How to Ship a Package Internationally: 12 Mistakes to Avoid

When shipping a package internationally, the goal should be to get your package to the customer on time, on budget, and in the condition it was shipped. In shipping, a small mistake can be costly in terms of lost money, time and the dented reputation of a business. Besides, trying to identify shipping mistakes on a trial and error basis can be very costly.

Below are some of the mistakes to avoid when learning how to ship a package internationally.

1. Not Understanding a Shipping Destination’s Regulations

Most countries maintain an up-to-date online version of their trade laws and customs requirements. To avoid ‘not knowing’ about a country’s regulations, look them up to understand what is required to ship to those destinations.

Alternatively, if you do not fancy online details, hire a consultant who is familiar with the country’s trade laws. If not careful, your shipment could be stuck in another country as a result of flouted shipping requirements and regulations.

2. Using an Inappropriate Shipping Company

Be careful when selecting an international shipping company, which should understand the trade lane the sender wishes to use, and the appropriate solution for moving products safely, timely, intact, and without flouting jurisdictional regulations. Most often, the shipping company works in partnership with a shipping management company, which does the actual shipping.

Get to know who is doing the actual shipping. A partner company, such as the shipping management company, may handle the shipping timeline and method instead. When you pick a shipping courier, get to know them, learn more about their cheap shipping rates, and establish if they can guarantee a delivery date or method.

3. Overdependence on a Vendor’s Expertise

If you want to ship a package internationally, you should not over-rely on vendors to educate you about shipping matters. Instead, continually educate yourself on international shipping topics and trending issues. Stay updated on changes in the world economy since vendors may misinform you, or withhold critical information from you, for their benefit and profit.

4. Choosing the Wrong Mail Class

It is vital to select the right mail class based on a package’s weight. Choosing the right mail class determines how quickly the package will be shipped to its location, and how much it will cost to get there.

5. Relying on One Shipping Carrier

Relying on just one shipping carrier is not advised. Since not international shipping services are at par with the likes of FedEx, UPS, or DHL, using a multi-carrier shipping strategy is highly recommended. A single carrier may have limitations when it comes to meeting various shipping needs.

On the other hand, multi-carrier shipping companies provide users with the flexibility of choosing a shipping carrier based on factors such as the location covered by the carrier and their expertise.

6. Failure to Keep Delivery Receipts

Sometimes damages occur to goods while in transit. It is therefore critical to file delivery receipts at every step to identify where exactly the damage took place, and seek compensation for the damaged goods.

7. Misuse of Boxes

Planning ahead before shipping a package is crucial since it helps you to know what you need when picking a box. Besides, it saves you time and money. Selecting an inappropriate box may cost more, but it’s better to pay more than end up with a box you can’t use.

8. Underpaying on Postage.

When paying for postage, make sure you have sufficient funds. Account for pesky decimal points since the shipping company will more often than not round up the package weight to the next whole number. Failure to price the package correctly could lead to your parcel not reaching its destination.

9. Printing the Wrong Zip Code(s) on the Label

The zip codes are on both the shipping address (the sender’s) and the receiver’s address (the destination). The shipping cost is calculated based on the sender’s zip code, the shipping zone, price, and speed. If mistakes are made when printing zip codes, the cost to the sender could spiral out of control.

10. Lack of a Sound Return Policy

Before picking a shipping company, go through their return policy to establish what damages they cover. What are the shipping costs and who should meet them? The return policy should be clear and easily visible for customers to read and understand before they can make a decision to pick one shipping company over another.

11. Mislabeled Packaging

A shipping label takes into account weight, size and the shipping zone of a package. Be extremely careful to make sure all the details are correctly labelled to avoid delaying your shipment. The cartons and labels should have specific markings that reveal the package’s country of origin or indicate the presence of fragile or hazardous materials.

12. Choosing the Lowest Freight Rate

Freight rates can be a trap. Do not be deceived by the promise of maximum profits afforded by cheap shipping rates. When shipping internationally, your concern should not just be about low shipping costs. Of even greater importance are customer reviews about a shipping company, their length of service, shipping requirements and regulations, and a history of consistent delivery of services.