Starting a business is no mean feat, and it takes time and dedication to get your startup where it can stand on its feet. Now that you have successfully bypassed that step and are ready to expand into international markets, you should know a couple of things. Shipping items locally is pretty straightforward. However, the process becomes more complex and expensive since your items come from different countries worldwide. The goal is to get your parcels intact and on time, improve customer satisfaction and avoid losing money. This article will discuss some practical tips for startups hoping to venture into worldwide shipping.
Determine how you will ship your items
The mode of transportation is one of the most important factors to consider when shipping internationally. You could either ship by air or by land. However, you could transport your parcels on land in some unique cases. If you have bulky and sturdy items, you are better off shipping them by sea, which is the cheaper option. On the other hand, air travel is best for fragile or urgent items. A major con of shipping by air is that it is pretty pricey. We suggest you resort to land travel if the supplier is close to your location.
Consider shipping insurance
It is not uncommon for parcels to arrive damaged or get lost in the system. Sometimes, malicious people could steal your goods, especially when shipping items over a great distance. The loss of a parcel, valuable or not, could make you look unreliable and earn you a bad reputation with clients. Without insurance, you will also have to dig deep into your pockets to replace the item or pay for it to get fixed. As a startup, you might not have this kind of money. Therefore, it would help to obtain shipping insurance, which will cushion you in case of any eventuality.
Calculate the various costs that come with shipping
If you are shipping items locally, you will probably pay a few dollars in shipping fees and wait for your parcel. However, international shipping is more complex and comes with additional costs you need to know about. First and foremost, it would help to budget for the customs fees. Before you order an item, check the prices, as customs will charge more to ship a valuable item. In addition to clearing the customs fees, you will require a customs brokerage that simplifies the complex processes of customs clearance. Secondly, we suggest you plan accordingly to pay the shipping tariffs, which is the money your shipping company will charge you for its services.
Expect your items to arrive late
It would be far-fetched to expect a parcel traveling overseas to arrive overnight. You are better off being realistic and preparing for your packages to arrive later than the indicated date. We suggest you explain the delayed shipping times to your clients so they won’t get their hopes up or have unrealistic expectations. Your customers will feel safer and trust you more when you provide them updates on the location of their items.
Ensure the packaging is solid and well-labeled
Your parcels will travel thousands of miles before they get to their destination. Therefore, ensuring they arrive in good shape after enduring rough handling, turbulence or bumpy roads would be wise. Firstly, the type of packaging will depend on the nature of the item inside. For instance, fragile items will require more robust packaging. Secondly, the mode of transportation will also determine how strong your packaging material needs to be. Air travel tends to be gentler on your parcels than transporting them by sea. However, the former is more expensive. After you have chosen the suitable packaging material, ensure you include relevant information on the exterior, such as the contents, destination, and the recipient’s address.
Familiarize yourself with all the regulations
Specific rules and regulations govern overseas shipping to ensure everyone stays in line. For instance, there is a list of restricted items you should familiarize yourself with to prevent run-ins with the law. Once customs finds out your parcel contains restricted items, they will hold it for an extended period, causing you to lose time and money. It would also help to know more about customs regulations and complete the necessary paperwork to ensure your parcels reach their destinations safely and on time.
If you intend to expand your territories and ship internationally, you are better off doing things correctly. We hope this article has provided practical tips to help you develop your business and ship items without hiccups.