Your e-commerce guide to shipping internationally

Fast delivery makes for happy customers, but the prospect of shipping internationally can seem daunting. This handy guide should help you to get your products to wherever they need to be, safely and on time.

1. Avoid customers delays

You will need a commercial invoice, which acts as a customs form for international shipments (your shipping carrier can help). Remember to include accurate (and readable!) contact details, in case customs has any questions.

Be sure to also list the item and total value of your shipment, to help quickly determine duties and taxes. Also include details of what is in the package i.e. what it is, what it’s used for, the materials it’s made from, and the country of origin.

2. Check shipping regulations

This is not as frightening as it sounds! The Department for International Trade (DIT) country guides can be used to check any restrictions, licensing, or special provisions on the import of your goods.

You will also find the UK Trade Tariff online, which you can use to look up the commodity code for your goods, or find duty and VAT rates. Finally, avoid nasty surprises and check import duties, so that you can agree who pays which shipping costs.

3. Choose the right shipper for you and your business

Unless you are a big e-commerce player, shipping internationally may be new to you. Make use of commercial carriers who can provide guides and crucial advice on packaging anything from glasses to iron bedsteads. You want your goods to arrive as sold, without loss or damage, so choosing the right packing supplies is crucial to providing good customer service.

Choose the right carrier and they can help create any customs forms needed, as well as offer tracking and liability insurance. They can even advise you on any import costs, so these can be agreed up-front.

At ParcelBroker, we specialise in discounted parcel and pallet deliveries for small and medium-sized businesses. The huge amount of orders we process means we can provide cheap, tracked UK and international shipping from leading delivery companies, including UPS, DHL, FedEx, TNT, Pallex and others. Simply contact us, or use our online booking system for an instant quote.