Annie Davis

Member Article

Saving Money on International Shipments

Shipping international packages can be quite expensive for companies, and the profit margin is so small that a single accident can put your company in the red for a month. Here are some tips on how to save money on these costly transactions.

Annoying Hassles Your Company Can Avoid

Here are some of the biggest hurdles for companies sending overseas shipments.

Calculating International Shipping Prices

Knowing how much to bill customers for international shipments can be tricky. While you can use an online calculator to figure out the cost, it’s smarter to have your accounting department use software developed for your company’s needs.

Cost/Benefit Analysis for Foreign Customers

Before opening your business to foreign customers, carefully consider whether or not their small orders will outweigh the hefty cost of shipment and delivery to their nations. In most cases the profit margin for overseas transactions is considerably lower.

Pack Everything Safely & Insure It

The cost involved in learning how to pack items for international shipments is considerable. Your shipment team will require specialized training and certification, and your warehouse will need to stock additional boxes, peanuts, and bubble wrap.

Overseas shipments require special insurance. This insurance can be incredibly costly for both the shipper (you) and for your customer. While it is entirely necessary, some companies forego insurance and find themselves the victims of natural disasters, late (unusable) deliveries, and cash on delivery customer returns. Furthermore, if you are using a package forwarding service you will discover that their insurance does not cover the possibility of their employees stealing from your packages: only your own insurance will cover this kind of incident.

Save Cash Shipping More Safely

There are many ways your business can save money on costly international shipments. Here are a few of the best methods:

Pack it tightly

Small packages cost less because international shipments are based upon dimensions rather than weight, unless you use a packing bag (then it is based on weight). While people like to package things in layers and layers of fluff and peanuts, each one of those fillers costs the sender additional money.

Learn How to Pack Smartly

By correctly wrapping delicate items you can drastically reduce the package size. If you are unfamiliar with this methodology, then consult local shipping companies. If your business conducts a lot of overseas business, you may want to hire a professional carrier that has a good reputation.
Double air cushion, ideal for high protection should be used with fragile items. However, less delicate items can be packed in paper and extra cardboard.

Send Fewer Shipments

By condensing overseas shipments into fewer shipment dates you can save big money. Try sending packages for different customers to a package forwarding service at a port in the recipients’ nation: many ports will divide large international shipments into smaller, local delivery boxes. Many large companies have a policy of making overseas shipments once weekly (such as on Monday) to condense packages onto one pallet or into one box.
When you take a little care with international shipments and prepare your team, you will find them less costly and troublesome. Prepare your employees far in advance of offering products to foreign clients, and the transition should be seamless.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Annie Davis .

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