Shipping Internationally can be a hassle for some, even though it does not need to be. Many mistakes can be made, which will make things more complicated than they need to be. To make sure your shipment is handled as smoothly as possible, we have compiled a list of the most common mistakes.
Here are the seven most commonly made blunders you should avoid when sending items abroad:
1. Not Understanding Customs Regulations
When an item is shipped internationally, it must go through customs to get into the destination country. If your shipment does not come from another country, it will need to be cleared by customs upon entry before being delivered to its intended recipient.
This process usually takes about four days, plus or minus one day, depending on how often shipments come into the area. You cannot predict this time accurately without speaking with someone who has done it before, so just plan for the worst.
2. Not Understanding Destination Regulations
The destination country has regulations that must be followed as well, even if they are not as strict as the ones in your own country. There may be restrictions on what you can ship.
You will need to understand the rules and regulations at the destination point of entry, as they vary from country to country. It is illegal to ship certain types of food or liquids in some countries.
It is wise to check with your shipper to see if they have any information about rules and regulations you should be aware of.
3. Not Understanding Shipping Regulations
Depending on where your item is going and how quickly it must get there, specific shipping regulations may need to be followed. Your shipper should know, so you do not have to figure it out by yourself.
If your item is being sent express, it will need to go on a plane. Some countries require specific types of paperwork for this, so it is essential to understand what those requirements are and to make sure they are completed promptly.
4. Using an Inappropriate Carrier
Many available carriers have their own services and limitations, so finding the right one is crucial to a smooth shipment. Using a carrier without actually knowing what they offer can add an extra layer of difficulty.
If you ship with a company that does not specialize in international shipments, then they will not have the resources available to handle your shipment on time.
For example, suppose you are using a postal service to send a package to the Philippines. In that case, the process will not go as smoothly as it would if you were using a shipping company that specializes in international exports.
5. Not Using the Right Carrier
Even if you use a commercial carrier, there are many to choose from, and they each have their own advantages and limitations, such as insurance availability or location restrictions.
It would be best if you understood what your shipment entails before settling on any one of them so that you can send it properly and avoid problems with customs, destination countries, and other carriers along the way.
6. Not Understanding How to Package Your Item for Shipping
Depending on how fragile or valuable your item is, you may need to invest more money in extra padding and reinforcement than others when building a package for shipping internationally. If you are not careful, your shipment can be damaged along the way.
Your commercial carrier will most likely have their preferred method of boxing and padding items, so be sure to follow their instructions.
There is no set requirement must consult someone who has done it before to figure out the best solution for your situation.
7. Not Taking Care of Paperwork
When dealing with customs, paperwork is a necessary evil. In fact, one of the most common mistakes made when shipping internationally is not completing paperwork ahead of time.
Especially if you have done it before, this one should be easy to avoid. Make sure to prepare your documents well in advance, so you are not rushing at the last minute, leading to mistakes that further complicate your shipment.
You can also speed up the process by working with a professional customs broker who has experience shipping to your destination country. They know what needs to go where and how long each step will take so that they can give you an accurate timeframe.
Your international shipment may not always arrive on time or without problems, but you should have good results if you avoid these common mistakes.