One of the ways to increase the growth of your business is to sell your products overseas. With the rapid growth of internet commerce getting into this market sector will let you reach more customers, expand your brand awareness, and offer competitive rates alongside total efficiency.
Global shipping is quite straightforward if you follow a few simple guidelines. See how to make an international shipment here…
Customs and regulations
Customs clearance will require documents for your goods to cross the border. There may be restrictions on what you’re shipping and where to, so you’ll need to check with postal services to find out what restrictions apply to your items.
Custom forms will vary from country to country, but generally ask for information on the sender, the recipient, and shipment details – this includes the value of the goods. Bear in mind that some customs documents need to be placed in the shipment itself, whilst others need to be visible on the exterior.
If you’re concerned about these formalities you could consider hiring a customs broker who will help you determine fees, and act as a go-between with the customs authorities in the country of destination.
Preparing your shipment
The packaging you choose will depend on the size and weight of your goods. Boxes need to be sturdy and undamaged. There should be enough room to allow for extra packing such as bubble wrap or foam peanuts. Cushion goods on all sides to limit movement during transit.
If you have to include a customs form or invoice in your parcel place it on the top so that it’s immediately visible on opening. Use strong adhesive tape to ensure the package is sealed securely around the flaps and at the base and top of the box.
Labelling must be clear and visible. Include the address of the recipient in full, as well as your return address in case of any transportation issues. Record as many contact details as possible.
Crucial to international shipping is a tracking number which offers you the ability to track your package online and be made aware of if it gets caught up in the customs system.
International delivery and transportation
There’s a lot of people involved in international transport from booking agents to freight forwarders. You are the shipper – it could be you personally, or the seller that you buy your product from. The consignee is the receiver of the cargo – someone you are selling the product to.
The shipping line is the international shipping company carrying your cargo at sea. And the freight forwarder is the logistics provider who you’ll have the most contact with. They’ll arrange the transportation from you to your customer.
International transport companies such as FedEx will supply you with an online quote for shipping charges, detailing available services and their rates. With the online tools provided, you can create a shipping line and complete all relevant documentation. There’s a demonstration video to watch if you get stuck!
You’ll be able to drop off your goods at a specified location or have the goods picked up from the address of your choosing.
UPS also offers a range of available delivery options with pricing that updates as you enter your details online. A shipping wizard will take you through the steps to get your international package ready for shipping. You’ll know exactly where your goods are at all times with real-time tracking.
International shipping processes
Stage one of the transportation is export haulage relating to the movement of the cargo from you the shipper to the freight forwarders location. The goods typically would be moved by truck, rail, or a combination of both.
International shipments from Spain, for example, would need to meet all customs formalities, carried out by your customs broker. Export customs clearance can also be performed by your freight forwarder – and has to be completed before the shipment can leave the country of origin.
The freight forwarder will ultimately decide on a shipping line to carry out the ocean freight from the origin to the destination, meeting all the required deadlines.
Import customs clearance is a formality where a declaration is made and submitted alongside relevant documents allowing the authorities to register and levy any customs duties on your shipment. This can also be performed by your freight forwarder or customs broker on your behalf.
Cargo handling is also needed at the destination before the shipment can be released to your consignee or buyer. This procedure covers the transfer of the container from the ship to shore, and then from the port to the destination warehouse. Included in this process is the unloading of the cargo in preparation for your buyer.
Import haulage is the final stage with the actual delivery being made. Typically covered would be the transportation to a specific address where the buyer would unload their goods from the truck.
If you need help and advice with all aspects of international shipping contact an all-in-one consultancy company who will handle everything for you.