It’s time to sell internationally if you have not yet! Statistica estimates that eCommerce sales worldwide will increase by almost 246 percent between 2014 and 2021, from $1.3 trillion up to $4.5 trillion. Global competition is growing, with shoppers purchasing from sellers across borders. According to the UPS Pulse on Online Shopper, almost 246 percent of global eCommerce sales will grow between 2014 and 2021, from $1.3 trillion to $4.5 trillion. Nearly half (47%) of U.S. shoppers bought from merchants located outside the U.S.
To ship internationally, smaller eCommerce businesses often turn to Amazon and eBay. These marketplaces allow customers to make an international purchases in a familiar and safe environment. A 2017 International Post Corporation survey of 29,000 international customers from 30 countries found that 53 percent of all international eCommerce orders are made through three marketplaces: Amazon and eBay. Marketplaces can solve currency conversion problems and offer international exposure to large numbers of customers, creating potentially huge new business opportunities.
Four Different Types Of International Shipping Services
Freight shipping is almost exclusively about commercial shipments in today’s market. Freight shipping is when a company ships large quantities of goods overseas. Freight shipping usually includes some form of truck transport. When the shipment reaches trucks, it can be divided into two types: LTL: Less Than a Truckload. FTL: Full truckload
LTL freight shipping is the best way to transport freight shipments across the country or regionally. It taps into existing freight carrier networks and you share the truck’s freight bay cost with other clients. You only pay for the space you use. FTL freight shipping charges you per truckload.
A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent is a person who organizes shipping for individuals and corporations. They are responsible for getting goods from the producer or manufacturer to a customer or market. The forwarder is not responsible for moving the goods but serves as an expert in the logistics network. They can use many shipping methods, including airplanes, trucks, and trains, as well as multiple modes of transportation for one shipment.
Freight forwarders that specialize in international shipping are often called upon to handle international shipments. Additional expertise is available for international freight forwarders in the preparation and processing of customs documentation.
A freight forwarder will review the cargo invoice, the shipper’s export declaration, the bill of lading, and any other documents that are required by the carrier, country of import, export, and/or transshipment. A lot of this information can now be processed electronically.
Container shipping is different from freight shipping in that you must meet very strict requirements about the type and size of materials you can ship. Container shipping is the most common method of international shipping personal items. These containers can also be used to ship cars.
Freight shipping allows you to ship almost anything, provided it’s in approved packaging and meets any declaration requirements. Container shipping is limited by the volume of the container. This means that you need to be careful with what you place in containers.
RoRo is ROLL-ON/ROLLOFF. This refers to specially-designed ships that can carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, and semi-trailer truck trailers. Railroad cars and cars can also drive on the ship’s wheels via a platform. While cargo is usually measured in metric tonnes in the shipping industry (and elsewhere in the shipping sector), RoRo cargo is measured in lanes measured in meters (LIMs). These figures are obtained by multiplying the length of the load paths (where vehicles are stacked) and the total number of decks on the vessel. RoRo vessels can also be used for civilian purposes and are used in the naval sector to transport valuable naval cargo.
RoRo shipping was used primarily to transport trains during the 19th century. LoLo was the only method of transporting cars by the sea in the 1950s. A ship could hold between 500- 3000 cars. LoLo was replaced by RoRo two decades later! This was due to the development of a Pure Car Carrier, (PCC) which allowed cars to roll onto RoRo ships. This was later transformed into a Pure Car Truck Carrier, or PCTC, to accommodate heavy and high-value cargo. It is still in use today.
Due to technological advances, there are many types of RoRo.
This rapid international growth is great, but it’s still difficult to meet customer expectations for predictable international transactions. IPC also found that 62% of international buyers expect free shipping when shipping internationally, despite higher shipping costs and unpredicted cross-border issues. Due to the extra challenges that international shipping presents, it is hard to meet high expectations and remain profitable.
These seven tips will help small online merchants to take advantage of growing international opportunities while still remaining profitable and providing predictable shipping experiences for their customers. The following tips are essential for sellers:
1. Find out the international demand for your product, and what regulations your target countries have.
Answer basic questions to determine how to fulfill orders from different countries. What is the market demand for your product Is your product taxable in this country? If so, what is the value and quantity of your item? What are the customs regulations that affect your product? What is the de minimis level in your country (the minimum threshold for duties)? Is there a best way to ship heavy items? This will allow you to make the best business decisions.
If a company sells expensive leather jackets in a country that has a $100 threshold, customers may be subject to a customs fee equal to the product’s value. This could make your product too costly for your target market. It might be cheaper to ship a bunch of jackets to Germany on a container and then fulfill them locally, rather than sending them all individually via international parcel services. Make sure to use the knowledge of your parcel carrier. There are customs brokers who can help you determine what duties apply to your products and in which countries. It can assist with customs issues and recommend the best shipping method for you.
2. A parcel consolidator can help you reduce shipping costs.
The majority of consumer eCommerce international parcels weigh less than 20 pounds. IPC also revealed that parcel mail is used for more than half of all international eCommerce orders. But, this is not the case in the U.S. International First-Class Mail is not a good way to handle parcels individually. First-Class Mail International can be expensive. This makes selling low-cost products difficult due to high transportation costs. Last-mile delivery reliability and speed are under pressure due to the rapid increase in volumes from China and other nations.
A new type of parcel service has emerged, the parcel consolidator. These services allow packages to be shipped by the vendor. Once they have been shipped, the package is routed to the U.S. shipping center by the vendor. There, the parcels are consolidated in a large box or pallet by country and then sent for postage to the destination country. Packages arrive at their destination country after they have been processed through customs. This reduces shipping costs as well as cross-border shipping time. The packages are delivered to the doorstep of the customer worldwide.
3. Shipping automation software can help you make international purchases and fulfill orders more easily.
Express couriers may charge delivery fees for re-attempts and address correction fees as well as return fees. Customers must provide accurate and current contact information and addresses to sellers. Shipping automation software reduces input errors and allows users to import orders from various marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and others. Sellers can purchase discounted postage and have labels printed automatically. They can track orders and locate them from a central dashboard. This makes it easy to quickly deal with customs issues. You can also create custom shipping automation rules for many products to streamline your fulfillment processes.
4. Technology-based rate shopping allows you to accurately estimate shipping costs and manage total delivery costs.
Different international shipping companies and parcel consolidators offer different services to different customers and countries, depending on their needs. Shipping software that allows you to compare rates side-by-side lets you search for all international options and view shipping estimates. The IPC survey found that 93 percent of international buyers won’t buy unless they are fully informed about the shipping costs, including delivery charges.
5. By accurately estimating the total cost of a shipment including taxes and duties, Deliver Packages Deliver Duty Paid is preferred to Deliver Duty Unpaid.
This reduces the chances of the package being held up by customs and minimizes any unpleasant surprises for customers (“$50 due the receipt of my package ?”).”) Advanced shipping automation solutions make it easier by allowing sellers the ability to search premium customs contents as part of international shipping options. They can also see total landed cost estimates, including duties.
6. You should look for an online shipping service that offers Electronic Trade Documentation (ETD) and paperless invoices.
Electronic Trade Documentation can be a time-saver. Five printed copies of each invoice must be attached to the shipping container packaging in many countries. You can submit customs documentation electronically and do not need multiple copies. In case of damage in transit, always include one printed copy of the invoice in the package.
7. Do not misrepresent the value of your items.
International shipping is serious business. Don’t try to cheat the system. If they believe your shipment is more valuable than you think, customs may seize or delay your shipment. You must play by the rules and include tariffs and other product restrictions in international eCommerce.