4 Things to Keep in Mind for International Shipping
As your company grows, you’re going to meet a lot of exciting milestones. As you hit those milestones, though, you’re going to find that they come with some new challenges. Going global and international shipping can be big ones, especially for select industries.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, though, you’ll need to take a few things into consideration. Below, you’ll find 4 things you should always consider when looking at international shipping.
Look Up Regulations by Company for Your Products
Before you even get a shipment out the door, you need to research the regulations of the country that you’re shipping to. Asking yourself these questions can help get you started:
- What are the tax laws like where you’re shipping?
- Will local and international taxes affect how you fulfill orders?
- Will you need to adjust the prices of your products to make international shipping worth it?
- Are there laws surrounding the legality or validity of your products in the country that you’re shipping to?
- Do you have a point of contact that you can work closely with to get answers to your tougher questions?
Understanding how your company will be impacted by international sales is a crucial first step in figuring out how shipping is going to work and where it makes sense to export to. For instance, it might be more beneficial to have a central overseas “hub” that you ship to and then ship individually from there rather than shipping individually to different countries.
Talk to your shipping and logistics company to come up with an individualized plan that will work best for your company’s needs before you get too deep into international sales.
Get Your International Shipping Documentation Together
Depending on where you’re shipping and what you’re shipping, you’re going to have some paperwork to fill out. Some of the most common forms for international shipping are the Certificate of Origin and Shipper’s Export Declaration.
No matter which form you’re using, though, there are a few things that you’ll need to be prepared to share. Governments are going to want to know what you’re shipping, how much your shipping, what the cargo is worth, and whether there’s anything that could be dangerous. Remember that honesty is the best policy here. You don’t want to try to trick either the U.S. government or a foreign government. Not only is it a quick way to get shut down, it’s illegal.
Decide on the Type of Shipping Insurance You Need
Everything that you ship domestically or internationally is covered by the legal liability standard for the transportation industry (you can read more about that here) – but depending on the type of product your shipping and how much it’s worth, purchasing additional insurance could be in your best interest.
Even when you’re using the best companies for shipments and logistics, accidents happen. 1 in 10 packages across the globe either show up damaged or not at all. Plus, we all know that there are people out there who will brazenly take a package off of your doorstep. The chances of something going wrong increase when you’re shipping internationally, which is why it’s important to take a hard look at your insurance policies.
Making sure that your products are properly insured will help you keep customers happy and can save you thousands in the long run.
Consider Your Timing
Timing is so important when it comes to international shipping. Planning timing around customs can be complicated, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with it.
This is where an international shipping and logistics company can really help. At AFP Global Logistics, we have developed a network of reliable vendors that help us keep your shipment safe and on time. We keep up-to-date on the latest security developments and regulations to ensure prompt delivery.
With over 30 years of experience in shipping and logistics, AFP Global Logistics has developed a reputation for excellence. We’ll work with you to create an international shipping plan that is tailored to your company’s needs, helping you navigate regulations, insurance, documentation, and other obstacles along the way. For questions about international shipping, give us a call at (800) 274-1237 or contact us here.