Small businesses and start-ups will often confine themselves to trading on home ground. The view is that they need to get this piece of the jigsaw in place before they have bigger ambitions and look further afield.
Part of this is to do with a confusion of what international shipping entails and how complex it is. Yes, there are different rules in different countries, but there is a range of different services available that can do all the heavy lifting at a competitive cost, and which are business friendly. This is where a freight forwarding company like Equator Worldwide can really help your business grow.
The Benefits of International Shipping
There are several benefits for getting to grips with international shipping at an early stage for your business. The first is that it opens a much bigger audience for your product and allows you not only to sell more but make a much large population on the planet aware of your brand.
If your brand is already established in your domestic market, then building the infrastructure and logistics to handle international shipping makes sense. Putting in the building blocks and building the right partnerships means you can set yourself up for not just immediate expansion but scaling up in the long term.
How to set up International Shipping
The first step is to check whether what you are selling can be sold and exported to the country that you have identified. Not being schooled in local laws and regulations can mean you get fined, or deliveries are delayed.
This can be quite a complex area. Most people don’t know, for example, that there’s a ban on dental products in Algeria or Bulgaria doesn’t accept used clothing. It is worth checking whether a particular country has either prohibited items or restricted items (where certain standards have to be met). Check your product to make sure that it doesn’t have certain parts that are considered dangerous as well. This might include, for example, some makes of lithium battery.
Reduce Shipping Costs with a Freight Forwarder
One of the main things that businesses worry about, of course, is the cost of shipping. Again, this can vary between countries and between logistic companies. Some regions have additional taxes, tariffs and duties that need to be paid. This is generally called the landed cost and many of the larger delivery companies have calculators that will give your business an idea of additional fees to be paid.
Once the technical aspects have been covered for international delivery, there are basic issues to consider such as packaging. This can be a difficult one to figure out for businesses. Travelling by air is different to travelling by sea and long distances often mean products are thrown from pillar to post during delivery.
Finding the Right International Courier
A lot is going to depend on what you are shipping and how often. Working with a freight forwarding company could be a good solution if you regularly ship products abroad in batches, for example. They will be able to work out the logistics and handle the paperwork for your business. With the exponential growth of automated systems, even smaller businesses that are looking to scale up and need flexibility can manage international deliveries with ease with the help of Equator Worldwide.