Tips To Prepare Your Cargo Shipment For International Shipping

A large container ship docked in an international body of water.

While globalization has brought about multiple opportunities for business all over the world, it also poses certain issues. For businesses that are involved in international shipping, the return of goods owing to damages in transit can be a huge financial burden, and can cost them a lot of lost time and money. Hence, companies that ship internationally should prepare their cargo with utter care and responsibility. Companies that ship internationally tend to have a certain percentage in their monthly sales returns account that is characterized by damaged goods in transit. In order to cater to this issue, there are certain tips that shippers can follow and certain methods that they should know about. 

How to ensure your cargo is packed safety for international shipments

Listed below are some of the tips that international shippers and shipping companies should follow to ensure safe international transit for packages:

1. Ensure that your goods can endure international shipping

The long journey that internationally shipped goods have to withstand tends to take a toll on their packaging and overall outlook. Hence, businesses should ensure that their products are stackable or packed in stackable packaging as shipping containers usually have goods stacked either on top or alongside other goods. The packaging should also be able to withstand being transported or handled by a forklift because goods are likely to be loaded and unloaded by a forklift. Goods should also be compacted as much as possible to ensure that if the package tilts in transit it isn’t damaged in any possible way. 

2. Ensure that your goods are packed properly

Whie this goes without saying, if your goods are packaged properly they’d sustain little to no damage in transit. The packaging for your goods should also be able to withstand shocks and vibrations that it may incur during the course of transit. Double-walled or reinforced boxes are absolutely essential for your packages, and are a bare minimum requirement.

Another alternative would be corrugated cardboard which also helps absorb any external shocks. Shippers should also label fragile goods on the outside of the box so that teams handling such packages are informed and careful around fragile shipments and items. For larger items and goods it is recommended that shippers try putting them in crates or using palettes after shrink wrapping and/or banding them.

3. Pay attention to internal packaging

Internal packaging is as crucial as external packaging and should be overlooked by the shipper. Companies should use packaging peanuts, air cushions, bubble wrap or styrofoam to fill in the surrounding spaces within the package in order to protect the goods from any damage. Shippers should also consider packing boxes within boxes to fill in surrounding space within their packages as an extra method of caution and safety. You can only ensure safety of your goods if they are packed well both internally and externally. You should also make sure that the boxes you put your goods in are taped well from the inside.

4. Check the weight of your shipments

You should always check the respective weight of the items you are shipping and check whether its packaging can withstand the weight. If you opt for a box or a crate that may not be able to handle the weight of what’s inside, chances are you may end up damaging the package and hence incurring a return. Heavy parcels should be especially taken care of and be packed inside durable and heavyweight crates or boxes that can sustain the item’s weight and hence keep it safe.

5. Always go for functionality

Certain shippers tend choose looks over functionality and that is to say that they choose pretty packaging over sturdy packaging. While customers may be delighted to receive what they ordered in pretty packages tied up with bows, for international shipping this simply isnt feasible. Hence, shippers should focus on sturdy packaging, and have layers of packaging if they do not want to deviate from their chosen method of standard packagaing.

Things to keep in mind as an international shipper

As an international shipper, there are a few things you should be aware of and/or take into consideration before shipping your goods which include:

1. Custom regulations and fees

If you are sending out international shipment, you should consider custom regulations for your country and for the customer’s country, respectively. This is because irrespective of the medium you choose to ship your product, it is likely to incur certain regulations, paperwork, forms, and legal formalities that should be completed beforehand. Your product is also likely to incur a customs fee and your customer should hence be aware of it.

2. Shipping tariff

The shipping tariff is essentially the fee for your shipments that a shipping company is likely to charge you. This may also include any added freight taxes. Different shippers have different rates, and hence if you are bearing the delivery charges yourself, you should do some research to find a good deal with a shipping company. However, if your customer is bearing the charges, you may ask them if they have a preferred method.

3. Shipping time

Certain shipping companies deliver your products internationally between 7-15 days, while others may still take longer than that. Hence, you should take this and custom clearance into account before quoting an estimated delivery time to your customers. 

4. Restricted items list 

It is possible that you may be involved in an ecommerce business that sells certain products that are legal in certain countries and restricted in others. Hence before you send your shipment off to a country for the first time, you should check its list of restricted items or you could risk your items being confiscated at the respective country’s customs department for an indefinitive period of time, or could risk your items being discarded.

5. Insurance for your items

In internatioal shipment, sellers often seek international shipment insurance which is especially true for expensive or luxury goods. This is because international shipments are prone to damage and hence shippers need a financial safety net in case their shipment gets damaged due to events that were not in their hands.

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