International Shipping Carriers Part 2: Making Your Choice

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on the major carriers available for international ecommerce shipping needs. From USPS to several others, you have a few options when it comes to international shipping – and which you choose will depend on a few different variables.

At Essential Hub, we’re happy to offer international shipping ecommerce solutions as just one piece of our comprehensive shipping API services. From helping you navigate paperwork and customs documentation to negotiation non-US shipping deals, managing returns and more, we’re here to help with every area of international commerce for our clients. While much of part one of our series evaluated your options for international shipping, today’s part two will dig into the factors you should be considering while selecting your carrier.

Landed Cost

Within the shipping world, the term “landed cost” is a common one used to describe the final, all-in-one price. It includes not only shipping costs, but also duties, taxes and fees, plus potential add-ons like insurance.

Before any customer completes an international purchase of your products, you should be laying out their landed cost. In many cases, this information will include details on who is responsible for any additional fees that might be present.

Full Details

In addition to landed cost of standard shipping needs, you will need to know what’s included in a given shipping carrier’s program. For instance, does the carrier include insurance for all orders, for only orders with a certain minimum price, or not at all? If it’s not offered at all, you may have to offer some of your own. Also inquire about areas like whether there’s a charge for proof of delivery, how tracking will work and more.

Customs Forms

While customs forms will be pretty similar or even identical between carriers, they’re important to think about. This is actually an area where working with our team of shipping professionals is just as important as finding a great carrier – we’ll help you with things like value per-unit, international currency, harmonized tariff codes and others, though we require a partnership with a robust carrier in several of these areas.

Trade Regulations

Another area where it’s important to have both a good carrier and the expertise of pros like ours is within trade regulations, which vary between countries you may be shipping to or from. For instance, Austria does not allow the shipment of any alcoholic beverages or medicine, among other things; China doesn’t allow the import of toy guns. Knowledge of these regulations is vital for limiting overhead and maintaining your company’s reputation.

For more on how to choose the ideal carrier for international shipping, or to learn about any of our shipping software or solutions, speak to our team at Essential Hub today.

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