5 Things to Keep in Mind When Shipping Overseas

ECommerce industry has been experiencing a massive growth for the past several years. Until recently, most online stores were only targeting buyers from their own countries. Now, as the shipping industry has merged with the eCommerce niche, online stores have started conquering international markets, offering products to the overseas buyers. Although product delivery to foreign buyers is much easier now, it still comes with its unique set of challenges. In this article, we’re going to analyze the challenges of overseas shipping and help you better understand the process of international shipping.

1. Customs

Entrepreneurs who plan to send their products to foreign markets need to deal with customs departments. The longevity and the complexity of the customs process depends on the goods you’re trying to export and on the regulations in the consignee’s country. Every product that’s being sent across the border is required to clear customs. This means you must fill in the necessary paperwork before every shipment. It’s usually the two customs forms, one for your country’s customs authorities and other for the custom department of the country where the product is being shipped.

In most cases, the customs department will charge you with a customs fee. These fees can vary depending on the value of the product and on the customs regulations in the consignee’s country. Most eCommerce companies oblige foreign customers to pay customs fees for the products they are buying.

2. Restricted items

Various countries restrict different types of products. If you try to send a restricted product, customs authorities will probably restrict and seizure it for an indefinite period of time. By sending restricted items, you’re also risking getting your consignee in trouble. For example: Iran restricts alcohol, most countries in the world restrict the shipments of cannabis-based products, including: seeds, flowers, hash, oil and brownies.

3. Shipping fee

Shipment fees are charged by the shipping company. They can vary depending on the product dimensions and value. Fragile product shipping usually requires you to pay additional fees. Before sending your products, try to shop around a bit and check the rates of several shipping companies. If you plan to establish an international eCommerce business that requires you to deliver hundreds or even thousands of products per month, you should try to make a deal with the shipping company in order to get a special price. Most online stores that offer free shipping to their customers pay their shipments in a bundle, on a monthly or a yearly basis.

4. Means of transport

Shipping companies are using various means of transport to deliver the package to its destination. When choosing the adequate mean of transport, think about the three main factors: time, shipping costs and the product itself. Airplane shipments are the fastest and the most expensive, however, most big export companies opt for sea freight forwarding, as it is one of the most economical ways of sending larger items.

5. Packaging

The goods you are sending overseas need to be carefully packed and labeled. This way you’ll make the customs process easier and your package will reach its destination much faster. Packaging products for overseas shipments is not always easy. Some countries have special regulations that define the appropriate form of packaging for various imported goods. This is very important in case you’re sending perishable and fragile items. If you’re not sure what kind of packaging you should use, you can always choose a shipment company, which offers shipment and packaging services in a bundle.

Overseas shipments are riskier than domestic ones, due to complex customs regulations and potential accidents. That’s why you need to do your homework to ensure that your shipment will safely arrive at the desired destination. Buying a shipment insurance is definitely one of the best ways for solving this problem, especially if you’re shipping valuable products.