Internationally shipping a package is a little different than sending something within the United States. Between additional costs, increased chances of damage, and keeping track of each country’s shipping rules, there’s a lot to learn about international shipping. We’ve listed five of the most important things that you need before sending off your package. Read on before you ship anything overseas!
- Shipping rules and regulations may vary among countries.
Before you send something overseas, make sure your package doesn’t contain any prohibited items. For example, some countries have banned cigars and you can’t send them to residents. There are also some commonplace items that you can’t mail internationally at all. You may not think that sending your favorite perfume or nail polish is a big deal, but USPS begs to differ.
- Find out the cost of shipping.
Shipping a package internationally comes with fees and charges you may not be aware of. When you ship something in the states, you only have to worry about one shipping charge. An international shipment may come with customs fees and shipping fees and taxes when the package stops in different countries. Online retailers will find that limiting international shipping may be a cost-effective option, even if it limits your clientele.
- Think about how you want to ship your package.
Ask yourself these questions before shipping your package: how much do I care about saving money? Does this package need to reach the recipient by a certain date?
First of all, packages sent internationally are prone to delays. Anticipate the potential for a prolonged delivery and take that into consideration when giving the customer an estimated time of arrival. Keep in mind that the method of shipment will impact the transportation time and cost. When deciding between air freight and sea freight, consider your budget, the ETA, and what you’re shipping. Sea freight is an affordable alternative to air, which is the expensive yet speedy method of international shipping. However, sending a package via sea cargo extends the shipment time, and puts it at risk for damages.
- Make sure you have the right address.
This is a no-brainer, but it is ever so crucial when you’re shipping internationally. Make sure you have the recipient’s address correct on the package and that you've included your return address, too. An incorrect address can delay delivery and make tracking an ordeal.
- Consider insuring your shipment.
Insuring your package is an additional expense you may think you want to skip when you’re accounting for customs fees and tariffs, but this is one area where you shouldn't cut corners. Think of all the worst-case possibilities that come with international shipping: packages can be lost in transit and have a higher risk of damages. Err towards safety and insure your package.