Best Practices for RIs: How to improve vehicle export processing times during market slowdowns

October 24, 2023
Import Insights
 min read
Christina Taylor
Registered Import Expert

With the used vehicle market softening after years of record highs, importers and dealers alike are having to adapt to new challenges. 

In these market conditions, the statement “time is money” rings truer than ever. As an importer, there is increased pressure to be efficient and ensure quick turnarounds—both for your customers and for your lot.

Here are strategies to improve your vehicle export processing time in today’s market.

Don’t bank on things you can’t control

Last year, vehicles continuously appreciated in value. This is no longer true thanks to rising interest rates, increasing new car inventory, softer consumer sentiments, and unsustainable used vehicle prices.

Vehicles are now depreciating every day, and every single day counts.

The DOT is also experiencing challenges of their own and early bond releases are becoming increasingly rare.

As a result, you must reduce processing times internally and control how quickly you can get the 30-day DOT clock ticking. 

Gain awareness into your processes

Analyzing your existing processes is the first step to improving them:

  1. How many days are vehicles spending on your lot? The easiest way to speed up processing times and avoid vehicles falling through the cracks is to process them as soon as they arrive.
  1. Are you measuring how long it takes to convert speedometers? How long are recalls delaying you? When you receive a vehicle, prioritize actioning these items. Remember, every day counts!
  1. Don’t wait until you have a large batch of vehicles to submit your conformity packages to the DOT. Submitting packages as soon as they are ready will help you avoid backlogs, errors, and delays.

A summary of best practices during market slowdowns

Don’t let vehicles sit around or slip through the cracks. The sooner you process a vehicle, the sooner you can export it and get paid. Make sure you have a clear view on your inventory.

Don’t wait until Monday. If you receive a vehicle on Friday or over the weekend, don’t wait until Monday to start the processing. Work on it as soon as possible and submit it before the end of the day.

Capitalize on days. If you submit a conformity package before noon EST, it will count as one day for DOT’s review process. If you submit it after noon EST, it will count as zero days. Try to submit your packages early in the day to maximize your days.

Get ahead of common gotchas. Missing or incomplete documents, uncommon speedos, complicated speedo conversions, and unresolved recalls can delay or cause your conformity packages to be rejected. Double-check your packages before submitting them and get your recalls fixed on the Canadian side.

We’re here to help speed up your exports

Have questions about how to reduce vehicle export processing times? You don’t have to do it alone!

We’re here to help and happy to share our best practices, including:

  • Leveraging technology solutions that streamline and track all RI tasks
  • Using an automated tool to ensure recall checks and bond releases are automatically updated
  • Establishing relationships with customs brokers like Bay Brokerage to get your inventory system in lockstep with your customs broker

Book a call with Signal today to learn more.

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