Expanding your business internationally is a huge step for your company, so it’s essential to do it right. Since you will ship to new markets, you will need to learn more about international shipping. After all, you want to avoid your packages arriving late, being damaged, or becoming lost. These situations would decrease your customer satisfaction, which is something all businesses strive to avoid. However, if you learn how to ship to different countries successfully, then your customer satisfaction will soar. Since these packages need to travel to different countries, the shipping process becomes a little more complex. To help with this process, here are the top 10 international shipping tips you need to know.
Since your items will travel a long distance, it is essential to use appropriate packaging. For fragile items, you may need to add more support to ensure that they do not break or become damaged. Additionally, you will need to consider the method of transportation. Shipping by air is usually gentler than shipping by sea, but it is more expensive. When shipping by air, you can use less packaging since it is safer, but use more when shipping by sea. In addition to adequate packaging, you also need to ensure that you label the items correctly. Some countries require specific labels on the exterior of the package, describing its destination, contents, and any other relevant information. Before you ship, remember to include all the necessary labels on the package.
As mentioned briefly in the previous tip, you will also need to decide on a method of transportation. When shipping internationally, the two most popular methods are shipping by air and sea, but you can also ship by land in some cases. Shipping by air is very safe but expensive, so it’s best for fragile and valuable items. Shipping by sea is not as safe as air, but it is the cheaper option, so it’s best for sturdy items. If you want your packages to arrive quickly, shipping by air is the way to go since it is the fastest method of transportation. While shipping by land is possible in some cases, it is not the fastest method and should be reserved for times when the packages are closer to their destination.
Sometimes, items can become damaged, lost, or destroyed during their journey. This is the reason why it’s important to obtain shipping insurance. Shipping insurance will cover the costs of damaged, lost, or destroyed items, which is very useful when shipping long distances. Also, shipping insurance can cover the loss of stolen goods. Sometimes, items are stolen while en route to their destination, and the risk increases with larger distances. Especially if you ship valuable items, you need to obtain shipping insurance to protect your business financially.
Many items are restricted in international countries, so it is important to ensure that you understand their restrictions and follow their guidelines. If you accidentally send a package with a restricted item, customs will most likely retain it for a long period of time. In some cases, you may not receive the cargo back at all, so these shipping restrictions are important to save your business time and money.
In order to reach another country, your packages first must pass through customs. All packages, regardless of size, are required to pass through customs before traveling internationally. To clear customs, you will need to provide the correct paperwork. This paperwork usually consists of two customs forms, one for the home country and another for the destination country. Be sure to fill out both forms, not just one or the other. You will need both forms for your cargo to travel safely to its destination.
Of course, overnight shipping is very difficult to do internationally, so you will need to expect longer delivery times. Additionally, you will need to inform your customers of this fact, so they know their products will take longer to arrive. And remember, if you need your items to arrive quickly, ship by air since it is the fastest method of transportation. Also, since your packages have a higher risk of delays when shipping internationally, remember to update your consumers consistently about the location of their items.
Unfortunately, there are some instances where you may run into scammers. Even some of the largest companies in the world deal with scammers when shipping internationally. These scammers can pose as shipping companies, so always check the URL of your shipping company’s websites. In addition, some recipients can scam the company as well, so always take measures to avoid scams.
For international shipments, customs charges a fee. Remember to check the customs fees for your specific products before shipping internationally. These fees vary significantly depending on the value of your item. The more valuable the item, the higher the fee.
Another cost you need to calculate is the shipping tariff. Shipping tariffs are fees charged by the shipping companies for delivering your products internationally and for other freight taxes. These fees vary depending on the company, so always do research to find the best company for your products.
When shipping animals and certain plants, you may need to fill out extra forms depending on the country. This applies to perishables as well. Also, keep in mind that there are rules about the quantity of these items, and you are only allowed to ship a certain amount to the country. If you ship these items without the proper forms, they will probably be confiscated, and you may not receive them back.
To summarize, the top 10 international shipping tips you need to know are to:
If you decide to ship by air and require international air cargo services, contact us at Diversified Transportation Services. We will gladly help ensure that your products reach their destinations safely, quickly, and efficiently.
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