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How to Get Started with International Freight Shipping

What if the future of your business was overseas?

Many companies try to expand their business overseas. But when they move too fast or too soon, most of these expansions end up failing.

To expand your business, it’s best to start small by exploring your most economical shipping options. Done right, international freight shipping can help you save money while raising global awareness for your business.

How can you get started with this kind of international shipping? Keep reading to find out!

What Is International Freight Shipping?

International freight shipping refers to transporting goods to other countries. Such shipping may occur over land, sea, or ground transit but it comes with many complications.

For example, international shipping requires extensive documentation that shipping within your own country does not. And if you violate certain agreements, even by accident, you could end up paying much more than you initially thought.

Our guide will help prepare you for international freight delivery. This gives you all the benefits of international shipping without drawbacks!

Shipping by land, sea, and air

What Paperwork Do You Need to Ship Internationally?

You must have four key documents to ship internationally.

Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is very straightforward. It outlines the exact contract between you and the buyer and proof of sale.

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading details the agreement between the freight carrier and the business shipping the item. The info in this bill includes container seal ID numbers necessary for cargo shipping.

Export Packing List

The export packing list is another simple item. It outlines how many things you are sending as well as their size and weight.

Certificate of Origin

Finally, the certificate of origin proves where the shipment came from. This is important because some countries block the import of items from certain countries.

Make Sure the Fees Don’t Pile Up

The last thing you want to do is pay extra for international shipping services. But if you aren’t careful, fees from certain surcharges can really add up.

The biggest surcharges you need to worry about are demurrage and detention. Demurrage refers to any overtime your container spends at ports and terminals. Meanwhile, detention refers to the cost of using a container past the agreed-upon time.

Sometimes, the unexpected happens. Ports get congested, and documents are lost. When this happens, it takes longer for your item to get from Point A to Point B.

This can lead to expensive surcharges that can cost hundreds of dollars. However, you can avoid this by using a reliable shipping company for your international freight delivery. 

Get the Most Accurate Freight Quote

You can’t always control things like ports getting congested. But there are certain things you can control, including getting the most accurate quote for international shipping.

The best way to get an accurate quote is to provide the most accurate information. When you give the exact measurements (including size and weight) of what you are shipping, you are far more likely to get a precise quote.

Keep Track of Everything

Previously, we touched on the paperwork that you need for international shipping. Even after your item is in route, you need to continue documenting everything for your own peace of mind.

Stay in communication with all parties while your items are being shipped. Stay on top of any delays or other important developments.

It may sound exhausting, but staying on top of everything can prevent delays at customs. And this can get your items delivered quicker while saving money.

International freight shipping shipment tracking software

Pack Carefully For International Freight Shipment

Sometimes, the best preparation for international shipping starts before you gather your paperwork. In fact, you need to initially focus on carefully packing your items for freight shipment.

With international freight delivery, your items will have longer transit times. To keep them secure, consider packing using freight crates. Make sure everything is clearly and correctly labeled.

When shipping overseas, you may find there is a “sweet spot” between taking up too much room and keeping your items safe. When in doubt, consult with your local shipping company about how to pack your items.

Getting Insurance: An Important Decision

Those who ship internationally have the option to insure their packages. But is this kind of insurance worth it?

As always, it depends on what you are shipping and how much you wish to pay. It is always cheaper to ship without insurance. However, if something goes wrong and the item is lost or damaged, you may be out quite a bit of money.

With options like cargo insurance, you can protect your items in transit. Whether you decide to do so on a regular basis may depend on the cost of the items you are shipping and how long it will take those items to arrive.

Insurance graphic

International Shipping: Getting Professional Help

As you can tell, international shipping is pretty complex. Sometimes, all it takes is one wrong move for you to end up swimming in fees. And when your items get delayed, you may end up losing the trust of clients who were depending on you.

Therefore, we can summarize our best international shipping advice in five words. “Don’t do it by yourself!”

With the help of a local shipping company, you can take all the stress out of international freight shipping. Such a company can ensure that your items arrive safely and on time. This helps boost your business revenue while keeping you from getting swamped with annoying fees.

Take the Stress Out of International Freight Shipping

Now you know the most essential details about international freight shipping. But do you know who can take all of the stress out of shipping near you?

Here at Goin’ Postal in Douglas County, Oregon, we specialize in shipping both domestically and internationally. We’re here to help you get the lowest rates along with the fastest and safest delivery of your items.

Ready to experience the difference Goin’ Postal makes? All you have to do is contact us!