Shipping internationally is a complicated process. There are rules, regulations, and endless amounts of paperwork involved. Getting items through custom clearance requires preparation, and all documentation must be in line.
In addition, international delivery can end up costing a lot of money. Depending on the shipment type, a business can incur several added charges, many of which are hidden.
By taking a measured and informed approach, companies can avoid additional costs and ensure your shipment arrives on time. Before learning these steps, it’s essential to understand what extra fees to look out for.
Extra Fees to Be Aware Of
There are two main types of international delivery services: postal services and express couriers.
Postal services are usually run by national governments and operate using a simple and affordable pricing structure.
Express couriers are worldwide networks and link countries across the globe. Their services are usually much faster, efficient, and reliable. With this improved service, there are higher prices.
When looking into the extra fees associated with express couriers, they can be divided into three categories:
1. Shipping Related Charges
These fees are associated with shipment details, like pickup location, delivery location, and delivery times. Fuel surcharges are the most common shipping related fees.
Extended area surcharges are added to deliveries in certain locations. These are generally for areas that are outside of the regular routes taken by the courier.
Value-added services are optional additional charges. Insurance or after-hours delivery are examples of such charges.
Failed deliveries are often charged by the courier company if the shipper includes the wrong shipping information.
2. Handling Charges
Handling fees refer to the items you’re shipping, their packaging, weight, and dimensions. Couriers generally have specific guidelines for different types of items.
Irregular packaging fees are charged if the packaging and shape of the item doesn’t fit the guidelines. Heavy or oversized goods usually warrant surcharges.
Dangerous goods are more expensive to ship. Items that contain hazardous materials need careful handling, resulting in additional fees.
3. Tax and Duty Related Charges
Taxes and duties for international shipping are generally paid in two different ways:
DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid)
The recipient pays the taxes and duties. However, if the recipient refuses to pay, the shipper becomes responsible for the item(s).
DDP (Delivery Duty Paid)
The shipper is responsible for paying tax and duty. Pay close attention to these fees as they can be complex.
A brokerage fee is a type of C.O.D (collect on delivery) invoice for imported goods. Many couriers charge it at the point of delivery. Brokerage fees can cost up to 50% of the item’s price. For this reason, many people refuse to pay, and the items are returned to the sender. This harms businesses and their customers.
Brokerage fees are experienced by a lot of Canadian residents when purchasing from the United States. Although Canada Post doesn’t charge many extra fees, international couriers may charge high brokerage fees. To avoid these costs, customers should contact their local CBSA office to self-clear items.
How to Avoid Extra Fees
While you can’t avoid paying all additional fees, here are some ways to reduce your international shipping costs.
Self Clear Your Items
For low-value shipment items, self-clearing will prevent you from being charged brokerage fees. To self-clear your items, inform your courier that you’ll pay taxes and duties directly.
Print your commercial invoice, then contact your local CBSA office with your order information and ask for instructions on clearing your items. Finally, collect an official receipt to present upon delivery.
Read the Fine Print
Additional fees are often detailed in the fine print. Ensure to read it and take the necessary steps to avoid unnecessary costs.
Give Correct Information
Human error is the cause of many additional fees. Check the contact information and any other details before completing the order process.
Negotiate with Carriers
Reach out to various shipping companies and negotiate fees. Establish definite criteria and go through all costs before agreeing to a deal.
Pay attention to the packaging requirements as they can vary between carriers. Prioritize efficiency and keep the material, size, and weight of your items within the regulations.
It’s Worth the Effort
Going the extra mile with international delivery may seem like a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. Additional fees can quickly add up, which may be cost-prohibitive for your business in the long term. The most effective approach is to be informed and organized.
Asiana USA is a first-rate international shipping company. For a free quote or further information, contact one of our experts today at (855) 500-1808.