People who run small or medium-size businesses emphasize that they need to keep their business growing. It is not the first time when we receive a question related to topics like ‘parcel delivery to Germany’ or ‘parcel is stuck in customs’.
Shipping parcels internationally is a great way to diversify your operations. But people get concerned if they can ship parcels to certain areas or will it get stuck in customs, or perhaps the customer on the other side is legitimate.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources that are available for you to improve your business credibility and avoid misunderstandings. We will provide 5 easy steps to get you going with international shipping.
Step-1: Be clear about what you ship
Probably one of the major problems is when the commercial invoice is incomplete or incorrect. Be sure what you ship before you ship. Be as specific as possible when writing a commercial invoice.
A commercial invoice is required for all non-document international shipments. Try to describe not only what you are shipping but also the purpose of it, this way custom clearance could be much quicker.
Describe details such as the number of units, the total value of the shipment, provide the origin country. All of these details are crucial when taking into account customs clearance.
Step-2: Clearly state where are you shipping
There are multiple occasions when a parcel is getting lost just because the address on it is either incorrect or even written in the wrong order. Let’s say you are the shipper of the parcel. Someone purchased an item from your store, paid for it in advance. Gave you their address, prepared the parcel, boxed it, and labeled it.
After when the parcel was picked up by the courier the parcel got lost and got stuck for a few weeks, even though you paid for express delivery which had to happen in 2 business days.
Your customer received a tracking number to track the parcel. After a few days, they are informed that the parcel is lost. They call the customer service of the courier company asking for some clarity. And here comes a good part.
Most of the courier companies are liable only to the account holder of the parcel – which in most cases is the shipper. Your customer gets annoyed because they can’t do anything about it because the policies of the courier company can’t help. You then contact the company and they state that the address is incorrect. But you wrote the address that the customer provided.
In the end, the address seems to be just a little bit off and so many problems occurred just because two words were in the wrong order. So just to be safe always check the address before shipping something. It will save so much time for you and your customer.
Step-3: Specify to whom are you shipping to
Not only the address seems to be a problem for some courier companies. There are cases when the parcel is shipped to the apartment block. For instance in Germany or Netherlands apartment blocks are not numbered. The apartment belongs to a specific person and couriers need to know to whom they are delivering.
For instance, if the parcel is meant to be delivered to Ms. Smith but she is renting the apartment in the Netherlands, Amsterdam. When the courier comes, he sees that the apartment belongs to a completely different person. Than written on the parcel’s label, and here we go again. The parcel is sent back to the distribution center or even delivered back to the shipper.
Step-4: Decide when the parcel should arrive
Of course, if you want the parcel to be shipped as fast as possible it will have a greater cost. Keep in mind that in some circumstances, even though that parcel courier company states. That their express delivery is guaranteed there are multiple situations when it is not in their power.
Parcels get delayed every day and in most cases, courier companies state that they can’t do anything about it even though it is a guaranteed delivery.
Step-5: Get your shipment shipped
Do not hesitate and let others do the work. Check the prices, decide what are you willing to pay and how fast you need to be shipped. Read commercial invoice requirements for your parcel or call customer service for help.
But after all this work do not hesitate to send the parcel internationally. Most parcels are still delivered properly even though some of them face some issues.
To sum up
Start shipping internationally and grow your business. Consider the benefits of your business. When establishing an international footprint, growth speaks for itself. Research tells that companies who start shipping internationally are 8.5 percent less likely to go out of business.