International shipping is a great way to expand your customer base and grow your business. But it can also be a challenge to get started. There are different factors to consider, like customs regulations, types of transportation, and choosing the right shipping company.
With some research, you can easily overcome any obstacles associated with the international shipping process to help scale your business successfully. From determining which markets to target to selecting a suitable shipping partner, there are many ways to ensure a smooth process when starting international shipping.
Consider these five tips for succeeding with international shipping:
Research Your Product
Unfortunately, not all products are a good option for international trade. When expanding your e-Commerce business internationally, there are several things to research before you can decide whether or not a particular product is worth shipping internationally.
The cost of shipping the product, the added time for delivery, and potential customs charges are some factors you need to consider before launching a site-wide campaign targeted at international customers.
Research the cost of shipping the product from your location. The cost to ship can be vastly different from product to product, depending on the size and nature of the goods. While the shipping for some products in the U.S. may be reasonably inexpensive, international shipping rates can be cost-prohibitive.
Goods that are fragile, heavy, or cumbersome have more risks and costs, so unless you have a large profit margin, it is best to stick to shipping these products only domestically.
Find any extra steps required for international shipping, such as additional forms that need to be completed or special labels that need to be attached to your product packaging. Some products or their components may be classified as hazardous and require additional labels such as Hazmat stickers or placards.
Some components, like lithium-ion batteries, may be ineligible for shipping via air freight. This means you’ll need to ship a package containing these components via ocean freight which can significantly extend the delivery time. This also prohibits you from offering options like express international shipping, limiting your market competitiveness.
Be aware of customs charges or duties incurred when shipping the product to the destination country. By default, most international shipments are classified as Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU). This Incoterm means that the customer is responsible for paying any duties or taxes. It is critical to be transparent about the total cost of shipping the product with the customer.
Alternatively, you can opt for Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), in which the seller is responsible for paying duties and taxes. You’ll need to incorporate the fees into your shipping costs or product prices.
Learn Shipping Restrictions
International shipping rules and regulations depend on the country you plan to ship to. The United Nations recognizes over 220 countries and territories, which makes understanding international shipping regulations highly complex. Some countries prohibit the import of certain products, including raw materials used to create these products, like alcohol or certain botanicals.
Failure to comply with each country’s shipping regulations could result in costly shipping delays or cargo seizures. To ensure that you comply with international shipping laws at your proposed export destination, you must partner with experienced international shipping companies that offer services like freight forwarding.
Asiana USA offers comprehensive air and ocean freight forwarding services, including advice on international compliance, paperwork and documentation, warehousing and storage, and international banking.
Decide on the Method of Transportation
When deciding upon the method of transportation for your goods, cost, speed, and the nature of the goods are all critical considerations. Shipping by sea is typically cheaper than shipping by land, but it is also slower, often taking up to 30 business days to reach its destination.
To get your shipments to your customer’s door, you may consider multimodal transport, which includes various shipping modes, including air, ocean, land, and rail. Rail networks and land transport are often faster and more reliable than ocean freight, which is subject to inclement weather. Shipping by land can be an excellent way to move goods across shared borders, such as shipping from the U.S. to Mexico or Canada.
Be Transparent With Your Customers
Transparency is a critical part of international shipping. To earn the trust and loyalty of your customers, you need to be transparent about your shipping costs and timelines.
In 2022, 48% of cart abandonment on e-Commerce sites was due to additional shipping fees and costs, and 22% said the delivery was too slow, according to the Baymard Institute.
Partner with a Logistics Solution Provider
To streamline and automate your international fulfillment process, partner with an experienced logistics provider. At Asiana USA, we have the experience, resources, and connections to ensure your international shipping is cost-effective and successful.
We can help you choose the best transportation method for the goods you are shipping, help you classify them correctly, and complete all required documentation. We will also track your order en route to update you on the ETA so you can build brand loyalty with your customer base.
Build a Successful International e-Commerce Business with Asiana USA
If you’re looking for an international shipping logistics partner, look no further than Asiana USA. Our freight forwarders and freight brokers can streamline shipping and logistics for your e-Commerce business to ensure that your international shipments comply with all regulations so your products reach your customers. Contact us today at (855) 500-1808 to learn what shipping services we offer and get started.