Are you thinking of expanding your business globally? The new-age digital forums are allowing entrepreneurs to step into international markets. Through targeted campaigns on social media and Google, they can target worldwide audiences while sitting in one corner of the world. Sounds interesting, no? Although customer acquisition has become straightforward, shipping products overseas can be pretty challenging. After all, the prevailing customs regulations and prolonged transit time can make the shipment process ineffective.
Therefore, one could say global expansion comes with a myriad of responsibilities. Not only do you have to ensure the products reach safely, but you also have to guarantee timely deliveries. In addition, entrepreneurs must evaluate the shipment costs. Some countries impose hefty amounts of tariffs on imports that can significantly curtail profits. Similarly, many regions have restrictions on particular items, which means you have to research properly before sending the shipments.
As you have to manage different tasks simultaneously, think ahead of time to optimize this process. Here is a list of six things to keep in mind when shipping equipment overseas.
- Understand Custom Regulations
Undoubtedly, custom clearance is the most common thing that comes in the way of shipping. Regardless of what items you ship, you have to get them cleared from customs. You have to submit multiple documents, business receipts, and a list of orders. In addition, companies have to pay customs charges in some instances as well. To make sure everything goes smoothly, look for a reputable global shipping company to help you with these procedures.
The professional shipment enterprises are well-versed with custom regulations of different countries and prepare the paperwork accordingly. Moreover, they will evaluate the value of your product to calculate the custom fees. If the costs seem too high, you can reconsider your decision rather than running into a loss. Knowing the custom regulations will avoid setbacks later, securing the company’s profitability.
- Pick a Medium of Transport
Do you plan to send goods by air, road, or sea? Choosing the medium of transport is one of the essential things you have to consider. And to make a perfect choice, you have to consider three things.
- First, how quickly do you want to deliver the products? Usually, perishable items require fast deliveries since they decay quickly.
- Second, you have to consider the shipping costs. Airfreight is the most expensive, while sea and road shipments are easy on pockets. However, they have prolonged shipping time.
- Lastly, think about your product. Sending fragile products through sea cargo can be risky. The motions of waves can cause damage to items enclosed in cargo containers.
A keen understanding of different modes of transport and their costs can help you make the right choice. Alongside making it easy to ship globally, you can enjoy increased revenues and profits.
- Invest in Packaging
Sometimes, entrepreneurs have everything sorted, but their packaging keeps lagging. In addition to increasing the chances of damage, it leaves the customers dissatisfied. Therefore, you must pay attention to the shipping boxes. If the products are fragile, use Bubble wrap and Thermocol sheets to pack the items in boxes safely. You can even use hard boxes to protect the products while getting transferred from one place to another.
However, if you don’t have expertise in packaging, outsource this task to a reputable packaging company. They will use high-quality boxes and packing materials that will secure your products from any damage. Otherwise, you can even open an in-house packaging department if that’s more cost-effective.
- Look for an Insurance Policy
Believe it or not, the risk of damage is high when it comes to international shipment. After all, you never know whether the product will reach its destination or not. At times, the entire cargo sinks into the sea because of heavy waves. There have also been instances where shipments have been stolen. Instead of bearing the loss of losing shipments, why not look for an insurance policy? It will provide compensation for all damages and losses on shipment.
Insurance is more like financial security that will prepare businesses for worse situations. You have to look for a policy with minimum premium and low deductible to ensure it doesn’t scale down profits. Also, find a policy that compensates up to 90% of the damages. Besides these preventive measures, your goal would still be to ensure shipments reach their destination safely.
- Identify Restricted Goods
Unsurprisingly, every country has a different set of rules and regulations. Some countries don’t allow shipments of arms and related materials, while many regions have prohibited imports of perishable goods. Therefore, you should see the list of restricted items of the country where you are shipping the products. If any of your products are on the list, stop the shipment right away. Otherwise, the customer personnel will restrict the items for an indefinite period.
Moreover, don’t forget to check the regulations for perishable items. Some countries have imposed a limit on the quantity and type of perishable products. Hence, download the list of items and ensure your shipment abides by the rules. After all, the foreign government has rights reserved to restrict your shipment under any circumstances.
- Reduce the Time of Transit
When we talk about international shipments, delays are inevitable. Perhaps, the customs clearance might take more time than expected, or the shipping company can take longer to deliver. Likewise, there could be delays because of incomplete paperwork. These interruptions will increase the chances of wear and tear while increasing customer dissatisfaction. Before you start losing customers, it is essential to optimize the time of transit.
You can communicate the date and time to the shipping company and ask whether delivery will be possible. You can even ask them to give assurance about the expected delivery time to close doors for delays. Also, give customers a margin with delivery time. For instance, you can say delivery within 7-10 days to have some room for potential delays.
Nowadays, global expansion is on everyone’s bucket list. After all, having seamless access to international customers makes every business want to ship overseas. If you are thinking of jumping on this endeavor, learn about the global shipment process inside out. You have to stay on top of all custom regulations, tariffs, and taxes to determine if additional costs will curtail your profits. Likewise, select a viable transport mode and invest in packaging to ensure shipment reaches safely to the destination country.