10 frequently asked questions about international shipping

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Managing the world of international household movers can be complicated. With our guide to the most frequently asked questions about international shipping, we simplify this process. International shipping is important for global trade, connecting markets and providing commerce. Our complete guide addresses the main concerns. Stay informed and make your shipping experience smooth and successful!

What is international shipping?

International shipping connects businesses and customers worldwide. It’s the basis of global trade, providing the movement of goods across borders. Road freight companies play a crucial role in this process, especially for land shipments.

An airplain toy on a world map.
Air, land or sea: International shipment will be an ease.

There are three primary methods of international shipping: air, land, and sea. Air freight is the fastest, and ideal for urgent or time-sensitive items like perishable goods, but it’s also the most expensive. Land freight, involving truck transportation, is more economical for large shipments and offers full or less-than-full truckload options. Sea freight is best for bulky, non-urgent items.

How is international shipping cost calculated?

Several factors influence international shipping costs. The weight and volume are primary determinants. Heavier and larger shipments generally cost more. Distance also plays a role. Longer routes suffer higher fees. Additionally, the type of goods affects cost, as high-risk materials or fragile items may need special handling. For example, shipping a 20kg package from New York to London might cost differently compared to a 5kg package. The cost also varies if the shipment is bulky but lightweight, as carriers charge based on the space occupied in addition to weight.

What are the common customs and import regulations?

Three key documents are always required: the commercial invoice, packing list, and bill of lading. The shipper must provide detailed information, including the nature, value, and origin of goods. The most suitable Incoterm depends on the agreement between buyer and seller, with FOB (Free on Board) being a common choice. ETS (Estimated Time of Sailing) and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) indicate departure and arrival times. ATA (Actual Time of Arrival) and ATD (Actual Time of Departure) show real-time movements. ETD stands for Estimated Time of Departure. In shipping, TT means Transit Time, indicating the duration from departure to arrival.

How long does international shipping take?

The duration of international shipping may differ, your specific needs and the chosen method can influence that.

  • Urgency of Delivery For immediate needs: Express shipping                                                                                                             For less urgent items: Air cargo shipping
  • Type of Goods – For large, non-urgent orders: Sea shipping
  • Package Size and Weight – Directly affects shipping choice and cost
  • International Shipping Considerations – Longer delivery times and customs duties
  • Cost vs. Speed – Balance between faster shipping and operational disruptions due to delays
  • Choosing a Shipping Partner – Collaborate with reliable partners like JML Packaging for guidance and efficient delivery
  • Customized Shipping Strategy – Tailor shipping approach
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Timing can be tricky, so get to know the answers to most frequently asked questions about international shipping.

What is the process of tracking international shipments?

Tracking international shipments becomes straightforward thanks to advanced tracking systems. When a package is shipped, it’s assigned a one-of-a-kind tracking number. When you enter this number on the carrier’s website, you can view the shipment’s status and location. These systems update in real-time, offering insights into transit stages, customs clearance, and delivery estimates. For instance, a “clearance delay” status may indicate customs hold-ups, while “out for delivery” signifies the package’s final transit phase to its destination.

What are the restrictions on international shipping?

Understanding restrictions on international shipping is important to avoid legal complications. Commonly forbidden items include high-risk materials, explosives, weapons, and certain food products. Country-specific restrictions can vary. For example, some countries restrict the import of certain medications or cultural artifacts. In terms of international furniture shipping, it’s of great importance to check if the destination country has restrictions on wooden materials due to pest control regulations. You should research and comply with these regulations to guarantee the easy and lawful shipping of your items.

How to choose the right international shipping company?

Choosing the right international shipping company is the most important for efficient and reliable delivery. Start by evaluating the company’s reputation. Look for customer reviews and testimonials to display reliability and service quality. Compare costs. Affordable rates are important, but so is value for money. Assess the range of services offered. A good shipping company should provide different options like expedited shipping, tracking, and insurance. Responsive and helpful customer service is a big deal, especially in resolving shipping issues. Consider their network and reach. A company with a broad international presence is more likely to offer efficient and timely deliveries.

What is the role of insurance in international shipping?

Insurance in international shipping is an important safeguard. Freight insurance protects against damages or losses during transit, covering the work and costs associated with shipping accidents. You should secure a freight insurance policy before shipping, as most carriers don’t cover the full value of goods in case of damage or theft. A well-chosen policy makes sure you’re not liable for premiums in such situations and provides full compensation for any damaged or lost cargo. This coverage is essential for peace of mind and financial protection, especially when shipping valuable or fragile items internationally.

Frequently asked questions about international shipping include the insurance.
Be prepared for any damage with the right insurance!

How to handle lost or damaged goods in international shipping?

Start by thoroughly inspecting the cargo upon delivery for any visible or concealed damages. Document all damages or shortages, taking photos and noting them on the Bill of Lading. Communicate these details in time to the shipping company. Report damages within 10-15 days for a valid claim. Never refuse or discard damaged goods, as this can affect the claim amount.

Can I ship internationally during holidays or peak seasons?

Shipping internationally during holidays or peak seasons is entirely possible. However, it’s important to plan ahead and consider potential delays. International carriers experience high volumes of shipments during these times, leading to increased demand and possible congestion at ports. It is best to book your shipment well in advance and choose different shipping options if needed. Communicate with your chosen shipping provider to stay updated on any specific holiday schedules or restrictions in your destination country. By proactively addressing these factors, you can successfully take on international shipping during holidays or peak seasons and meet your delivery deadlines.

Sail away

Address frequently asked questions about international shipping and understand this complex field. Know how to handle lost or damaged goods, including the steps for documentation. Diving into these topics, businesses and individuals can help you deal with the difficulty of international shipping with greater confidence and efficiency, making informed decisions for their logistical needs.

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