Source International: A Brief Overview of International Sourcing / Warehouse

Apr 08, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

What is the Difference between Global Sourcing and International Sourcing?

When it comes to procurement strategies, global sourcing and international sourcing are related concepts, but they differ significantly in scope and approach:


International Sourcing:

International sourcing involves the procurement of goods and services from a select few foreign countries. This approach is typically adopted to secure better deals or to access specific expertise that may not be readily available domestically. It represents a more localized and targeted strategy compared to global sourcing.


Global Sourcing:

On the other hand, global sourcing takes a broader perspective. Companies that engage in global sourcing actively seek out the best suppliers worldwide, considering various factors such as cost-effectiveness, quality standards, innovation capabilities, and access to resources. It’s a strategic approach aimed at optimizing the entire supply chain network, often involving multiple countries and regions.


An Analogy: To illustrate the difference:

  • International sourcing can be likened to exploring stores in neighboring cities to find a better selection or a good deal on a new sweater.
  • Global sourcing, meanwhile, is akin to conducting a comprehensive search online and in physical stores across the globe to find the perfect sweater that aligns with your preferences and budget.


International Procurement


In Summary:

In essence, international sourcing serves as a stepping stone to global sourcing. It allows companies to dip their toes into sourcing from foreign markets before adopting a more expansive and strategic approach that encompasses a worldwide search for the best suppliers and resources.




What Is an International Warehouse?

An international warehouse is a storage facility located in a country other than the seller’s origin, often near major global trade centers and international transport routes.

These strategically placed warehouses facilitate efficient worldwide shipping, enabling businesses to deliver goods to customers abroad quickly and on demand.




Types of International Warehouses Management: 


Type Best For Suited Industry Cost Range

Public warehouse

Temporary storage for businesses with fluctuating inventory levels Small businesses with variable inventory levels $ – $$

Private warehouse

Exclusive storage for large inventories Wholesale or large retail with consistent high inventory levels $$$

Bonded warehouse

Storing imported/export goods pending customs clearance Industries with import licensing requirements, high customs duties $$ – $$$

Cross-docking warehouse

Direct transfer from inbound to outbound trucks Large retailers with fast-moving, trend-driven goods $ – $$

On-demand warehouse

Flexible, short-term storage for fluctuating inventory levels Retailers with irregular demand patterns, e.g., seasonal products $$ – $$$

Contract warehouse

Long-term guaranteed space availability Retailers with stable inventory levels $$ – $$$

Climate-controlled warehouse

Storage for perishable and temperature-sensitive products Food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical industries $$$

Distribution center

Transit hub, temporarily storing goods before routing to retailers Retailers with diverse customer bases $$ – $$$

Fulfillment center

Storage and shipping of goods Direct-to-consumer (DTC) industries $$ – $$$

Hazmat warehouse

Storage for hazardous materials Chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, mining industries $$$

Consolidated warehouse

Consolidating small shipments into larger loads Small businesses with low-volume, high-frequency shipments $ – $$

Smart warehouse

Automated storage and handling of goods Industries requiring high efficiency, accuracy, and productivity $$$

Reverse logistics warehouse

Handling returned items Retailers with free returns or high return rates $$ – $$$





International Sourcing Agent

International sourcing agent, sourcing agents of 1688 and Taobao China sourcing agents play a crucial role in facilitating cross-border e-commerce transactions. These agents bridge the gap between global buyers and Chinese suppliers, streamlining the process of sourcing and delivering products from China to customers worldwide.


Do you need a international sourcing agent?

Whether or not you need an international sourcing agent depends on various factors, including the scale of your business, your familiarity with overseas markets, and your specific sourcing needs.




What You Should Pay Attention when Source Internationally?

When sourcing internationally, there are several key factors to keep in mind:

  • Reputation and reliability: Research the supplier’s history, references, and certifications. Look for established companies with a good track record.
  • Quality control: Ensure the supplier has quality management systems in place and can consistently meet your quality specifications. Consider requesting samples or conducting factory inspections.
  • Communication: Evaluate the supplier’s communication style and ability to understand your needs clearly. If there’s a language barrier, consider how you’ll bridge the gap.




Top well-known international sourcing companies

Certainly! Here is the updated list of well-known international sourcing companies, including Supplyia:


– A sourcing company that specializes in helping businesses source products from China. They provide comprehensive services including supplier verification, product development, quality control, and logistics management.

Li & Fung Limited

– Based in Hong Kong, Li & Fung is a major global supply chain manager, helping companies source products from various countries, particularly in Asia.


Sourcing Allies

– A sourcing company that helps businesses find suppliers and manufacturers in China, India, and other countries. They offer services from initial supplier identification to quality control and logistics.


Global Sourcing Group (GSG)

– This company provides global sourcing and procurement services, focusing on markets in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.


Dragon Sourcing

– An international sourcing and procurement company that operates in China, India, Vietnam, Turkey, and other countries. They offer end-to-end sourcing services.


Asiaction Sourcing

– Specializes in sourcing products from China. They provide services such as supplier identification, negotiation, quality control, and logistics.



– A contract manufacturer and sourcing company based in China, offering services in product development, manufacturing, and supply chain management.



– A European company that offers sourcing and procurement services primarily focused on connecting North American businesses with suppliers in Europe.


Berkeley Sourcing Group

– A U.S.-based company that helps startups and medium-sized businesses with product development and manufacturing in China.



– Provides sourcing and procurement services from various countries, specializing in helping businesses find reliable suppliers and manage production overseas.


Planet Sourcing

– Offers comprehensive sourcing services from countries like China, India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. They focus on ensuring quality and compliance throughout the supply chain.


These companies provide a range of services including supplier identification, quality control, logistics, and compliance to help businesses source products and materials efficiently and cost-effectively from international markets.



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