International shipping can be quite complex and requires more attention to detail than domestic shipping. Plus, every country has different rules, regulations and procedures regarding the shipping and receiving of freight. So, if you plan to ship anything out of the country, it is highly recommended you work with a freight company experienced in international shipping.
Experience = Problem-Free Shipping
An international shipping company will have experience with U.S. export regulations as well as the destination country’s requirements for inbound shipments. They will also know the best method of transport and the types of documentation required. If applicable, they can explain any fees that may apply to your shipment, such as taxes, duties, port charges, etc. They can even tell you the currency exchange rate.
Basically, an international shipping company provides the expertise and guidance you’ll need for problem-free freight transport. They will handle the entire process for you so there are no delays, refusals, fines or other unforeseen problems.
Below is a list of some general things you should know about International Shipping. If anything seems too complicated, don’t worry…your shipping company will help you.
Shipping Methods – International shipping revolves around two modes of transport: Air and Ocean. Air transport is faster, but Ocean transport is generally more economical.
Customs – This is a country’s agency responsible for controlling the flow of goods through its borders. Customs agents also collect any applicable duties and enforce regulations regarding what can and cannot enter the country.
Packaging – Because you want your shipment to arrive in good condition, it’s important to be aware of the demands that international shipping can put on packaged goods. Every attempt should be made to protect your product against breakage, moisture, and pilferage.
Labeling – All internationally-shipped goods must be labeled correctly to ensure they are handled properly and arrive at the right place. Customs regulations regarding freight labeling are strictly enforced. In addition to customs officials, labels must also satisfy the requirements of the transport agents and the receiver of your goods.
Documentation – Each country has different import regulations, so the type of paperwork required for international shipments varies. However, the number of required documents can be daunting. Also, documentation must be completed precisely, because even a slight discrepancy or omission may cause a big problem. Exporters should seriously consider having their shipping company assist with the paperwork to ensure compliance with the regulations of the U.S. and the destination country.
Insurance – Damaging weather conditions, rough handling, and other common hazards make insurance an important protection for U.S. exporters. Shipments are usually insured against loss, damage, pilferage and delay. Arrangements for insurance may be made by the buyer or the seller, depending on the terms of sale.
Need help shipping freight out of the country? The international staff of Saturn Freight Systems has over 50 years of combined experience in the export industry. Saturn offers a full line of global freight services with rates that are hard to beat. Call us at (866) 722-9136 for a quote on your next international shipment.