How Localization Can Power Shipping & Logistics

by Han Mai
4 Minute Read

We often think of localization as tailoring a product to sell in a target locale. But what about the process of shipping and manufacturing that product?

Localization is important for both customer-facing and internal business processes. In fact, the future of shipping and logistics may depend on localization to create efficiencies and integrate with new markets. 

Let’s go over the role of localization in boosting this industry and why your company needs a localization strategy ASAP


Localization vs. Localization 

To clarify, here we’re talking about localization as the process of transforming a product/service according to the linguistic, cultural and technological conventions of a target locale. While it heavily involves translation, it also takes on global customer experience issues, such as making available popular payment methods. 

This is distinct from the term localization as used in shipping and logistics. Industry-wide, localization is used to describe the tracking of products on the assembly line and beyond. Localization in this sense is an inventory management technique to know where a product is at all times.

In this article, we’ll be talking about the first definition of localization, i.e. the need to personalize products and processes for local markets using translation and more.  


Boosting Shipping and Logistics with Localization

Shipping and logistics can benefit from having robust localization in place. That’s because this industry depends on having reliable, efficient and well-integrated processes with local markets. Localization can help shipping and logistics do just that.


1. Expand to new market areas

If your logistics company wants to expand into new regions, you’ll need localization for your services. This doesn’t just include your customer-facing website - it also determines how your company will integrate processes with new regions. Your supply chain, inventory management, and vendor integration tools will all need to have localized versions to make sure all of your partnerships are seamless, especially on a global scale. 


2. Build reliable local integrations

As you expand your shipping business, you’ll need to integrate with local delivery options, whether local shippers, postal systems, or couriers. These integrations are key to ensuring that customers get their goods without issues or delays - and according to local norms. Often, partnerships between shippers rely on having multi-language systems that can be easily used by employees on either side. Localization comes into play for all of the above, and can become a big difference-maker in the long run.


3. Ensure seamless cross-border communication

Cross-border communication is also a must for having success in a new locale. You’ll want vendor communication to be seamless and customer communication to be localized, including date format, currency, package sizes, address format, delivery instructions, and more. Instead of fumbling with local conventions, you can prepare by localizing these key logistical areas first. This will ensure everybody’s in sync from the warehouse loading dock to the customer’s doorstep.


4. Internationalize your supply chain management tool

Localization enables you to internationalize your supply chain management so that your employees can easily fulfill or deliver orders. By optimizing employee-facing platforms, manuals, and training, you can better manage and deliver orders. In this way, key supply chain information can be shared across factory floors and company departments in different locations and languages. Similar to other global industries like healthcare, important information needs to get from A to B, regardless of language.

Your multi-language supply chain platform is the first step towards efficient processing by your internal employees. 


5. Strengthen the local user experience

Localization is also useful for boosting your customer service. If your company interacts with local customers, you can exceed their expectations by having localized payment and delivery methods, as well as tracking and customer service emails. Impress customers by having these communications in their local language and build loyalty through overall great service. 

• • •

Ultimately, localization should be in every company’s toolkit, and shipping and logistics are no different. Through localization, you can create local integrations, cross-border communication, multi-language supply chain platforms, great customer service, and more.

Remember that localization success with your new local employees and customers depends on understanding your target locale’s diverse linguistic, cultural and technological conventions. Make sure you have a good grasp on your locale before beginning the localization process and get help from experts like Lilt for maximum success.