5 Mistakes To Avoid When Shipping Internationally

Mar 13, 2023

Expanding a business globally is an excellent way to increase sales and revenue. However, international shipping is a complex process that requires careful planning to avoid costly mistakes. 

International shipping is a vital part of global commerce and it is essential for businesses who want to reach customers around the world. With international shipping, businesses can expand their customer base, increase revenue and enhance their brand’s reputation.

Today we will discuss the five most common mistakes to avoid when shipping internationally.

Challenges of International Shipping

Shipping internationally comes with unique challenges that can be daunting for businesses. Some of the challenges include language barriers, different time zones, varying shipping regulations and customs requirements.

Importance of Avoiding Common Mistakes

Avoiding common mistakes is critical to ensure that the shipping process runs smoothly. Failure to avoid these mistakes can lead to delays, additional costs and even legal issues.

woman pointing to a container

Common Mistake #1: Not Understanding Import and Export Regulations

Understanding import and export regulations is critical to avoid delays and legal issues. Businesses must research and understand the regulations of the countries they want to ship to and from.

Common Australian Regulations to Consider:

Some of the regulations to consider when shipping to Australia include:

  • Import permits
  • Customs clearance requirements
  • Quarantine regulations
  • Labeling requirements

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female handing shipping documents to businessman

Common Mistake #2: Inaccurate or Incomplete Shipping Documents

Accurate shipping documentation is crucial to ensure that the shipment is delivered on time and without any issues. Inaccurate or incomplete shipping documents can cause delays, additional costs, or even the rejection of the shipment.

Accurate Documentation Needed in Australia

Some of the critical shipping documents include:

  • Bill of lading
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Export declaration

Other common shipping documents include:

  • Certificates of origin
  • Insurance certificate
  • Export license

Tips for Preparing Accurate Documentation

Businesses can prepare accurate documentation by double-checking the information, using clear and concise language, and seeking advice from a shipping expert.

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paying for delivery through credit card

Common Mistake #3: Underestimating Shipping Costs

Shipping costs can be significant and can affect the profitability of your business. Underestimating shipping costs can lead to unexpected expenses that can eat into the bottom line of your business.

Common Costs to Consider:

Some of the common costs to consider include:

  • Shipping fees
  • Customs fees
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Storage fees

Tips for Managing Shipping Costs

Businesses can manage shipping costs by negotiating rates with carriers, optimizing packaging, consolidating shipments, and choosing the most cost-effective shipping method.

Dig Deeper: Explore our Related Article! 📚💡

9 Common Delivery Problems Most Shippers Face

checking customs duties and taxes

Common Mistake #4: Ignoring Customs Duties and Taxes

Customs duties and taxes are a critical consideration when shipping internationally. Failure to pay these fees can result in additional costs and legal issues.

Customs Duties and Taxes

Customs duties and taxes are levied by the government of the country where the shipping is being delivered.

Common Fees to Consider

Some of the common fees to consider include:

  • Import duties
  • Value-added tax
  • Excise tax

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man showing an ok sign for delivery

Common Mistake #5: Not Using A Reputable Shipping Company

Choosing a reputable shipping company is essential to ensure that the shipment is delivered on time and without any issues. Failure to use a reputable shipping company can result in delays, damage to the shipment and even loss of the shipment.

Importance of Reputable Shipping Company

A reputable shipping company can provide your business with reliable and efficient shipping services, as well as assistance with customs clearance and documentation.

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Closing Thoughts

International shipping can be a lucrative way for businesses to expand their customer base and increase revenue.

However, it is essential to avoid common mistakes to ensure that the process runs smoothly. With proper planning and attention to detail, businesses can successfully navigate the complexities of international shipping and enjoy the benefits of global commerce.

robert lynch headshot

Robert Lynch

Founder of Australia’s largest outside hire company Couriers & Freight, Robert Lynch is a seasoned business leader in the shipping industry with over 20 years of experience. His expertise spans from outside hire, taxi truck, and last-mile services to freight management, freight forwarding and warehousing. 

Robert has also incorporated technology into his business through custom software to enhance growth and efficiency. Robert is a valuable resource for business owners looking to improve their logistics operations.

Connect with Robert Lynch on LinkedIn.

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