If you want to expand your online shopping business overseas, you must first secure a reliable international shipping company to have a smooth order fulfillment operations. Without it, your customers will think of your service quality as poor and unworthy. Remember that shipping is a vital part of your marketing strategy that will help you gain new customers and win customer retention.
Here are eight things you should consider when looking for a reliable international shipping company:
1. Offers the best price for international shipping
The cost of international shipping could make or break your deal with a courier company. Even though your product is reasonably priced but comes with a higher shipping cost, it will eventually ruin the customer experience and result in shopping cart abandonment.
First, gather the information about your product's size, weight, material, and cost. Plus, where you are located, preferred delivery speed, and other extra details needed to provide the best way to ship packages internationally with a competitive pricing matrix. Send these details to your prospective shipping companies to get quotes from them.
Keep in mind that the shipping cost may vary depending on the package's volumetric weight or the distance to the destination. So, if you are aiming for the cheapest international shipping from Canada to the U.S., this is one of the things you should discuss with your courier company. Ask also for the breakdown of the overall price and any hidden fees associated with it.
2. Check the shipping company's licensing and registration
Many bogus courier companies out there only want your hard-earned money and not earn your trust as a reliable international shipping company. The courier company should be fully compliant within the moving industry and won't hesitate to present licensing and registration papers. It must be a member of AMSA, RIM, FIDI, or any reputable associations for global courier companies. Don't work with an unregistered international shipping company because it will not only hurt your chances to earn, but you can also face legal sanctions and tarnish your reputation.
3. Provides realistic delivery times
Other than the price, customers are also sensitive about the shipping time. Of course, the faster the package arrives, the better the customer experience. However, let us get realistic because international shipping from Canada to other parts of the world takes time. Therefore, you should strike a balance between the global courier company's actual delivery time and logistics.
If you want to aim for faster delivery service, compare economy international shipping vs standard international shipping companies. It would be better to ask your courier if they could provide both. Flexibility is one of the factors you should consider when choosing a reliable international shipping company. Economy international shipping can deliver your goods in bulk while keeping the prices low, and it is only suitable for non-urgent packages. On the other hand, standard international shipping is only good for delivering a few but urgent packages at a higher price tag.
Choose the economy shipping when you are only replenishing your inventory, but go for standard shipping to ensure customer satisfaction. But figure out first how you can handle the expensive shipping cost of the latter.
4. Offers different container size and capacity
You can get an idea of how a shipping company handles packages on its variety of container sizes and capacity. The standard container sizes are 20' and 40,' but it would be better if they could provide customized shipping containers.
Do they have reefer containers that can hold items like perishable goods, paintings, antique furniture, and expensive pictures? In the matters of finding reliable international shipping, you should think ahead because you will never know what type of business venture you will try in the future.
Moreover, ensure that they have FCL and LCL options. What are these? FCL, or Full Container Load, is for exclusive use regardless of the shipment's volume or weight. On the other hand, LCL, or Less than Container Load, "refers to shipments of goods that will have to be packed together with other consignments to fill up a container," as defined by Global Negotiator.
5. Knowledgeable in international shipping
Work with a courier company that has the resources to ship overseas and has a team of international shipping experts who understand the ins and outs of the business. The company can guide you about the essential papers needed to transfer shipments abroad. Its staff should be experts in dealing with shipping protocols and regulations. They can help you facilitate the customs clearance process and have an office or agent in your destination country that could negotiate on your behalf. In this way, you will never have problems transporting your goods internationally.
6. Uses shipment tracking services
After a customer places an order, it is not you, but the courier company's job to ensure the package is delivered fast and safely. It is one of the parts of the order fulfillment process where you can't be hands-on even if you want to. That is why it would be better if the international shipping company has a tracking system where you can check your shipments' status.
It also provides you and your customers' peace of mind because you will know first-hand the package's whereabouts. Other than that, you can immediately think of a solution to prevent costly delays.
7. Efficiently handles delays and returns
There is no such thing as perfect shipping. You might experience problems such as weather, damaged goods, or customs delays. Your chosen courier company should be able to handle any shipping problems such as these.
How do they react when the customer doesn't receive the package? Do they have the initiative to contact you or the client and offer other solutions to deliver the order? Do they try the next day to deliver it or return the item to you if they can't do it? Who holds the responsibility for damaged items that arrive at your customer's doorstep? Will they cover any damages and returns, or will you need to do it all yourself?
8. Offers shipping insurance
Lost, stolen, and damaged packages are unforeseen events you must anticipate when it comes to ordering fulfillment. Thus, it would be helpful if the courier company you will be working with offers insurance for all shipments. However, keep in mind that shipping firms don't offer full insurance coverage but are based on certain conditions. Usually, they will provide about US$100 only, and you will pay an extra cost once you exceed a specific threshold.
Bonus: Questions you should ask to determine a reliable international shipping partner
Do you have experience in transporting my products?
Your prospect courier company should be proficient in handling your type of products and knows the regulations that need to be followed when shipping it.
Does your firm offer a free no-obligation quote?
One of the red flags of an unprofessional shipping company is it charges you upfront costs but doesn't provide you a free no-obligation quote. Worse is they present you with a vague t quotation without all the details.
What are the currencies you accept?
The shipping company should be flexible enough to offer various currencies as payment, especially if you are not located in the destination country. Also, ask whether they accept payments via cheques, cash, or credit cards.
Who will be my point of contact?
You should know beforehand who will handle your consignment from the shipping point to the destination. Ask who will be your contact person so you can ask for status updates and other questions related to shipping.
Choosing a reliable international shipping company involves a lot of research, and you must conduct it with due diligence. Don't go for the cheapest international shipping from Canada based on what you see on their website. Consider the factors above to find the best way to ship packages internationally. It will not only help your business in the long run, but it will be your way of providing the best customer experience that matches your needs and budget.
If you are searching for a reliable international shipping company, then you came to the right place! Stallion Express provides the most cost-effective and cheapest international shipping from Canada. For inquiries, you can call +1 877-863-7447 or email [email protected].