How to Protect your Goods for Overseas Delivery
|Photo Credit: kinsey via Unsplash under License|
Today’s globalised world allows for importing and exporting with relative ease, and knowing how to protect your goods for overseas delivery is an important aspect of exporting for any modern business, regardless of what you’re sending. Likewise, anyone in the business of importing need also know about the steps to take to guarantee the safe arrival of goods from abroad. Some of the best ways to protect goods for international delivery include:
Investing in insurance
Perhaps you’re sending goods to a country well-known for its erratic postal system, or importing from somewhere with a less-than-stellar reputation for delivering shipments in one piece. Whatever your situation, you want to make sure your shipment reaches its intended destination – shipment damage is more common than you’d like to believe. Investing in insurance will help you to put your mind at ease and ensure you can keep your business running smoothly in the case of a mishap.
It might seem like common sense if you’re already in the business, but incorrect packaging is still a common issue. You don’t know who exactly will be handling your packages, and it pays to be prepared for any situation that may arise along your shipment’s journey.
Using a parcel packing service might be worth your while if you want that extra peace of mind, but you may well choose to pack your goods yourself. Remember to pack your goods in an appropriate material (consider especially the sort of weather they’ll be subject to), use excess box space to your advantage, and always overestimate the amount of force your goods might be handled with. If you’re importing, ensure that your suppliers adhere to your standards to save yourself problems on the other end.
Another challenge to keep in mind is pirates trying to steal expensive goods – at least, containers that appear expensive. Shipping vessels are common targets worldwide for cargo theft. Avoid emblazoning large logos or brand names on your shipping cartons so that you will not have unwanted attraction from criminals looking for valuables to steal.
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Customs fees both at home and internationally must always be considered, whether you’re importing or exporting. Make sure you’re aware of the fees and restrictions placed on different items and account for them well before your items are on their way – dealing with customs can be a headache or a breeze, depending on your level of preparation. Make sure your shipments are properly labelled, that you have all of the required documents ready and that you know who is responsible for customs fees.
Always doing your research
If you will be exporting or importing regularly, you need a trustworthy way to send and receive your goods. Consider the reputation of every supplier or packing company you choose. Check online reviews and remember that you can’t be too cautious; there’s plenty of competition out there, so you have a lot of options.
|Photo Credit: Kelsey Knight via Unsplash under License|
You must also educate yourself on the law. You should already be aware of the heavy restrictions involving food and animal products in the United States, but what do you know about the shipping laws of other countries? As an exporter or importer, it’s your responsibility to be aware of the complications that may arise due to legal or cultural customs and account for these in advance. If you make sure that you know the exact steps you need to take to adhere to the laws of particular countries, you’ll find things go relatively smoothly.
Understanding Incoterms is also essential to anyone considering importing or exporting goods. Incoterms were created to avoid problems when importing and exporting goods, and help, for example, to define who is responsible for the shipment at each point of its journey. Failing to understand Incoterms will only lead to unnecessary problems down the line, so it’s best to do your research early.
Importing and exporting product internationally can be a lucrative business, and taking advantage of our connected world has never been easier. Above all, it’s important to keep your goods at the highest possible quality, so make sure they’re looked after at every step of the way.
Maia Fletcher is a Gisborne-based freelance writer who loves discussing business, lifestyle and travel topics. She has previously collaborated with transportation sites such as Fuso. You can find more of her published works here.