How Factored Quality + Portless can streamline your brand’s overseas expansion

FQ x Portless

In this article, we detail how FQ and Portless make scaling internationally profitable, low-lift, and stress-free.

For American DTC brands, international expansion is an unrivaled opportunity to scale. Yet, barriers like different tax codes, third-party logistics, and COVID supply-chain delays disincentivize many brands from taking the plunge. 

That’s why we sat down with Izzy Rosenzweig, Founder and CEO of Portless. Portless helps brands supercharge profit margins and cash flow by streamlining cross-border logistics. 

Combined with Factored Quality, these two companies have changed the game and minimized the lift required to sell products overseas. 

Below, we detail how FQ and Portless make scaling internationally profitable, low-lift, and stress-free. 

4 reasons to expand your brand internationally ASAP

Historically, U.S.-based brands have shied away from overseas expansions for a mix of reasons. Now, FQ and Portless all but eliminate those roadblocks (more on this to come below) — and brands can offer their products across borders to enjoy four key benefits. 

Benefit #1: Transition your products (and sales) from seasonal to year-round

If you’re a U.S.-based apparel company, there’s an urgency to sell each season of product in a specific window. However, if you expand to Asia or Australia, you can sell that apparel for far longer. This makes every marketing effort more worthwhile and extends the life of each product. 

Benefit #2: New sales channels for lifted profits

For an extended period of the COVID pandemic, interest rates were relatively low for brands, meaning it was easy to finance inventory. Today, that’s completely changed: Interest rates are at a new high, and securing a loan can be tricky without proof of profitability. 

To set your brand up for financial success, consider expanding internationally. New sales streams can generate an infusion of cash to boost profit margins. 

Benefit #3: Speed-test new products

Typically, brands must meet minimum order requirements and wait for container availability to sell and ship internationally. In response, FQ and Portless enable brands to test products in new markets much faster. 

Brands selling smaller, seasonal products should seize this opportunity to conduct product testing with minimal lift — enabling a constant cycle of design test iterations. 

Benefit #4: Manufacturers are diversifying their partnerships

Many manufacturers are increasing their baseline quality, environmental standards, and location offerings. Because of this, many are willing to accept smaller orders and offer shorter wait times — an ideal combination for newer brands looking to scale and diversify their SKUs. 

FQ + Portless eliminate defects and delays in your overseas supply chain

A classic problem DTC companies confront is waiting ages for an overseas product shipment — only to ultimately receive defective goods. 

There are two separate problems here, and FQ and Portless have partnered up to solve both: 

  1. The defects: FQ runs quality control pre-, mid-, and post-production to ensure consistent high-quality product manufacturing. Our involvement is especially critical for DTC brands, who would otherwise miss defects until the product is in the hands of their consumers. 
  2. The delays: Portless then transfers your finished products from anywhere in China to their HQ in Shenzhen. Next, they ship orders directly to your customers in 55+ countries, where each delivery undergoes a standard local shipping experience. 

Combining these two solutions unlocks a world of potential for your company. 

On top of untapped profit and revenue opportunities in new markets, the time and cash saved allows your brand to double down on hiring, business growth, and marketing. 

Andrew Hoagland, Head of Revenue at Factored Quality, always repeats this mantra to our users: Control the things that you can control. When your brand leverages FQ and Portless, you do exactly that. 

FQ + Portless solve 3 common roadblocks to international expansion

Expanding internationally is a lucrative business move for all sorts of American brands, including: 

  • Smaller startup brands, who can benefit from entering far less saturated markets
  • Well-known brands, who can reach audiences that are already vying for their products

That’s why Factored Quality and Portless have partnered up: to make overseas brand expansion as streamlined as possible. 

Below, we outline three common blockers to cross-border expansion — and how our solutions help brands clear them with ease. 

Roadblock #1: International tax compliance

Smaller brands rarely have the legal expertise to navigate the tax laws of various countries, while hiring a consultant can be cost-prohibitive. If your brand fails to comply with international tax regulations, that could trigger huge fines. 

The solution: FQ’s compliance expertise

FQ can help brands understand and take action on the regulations, tests, and certifications necessary to expand to any country. You’re never alone in navigating foreign waters when you work with us. Together, we’ll get you up to compliance — without breaking the bank. 

In addition, Izzy recommends that brands leverage two Shopify apps: Aloe Vera and Zonos. These tools simplify tax problems like charging VAT to the right customers. 

Roadblock #2: Juggling too many complex 3PLs

As brands expand internationally, many contemplate establishing containers in each new country. Those containers require more decentralized 3PLs, meaning brands must learn how to work with each one and trust they’ll do the job right. It’s difficult to guarantee that any container gets refilled on time, let alone toggle between multiple disparate 3PLs. 

The solution: Gain a centralized inventory hub for all countries with Portless

With Portless, all of your inventory is stored in one place. Restocking it for all markets is as simple as clicking a button — saving you time, money, and effort and ensuring peace of mind throughout the full supply chain. 

Roadblock #3: Slow, costly shipping

Countless brands manufacture their goods overseas and ship them to the U.S… only to mail them internationally again. This expensive order of operations may even outweigh the benefits of simply expanding your customer pool. 

Plus, speed to market is a major consideration. Beyond setting up the necessary warehouses, generating cash flow with a two-part shipping system is a drawn-out process. 

The solution: FQ + Portless streamlines overseas fulfillment at lower costs

When you skip the ship and mail local with Portless, shipping costs decrease significantly — roughly $6 for 1/2 lb. in the UK and $7 for the same amount in Australia. That’s because you’re no longer lugging product across the ocean, just to ship it halfway back. As a result: 

  • Using Portless enables you to charge less for shipping per order, which reduces the barrier to purchase for many shoppers.

  • Factored Quality ensures you never waste money on shipping defective products, which streamlines fulfillment costs and speed to market in the long run. 

Historically, selling and shipping products overseas was daunting, risky, and expensive for DTC brands. Today, Factored Quality and Portless have changed the game. 

Looking to streamline your QC and scale without the stress? Book a personalized demo today. 

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