SMEs: Levelling Up Your Global Logistics Strategy

SMEs: Levelling Up Your Global Logistics Strategy

SC Chong,
Managing Director
FedEx Express Malaysia

SME Association of Malaysia in collaboration with FedEx Express Malaysia recently conducted a joint survey titled “Towards a Better Logistics Industry that Supports your Business” amongst Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The findings of the survey point towards a sense of cautious optimism in doing business, due to factors such as intense competition in the e-commerce marketplace, economic environment, and various government regulations and restrictions being introduced.

Out of a total of 383 Malaysian SMEs that had participated, 58% or 222 respondents stated that they are looking to expand their business presence. The target regions for their expansion plans, aside from within Malaysia, were concentrated in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region – predominantly the Southeast Asia and East Asian markets, especially China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

For SMEs looking to expand overseas, it is pertinent for them to ensure they have a competent cross-border logistics strategy, in terms of network coverage as well as ease of end-to-end connectivity, in order to stay ahead of the competition. A seamless logistics strategy is KEY – especially the accuracy of information flow throughout the logistics process. Touchpoints in the cross-border logistics journey that have the potential to hold up the process are mitigated by, for instance, allowing customs clearance to be performed in advance.

SMEs face several pain points and would need to strategically navigate their logistics strategies to mitigate the same, doing so at every stage of the supply chain – from purchase checkout on an e-commerce platform right up to delivery.

1. Streamlining your customers’ shipping journey

For many e-commerce retailers and customers, shipping is no small task. Businesses with high-volume shipments will most definitely use multiple shipping tools to help ease the process. However, when these tools are not inter-connected, such a scenario can cost the shipper money, time and loss of efficiency.

With the FedEx Compatible plug-in program, e-commerce merchants can now integrate their business tools they use every day, including third-party software, into a single system. It also allows them to connect to any e-commerce platform through their technology partners and aggregate orders from multiple selling channels into a single dashboard, all whilst managing their orders from a single place. FedEx currently has more than 20 such Compatible associates across APAC, all with different features and functionalities to fulfill the needs of e-commerce merchants.

2. Simplification of documentation for efficient customs clearance

One of the biggest hassles of international shipping is ensuring one submits the necessary documentation required for customs clearance. Inaccuracies in documentation can lead to delays and unnecessary cost, especially if the shipment is already in the destination country.

This is where FedEx Global Trade Manager, an Internet-based set of tools, assists SMEs in the process of identifying the documents required to ship to and from specific countries. It enables customers to navigate various government regulations by giving them access to an estimate of the duties and taxes at the destination countries, information on the documentation needed, access to regulatory information, shipping advisories, as well as a search function for harmonized codes.

Functioning in tandem with this is FedEx’s Electronic Trade Documents tool, which allows shippers to submit their customs documentation electronically. All the necessary information is then uploaded into the FedEx system and made accessible at the shipment destination, saving valuable time needed for customs clearance.

3. Prompt, accurate last-mile delivery is key

After the shipment reaches its destination country, last-mile delivery becomes the focus. Issues can arise in various scenarios such as if the receiving party is not home, if someone unauthorized accepts the package without the receiver’s knowledge, or if the shipment is misdelivered.

The FedEx Delivery Manager International tool grants the shipper and receiver control over the delivery process. Through this tool, they are able to track the package, wherever it may be in the journey from shipper to receiver. As for convenience, the receiving party may request that they pick up the shipment from a specific location, or redirect the shipment to another nearby location where it is more convenient for them to pick it up.

FedEx Delivery Manager International further adds functionality by notifying recipients of pending deliveries via email or SMS text message, and allows one to customize when and where they want their shipment delivered.

4. Speedy deliveries to select regions

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping continues to be on the rise and shows no sign of abating. Speedy delivery is key for many SMEs. The FedEx International Connect Plus (FICP) supports e-commerce retailers by ensuring shipments will be delivered within 1 to 5 business days within the Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa (AMEA) regions. With FICP, online retailers can quickly dispatch their orders and be assured it will reach the customer in the given time frame. The FICP e-commerce tool also comes with FedEx’s customs clearance expertise, and is supported by FedEx Delivery Manager International which ensures receivers are sent notifications and have the flexibility to change delivery options.

Having a reliable logistics service provider on board will help SMEs to navigate the coming post-pandemic world. It is vital for SMEs to formulate an efficient and effective logistical strategy for their business so as to increase the efficiency of their product deliveries. This is especially critical for SMEs that are focusing on expanding their international market reach.

To find out more about the FedEx Alliance Program and its member privileges, please log on to:

Watch the ‘Level Up Your Global Logistics Strategy’ webinar here: