Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2010

Let me start with a *long post disclaimer* (just want to set the scene properly not to waste others' time) :)

I'm helping out a one man company that designs, fabricates & sells a range of steel 4x4 vehicle accessories primarily to local brand enthusiasts - sold online and delivered using a South African courier company to clients (per their online order). From time to we receive an enquiry to supply something to someone abroad. We query our courier vendor for pricing because... it's how we (currently) 'roll'.

I'm busy pursuing another such foreign enquiry - a foreigner wanting to fit an *accessory* to his personal vehicle:

Product retail = ZAR 1,800
1 * 7kg parcel, non-priority to *Europe*
116 x 30 x 30

After consulting with their 'agents' our courier reverted with their sharpest price of appr. ZAR 10,000 (excluding duties). Surely this was a mistake! When I queried it they cited "oversize charges".

For context - our range extends from products for vehicle exterior/exterior protection (biggest example could be a roof rack, heaviest example could be a bull bar, smaller examples could be light guards), internal refinement (cup holders, cubby shelves) and miscellaneous (personalised spare wheel covers, laser cut key rings, etc.). The aforementioned enquiry to Europe is for a steel item of about average size and weight for our range.

Quite naturally, the person enquiring isn't too interested in pursuing this with transport cost over 5x higher than product cost.

What are the alternatives? Is there a vendor out there that competes well in the ad-hoc domestic and cross border logistics space? If so, there's an affiliate retail business (vehicle spares) with a national following on the same premises/partially shared stakeholding with higher frequency/volumes in the domestic space that could follow suit.

A friend suggested exports by registered SA Post Office. Can this be workable?

Any related concerns, ideas, recommendations, thoughts welcomed!