Did you know that there are 195 countries around the world?
That’s a lot to choose from when you decide to opt for international shipping. If you’ve never shipped something abroad before, you might not realize what the process involves. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as shipping something to your friend in California.
Are you wondering how you can do it? Keep reading to learn all about how to ship internationally so that you don’t run into any problems.
How to Get Started
Are you wondering what qualifies as international shipping? Put in the simplest terms, it’s shipping any package to a country other than the United States. While Hawaii is an island in the Pacific ocean, it doesn’t count as international shipping because it’s one of the 50 states.
When it comes to international shipping, you can start by packaging the item like you would with any piece of domestic mail. However, since it’s going on a longer journey than usual, it’s often best to package the item with even more caution, especially if it’s already a fragile item.
With this in mind, you should use a few extra layers of bubble wrap or packing peanuts. The test is whether or not the item inside moves when you move the box. The less the object slides around, the more secure the packaging is, and the less likely an item will arrive damaged.
Don’t forget to write out the destination address and return address on the package. This is important because if it gets lost, it can either come back to you or eventually find its way to the person it was meant to reach.
Shipping Labels and Customs Forms
Before you can take advantage of any postal services, you’ll need to purchase a shipping label. This label is no different from the labels you might have used in the past for packages within the United States.
You can get a shipping label from any post office, but you can skip the lines at your local Goin’ Postal. After all, who wants to deal with lines and other inconveniences at the post office?
However, international shipping usually requires a customs form in addition to the shipping label.
The customs form is essential when you need to ship internationally. If you forget this, it won’t be possible to ship your package out of the country. Keep in mind that you must print out an approved customs form. Some shipping stores like Goin’ postal will help you fill out these forms as a courtesy.
The form should indicate the destination country, the items that are inside the package, their weight, as well as their estimated worth. Make sure you’re as accurate as possible when filling out the form because customs officers at the country of destination may open the package to check for themselves.
Country-Specific Requirements – Duties and Taxes
Whether you’re sending a one-off international package or you’re trying to add an international option to your small business shipping program, there are specific questions you need to research.
For example, is there a tax in the destination country you need to be aware of? If you’re running a business, then the last thing you would want to do is sell products at a loss. Even if the tax is modest, it can add up to huge losses over time.
Aside from product taxes, there might be other taxes like a customs duty fee. You may find out that shipping to one or more countries isn’t feasible from a business standpoint, which is why it’s better to find out ahead of time.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available that can help you with this research. If you’re not sure where to start, try to look up the requirements online.
Once you discover the most shipping-friendly countries for the types of products you sell, you can tap into many new customers.
Consider a Package Consolidator
The prices associated with shipping suppliers can vary quite a lot, especially when dealing with large packages. Instead of feeling disheartened, you should look into a package consolidator as a solution for shipping your business orders abroad.
Are you wondering what a packaging consolidator even is? If you’ve never heard of a package consolidator, it involves a shipping center that specializes in sending out international packages by being a middleman. The greatest benefit of this option is that it can save you a lot of money.
Depending on where the package is going, a consolidator may increase handling time, but it’s often a negligible amount. Be sure to keep your customers aware of the situation by letting them know when you’re shipping out their products, and don’t forget to provide them with a tracking number.
The leading international shipping providers are USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
Goin’ Postal is an authorized shipper for all 4 major international carriers and compares shipping rates between them to get you the best deal. Not only are the lines short, but the employees always put the customer first.
Are You Ready to Ship Internationally?
Now that you’ve learned how to ship internationally, you can make sure your packages get to where they need to be.
Whether you want to ship something abroad or within the United States, we make the process both easy and affordable. We’re also your one-stop-shop for all of your office needs, such as lamination, printing, notary services, and more. Feel free to stop by one of our two convenient locations in Douglas County, Oregon, or contact us for more information. We’re always happy to be of service.