Running a cross-border e-commerce business is not a walk in the park. You need to calculate everything from product pricing to shipping charges. When it comes to international shipping, online businesses often make such mistakes that unnecessarily add to their expenses. Moreover, if the business doesn’t address these concerns on time, it may end up losing even more money, prospects, customers, and time. Therefore, before launching an e-commerce business that ships internationally, you need to learn every shipping term that can affect product pricing and more.
I work for an international shipping service in Canada and we have often seen e-commerce businesses making some common mistakes. I chose to write this post to help all businesses out there on how to avoid these mistakes.
Let’s get to the details.
International shipping mistakes to be avoided at all costs:
The following are some of the most common international shipping you need to avoid to run your cross-border business smoothly:
Ill-timed imports and exports:
Timing matters a lot when it comes to cross-border shipping. If you are shipping internationally for the first time, things may take a tricky turn for you. It may cause you to mismanage your imports and exports. This eventually leads to delayed shipping and unhappy customers. Don’t worry! This mistake is easy to avoid. All you need to do is:
- Ask for shipping quotes 30 days before the actual shipment date
- Set up your shipments in a way that they match the quoted rate of your freight
- Do thorough research to find the approximate time it takes to import from and export to your desired country.
- Always stay in touch with your freight forwarder.
Failing to ensure goods:
Shipping internationally is more like a dicey game. If you are planning to ship your goods across the border, you have to prepare yourself for the stress and uncertainties it brings. There is so much that can go wrong, from accidents to damaged or stolen goods, natural disasters and so much more.
These untimely problems can cause delays in your cross-border deliveries. Moreover, if you don’t insure your goods, you may incur some substantial losses. You will never have to deal with the loss of uninsured shipments if you follow the following steps:
- Carefully research the insurance options you have
- Be careful while choosing the cargo to import and export goods.
- Learn all that your potential insurance policy covers
- Read the special provision section to see whether or not your chosen company ensures all your goods.
Chasing after the cheapest freight rates:
Every business looks for the cheapest options when it comes to international shipping. However, never compromise the quality of shipping service just to save a couple of bucks. Make sure you get competitive rates for the best shipping services.
Some international forwarders charge you unbelievably low. However, their international shipping services are not up to the mark. They don’t care whether your package safely makes it to its destination. As a result, you incur loss rather than earning profit. Luckily, this mistake can be avoided by following these steps:
- Read customer reviews to learn about your potential forwarders’ reputation. Identify red flags, if there are any.
- Learn about the quality of customer service the shipping company offers.
- Go for reliable recommendations.
Failure to understand cross-border regulations:
Every country has its own regulations for international delivery. While shipping your goods across borders, you need to keep these regulations in mind. You may end up losing a lot of money if you are not clear about these regulations. To avoid this mistake, you need to:
- Make sure your package meets the destination country’s regulations.
- Have your documents ready and properly filled out
- Familiarize yourself with the destination country’s policies by getting in touch with a trade attorney.
- Stay updated with trade laws and customs requirements of the country you are shipping to or from.
The success of a cross-border e-commerce business depends upon how happy your customers are. Nothing puts your customers off more than a delay in the delivery of their goods. To avoid unhappy customers, you need to choose a reliable international shipping companies. Don’t chase after cheap quotes. Choose a forwarder that’s affordable yet ensures safe and timely delivery of goods.