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FLEX warehouse in Germany is open for B2B/B2C shipments

The process of setting up a new FLEX warehouse in Germany (Deutschland) has been completed and beginning Aug 1st, 2022 the new DE warehouse location is able to start processing in/out shipments.

FLEX. is able to provide you with anything from pre-Amazon storage, customs clearance in Germany, forwarding to Amazon fulfillment centers, B2B fulfillment, processing removals/returns with a local German address, FBA prep and more. From a single box shipments, a few EURO pallets to several 40ft HQ containers.

B2C fulfillment will be available by the end of August 2022.

The address of the 1st FLEX warehouse in Germany is:
FLEX. Logistik at Altantic One / JadeWeserPort, Atlantik 1, 26388 Wilhelmshaven (aka ‘Hamburg West’), Germany
Geo location: 53.58211449246432, 8.135395569140018

The warehouse is located in the container port in Wilhelmshaven which is the only deep water sea container terminal in Germany, 3rd largest container port in DE at the moment, which is going to take over lots of cargo volume from Hamburg and Bremerhaven in the next 1-2 years due to severe delays in those two.

The warehouse is located only 200 (two hundred, sic!) meteres from the ports’ gate and a local customs office, with a direct access to A29 highway, in a brand new 12k sqm building – Atlantik One: https://www.atlanticone.de/

Distances to Amazon and some other main container terminals in Europe:

  • from Bremerhaven, DE – 80 km, 1 hour drive
  • from Hamburg, DE – 200 km, 2 hour drive
  • from Rotterdam, DE – 375 km, 4 hour drive
  • from Antwerpen, BE – 450 km, 5 hour drive
  • to Amazon Dortmund – 270 km, 3 hour drive

Please feel free to reach out to us when looking for e-commerce logistics solutions in Germany, the new FLEX warehouse address will be activated on your account in myFLEX.

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How to import products into the EU for e-commerce?

If you are a non-EU established company, for example your company is registered in the UK, Hong Kong, United States etc, even if you have EORI EU and VAT registration numbers in several countries in the European Union, there are several additional limitations you need to be aware of once you start importing your products into the EU and sell them online on Amazon and all the other e-commerce marketplaces in the EU. Some solutions may work in a small scale, some are only designed for large scale business, some work if you import only a few shipments a year, the other are economical only for several containers per year.

There are several limitations for non-EU companies to import and do business in the EU – the only long term solution is to set up a company in the EU, in one of the EUROzone countries and register it for VAT EU and EORI EU numbers

How do import into the European Union as a non-EU established company and save on import VAT?

Solution 1.
Fiscal customs clearance in the Netherlands
It requires you find a company within the EU, who will take responsibility for all imports, VAT and duties settlements, for the period of 6 years;
or the customs agency in NL will require you set up a customs security – 5-50k and above EUR depending on your sales volume, type of goods being imported etc.

To set up an indirect fiscal representation in the NL, it takes even 2-3 months, you will be asked to provide your company’s financial records, bank statements etc – your application can still be rejected.

If your company is allowed to do fiscal customs clearance in NL, you will also may be required to get registered for VAT NL in order to activated so called Article 23. Each shipment with fiscal customs clearance in NL requires the goods to be moved outside of NL straight after the customs clearance in completed (FLEX can offer to receive your shipments from NL to our DE warehouse). Your goods cannot stay in NL.

Solution 2.
Standard customs clearance in the Netherlands
It requires you to pay VAT NL, which – without VAT NL registration – you won’t be able to claim back later on.

Solution 3.
Importing into the European Union via Germany
For non-EU companies German customs allow for up to 10 imports a year using EORI EU number; but the imports have to be done on a occasional basis, so if you ship week after week, the 2nd shipment can be rejected; if you plan to ship several regular shipments via DE and clear the customs in DE, you have to establish a indirect fiscal representation in Germany – the procedure is similar to NL and several additional requirements apply including security deposit.

Max number of imports via DE for non-EU company per year is valid both for a standard customs clearance (where you pay import VAT DE) and fiscal customs clearance (where you don’t pay import VAT and the goods are moved to another country straight after).

Solution 4.
Importing via Poland

You can clear the customs in PL using your EORI EU and VAT EU numbers without much hassle, but if you do not have VAT PL number, you won’t be able to claim the import VAT back later on.

If you have VAT PL you have used for the customs clearance in PL, you still have to have a local PLN bank account number in Polish zloty – PL tax office do not issue VAT returns on bank accounts outside of PL and in different currencies than PLN; tax return in EUR is not possible; there are few banks in PL who offer PLN accounts for non-EU companies but company’s director may be required to visit a local branch in Poland at least once to sign the paperwork and provide his ID in person

Based on the above, the simpliest long term solution for large scale imports into the EU, several containers a year/month – is a local company in on of the EU countries with EORI EU and VAT EU numbers.

