International Shipping 101: What Are the Best Practices?

International Shipping 101: What Are the Best Practices?

Everyone wants to expand their business internationally to get a tidy profit. This is a big step for any company, so following good shipping practices is a priority. Here are a few key things to know for success before jumping into the international pool.

Method of Transportation

This is the main question that will be floating around when you decide on international shipping. It is still one of the top three questions when companies partner with World Wide Customs and Forwarding Agents. Individuals shouldn’t worry that this question has a bit of ‘finality’ attached to it. Think of it as a point of reference when you go over the other parts of your business before an official decision on paper. The four main types of international transportation are sea, road, rail, and air. That is why it isn’t uncommon for a company to make changes after a commitment, especially if they are new. But the point is to research what works best for your company to prevent it from making sweeping changes later on. Changes affect your bottom line, and too many can easily wipe out the value of international shipping.


Insurance proves its value when you need it, but looks like wasted money when everything goes right. Like all insurance, the ‘just in case’ benefit is what makes it so invaluable. You never know what might happen, and lacking shipping insurance can easily sink your entire business. On a long journey, items can get lost, damaged or destroyed. This applies to all shipping methods, whether local or international. Sometimes a run of bad luck is all it takes to completely put your company in the red. You’ll also have to eat the costs if the items are stolen during shipping. Protect your business financially by always going in on shipping insurance – it is mandatory.

Understand Shipping Restrictions

Overestimating your knowledge of the international shipping industry is the Achilles heel of even the biggest company. The value of a customs clearance and freight agent includes their experience of the industry. Some international companies have restrictions on some items, and can even schedule restrictions during certain times of the year. An agent can tip you off about customs regulations, shipping restrictions, and more before you make an expensive mistake.

Calculate Shipping Tariffs

Shipping tariffs and taxes should never sneak up on you. Before you even package the product, you should already know the numbers. That means accounting for all fees, taxes, tariffs, and any applicable services. If you don’t know your net profit before shipping the item out, then you don't realize the value of international shipping. Shipping of any kind is a numbers game, and international shipping is the professional version where serious businesses go to make big money.

A New World

Solve shipping challenges as they arise to create a great situation for your company. The year 2023 is creating new ways for businesses to profit from international shipping. Ecommerce is always modernizing, and how you handle the shipping portion is a big part of staying competitive.

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