International Shipping: Six Important Things To Consider
It is the dream of every business owner to expand their business internationally. It gives your business international market exposure and creates growth-driven opportunities for you.
To operate a business internationally, you need to understand the dos and don’ts of international shipping. You do not want your packages to be delivered late or experience any loss.
Many things can negatively impact customer satisfaction, which is unacceptable when dealing with international clients. Therefore, you should know about the different aspects of international shipping that can play a key role in your business growth.
While shipping products internationally, you need to consider different factors such as customs regulations and legal paperwork. Also, you must consider the shipment’s overall cost and the delivery time that can impact your overall business operations. Planning all such things can ensure smooth shipments to different countries. It will ensure that nothing goes off track during the shipment process.
Without any delay, let’s uncover some key factors you need to consider for international shipping.
Choose Transportation Method
The first step of international shipping is to decide how you want to ship your products. The two most common methods that are used for international shipping are by sea and air.
Most businesses consider shipping their products by air to ensure fast shipment delivery. You may consult an air freight company in your city or state.
For example, you can contact air forwarding Los Angeles, CA if your company is based in Los Angeles. Consulting the shipping company in your city or state will make it convenient for you to manage the entire process.
Shipping by air is known to be safe, but it can be expensive, so you need to decide as per your budget. On the other hand, shipping by sea is not considered a safe option, but it is cheaper. So, you need to consider these factors before making the final decision. Companies sometimes consider shipping by land, but it can take a long time to reach the destination. If your items are perishable and do not have a long life, this might not be a feasible option.
Use Safe Packaging
Your package has to cover a long distance, so you need to ensure that its packaging can keep your goods safe. If you are transporting fragile items, you need to add extra support to keep your items safe from damage.
Also, your transportation method can play a key role in keeping your items safe. Again shipping by air is known to be a more reliable method than shipping by sea or land. So, if you ship by air, you will require less packaging, which will also save you the additional cost.
Since you’re saving the packaging cost, you can use that money to pay the air freight company. Hence, you must make smart and beneficial decisions while dealing with international shipping.
Along with packaging, you must also pay attention to correctly labeling the items. It is important to display the relevant information on the product’s packaging, such as its contents and destination. Different countries have different rules regarding the labeling of items. Therefore, it would be better if you label your packaging according to the guidelines of the country where you want to ship your goods.
Get Shipping Insurance
Commonly, items get lost or damaged during international shipping. Therefore, getting shipping insurance is a must because it will cover your expenses if any items are destroyed.
By obtaining shipping insurance, you can also get compensation if your items are stolen. If your goods have to cover a long distance, the risk of theft can increase, so it is better to secure yourself in advance. There is no point in putting your business at risk when shipping valuable items, so getting insurance can protect your finances.
Know Shipping Restrictions
Certain items have restrictions in international countries, so you must know about them beforehand to act accordingly. Knowing about the guidelines for restricted items is crucial because it can ensure a hassle-free shipping process for you.
For example, if you ship a package of restricted items, customs officials can retain it for an extended time. Also, you may not receive the cargo back in some cases, so you have to face financial loss in such situations. Knowing the shipping restrictions will save you cost, effort, and time. Therefore, always inquire about the guidelines of the shipping restrictions of the country where you want to send your shipment.
Learn Customs Regulations
As mentioned above, customs officials will inspect your packages to ensure you are not shipping any restricted items. You need their clearance to ship your products successfully to another country.
You must have the complete and correct paperwork to ensure that your shipment can clear the customs inquiry. This paperwork is comprised of two customs forms. One form is for the destination country, and another is for the home country.
You need to provide the correct information in both forms to ensure that your cargo can safely reach its destination. Ensure there is no discrepancy in the forms to avoid any trouble.
Beware of Scammers
In international shipping, you can face scenarios where you have to deal with scammers. These types of scams mostly occur when scammers pretend to be the agent of shipping companies.
You should make a proper inquiry if you run into any person claiming to be an employee of a shipping company. Always visit the website of the shipping company before signing a final deal. Look for online platforms to learn about the feedback of people regarding the services of that company. It will help you make the right decision and keep you safe from scams.
International shipping involves many technical aspects that you should know. When conducting international business, all eyes are on your company, so you need to take every step carefully. From choosing the transportation method to using safe packaging, knowing shipping restrictions, to getting shipping insurance, you need to pay attention to different factors. It will ensure a smooth and hassle-free shipping process and will prove to be beneficial for your company’s progress.