Interesting fact: About 90% of all traded goods in the world are transported via sea.
Are you considering expanding your e-commerce business and selling your products beyond your borders? Or are you thinking about importing products for sale to your country? If so, you should think about international e-commerce shipping.
The first question to ask yourself is how your products will reach your target consumers. To do international e-commerce shipping right, you must have a well-planned strategy. The strategy should work for both your customers and your business.
You may not need a lot of knowledge about shipping, but you should assess your business’s needs. It’s also imperative to understand the available options and find an approach that best works for your company.
Below is an easy guide to help you with international shipping:
Check International Shipping and Customs Regulations
Before shipping your products internationally, you should be sure that whatever you’re selling is accepted in the country you’re sending it to. If you don’t check customs regulations, you may end up losing thousands of dollars in delays and expensive fines or penalties. Today, different countries have different international shipping regulations.
For example, you can’t import used clothing into Bulgaria or matching shoes into Mexico. The best way to find out its customs regulations is to check their official custom website. Most countries will clearly list down what isn’t allowed into the country on their customs website.
There are two types of restrictions that countries have when it comes to imported goods. These include prohibited items and restricted interests. Prohibited items mean that the goods can’t be imported into the country for whatever reason, and importing them will attract a fine or even jail time.
On the other hand, restricted goods should meet specific strict criteria before being cleared by customs officers and allowed to enter the country. Unfortunately, most governments ban harmless goods for no particular reason. However, some items are forbidden because of the safety of the end-user or the transportation process.
Check the Extra Costs of International Shipping
Transporting your products from one country to another isn’t cheap. You will have to pay shipping fees and other additional expenses. These costs may include tariffs, taxes, and duty fees.
Taxes, for example, are an added expense to people looking to ship products internationally. An import tax will be applied to your shipment, and it’s payable upon the delivery of goods or in advance based on the country. Duties, on the other hand, are a percentage of your shipments’ after-tax value.
Tariffs are also a type of tax added to foreign products that restrict their trade from certain countries. This makes the foreign product more expensive and less attractive to local consumers. Hence, it keeps local traders competitive in the country.
If this is the first time you’re considering shipping items internationally, check out the biggest shipping companies. They have the best calculators to help you estimate the total cost of shipping, including these extra expenses. This enables you to price your shipping rates and products accordingly.
Pack Your Items Well
Proper packing will ensure that you reduce the risk of delays and extra costs. There are numerous packaging supplies in the market to help you pack your items with a touch of class.
You can use boxes to pack your products. They are the most common ways to pack items and send parcels. Boxes are also readily available, strong for hiding heavyweight, and easy to
- Purchase high-quality, sustainable boxes
- Avoid any empty spaces on your packages
- Check the weight of your items and choose the appropriate packaging material
- Correctly seal the box after packing.
- Label your boxes clearly and use warning labels if you need to
Proper packaging is essential for shipping e-commerce internationally. This will ensure that your products aren’t damaged, and they get to their destination on time.
Consider Shipping Insurance
Even when using reputable international shipping companies, it’s normal to be nervous if you send valuable and fragile items. The last thing you want is to send damaged and broken products to your customers. Not only is this added cost on you, but you may also lose the customers’ trust.
But if the products are damaged, you wouldn’t want to pay for the item out of pocket. Fortunately, there I shipping insurance that will give both you and your customers some peace of mind. The insurance will pay for the items in case they are damaged en route to your customers.
In most cases, the customer is more than willing to pay for international shipping insurance. All you need to do is ask them about it. If you want to offer your customers shipping insurance, ensure you mention it in the product description and the return and refund policy.
Find the Right Courier Service
Finding the best international shipping solution is essential for your products to be delivered safely. Finding a reputable and reliable courier service requires a lot of research. This will also help you find a cost-effective international shipping option without compromising the quality of the delivery and punctuality.
When weighing your options, there are numerous factors to consider. These include:
- The countries you’re shipping to
- The amount of time your customers are willing to wait
- How much money they will pay
- How regularly do you send the products to that country
Check out all couriers and compare them before settling on one. Couriers are different and offer better services in certain areas. Some courier services are better for shipping to certain countries than others.
In some cases, it’s better to ship using different couriers. Especially if you’re shipping to European countries or looking for the best customs broker in Brazil, check out Sober Network Shipping.
It’s Time to Consider International E-Commerce Shipping for Your Business
The rules and dynamics are constantly changing regarding e-commerce shipping customs, importing and exporting goods. Every day, the regulatory requirements, international shipping rules, and the documents needed are continually developing.
If you’re considering international e-commerce shipping for your business, following the above tips is essential.
Did you like this article? Check out other posts on our site for more informative tips.