The technological revolution has turned the face of worldwide shipping upside down. Traders from across the globe are actively importing and exporting goods across borders to contribute to the global supply chain. International shipping is a complex process that follows a series of steps from booking transport or logistics, documentation, and payment clearances to tracking the safe delivery of goods to their destination. Technologies such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, and electronic data interchange in the supply chain assist prosperous worldwide shipping. Let us learn more about the steps to hassle-free worldwide shipping.
What are domestic and international shipping?
Transportation of goods within the country is referred to as domestic shipping, while transportation of goods across borders to some other country is known as international or worldwide shipping. Shippers opting for domestic transportation are likely to partner with local suppliers and logistics service providers to get the best shipping rates and faster delivery. The challenges in international shipping are where shippers must send shipments to different countries. In such cases, it is essential to identify the right 3PL or 4PL service provider that can offer their expertise in shipping. The logistics service provider mandates the process of containerization and transportation, and the shipper can track the movement of the goods across the supply chain. While domestic shipping is comparatively more straightforward, international shipping is much more complex as it involves a series of steps, and multiple shipping parties participate. Let us learn about the process of international shipping.
Process of hassle-free worldwide shipping
The process of international shipping is accompanied by
- Adherence to a list of rules and regulations governing the transport of a type of goods.
- Various documentation concerning permits, invoices, bills of lading, etc. Electronic data interchange is an intelligent way of transferring invoices, bills, and other documents using the internet across the globe. It eases paperless documentation of shipping processes.
- Booking 3PL and 4PL service providers if necessary.
- Following up on the containerization of goods and the process of transportation.
- Tracking the shipment during its transit and preparing for receiving it. IoT in shipping allows shippers and other shipping parties to track the containers in transit.
These are a few components of international shipping that every shipper goes through while trading goods internationally. While the process may seem complex, traders continue to invest significantly in importing and exporting goods. Let us have a look at the multiple advantages of international shipping.
What are the benefits of worldwide shipping?
A few advantages of international shipping
- Global expansion – While domestic traders are confined to shipping goods to a regular consumer market, international traders experiment with a new and comprehensive consumer market. It helps increase brand awareness for many businesses and establish loyal customers across the globe. International shipping helps countries improve trade relations and broaden the spectrum of international business. Stakeholders like organizations, businesses, shipping companies, and freight forwarders worldwide form a network to trade goods seamlessly throughout the year.
- Availability of goods – With countries facing a shortage of seasonal goods around the year, international shipping is a boon as they can import those goods from other countries and make them available to consumers throughout the year. It improves customer satisfaction and facilitates countries with a surplus of seasonal goods to manage the excess production. For Example – Certain fruits, vegetables, and flowers are locally available to a few countries but unavailable to others. Import and export of such shipments makes the goods available to all globally.
- Boosts global economy – International trade helps increase revenue opportunities for traders and contributes to the country’s national economy. Higher sales volume in foreign markets yields better profits to traders that frequently ship goods across borders. Domestic and international customer bases are capable of easy economic bloom and capitalising on various market demands and customer preferences.
- Networking – International shipping exposes traders to the global market, giving them endless opportunities to choose the shipping parties that best suit their budget and business objectives. Traders connect with suppliers, importers, shipping companies, ocean carriers, and 4PL service providers. Traders can also have alternative options in case of geopolitical trade disruptions where their primary supplier or distributors are stuck due to the impact of a trade war.
Steps for hassle-free worldwide shipping
The steps of international shipping are as follows
- Knowing the requirement of goods – The shipper must analyse the weight, amount and value of shipment for export to determine the shipping container type and the transport mode to carry the goods to the shipping company.
- Booking for logistics – The shipper must choose and book a suitable logistics company for the intermodal transport. If the shipper finds it challenging to ship the goods independently, booking a 4PL service provider is always a solution. They lend their expertise to the shipper and help collaborate on the shipping process with various transport and logistics providers.
- Documentation – Various bills and invoices are drafted, permits are made, and customs clearances are completed to ensure that the shipment is legal and follows all guidelines necessary for international shipping. Customs authorities go through these documents to signal the shipment ahead. Failure to provide proper documentation can lead to shipment delays and extra charges.
- Paying taxes and duties – The documents are made by assessing the value of goods, transpiration charges, handling charges, and customs clearances; the taxes, duties and charges are calculated. The shipper needs to clear the dues to initiate the shipping process. The benefits of blockchain technology in shipping allows shippers across the globe to securely make transactions and ensure their legality.
- Tracking the shipment – If the shipper has booked a transportation company, they can directly communicate with the company to track the shipment’s movement. Regarding 4PL service providers, the shipper cannot directly contact the transport company and needs to communicate with the 4PL to know the shipment’s whereabouts. Various container tracking technologies are also made accessible to the shipper by the transportation or shipping company, where the need to contact the company is eliminated, and the shipper can track the shipment whenever needed.
Tips for easy, hassle-free worldwide shipping
- Shippers with a vast network of shipping companies and transport facilities can find better prices for transporting goods across borders. Therefore, it is vital to maintain a good shipping network.
- Ensure that the goods reach the shipping company within time for loading onto the designated mode of transport. Delays in shipments in the case of maritime shipping may cause container rollover.
- Shippers must negotiate the shipping terms with the consignee in maritime shipping. FOB origin and FOB destination are the standard contracts that are negotiated. By utilising the benefits of FOB in shipping, traders can carry out cost-effective trade.
- Inquire about the permits and documents required to transport the goods legally. Hazardous and fragile goods require special containerisation and handling.
- Look for a reliable logistics service provider if you find it challenging to transport goods across borders internationally.
- Always have an alternative supplier to combat geopolitical crises such as a trade war.
- Communicate with the 3PL or 4PL service provider to get real-time information about your shipment.
These are a few tips for hassle-free worldwide shipping that help shippers transport goods seamlessly and within time.
LOTUS Containers is a shipping container service provider that facilitates worldwide shipping by leasing and selling various types of shipping containers across the globe. We rent containers internationally by offering a range of container leasing agreements as per client requirement.