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A Guide to International Online Shipping

Aaron Cope, Feb 06 2021

In a world that has quickly shifted to digital shopping, shipping is the key pinnacle of keeping the world turning. The European eCommerce market was projected to generate over $390 million in revenue in 2020. Shipping alone can be complicated, but shipping internationally comes with its own set of challenges. If your eCommerce store is looking for a solution for international parcel shipping, B2C shipping, or cross-border shipping, we’ve put together this awesome guide.

 

Related: How to Be a Successful eCommerce Brand.

 

Make a plan.

 

If you don’t ship to European countries, you are potentially missing out on a lot more customers. The first step you need to take is to figure out what products you want to ship internationally. For some products, it might not make sense to ship them everywhere, and there are some that can’t ship everywhere. 

 

Cross-shipping

 

When you are making plans to distribute across multi-country borders, it’s something to keep in mind. The idea is to have one central distribution center and then utilize last-mile shipping services to deliver products.

It’s more cost-effective than setting up multiple locations and fully stocking them. With lower shipping costs, businesses can offer a more valuable offer of free shipping that their clients desire. This type of shipping is exceptionally resource-friendly in places like Europe. 

 

A map of the world with a pen and stopwatch.

 

A quick reference to international shipping.

 

Ensure your items can be shipped as intended. 

Each country has its own lists and regulations of what can be shipped across a countries borders and can receive certain types of shipments. For up-to-date information about importing and exporting to other countries, refer to the Country Commercial Guides at export.gov.

 

Hire a customs broker and determine the terms of sale.

 

A customs broker can help you if there are any problems or holdups with your shipment and will work to resolve those issues.

 

A laptop next to someone taking notes


 

Gather important information. 

 

Before you create your customs documents or international shipping label, be sure to have enough information to answer a few simple and easy questions.

  • What is the purpose of your shipment?
  • What is the value of your commodity?
  • Who will be the importer?
  • Will it need a consignee, and if so, who will that be?
  • What is your commodities country of origin? Is it the same as the manufacture?
  • Do you want to estimate taxes and duties?
  • Do you know your commodity code in the Harmonized System (HS)?

All of these questions might not be used in every shipping transaction, but knowing them can make for a smoother B2C shipping process and ensures your customer receives their goods without delay. 

 

Related: Cross-Border E-Commerce Pain Points

 

Determine the customs documents that are required.

Most non-document commodity-based shipments will commonly only need a commercial invoice. A Commercial Invoice provides information for customs authorities to help them assess if the goods are allowed in or out of a country and by what means. It also can help determine any taxes or duties owed for the shipment. Other common documents you may need are a Pro Forma Invoice (used to ship free goods such as catalogs or product samples.), a packing list, or sometimes a Certificate of Origin.

Once you have all of your documents filled out, you are then ready to ship your item or high volume eCommerce to other countries.

 

Is your business looking for Logistics Solutions Provider? YunExpress USA offers easy IT integration as well as integration with Shopify. 

 

5 Pro Tips to keep in mind when shipping from the USA to countries in Europe.

 

A globe with shipping boxes in front of it.

 

With 44 countries making up Europe, it would be a missed opportunity to not offer shipping and last-mile delivery to those areas. It’s a keystone of international shipping. Here are some key mistakes to avoid and some expert tips for you to implement to gain your foothold into the European marketplace.

 

Understand customs, taxes, and duties.

 A duty or import duty and sometimes referred to as a customs duty, is a type of tax that is collected on imports. The value of your goods will dictate the duty. Make sure to decide in advance who will be paying for these costs, you or your customer.

 

Some EU countries might need extra documentation. 

While most of your shipping to Europe won’t need extra or special documentation, there are a few places that might require additional documentation. Be sure to check with customs when you ship to such locations as The Channel Islands, The Canary Islands, and Gibraltar that are technically within the EU that require extra documentation

 

Beware of shipping restrictions

 

You shouldn't need to know every single restriction for international shipping, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check the restrictions in the zone you are shipping to. Even with last-mile shipping crossing through a border, be sure your packages quick arrival. Familiarize yourself with what can and cannot be shipped to Europe and comply with the destination country’s laws. 

 

Address your package correctly. 

 

This may sound silly but international addresses can look very different, and each country has its own format. Copy the address exactly as it’s written to avoid delays caused by an error in the address. 

 

COVID-19. 

 

While the illness has changed the world, it has also changed some shipping regulations. Due to the virus, some international shipping restrictions have been implemented within Europe that have forced some couriers to suspend specific routes and services. The best way to combat these delays is to be up to date on the COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Related: 2020 Logistics Trends.

 

Now you are ready to send your eCommerce product across the globe. If you are looking for Logistic Solution for your large shipping needs, YunExpress USA has you covered. We were founded with a vision to save businesses money and to allow them to expand their shipping serviced beyond their hometowns. Our outbound US DDP (delivered duty paid) service is fully tracked to ensure that consumers always receive their product on time and with the service they deserve. 

 

Need a last-mile shipping solution? Parcll has over 100 contracts with last-mile carries across the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and others as it sets a new global cross-border standard in shipping needs for eCommerce sellers.
 

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