23/01/20234 min

The challenges of cross-border shipping: tips for a smooth journey

If you work in e-commerce, you know that shipping to customers around the world can be a challenge. From dealing with customs and taxes to navigating international shipping laws and regulations, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the process. Fortunately, you can make international shipping a breeze with a specialized partner.

What to consider when selling across the border?

The e-commerce market has been steadily growing, and the need for reliable international logistic solutions comes with it. With global consumers looking to buy more products from your e-commerce business, knowing the ins and outs of shipping internationally is essential.

The first step is understanding the customs regulations of the destinations you are shipping to. You need to be aware of different countries' rules and laws. Some countries may require additional paperwork or documentation to be submitted. It’s essential to research the requirements for each to ensure your shipments are compliant.  

For example, the customs process for the UK has changed since Brexit. All goods entering from the European Union must be declared to avoid delays and extra costs. An EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number is now required for all imports, which can be applied for online. All goods must also have an accurate description, their value, Harmonised System Code (HS Code) and country of origin. Additionally, the documents must be presented prior to shipment so they can be checked upon arrival in the UK. Depending on the type of goods being imported, additional paperwork may also be required such as certificates of origin or health certificates.

Teamwork makes your e-commerce dream work

Choosing the right partner can make your international shipping easier. A specialized global partner helps e-commerce businesses ship their goods and products by arranging for the most efficient transportation and delivery methods. Logistics partners provide various  services including customs clearance, tracking services and pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) locations. Choosing the correct one, with a network of reliable carriers will ensure that your goods arrive at their destination quickly and securely.

Key benefits of choosing the right partner

1. Expertise: When you work with a shipping partner, you gain access to their expertise in import regulations and customs procedures. This can help you avoid potential delays or additional costs caused by unexpected requirements or improper paperwork.

2. Cost savings: With the right partner, you can take advantage of their volume discounts and other cost-effective measures that may not be available to smaller companies doing it alone. You may also be able to benefit from consolidation services that combine shipments from multiple vendors into one more affordable shipment.

3. Efficiency: Experienced partners can help your business streamline its processes by providing compatibility with your IT/marketplace/platform that covers delivery tracking so that your staff can focus on core operations instead of worrying about logistics details. Plus, many international shippers offer automated systems for managing orders, tracking shipments, generating invoices, and more, saving time and money in the long run.

4. Sustainability: In a market where consumers are more environmentally conscious, having a partner with your same values can strengthen your green credentials. Finding the right partner is critical. Sustainable partners keep track of their emissions, which allows them to optimise their routing in order to reduce the CO2 produced. They can also offer support in other ways to reduce your carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly, like optimising your packaging. 

In short, choosing  your cross-border shipping partner is essential to stay competitive in this expanding e-commerce market. Looking to reduce costs while providing better service to its customers worldwide..

Also to consider

When preparing your products for international shipping, it’s important to package them securely. Ensure  all items are properly labelled and sealed. Also, include a commercial invoice with each shipment. This document should list the contents of the package and can help speed up the customs process.

Sustainable packaging can help you reduce your carbon footprint and is also beneficial for your e-commerce business as it can save money and resources in the long run. Sustainable packaging also protects products during delivery, ensuring that they reach customers in perfect condition. Less air in the package prevents having a loose product in a box, and optimises the space in the logistics chain. Finally, sustainable packaging has a positive impact on customer experience as it reduces waste and encourages a more eco-friendly behaviour. 

Finding your international shipping partner

All in all, international shipping can be a daunting task for e-merchants, but Spring GDS, with over 20 years of experience and cross-border solutions made for e-commerce, can make the process easy and stress-free.  With the right steps in place, you can ensure that your international shipping runs smoothly.

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