Trying to decide which international shipping company to use?

international shipping
DHL? FedEx? USPS? Our article will help you decide which international shipping company is best for you!
International shipping can seem intimidating at first because there is a wealth of different options available. Just about everyone will need to ship something internationally at least once because today's society is completely globalized. When you are preparing to ship, look at the different international shipping companies that are available. It is important to know their guidelines because, for example, some may have weight limits for packages. Learning about things like rates, average delivery time, what you can ship and the mistakes to avoid will help to ensure that your package arrives without issue.

Top Worldwide Shipping Companies

There are several options when you need to ship something to another country, but a few companies have been around the longest and have an established reputation. Since you do not want the hassle of missing or destroyed packages, it is critical to use the right company. The following companies are ideal and will ensure your recipient gets everything that you send:

United States Postal Service (USPS): The USPS is a global shipping company allowing you to send mail and packages to almost any country in the world. They offer several delivery options, including First-Class Mail International, Priority Mail International, First-Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International and Global Express Guaranteed. The exact rates depend on the weight of the package and where the package is going. If you plan to ship lithium batteries, medical devices, cigars or medicines or drugs, there are restrictions and you must adhere to these to ensure that your package is delivered.

The USPS does not allow for the shipping of certain items. If these are in your package, you must remove them before sending it. These include:

a)     Aerosols

b)     Alcoholic beverages

c)     Cigars

d)     Explosives

e)     Gasoline

f)      Perfumes that contain alcohol

g)     Pool chemicals

h)     Air bags

i)      Ammunition

j)      Dry ice

k)     Fresh fruits and vegetables

l)      Nail polish

m)   Poison

DHL: DHL is a global shipping company offering Express, Freight, Supply Chain, Global Forwarding and Global Mail. Their network spans more than 200 countries and their primary focus is on businesses. They offer tools to help you learn about things like duties and taxes, customs paperwork and global trade services. If you plan to ship lithium batteries, dangerous goods or important documents, it is important to make sure that they know ahead of time so that the proper precautions can be taken.

UPS: UPS ships packages worldwide and the shipping rates depend on where the package is going and what it weighs. They assist you with all necessary paperwork to ensure that your package is not held up due to improper documentation.

FedEx: FedEx offers international shipping for packages 150 pounds or less. This includes both envelopes and packages. They offer FedEx International Next Flight, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International First and FedEx International Economy. The weight and destination of your package will determine the rates.

People Involved in International Delivery

When you send something overseas, there are many companies and people involved with getting your package from point A to point B. Understanding this process helps you to make the best decision as to when to send something out so that you know it will arrive on time. The following companies and people handle deliveries that are going overseas:

a)     You, as the shipper

b)     The company you choose to send your package

c)     The origin agent

d)     The freight forwarder

e)     The consolidating warehouse

f)      The export port

g)     The ship line

h)     The container line

i)      The destination port

j)      The customs bonded warehouse

k)     The destination agent

l)      The broker

Mistakes to Avoid with International Delivery

Sending packages internationally costs money and it is a process. The last thing you want is to forget a step and then what you send either does not arrive or it does not even leave the warehouse of the sender. There are some mistakes that are very common, but you can easily avoid these if you are mindful of them. The next time to send something to a different country, be aware of the following:

a)     You do not understand the destination's regulations: Before you send something, know the custom's requirements of your destination. You can go to the main website of the country and get information about their custom's requirements and trade laws.

b)     You did not package it correctly: To ensure that everything you send arrives intact, proper packaging is a must. For example, if you are sending something fragile, take the time to use packaging that absorbs shock so that nothing breaks in transit.

c)     You did not properly label the package: Your package must have the correct address and labels to denote things like hazardous materials. When you ship something, ask the company you are using about all required labels.

d)     You choose the wrong company: Do thorough research on all companies you plan to use. Remember that the best rates do not always translate to the best service. Stick with vendors with a proven track record and long-term experience.

e)     You take someone's word for it: Before you choose a vendor, do your own research. Customer service agents at shipping companies are human and there are times where they may accidentally provide information that is not accurate or up-to-date because things like trade laws and custom's requirements can change frequently, especially for certain countries. Read this information on the country's primary website and contact them if you want to be sure that all information is current.

When you look into how to ship internationally, it is important to consider the various laws and regulations associated with the country you are shipping from and the country you are sending the package to. Having everything done right the first time ensures that the recipient gets the package without hassle and on time. In most cases, as long as all rules and procedures are followed, sending things to other countries is a simple and painless process.