It has never been easier to sell and buy things online or ship items internationally. Whether you’re an individual entrepreneur or a small business owner, you can benefit from the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce. Numerous marketplaces made it possible to access customers across the world. For example, shipping to Canada can be a great start for U.S. retailers or businesses. While expanding your audiences and handling transactions from different countries has become easier, shipping freight internationally can still be a challenge.
How to Ship Internationally: Principles of International Shipping
International shipping moves shipments between countries via various transportation modes: trucking, ocean, or road. The main complexity of shipping freight internationally is the customs clearance process. It is important to consider all the intricacies of import and export rules and regulations of a certain country, as well as taxes, duties, etc. If you’re shipping a parcel, you would typically go to the parcel shipping service and just pay for delivery. But the process becomes more complicated if you need to ship a large volume of goods or freight. Usually, shippers turn to freight forwarding companies or work with a customs broker to arrange their shipment.
Types of International Freight Shipping
The type of your international shipping is determined by the transport means you choose to complete the delivery. While air freight transportation is fast and effective, ocean freight shipping is more suitable for moving large items. If you are only starting to ship internationally, it is recommended to use ground freight transportation due to its high accessibility and cost-efficiency.
Ground freight transportation offers you two main shipping modes depending on your cargo size and expected delivery time.
- Less than truckload shipping mode (LTL) is a perfect option for small shipments that don’t require the whole trailer’s space. You’ll share the truck with several individuals and thus saving shipping costs.
- Full truckload shipping mode (FTL) suits large time-sensitive shipments with high load safety requirements.
How to Organize International Freight Shipping?
When planning your international shipments, make sure to follow principal preparation steps.
Although you might be working with customs brokerage services, your primary responsibility is to collect and provide accurate information about your shipment. Weight, dimensions, value, classes, possible restrictions, or anything that is needed for transportation and customs clearance must be correct.
Since international freight shipping requires more time for preparations and planning all the necessary operations, it is recommended to complete demand forecasting. You can do it by analyzing your income over certain periods. If you are actively selling your products online, demand forecasting can be held with the help of various marketing tools like collecting feedback, etc. These actions will allow you to start your international shipping with the most popular products.
Finding an experienced customs broker is probably the most critical step in shipping freight internationally. A good professional will know all the nuances involved in the process and save you time and money. From collecting required paperwork and filling out numerous customs forms to actually handling the customs clearance, a customs broker will be your key guide in the global shipping process and inform you about all the duties and taxes you may face. Usually, businesses use freight forwarding companies, but some international shipping services offer customs brokers on their side to make it easier for the shippers.
Once your shipment has successfully crossed the border, it’s important to make sure it makes it to the final destination. Through shipment tracking, you can monitor how the transportation process is going and analyze gaps if there are some. Moreover, shipment tracking significantly increases customers’ experience by keeping them updated on the cargo’s location. Also, let’s not dismiss reverse logistics and returns, which are pretty common in eCommerce. Think about how your business will respond if the product does not satisfy or fit your customers.
The choice of carrier is extremely important for successful international shipments. When deciding on suitable international shipping services, verify the carrier’s capacity meets your load requirements and can deliver the items within set deadlines.
Need to ship freight internationally? GoShip provides shipping options to and from Canada with easy online booking and customs broker assistance.