Commonly Overlooked Costs in International Shipping

Commonly Overlooked Costs in International Shipping

The costs involved with shipping items internationally make it vital to plan a concise budget every time. That said, it’s not rare for companies to run into unforeseen costs along the way. But how do you avoid overlooking these fees? Use our list of commonly overlooked costs in international shipping to better prepare yourself when budgeting for shipments traveling overseas.

Fuel Surcharges

Fuel surcharges may not seem like a surprising cost, so why would someone overlook them when planning shipments? This cost is commonly overlooked because fuel surcharges fluctuate over time, as they are a reflection of fuel costs at a given time.

A simple solution to overlooking this cost is to know the current surcharge expectations for each shipment. Whether you’re faced with a new carrier or a new week, there may be a factor causing fuel surcharges to rise more than you expected.

Shipment Loss

More costs are involved with shipping than simply what’s needed to ensure the package properly reaches its destination. Sometimes, accidents may occur that result in unplanned costs. Thus, one of the most commonly overlooked costs in international shipping is product damage or loss.

You can explore insurance options that cover damages, but choosing a reputable 3PL for shipping is also an effective way to help ensure the shipment goes smoothly. After all, 3PLs oversee the shipping process and work with carriers for precise results. For example, Diversified Transportation Services partners with expedited freight carriers that help ensure quick delivery times while keeping the items safe along the way. If experienced professionals manage the shipment, you can have more confidence when sending anything overseas.


Topics like tariffs, taxes, and duties should be something you’re familiar with if you’re in the international shipping industry. However, duties are paid for by either the buyer or the seller of the product. To avoid unforeseen costs, it is always important that the buyer, seller, and transportation provider communicate the chosen incoterms for the shipment.

An example of an incoterms where the seller pays the fees, duties, and taxes is Deliver Duty Paid (DDP) which is often the reason companies alter the price of their product on shelves. Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) is when the duty payment is put into the hands of the shipment recipient. In such cases, always keep clear communication with the recipient to ensure they’re not caught off guard by the additional costs. Have this information ready for any upcoming shipments to help ensure you always have the right budget in place for the item’s transportation.

If you have any questions regarding the incoterms for your shipment, please reach out to us at or call us at 320-521-1200 for more information.

What Can DTS Do For You?

Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.

Get In Touch
Copyright © 2022 – 2024 , Diversified Transportation Services. All Rights Reserved