NOTE: All the information above is provided based on our experience and a feedback from several customs agencies in PL, NL, DE. The only way to obtain binding decisions on the customs clearance rules in the EU, is by applying to local customs offices in those countries on paper, providing them with all the details and waiting for 2-3 months for their official decision.

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FLEX. is attending #RWB2022 on 30-31 March to accelerate global online marketplace sales

FLEX. is attending #RWB2022 on 30-31 March to accelerate global online marketplace sales! Network with me and engage with other business executives as we shape the future of the marketplace landscape. Register today: http://events.rwb.global/s/?544-Newsletter

During this two-day unparalleled and interactive digital event, RWB 2022 will shine a light on the pertinent issues and opportunities for online marketplace ecommerce, bringing together industry-leading speakers, keynote discussions, Q&A sessions, networking video meetings and community building sessions.

Welcome to Europe’s largest online marketplace conference.

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FLEX. Fulfillment welcomes all new clients

For the past few months we have been working hard on scaling up our B2C fulfillment capabilities – both on the software part, workforce and storage space.

I am happy to inform we have successfully implemented and tested a scalable, automatic order processing software which allow us to provide our clients with B2C fulfillment services for Amazon, eBay, Allegro, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento and many more marketplaces and e-commerce web engines, which works with courier integration, ERP systems etc as well.

FLEX. Fulfillment is now open for new clients!

Please feel free to contact us with any of your B2C fulfillment needs in the EU.

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Avoid Brexit effect, move your stock to FLEX.

How will Brexict impart my warehousing and supply chain?

Does my company have the relevant experience in clearing the customs?

How long will it take to deliver the goods from the UK to my clients in France, Germany, Italy and the rest of the European Union?

Can I handle additional paperwork needed in terms of additional labelling or updating technical files?

How can I continue servising the remaing EU Member States?

Do I have necessary assets and data to deal with a new customs border between the UK and the EU?

All the questions come down to the location of your warehouse, where do you store your goods and how do you fulfill your orders. With so many questions remain unanswered across countless industries and businesses. Don’t get suprised – contact FLEX now to discuss how we can prepare your business and what are the options for moving your goods away from the UK and keeping it inside the European Economic Area.

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How to find a perfect 3PL for your ecommerce business?

Outsourcing ecommerce warehousing and order fulfillment to third party logistics providers (3PL) is a popular solution which can bring several benefits to your business.

Please find a list of important factors you should consider when selecting the right partner for your 3PL needs:

What business goals do you have when looking for a fulfillment partner?

What is the characteristics of my products? Do they require any special processing?

What WMS (warehouse management software) is the warehouse using?

Do you have a flexible contract agreements?

What are your monthly order minimums?

Do you provide inventory management & control services?

How quickly will my inventory be received & ready to ship out?

What happens if my inventory arrives at your warehouse(s) already damaged?

What valu-added services do you offer e.g. kitting, labeling, custom boxes, inserts?

Do you offer Returns processing services?

Do you offer multiple shipping carriers to choose from?

Do you provide international shipping?

Do you have a risk free trial period so we can test out your services?

Do you offer free account setup?

Do you offer free system integration?

Do you provide shipping discounts?

In all, a 3PL can be a huge time and budget saver for start-up and growing businesses, just be sure to find the right partner for your business needs.

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How to choose your fulfillment warehouse location?

When looking for a fulfillment warehouse, you need to take several factors into consideration:

1 Location

Some say: location, location, location because it all comes down to the distance to your customers. You want your products to be delivered quickly. It doesn’t have to be your local fulfillment warehouse located next to where you live. Nowaday it is quite easy to sell your products online on the other part of the world. A fulfillment center that’s close to your customers will serve your business better than one that’s close to you.

2 Concentration

Don’t spread your products among too many warehouses – your costs will go up and most probably, you will have to deal with different tax regimes. It is also hard to coordinate your stock between multiple warehouses and establish effective sales and delivery patterns.

3 Delivery time

Online shoppers expect to receive their products within a couple of days and at a low cost. Ecommerce fulfillment warehouse can move your goods closer to your clients which will allow you to offer same-day shipping or even delivery within a matter of couple of hours.

4 Shipping costs

Shipping rates are based on so called – zones. The greater the distance between your fulfillment warehouse and your customer, the more zones your package will have to cross, the higher your shipping costs will be. Choose your warehouse close to your customers to save on shipping and fulfillment costs.

Consider asking yourself the following questions before talking to your fulfillment warehouse provider:

What do my customers want and expect?

How imporatant is same day dispatch for me and my clients?

Do I want to offer free shipping?

What is the most economical choice?