International Shipping Tips: Part I

Tips for shipping smaller products overseas.Are you looking to expand across the border? Well then you’re in the right place. The Port of Vancouver is the largest in Canada and ranks first in North America in total foreign exports and second on the west coast in total cargo volume. Given that we are poised at the gateway for pan-Pacific trade, it makes sense to take advantage of opportunities in international markets. Many businesses opt to open up their online sales to clients overseas. Millions of users everyday shop online from our next-door neighbor or across the Pacific Ocean from China, Japan and India. Whether you are an online retailer with international customers or small import/export business that relies on international trade, you will need international shipping services. It isn’t nearly as easy as it seems, is it, than simply putting your products in a box, placing a proper label upon it, and having it sent out. That’s why, in the next two blod entries, we will provide you with five tips that we hope will help you simplify your next shipment.

Know your destination country’s regulations in advance for all international small shipments

Tip #1: Carefully select your products for sale

Not all products are suitable for international sales. For example, if you are an electronics vendor, you may wish to limit larger-sized products to only the local market where the shipping costs are significantly less. If you ship large, awkward items, chances are that they may need custom-fitted packaging, which can add to your costs. Furthermore, depending on the weight and the particular shipping requirements of the items (e.g. stable temperature, humidity control, etc.), it is possible that the shipping costs may escalate to a point where they outweigh the retail price of the items.  Therefore, for both yours and your customers’ sake, we recommend that you concentrate only on items that are relatively small, light, and easy to ship.

Tip #2: Know about regulations for different countries

Each country and nation has its own set of regulations and requirements. For example, matching shoes shipped from foreign lands are not allowed to enter South Africa, Mexico, or India – your soles are destined to be tragically lonesome in these countries! Of course, this is just one of many examples. International shipping is made even more complicated by the specific rules that each country has set. If you are unfamiliar with the international shipping requirements for your destination countries, your shipments could become delayed and cause you more stress than you bargained for.

We can help you iron out the details, alleviate many headaches and ensure that your goods get to their destination as smoothly as possible.  Give us a call and we’ll help you plan your next international shipment. For shipping or receiving larger scale items, please refer to our services page.