Making export and import easy in Bhutan
Tamu Worldwide Shipping Private Limited has come a long way since its inception in 2002 by Kamal Raj Gurung.
Today, Tamu has become a leading parcel delivery service in Bhutan and has been keeping Bhutan connected with the outside world, besides creating a name for itself as a shipping and logistic freight forwarding firm. Truly, they have made export and import easy in Bhutan.
Talking to Business
Bhutan, Tamu’s Kamal Raj Gurung said it’s important to have clear understanding of the logistic and shipping methods in order to avoid risk and decrease the expenditure incurred on importing goods and services.
“Because of the lack of this understanding, new and aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have confidence to establish new businesses. Wise and precise selecting of the terms of shipment in importing goods would minimize cost and risks in international trades; ultimately promoting efficient trade and supply chain in Bhutan guided by a common understanding,” he added.
Kamal Raj Gurung also advises people to be wary about illegal charges charged by foreign shipping lines and brokers. “From our experience, we came across many issues. Most people are not aware about,” he said.
He added, “Bhutanese businesses and individuals participate in international trade without proper awareness of international policies, provisions and protocols; thereby finding themselves in fake courier scams and other shipping swindles. We have witnessed Bhutanese businesses and individuals end up paying huge destination and demurrage charges which increase the cost of goods and services. This ultimately leads to huge price of goods and services to our end Bhutanese consumers.”
Kamal Raj Gurung said it’s also imperative to be familiar with Inco-terms
- an international trade guidelines established by the International Chamber of Commerce in 1936 to create a bridge between different members of industry by acting as a uniform language they can use to facilitate efficient trading.
“Though Inco-terms’ sole purpose is to facilitate efficient trading, but many of our country’s businesses and individuals often seem to be trapped with complexities of terms used in international rules and are exploited by other greedy traders beyond borders,” he added.
And with many countries’ businesses and individuals aware of only CIF (Cost Insurance Freight), he said they thus take part in importing their goods only in CIF term.
“Using of CIF tremendously increases the cost of transportation hence incur huge cost because as abnormal and illegal charges are added extra on top of actual destination charges or shipping line charges,” Kamal Raj Gurung said, adding that it’s important to be familiar with other terms, methods and procedures such as Ex-work and FOB (Freight on Board) and that it is important for businesses and individuals to explore other methods to ship their goods so that they reduce their risk and cost.
The CIF method, according to Tamu’s founder, incurs huge cost because multiple agents are involved with pickup and shipping of goods and destination charge is not predetermined. With multiple agents, because of individual margin of each agent, the cost of transportation from one agent to another, firms incur huge expenditure and ultimately increase the cost of goods and contribute to huge outflow of money.
“Most Bhutanese firms and individuals are only aware of this method as shared by their business suppliers/partners and use this shipping method only,” he added.
However, in Ex-Work and FOB, according to Kamal Raj Gurung, a single agent chosen by a firm or an individual deals with pickup from the rightful supplier’s address and is shipped. Therefore, complete quotation is shared with customers and destination charges are predetermined too. Documentation is properly and securely handled by the single agent and regular update provided as per requirement.
“Proper documentation is important to avoid demurrage and detention charges,” he added.
Kamal Raj Gurung reiterated that fake courier scams and many other shipping swindles result in unnecessary outflow of cash.
“Our country would save approximately Nu 10mn a year if proper shipping and freight forwarding is carried out. This will effectively save our country’s economic debt,” he said.