Importing Coil Roofing Nails

The Roof Store | Jairo

The warehouse full of coil roofing nails that you see here were unloaded today, but the process of acquiring these coil roofing nails started many, many, many months ago. 

The most difficult, the most challenging, the most stressful part was narrowing down and finding a coil roofing nail manufacturer in China. It's difficult because there's tons of them in many cities. The way I went about it was researching the records of the Department of Homeland Security; specifically, the bill of lading for all the shipments that were brought in 2022 and part of 2023 from these manufacturers to the distributors and nail importers into the United States.

I found, priority #1, customers that I wanted to copy where they were getting their stuff from. So I reverse engineered the factories that I wanted and then I also got another list of factories from other websites. Once I did that, then at least I had a list, a list of like, let's say, 20 to 30 factories that I wanted to do business with.

Then, I would contact these factories. Some of them don't respond. Some of them, their prices are too high. Some of them barely negotiate. Their prices are reasonable, but they don't want to extend credit. Whatever the reason, out of those 20 or 30, you go down to, let's say five. Out of those five, you end up selecting based on the products that they specialize in, because some of those factors they do coil roofing nails, they do fencing, they deal with metal, so they end up manufacturing all kinds of things that are unrelated to roofing.

And that's fine. But this factory is a boutique factory, amazing factory, good people. Where they don't do cap nails, they don't do hand drive nails, they only do coil roofing nails and they only do very specific sizes. That's who we ended up going with. They gave us great terms, very reasonable, great price, amazing quality. Usually before I went to bed, I would begin communication or have some kind of conversation via email because we never spoke over the phone.

When it's nighttime, we'd begin the conversation and then we'll finish the conversation in the morning in the US when their day is ending. What's also nice about China is that they work on the weekends, so I'm able to inch progress along even on the weekends. Once the decision of which factories are going to be used, the prices, then you have to find a freight forwarder.

The first one that we were using was just way too big. They were too big of an outfit and we moved fast and they moved very slow. So we fired them because by the time we gave them information and we wanted to get information back in order to make decisions and execute on them right away, they would get back with us a week later.

And by that time, prices had changed. It just didn't work for us. They moved too slow, so we got rid of them and got more of a smaller freight forwarder. I end up paying more with them not because their fees are higher, but because they haven't negotiated the amazing prices the big, gigantic freight forwarder has with the shipping companies.

But that's okay. I'm paying more for the shipping, which is space on the boat. I get more information, more peace of mind, more tracking information up to date on everything. At the end of the day, that brings peace of mind. I'm able to provide accurate timing, accurate pricing with very little mistakes. Also, the reason why it's worth it because by the time the shipment arrives at the US port, there's communication that needs to be had with the special trucking company that has the permits to access the ports.

And, if that container stays on the port for too long, you're only given so many free days if it stays there. Now you're paying per day in fees. So it's good to deal with and have communication with the trucking company that's going to go in and has the special permits to access the port. Example, all of these containers that contain nails, they're overweight.

The limit for containers is 44,000 pounds. Container of coil nails weights well over 50,000 pounds per container. So you need special axles to move these containers within the US roads. The one thing that I was surprised about was how little it costs to pay for the insurance while it's on the boat. So that was pretty good. There's other fees that are pretty ridiculous.

The most ridiculous fee is the 25% import duty that we have to pay on all the products because it's coming in from China. If the product was coming from, let's say, India or from Thailand or from another country, it wouldn't be 25%, it would be less. I think India is like 6%. Even with the 25% duty on coil roofing nails, on those coming from China, it's still cheaper than buying from other countries. To find out the import duty on a specific roofing materials you first find out the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code assigned to your product in question. Then, you find out the duty depending on country of origin or country of manufacturing.

The Roof Store believes in providing you full transparency, no secrets. Anything we know, we want to pass it on to you. We have very modest and fair profit margins and we want to increase the profitability of your roofing company. That's what we're here for. And anything that we can do, let us know. Start buying some of these, support us as opposed to the companies that charge you a whole hell of a lot more for less value that you receive.

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