Whether you are a budding online business that has recently started benefitting from selling internationally, or you just need to send some socks to your nephew abroad - either way, knowing how to ship internationally can save you time and money.
Although many people feel comfortable sending packages internationally at the Post Office, this does limit your options and often there are extra charges or hidden costs. Sending your international shipments with a courier broker like Interparcel ensures your packages are in the most suitable, fastest, and most cost-effective hands, every single time!
We understand that it can be daunting the first time you need to send a parcel abroad, so let us walk you through some of the things you'll need to think about if you're looking to internationally ship packages for business or as an individual.
Know what's prohibited and restricted
Every country has it's own rules about what items/goods can be imported into the country, some countries also set monetary caps on how much residents can bring into the country. Shipping internationally can often seem like a minefield when figuring out what items/products are prohibited in specific countries or territories.
It very convenient that, at Interparcel, we've created a Prohibited and Restricted items list that can be filtered by country. This way you can quickly and easily check if the items you want to send are ok!
The items on these lists are mainly the same for each country/territory, but it's essential you do your research before shipping internationally to avoid unnecessary delays or charges.
Invest in packaging
Small businesses may often take time to create unique unboxing experiences that their customers will absolutely love, but, if it arrives in a broken heap they won't be too pleased. International shipping for business needs to look professional no matter where it's origins were!
Make sure you're focusing on the two P's equally,
- Protection: you'll need to bubble-wrap, tissue cover, or pad your parcel out in some way before placing inside a cardboard box or mailing bag and securing with packing tape. Think about the distances it will travel, give it some coverage!
- Presentation: most importantly for businesses, your protected parcel should also be presentable. No one wants to pay for a cardboard box haphazardly secured in duct tape! Always strive to look professional.
Know your parcel info
Before booking international parcel delivery with Interparcel, you'll need to know all the little details about your package(s). This includes:
- The dimensions of your parcel when packaged, (length, width, height)
- Its weight when packaged (kg)
- The full delivery address of the recipient including their telephone number
Now that you've successfully got your items snug inside their packaging, you'll be able to measure its exact dimensions and pop them into our Quote Tool. You'll then be able to see all of the most appropriate couriers and services at ascending prices for sending a package abroad.
Understand commercial invoices
When booking with Interparcel, we will provide you with all the correct documentation to fill out and attach to your parcel before shipping internationally. But it's always good to be in the know!
A commercial invoice is a document that needed for any parcel deliveries sent to destinations outside of the European Union. If you intend on sending within the EU, you won't require a commercial invoice - this however may change on the 31st of December 2020 when the UK is set to leave. The invoice is simply a customs declaration that is to be inspected at the country of the recipient.
When filling out this document you will be asked:
- What the item is (a detailed description is best)
- The value of the item
- The country of origin
Make sure these details are correct because if they aren't customs could well apply surcharges if it's held or a fee if it's returned to you. After you've done this you'll just need to print three copies and attach them to the outside of your parcel in a waterproof plastic wallet - sandwich bags can work great for this purpose!
Be aware that some destinations like Andorra, The Vatican, and The Channel Islands, that technically reside within the EU will still require customs documentation and we will provide you with these.
Cover your parcels
More of a metaphorical covering this time, if you're sending a package abroad you should be adding Transit Cover to protect parcels on route. All of our services at Interparcel come with a level of cover but if the value of goods exceeds the included transit cover then it may be worth covering the exact cost of your package(s) when booking delivery.
Our Transit Cover protects against lost or damaged packages, and for only a few quid more you can make sure that you and your business don't lose out when sending internationally.
When offering international shipping for your customers, cover is essential, so make sure you factor in this small extra cost to ensure your parcels are protected.
Why ship internationally with Interparcel?
On a daily basis, we successfully send packages abroad in the thousands to over 250 countries and territories. Offering some of the cheapest or fastest parcel delivery services, our solutions have helped many small businesses ship internationally at profitable rates.
We cater to all kinds of senders and want to make shipping internationally easy. In our world of global connectivity, sending care packages to loved ones, shipping postcards back home, or even delivering luggage to a staycation destination can be simple with Interparcel.
Plus, if you're a small business that regularly needs to send parcels abroad, our Shipping Manager can remember your parcel dimensions and preferred couriers and send multiple parcels in just a few clicks!
Our services integrate with all of the major eCommerce platforms so you can access international shipping across the board. Our users also benefit from:
- Advanced shipping manager: collate orders from multiple eCommerce platforms into one place
- In-built address verification and correction, no more manual errors or unprofessional mistakes
- New branded tracking, create a seamless brand experience when customers track orders
- Despatch orders in a few clicks from the comfort of your home
- Cheap international shipping!
Sending to Kazakhstan can be as easy as sending to Kegworth with Interparcel, so start shipping internationally today!