If your business is selling online, then it is imperative that you know all you can about how to ship things.

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A solid understanding of how to ship and all that it entails is the backbone e-commerce. Good shipping practices can make or break your business. It’s unlikely that most customers will notice when you ship efficiently but you can guarantee that they will notice if you do not.

When shipping products internationally, many things need to be considered; procedures are far more complex than for local shipments. There are a lot of additional custom regulations to adhere to and a vast amount of paperwork that needs to be completed. Moreover, it is advisable to consider the shipment costs and time it will take for the shipment to reach different destinations.

Here are some of the main things to remember when sending an overseas shipment:

Customs Regulations
The very first thing to consider when you are sending online shipments is Customs regulation. All products that are shipped internationally, regardless of the mode of transport, will be required to clear customs. You will also be required to fill out the appropriate paperwork, usually two custom forms; one for the country of departure and one for the arrival country.

Customs Fees
When products are being shipped internationally, a fee is charged by the Customs department. Depending on the value of the product and tariff regime, this fee varies widely. You may have to pay more fees if your product is of high value. Therefore, it is necessary to check the custom fee rates of different countries before shipping your product.

Shipping Tariff
This includes the shipment fee that will be charged by the shipping company and any other additional freight taxes that apply to certain products. For this rate, you will have to check out several shipping companies and their tariff rates. Companies that provide shipment to particular countries are likely to have different prices as compared to companies that offer worldwide delivery.

Time of Transit
When shipping products internationally, it very important to determine the date you want them to be delivered and plan your shipment carefully. In international shipment, there are far more chances of your consignment getting delayed. For some countries, the option of overnight delivery may not be available at all. Also, depending on what you are sending, the custom clearance can take a long time as well, so prepare accordingly.

Packaging
Depending on the country where your shipment is being sent, you will be required to handle the packaging accordingly. The goods should be carefully packed and labelled accurately. If you are unclear about what you have to do, you should consider hiring a freight forwarder of logistics consultant that handles packaging as well. For instance, certain goods require the special handling and packaging by a Dangerous Goods Specialist.

Medium of Transportation
When considering the mode of transport, be it, sea or air freight or multimodal, you need to factor in time, cost and product. Airfreight is the fastest method but an expensive one. Sea freight, on the other hand, is quite affordable but takes a lot more time. Also, sea shipment is often not considered appropriate for delicate items that cannot endure trips enclosed in cargo containers.

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Restricted Items
A lot of items are restricted in some countries, so you should consider this before you send your shipment. You need to check the restricted items list of both the countries; where you live and where the consignment is headed. If the item you are sending is on a regulation or prohibition list of any one of the countries, the Customs personnel will likely restrict it for an indefinite period.

Shipment Rules of Perishables
If you are sending perishable goods, there are definite rules you are required to follow. The type and quantity of products allowed to be shipped vary depending on the country of origin/departure and arrival country.

Shipment of Animals and Plants
If you are shipping animals and or plants, several additional shipment forms need to be completed beforehand. Also, the shipping company you select will have to be more reliable and experienced in handling shipment of living creatures, taking good care of them throughout the journey.

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