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28 July 2017, Sydney Morning Herald / The Age.

A major Australian logistics company has warned that importers often mistakenly believe that their overseas suppliers can handle the task of delivering their goods more efficiently than if the importers themselves took control by partnering with a local specialist.

“I can understand them thinking that way, but they’re wrong,” says Christian Harders, managing director of Henning Harders, an Australian family company who has provided international supply chain solutions for the past 30 years.

“Hassle free importing begins when you take control of your own destiny by choosing a partner that specialises in the logistics of transport to Australia and on the supply chain that you require, rather than one that suits an entity overseas. We look at it from our clients’ perspective, then handle every little facet from choosing the most reliable shipping line to Australia and booking the right trucking company through to food import inspection programs and a host of other logistic aspects. That includes arranging mode of transport, choice of carrier, collection of cargo, insurance, customs and quarantine clearance, delivery of goods and storage options.”

The logistics expert says Henning Harders has an intimate knowledge of Australian systems and regulations that overseas transport companies don’t have, so that potential pitfalls can be avoided and efficiencies maximised.

“For example, Australian Border Force importation processes can be rigorous. That’s where we offer another important advantage,” he says.

“Australian Border Force has accredited us as a ‘Trusted Trader’ in recognition of our secure supply chains and compliant trade practices”. Australian Trusted Traders have access to a range of advantages, including priority services and mutual recognition arrangements.

“Many importers inadvertently leave control of transport logistics to their overseas suppliers thinking they are bigger entities that can deliver greater efficiency at less cost, but that’s looking at it from the wrong perspective. In fact the big overseas suppliers usually have their focus elsewhere, it could be on Europe, Asia and America, but it’s very unlikely to be on Australia.”

Mr Harders says technology has revolutionised the international industry since he founded the company with his father 30 years ago. “Advances in technology that enable hassle free importing have been remarkable,” he says.

“When I started as a young man every customs declaration was typed up with six hard copies submitted to customs and it would take days to process. Now customs declarations are lodged electronically and cargo clearance status is advised with a push of a button. Our clients can go online and instantly get up to date information on where their stock is and when it will arrive. That means instead of having to place an ‘out of stock’ notice to their customers, they can place an exact date on when it will be in store. We are a travel agent for goods, taking responsibility for the entire movement of freight from overseas factory to importer’s warehouse. Our goal is to provide our clients with the best personalised international supply chain.”

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