There are a number of elements that need to be considered when dealing with international shipping. Deliveries can end up at the wrong address, get held up at customs, incur additional charges to name a few of the potential difficulties that could befall those who are not experienced in cross border shipping.
Irrelevant of both the country of origin and the final destination, international shipping comes with pitfalls. When your business partners with a courier company, it is essential to find out what level of experience they have with overseas and cross border deliveries. The importance of having an experienced, trusted courier company on board cannot be overstated, as such a company can make the difference between a successful & timely delivery, and a logistic disaster.
We have put together a list of five tips to make your cross-border delivery experience smoother and easier.
#1. Customs Regulations
When it comes to customs regulations, compliance is key. It is important to know whether what you are shipping is listed as a prohibited or restricted item, and ensure that you have all the relevant paperwork and documents – completed and correctly filled in – to avoid customs delays.
Different countries have different rules, and the same is true for customs requirements. Getting stuck just once can cause severe delays. While this could just mean your delivery will be delayed, in some cases it may not get there at all. This could add severe difficulties to your supply chain and halt production causing even more delays and subsequent financial issues.
Businesses need to be able to avoid these issues, and therefore must ensure their deliveries can safely pass through customs. Selecting a delivery partner who has experience in handling the customs on their client’s behalf can make the whole process smoother, with the added bonus of having confidence that your courier partner can take care of all aspects of potential customs issues.
Correctly labelling your products is essential to ensure a reliable and straightforward delivery. The address details are, above all, the most important. Simple errors in addresses (especially if they are automatically generated from a postal or ZIP code), can lead to either incorrect delivery location or, in some cases where an invalid address is used, render the shipment undeliverable. Packages sent to the wrong address also generate additional charges, not to mention yet another supply chain breakdown.
Furthermore, other labelling – such as sender details and contents information – are required, without which shipments will be unlikely to reach their destination. If your business partners with a courier company well-versed in international deliveries, they will be able to ensure that all the necessary shipment labels are present, and that they correspond with any and all documentation, preventing avoidable delays.
Just as delayed or unsuccessful deliveries can, broken goods also lose time and cost businesses money. No matter the stage of your supply chain, damaged products will cause delays, issues and garner a poor reputation. All businesses want their shipments to arrive at their intended destination intact, therefore appropriate packaging is required. The strength of packaging needed depends both on what the shipment is (is it fragile, breakable or easily damaged), and where it is going (are harsh weather conditions a possibility? Would humidity levels alter the goods?).
Many courier companies will have experience on the right kind of packaging for whatever it is you are wanting to deliver. A partner who can assign your business a dedicated account manager can be hugely beneficial. Larger courier companies have a wider range of account managers, and therefore would be able to, in most cases, assign an account manager with experience in your industry, and therefore will be well versed in your product category. Not only will they be able to advise the appropriate packaging if needed, but will be able to assist with the whole delivery process, from start to finish.
#4. Size & Weight
Both size and weight are crucial when it comes to international, cross-border shipping. Shipping costs can be more accurately priced when you measure both the weight and dimensions of your shipment(s), rather than making an estimate. If your estimate is even slightly off, this could result in extra costs.
Many courier companies work on what is known as a ‘volumetric’ scale, which is a combination of size and weight. The volumetric weight (which is the amount of space a delivery takes on an aircraft) and the actual weight are compared to one another, with the higher of the two being used to calculate the actual delivery cost.
Working with a shipping company who has experience with this system will make the whole process easier and more streamlined, getting you the best price and, as previously mentioned, advise on the best way to package your deliveries.
#5. Choosing the Right Partner
Points one to four are vitally important when it comes to making cross-border delivery processes easier, but the whole thing is likely to collapse without a trustworthy, reliable and experienced logistics partner at the helm.
There are many courier companies to choose from, but the one your business partners with is not a decision to be taken lightly. You will rely on them and their extensive network to make the whole shipping process smoother. They need to be established and experienced in cross border, international shipping, with a track record you can rely on. What is more, you want them to take away the headache, stress and complexity from international shipping and, through your assigned account manager, handle it on your behalf.
One such company is Royale International. With 25+ years’ experience, Royale International have an unparalleled track record when it comes to shipping internationally. Working with smaller start-ups, right through to Fortune 50 companies, their global networks make them an ideal partner no matter where your business is based. Their team of dedicated account managers have worked in a wide range of industries, their experience playing a vital role in the businesses they work with. If you are looking for top tier levels of customer service, quality and experience, look no further than Royale International. To find out more about their international, cross border courier services, and how they can help your business, click here: https://www.royaleinternational.com/services/international-courier/