If you run a small and medium-sized business, the chances are that you are always pulled in many directions. Irrespective of your daily hustle, you are always asking yourself how best you can keep the business growing. If you serve international clients, here are the best ways to safely ship overseas.
1. Know What You Are Shipping
This is the first rule of overseas shipping, especially when dealing with the commercial invoice. Air and sea freight services work differently, and unless you take your time to understand the nature of the products you are shipping, you will make huge mistakes.
There is the customs form that you will need to fill as accurately as possible. Clearly indicate the number of units and the actual value of the shipment. Make sure that you note the country of origin of the commodity you are shipping.
Note that the shipment will need to be classified, and the customs officials can only do that if you provide correct details. The items are highly likely to be held at customs if the commercial invoice is not descriptive enough.
2. Determine Where You Are Shipping
The next thing you must keep in mind is where you intend to ship internationally. Most small and medium-sized businesses in the US begin with Mexico and Canada because these areas are easily accessible to them.
But other countries located far away can make great trading partners as well. The world is such a huge place, and you should be free to ship anywhere you want as long as you play by the terms.
It is advisable to begin by looking for countries with a free trade agreement with the United States. These ones provide easy access to lower duties and straightforward customs clearance. While not all commodities you ship might qualify for lower tariffs, you can easily move products between countries with a free trade agreement.
3. Indicate Who You Are Shipping To
When filling out the commercial invoice, you must indicate accurate and full contact details of the person or company you are shipping to. That way, the items will move smoothly even if the customs might have some questions about who you are shipping to.
You must always approximate the total cost of the shipment, which can also be referred to as the landed cost. It is important that you know who will take care of duties, insurance, taxes, and shipping fees. It is okay if you choose to split the fees with the consignee.
You must bear in mind that shipping commodities to a B2C environment can be different from when you are shipping B2B.
4. Indicate When the Shipment Should Arrive
Maybe you are trying to find out the cheapest ways to ship commodities internationally. But that is determined by the duration the commodity should take to get to the other party. The rule is that you will pay more if you want the item to arrive faster.
There is an array of options when it comes to when the shipment should arrive. Talk to your recipient and agree on when the items should arrive and make them understand that if they want it sooner, you will have to pay more.
There are a number of shipment companies, and they operate on different terms. There are some that will not charge very high fees even when you need the commodity to arrive sooner.
5. Get The Shipment On Its Way
There is no need to struggle to find out how to ship internationally. There are online options that you can go by. Search for some of the best companies based on where you are shipping the items to, and they will assist you.
A good shipment company is one that lets you finish the shipment invoice as fast as possible. They should also have a good support team to ensure that you get the best customer experience.
If you are planning to have some items shipped internationally, then you can use the ideas shared in this post. Regardless of the company you choose to use, there are terms and conditions that you should be familiar with. Also, ask them about the shipment fees and the best payment methods they have in place.