What Translation Challenges Do Logistics Companies Face?

February 21, 2022 Specific Translations

Logistics services come into play at all stages of the supply chain, transporting raw materials to factories and delivering products to customers. To keep this chain running smoothly, companies must select and work with the most efficient and accessible suppliers and distributors. That way, they can prevent packages from getting lost, delayed or not delivered at all.

When it comes to the logistics industry, effective communication at every step is fundamental to delivering excellent services. Sales teams need to provide shipping information for specific orders, which is then passed on to the logistics department. This information may vary depending on the type of goods, the status of the shipment or even the destination. The logistics department must then be able to understand this information so that they can deliver the goods quickly and efficiently.

When working within the global market, language and culture usually differ greatly among delivery teams. While logistics companies are moving towards more innovative and automated processes, there are still linguistic challenges that can create hurdles in organising the supply chain.

Read on to find out what challenges logistics companies face due to language barriers and how translation can help.

Swift delivery of goods

Every stage of the supply chain must be taken into account, including the consumer experience. Customers should be able to easily track their goods, which would involve translating your website to accommodate their native language.

As well as providing customers with a basic understanding, localisation specialists can take your website one step further. By considering the target audience carefully, they can help adapt the website and include important cultural information to make the experience more enjoyable. This will make the website easier to navigate for customers who speak different languages, improving the overall consumer experience.

Websites feature everything from local currencies and time zones to size guides and colloquial phrases. Adapting these elements to the local market will help you connect with the customer on a deeper level and inspire trust in your services. Once the customer feels safe and familiar with your company, they will be more likely to choose you again for future deliveries.

Making the most of every opportunity

Thanks to the internet and globalisation, companies have more opportunities than ever to expand and enter international markets. They are now able to sell or export products abroad, growing their business and increasing profits by turning themselves into a global brand.

To access these international markets, companies need distributors to help sell their products to local retailers. This is where logistics companies come into play, allowing businesses to deliver their products worldwide. By working with third-party logistics companies, these businesses can avoid freight companies, fuel costs, warehousing, and even the very act of delivery.

These international businesses rely heavily on their transportation provider to get their goods where they need to be. Their goods are valuable assets fundamental to their business, and as such, they will want regular updates and tracking information.

However, finding the right partner to work with can be a challenge when the parties involved speak different languages. This language barrier could cause logistics companies to lose out on great opportunities, which is where a professional translator proves essential. They would allow you to communicate with potential business partners without any restrictions, giving you both a clear understanding of what is expected.

Customs

Countries outside the EU each have their own specific customs laws. When sending goods internationally, companies must comply with these laws to get their packages delivered swiftly and smoothly. This often involves technical documents such as invoices, a bill of lading, customs declaration, letter of credit, certificate of origin and even precise packing lists.

These documents need to be translated clearly to minimise the time spent at customs and avoid complications. If the documents are not translated or there are discrepancies, shipping will be delayed and the goods could even be seized. On the other hand, professional translations ensure all your documents are in order, moving your packages quickly through customs and on to their final destination.

Some countries also use the Harmonised System, a standardised numerical system designed to streamline customs and taxes. This involves using set codes to identify the various types of goods contained within a package. Although these codes are the same across most countries, there are some exceptions which means they may still need adapting.

Management issues

Logistics companies rely on having organised processes in place to ensure deliveries are carried out quickly and to a high standard. Communication is key to this organisation, and as such, translation plays an essential role in management.

Warehouses generally use task management software to show workers which tasks to handle, from packaging to handling lost parcels. Workers for international delivery companies often speak different languages, and as such, using multilingual software will help them carry out the tasks safely and efficiently. This will ultimately speed up their processes, helping goods to be delivered on time.

Companies might also find that they regularly need an interpreter to relay instructions. This is especially common during training phases when companies need to let their staff know what is expected of them. This will ensure everyone is on the same page, providing high-quality training that will help employees carry out tasks to a high standard.

The role of Intertranslations

If language barriers are posing a challenge for your logistics company, then we are here to help. Our vetted team of translators and interpreters have the skills, qualifications and experience needed to provide you with a quality translation of logistical documents.

Over the years, leading international companies and institutions have placed their trust in our company for our professionalism and expertise. We strive to deliver the highest quality translation and interpretation services, keeping up to date with all the latest developments in translation and international trade.

Reach out to a member of our team to learn more about how we can help your logistics company grow. We will also provide you with a free quote and advice on the type of translation services that would best suit your needs.

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