Thanks to the internet, the world has become a global market. Many businesses are opting to carry out their activities online to reach a broader market. There are however some businesses that are still shying away from e-commerce. This is perhaps informed by strict cross-border regulations, the complexity of doing business overseas, or language barriers.
International shipping takes longer and is more expensive than domestic shipping. You can, however, cut down on your international shipping costs. Here are the eight cheapest ways to ship internationally from anywhere in the world:
1. Avoid Flat Rate Shipping Charges
Avoiding unnecessary shipping fees is one of the cheapest ways to ship internationally. A flat rate charge is uniform pricing that is not based on the item’s shape, size or weight. A seller may be enticed to use flat rate shipping since it simplifies transportation and can be used as a marketing tool to get buyers to spend a little more.
However, this is not the best deal for a buyer since it lacks flexibility. You should have the option to choose slow delivery at a lower price rather than be boxed into a faster delivery at a much higher price, which is what flat rates are all about.
2. Maximize Your Shipping Packaging
Being smart with your packaging could be one of the cheapest ways to ship internationally. Sometimes, you may find yourself going a little overboard on your safety precautions, and in some way, these precautions may work against you as they add to the size and weight of the parcel being shipped. Consequently, the charges may go up. Use airbags for your packaging as they are made of light material. Also, ensure the boxes you use for your packaging are the right size for your item to minimize wastage of space.
3. Understand What the International Client Needs
Often, freight providers have the notion that clients’ priority is speed. This is however not always the case. Some may choose to have their parcels delayed by a few days to cut costs. Freight providers should give customers different delivery timeframes to choose from. Saving that extra penny could be more important to a client than receiving their package at a supersonic speed.
4. Align Delivery with Cheap Shipping Schedules
Ensure you are working with a delivery date that provides for ocean freight, which is much cheaper than air freight. Timely planning is also essential as failure to do so may force you to go for a faster shipping method to make up for the lost time. Often, quicker shipping methods will cost you more. As a freight provider, you are responsible for pointing your clients to the low-cost option to help them take advantage of the best, most affordable rates in the market.
5. Carefully Choose Your International Suppliers
When choosing your international supplier, it is vital to understand how the Ex Works Cost (EWC) works. EWC is the price at which a manufacturer, seller or supplier avails a product to a buyer. The buyer is responsible for paying the actual transport costs and is also accountable for any risks and duty that pertain to the goods.
The EWC is low when shipping a product from a far-flung part of the world. However, when tax and other relevant costs are added, it becomes pretty expensive. It is therefore important to be keen on the location of the supplier. Wherever possible, choose one who is not so far off.
6. Partner with a Forwarder
A freight forwarder, also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), is basically an intermediary between the businesses that hire them and the transport services that deliver products to overseas customers. The price quoted on a particular product is not necessarily the amount you are going to spend. Your forwarder is responsible for disclosing all the costs involved for a specific shipment. At least you will be aware of the cost you are likely to incur from a shipment.
7. Partner with a 4PL
A fourth party logistics provider acts as an overseer of all the processes involved in shipping a product; from the warehouse to transportation, and to the delivery of products. Partnering with a fourth party logistics provider is essential, especially since the business is being carried out away from where you are. It ensures the timely delivery of goods and reduces transportation costs.
8. Get Fulfillment Warehouses
A fulfillment warehouse or center is an ideal solution for all your warehousing and shipping needs. It ensures timely delivery of products, leaving you ample time to source other products and market yourself. As you receive more inventory, it is crucial to have a base from where you can make your shipments. This goes a long way in reducing your international shipping costs. The approach is however only workable for companies that ship huge volumes of products internationally.
Doing business internationally definitely costs more in terms of money and time. However, by following proper logistic systems, you can maximize your sales by tapping into the international market.