borders, TecEx manages every element of the process, from licences and duties to freight and logistics.

To illustrate the complexities of the global distribution process – and to understand why it is so important to use a reliable Importer of Record with deep experience and detailed knowledge of the legislation, bureaucracy and logistics involved – it’s helpful to look at real-world examples.

The following case involved a new TecEx client. Although a major supplier of IT equipment, the client had no experience in global distribution.

Their huge distribution agreement was complicated by two major world events: Brexit and the global shutdown of borders due to Covid19 emergency measures.

Fortunately, TecEx was on hand to provide swift, effective management of an extraordinarily complex situation.

SHIPPING OFF

Our client had no previous experience shipping major consignments of technology. Usually, the client would instruct a business purchasing from them to arrange their own shipping. However, in this instance, the client had entered into an agreement to provide a massive consignment of data storage technology to a business that required them to manage and take responsibility for shipping and delivery.

Our client was required to ship the technology from its US offices to locations in Europe. The terms of the deal were Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). That means the supplier assumes all costs and risks of shipping and delivery. If something went wrong, our client could potentially be liable for severe losses.

TecEx was appointed Importer of Record: we would manage all the legal and bureaucratic elements of the shipping process, such as securing licences to import the goods, and making payments in local currencies (including relevant taxes). We would also manage the liaison with officials and distributors in each country, in the local language.

Because the end-to-end transportation process is so complex and time-sensitive, a delay at any point could jeopardise the whole shipment. TecEx’s careful planning is designed to ensure that costly delays don’t happen in the first place.

BREXIT BORDER BLUES

While we work hard to anticipate problems before they arise, there was a major factor in this job that was outside of our control.

Our client had already selected another company to manage the shipping of the freight. That makes the process more uncertain, because TecEx is not able to manage every element in the chain of delivery.

Unfortunately, our client’s chosen freight forwarder had not planned adequately for the transfer of goods from ship to port.

When the goods arrived at the port of entry, they were supposed to enter bond. That is, they were to be stored at a bonded warehouse until the required customs payments were to be made.

However, the freight company had not secured space at a bonded warehouse, as required. That would have been a problem at the best of times. In this instance, it was nearly disastrous.

Because Brexit was looming, the demand for storage in bond was extremely high. The freight forwarder was scrambling to find warehouse space, but there was none available.

When you recall that the business purchasing the equipment had specified very precise deadlines for delivery, the whole deal was in jeopardy. Our client faced a serious potential loss.

Fortunately for our client, the TecEx team on the ground leapt into action. Leveraging our local partners and rich network of contacts, TecEx was able to quickly secure a bonded warehouse and get the goods safely in storage within the deadline.

Our team also stepped in to make payments required to release the goods, which the freight company had refused to do.

Thanks to swift, proactive action from TecEx, we were able to quickly resolve a sequence of issues caused by the freight company that could potentially have derailed the entire delivery.

At this point, our client asked us to take full control of all shipments, and we were able to manage seamless delivery of further shipments of equipment.

LOCKDOWN SCRAMBLE

If the story ended there, it would have been business as usual for TecEx: a complex cross-border shipment, seamlessly performed through careful planning and the proactive involvement of our global teams.

However, a few weeks after the final shipment of equipment, our client approached us to manage a new order. The timing created an unforeseen complication: it was now the middle of March 2020. Our client had to make a multimillion-dollar delivery of equipment by the end of the month. But with concern about the Covid19 pandemic growing, the US had grounded passenger flights to Europe.

Covid19 lockdown conditions also meant transport equipment between US cities, in preparation for transport to Europe, had become more difficult. Furthermore, as passenger flights had been stopped, space now needed to be secured on courier flights.

On the other side of the Atlantic, lockdowns were also scheduled to begin, with European states due to close their borders. That meant there was suddenly an extremely tight time limit on getting the goods both to the final destination and through European transit hubs.

TecEx’s team in the US very rapidly managed to secure courier flights for the goods (a massive shipment across several flights) according to the delivery dates specified by the end-user, through multiple European transit hubs.

In the end, we were able to ensure that all goods were delivered exactly where they were supposed to go, when they needed to get there.

The successful result was only possible because of TecEx’s expertise, our worldwide network, and our careful planning over multiple routes and jurisdictions. No less importantly, it was a triumph of communication.

We were in constant contact with every link in the logistical chain. We would push couriers as needed and liaise with the end-user to ensure smooth delivery. Equally importantly, we kept in constant communication with our client, keeping them informed of every movement and development.

With extreme deadlines and nearly zero margin for error, the ability both to plan carefully and to adapt as conditions on the ground changed proved invaluable.

Ultimately, this case exemplifies the core TexEc value: building relationships. Beyond our expertise, what sets us apart is our commitment to working tirelessly on behalf of our clients, to ensure their goals are successfully met. Whatever the world throws at us.

Notes to the Editor
TecEx is a facilitator of the building of international IT infrastructure on behalf of value-added resellers, global MNCs and blue-chip IT brands. TecEx achieves this by acting as an Importer of Record, handling all compliance issues and providing all required local support, focused on tech hardware.