Expanding your business to include international customers is a good idea. This is an excellent way to earn more income, increase customer base and develop an international brand. However, shipping to other countries can sometimes be complicated and here are 5 important things to know about international freight shipping, to help you avoid some common mistakes.
1. Know the shipping rules and regulations
Not all countries have the same customs laws and if you are not careful your products could be delayed or not delivered at all. Check with an official of the country or visit the official website to check out all their laws concerning international trade. This can save you some major headaches and excessive fees in some cases. Also, make sure you have the necessary documentation to prove what country your shipment originated in. If you have a great deal of business lined up with customers internationally, you may need to talk to a trade lawyer or someone familiar with all the laws. This is especially important if you are shipping large items in special crates.
2. Use the proper international freight shipping labels.
Before printing international shipping labels, make certain you have the correct address and the address is complete. One simple mistake can delay a shipment for a significant amount of time and could end up raising your shipping costs.
3. Keep in touch with customers.
After a customer receives your first shipment, ask for feedback. For example, was the material damaged? Was all the labeling correct? Something as simple as asking questions can help you avoid a great deal of problems in the future.
4. Pack things the right way.
Shipping internationally is the not the same thing as shipping within your own country. First, check with your shipper to see how many times your freight changes hands or is transferred. The more times something is handled, the more secure it needs to be packed. If you are shipping fragile merchandise you may need to pay extra for special handling services. However, this is much better than dealing with a damaged shipment and dissatisfied international customer.
5. Choose the right international freight shipping company.
Check to see if the shipper has experience with the country you are shipping to. Some services may be limited on the countries they can serve. It’s also important to compare shipping charges as some companies may be much cheaper and provide the same services. This can save you a lot of money.