Shipping packages internationally can be a hassle. It doesn’t have to be, though. Combining the right shipping partner with good preparation can make international shipping as easy as putting a letter in the mail. Whether you are shipping to a family member who lives overseas or you’re trying to get an e-commerce operation off the ground, you need easy shipping.
As a DHL authorized reseller, Preferred Shipping offers a number of DHL international services, including Import Express and Export Express. For both services, they say preparation is key. Packages that are not properly prepared are at elevated risk of being delayed.
Preferred Shipping suggests the following four preparation strategies for every package:
- Strategy #1: Proper Packing
International shippers don’t go out of their way to damage packages despite so many jokes to that effect. Even so, they can only do so much. Customers are ultimately responsible for making sure their goods are properly packaged. Their choices of packing materials and strategies play a huge role in whether shipments arrive safely.
Not knowing the best way to pack an item should not be a problem. A customer should be able to contact their shipping provider for advice. Any provider worth doing business with is willing to give that advice.
- Strategy #2: Ensure Label Accuracy
The second preparation strategy is to ensure label accuracy. This starts with verifying the recipient’s name and address. Nothing delays delivery as easily as an incorrect address. However, there may be more to consider.
International shipping is governed by a lengthy list of rules and regulations that may differ from one country to the next. For example, a shipping label may have to include extra information required by harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) rules. Once again, the shipping provider is an invaluable resource. They can help a customer ensure that shipping labels are compliant.
- Strategy #3: Address Taxes and Duties
When packages are subject to international taxes and duties, the customer may have the option of paying them up front. This is often a better option than having the recipient pay because it reduces the likelihood of shipping delays. Companies can always pay taxes and duties out-of-pocket and then pass those costs along to customers by way of higher retail pricing.
In cases where taxes and duties cannot be paid ahead of time, they must be collected by customs in the recipient’s country. U.S. companies can work with their customers to arrange for such payments as quickly as possible. Paying immediately upon arrival reduces customs delays.
- Strategy #4: Insure and Track
The fourth preparation strategy is to insure packages and arrange for real-time tracking. Failing to do either one can lead to big problems.
As far as insurance is concerned, there is no getting around it for international shipping. Far too much can go wrong between departure and arrival. If an uninsured package is lost or damaged, you are on the hook for replacing it. Insurance protects you against financial loss in such situations.
In terms of tracking, it doesn’t make sense to ship internationally without it. Not paying for tracking is conceding that you won’t know the status of your packages once they leave the shipper’s facility. That is not good when you have customers inquiring as to where their packages are.
Proper preparation streamlines international shipping. It reduces headaches and delays. When combined with a good shipping partner who knows how to get the job done, good preparation makes international shipping fairly easy. If your previous international shipping experience has been less than ideal, ask yourself how well you prepared your packages.