10 essential tips for your international shipments

It doesn’t matter how big your country is; there will always be more potential customers out of it. That is why companies constantly look beyond their borders, in order to continue growing and reaching more public. But shipping internationally isn’t always easy. Whether you are a company with an entire supply chain or an individual who needs to make a timely shipment, there are a series of tips that will make your life easier.

Tricks to improve your international shipments

The most common feeling when dealing with international shipments is that of being lost. Prices, legislation, taxes… Many open fronts and without knowing where to start.

1. Plan

A company may have hit a gold mine for its industry, or an e-commerce may be excited to receive purchase requests from regions it has never sold to before. In these cases, even if enthusiasm is justified, it is necessary not to rush into action.
One misstep can be very costly, as it can jeopardize our company’s reputation. If we decide to make the leap abroad, we have to study previously in what conditions we are going to do it and if it is really going to be beneficial for us.

2. Don’t do it all at once

The further we ship, the more money it costs us to do so. For this reason, one of the usual battles is to decide to do it through slower means, such as the boat -to save costs-, or by plane, to make it as fast as possible.
A little trick that sometimes does not fall into is to send a small part of the total by plane and the rest by sea. Thus, our recipient can start working with that first batch of material while waiting for the arrival of the rest.

3. Check the fine print

In the world there are as many laws as there are countries, and making international shipments can force you to take an accelerated course in the matter. Anyone can assume that things like weapons, animals and food are going to be more regulated than the rest. However, you will do wrong if you trust yourself and do not study in detail the legislation that affects your merchandise.
For example, in Vietnam it is prohibited to import calendars if we do so with the intention of being commercialized. Make sure you don’t find out through disgust the legislative peculiarities of your destination countries.

4. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should

In itself, managing to send something to almost anywhere in the world is relatively easy today. But not all things are capable of being sent. Or, at least, it is not so profitable to do so. Something easy to pack, small and light (for example, technological items) is much more comfortable to manage than heavier and bulkier objects, hence the success of e-commerce and the typology of many of its products. But, depending on the case, the cost of transportation can be so high that shipping can hardly be justified. It is important to keep this in mind and not get carried away by the emotion of having received a large order somewhere in the world that is new to our company.

5. Going international does not mean going to any country

Taking the leap abroad is not the same as having to do it to everyone. And it is that we will be doing ourselves a disservice if we succumb to the temptation of adding as many countries as possible to our destinations without being really prepared.
This becomes even more important if it is the first time that you are going to make international shipments. Don’t try to cover more than you can; In the long term, you will appreciate having gone at a lower pace but playing it safe.
Investigate which are the optimal countries to start, taking into account the legal ease, the demand for your sector, the knowledge of your brand, etc.

6. Specify who is going to pay for what

In international shipments, the payment of taxes is a common source of disputes. Be sure to clarify who will be responsible for taxes, duties, and other payments that may arise during the shipment of the merchandise. The most common thing is that it is the client himself, but informing him in advance of these issues will not only avoid problems, but will also improve the image that your buyer has of you.

Sending further is not an excuse for your merchandise not to arrive in perfect condition

7. Avoid delays, do your homework

International transportation may be slow, especially if we use the ship. Therefore, you have twice as many reasons to do your part so that your international shipments do not suffer unnecessary delays. And issues as basic as incorrect documentation or the lack of complete information about the recipient can cause delays that often extend. As there are, as a general rule, more people in between when it comes to managing incidents, a simple mistake in the delivery address or the lack of a contact person can mean a longer delay than in domestic shipments.

8. Prepare your merchandise for the trip

In international shipments the merchandise suffers more. More kilometers of road, sea or air. More transshipments, loading and unloading. But that is not an excuse for your client not to receive the merchandise in perfect condition. A good packaging and the meticulous preparation of the merchandise (whether on pallets, containers, etc.) will be the best start for the story to have a happy ending.

9. Be safe

If, as we have said, the merchandise suffers more in international shipments, it is also more likely to suffer breakage. Take the necessary time to study and analyze the different types of insurance available to you: the ones you need and/or the ones you want to make available to your own clients. Like the legislation, the coverage can vary from one country to another and it is an aspect that you must have controlled.

10. Let yourself help

When preparing, research all the resources at your disposal. Not only can you collect legal, technical and legal information, but you can go to official organizations such as the ICEX that, in addition to advice, can offer you financing to internationalize.

Thousands of companies send their merchandise throughout the world. Therefore, there is no reason why yours, if you prepare properly, cannot be one of them.

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Khaterine William

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