5 Facts You Should Know About International Shipping

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When you are shipping internationally, there are specific guidelines that you will need to follow in comparison to domestic shipping. The first objective is to make sure that the package arrives safely, on time, and intact.

Necessary Documentation

The United States requires a shipper to have export documents for national security, product control, compilation of export statistics, and to protect endangered species. In turn, each country of import will have specific guidelines and required documentation to assess taxes and protect citizens from risky disease and pests.

Different Countries, Different Laws

Many countries have certain laws to determine what can and can’t be imported into the country. Every package goes through an international custom check. If illegal items are found in a package, it delays the shipping process and the package could be considered undeliverable. It may not even be returned to the shipper. Before shipping, find out what items are forbidden or considered illegal in a specific country. Some of these forbidden items may be surprising to you, so make sure you check prior to shipping anything overseas.

Good Packaging

Be aware of how to pack an item, since every package endures rough handling during an international journey. When packing, use plenty of filler material stuffed between products, and pack items in a strong box with a lot of packing tape. Be sure to clearly write the shipping and return address on the box. Insert a card with both addresses inside the box as well. Heavy items should be packed at the bottom of the box. Wrap the box with additional packing material and put into an extra box if you are shipping breakable items.

Measurement and Pricing

To determine pricing, provide measurements of the box that include its height, width, length, and weight. Once you have this information, call various shipping companies to get a good estimate on price. If the price seems to be too high, you may want to alter your packing by possibly shipping two smaller boxes instead of one.

Length of Shipment

Lastly, complete the custom form required. Add insurance if necessary, especially if the amount is in excess of a specific value. Remember that overseas shipping will take much longer than domestic shipping. Check the expected arrival time; some packages can take several weeks. Be sure to keep the shipping label with the tracking number in a safe place so you can periodically check on the shipment. Once you follow all of the regulations, rules, and guidelines for international shipping, your package should arrive safely and on time. Other things to bear in mind are the currency of the country and any tariff fees associated with the shipment.

Truck on the Road

The author, Rick Schumacher, is a logistics expert and freelance blogger. He writes in order to share his wisdom with readers seeking information about logistics and the industry. He recommends checking out a professional on the subject, like the freight forwarders in Houston, for more information.