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Express International Shipping in 2021: Is It Worth it?

Diana Zheng
January 20, 2021

A recent study conducted by Apex Insight showed that global shipping market revenues have increased from $380 billion in 2018 to $430 billion in 2019. After all, international shipping continues to be an essential variable for businesses to fulfill their consumer demand processes. It is a significant driving force that allows commerce and trade to thrive and connect with people worldwide. 

Most shipping companies nowadays have also evolved from merely delivering your products via a single mode of transportation. Standard and express international shipping options are now a thing, thanks to technological advancements that accelerate the goods' movement.  

As a start-up entrepreneur, express shipping seems to be the most effective way to expand your reach and build a diverse customer base, but it can lead to an astronomical increase in shipping costs. During an era where the novel coronavirus outbreak shocked the world and affected how goods moved from one place to another, is express shipping still the most resourceful way to get your products to your customers? 

This article will dive into the factors that go along with international express shipping services in 2021. Does it maximize your value for money, or is standard international shipping yielding the same results? There are three main factors that we plan to talk about in this article:

  • Shipping Time (How fast do shipments move?)
  • Shipping Cost (How much are express shipping costs?)
  • Shipping Reliability (How reliable are shipping companies?)

Factor #1: Shipping Time

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, most shipping companies have maintained their regular shipping schedules. Express shipping time hasn't been too affected, so businesses with international operations do not have to worry about their delayed products. Depending on the courier service, express international shipping would typically take between 1 and 3 days to arrive at your customers' destination.

The most obvious (and smartest) move that any business owner could make is knowing about all the available options. We recommend collecting relevant information and creating a data pool for shipping companies, where you would determine which shipping company is the best. 

Of course, the most significant caveat here is the COVID situation is unpredictable— if national governments impose other lockdowns, express shipping time may change without prior notice. If you are continually delivering products to international locations, you have to be prepared if this change suddenly occurs.

Factor #2: Shipping Costs 

Shipping costs are probably the most crucial factor that businesses consider before deciding to deliver products through express shipping.

In 2021, shipping companies continue to charge a premium for express shipping rates. The main difference is that standard shipping only utilizes trucks for deliveries, while the express service uses air international shipping to ship products faster. Planes reach international destinations more quickly, so they are reserved only for those time-sensitive shipment goods.

On top of express shipping costs, some courier companies also offer door to port international shipping. If you decide to hire someone else to dispatch your goods from your warehouse and load them into air cargo, it's going to cost you more.

The right strategy to have in mind is determining the most systematic approach to your shipment process. Is it cost-effective to ship all your goods using express shipping? Maybe try balancing both standard and express shipping: your most urgent, in-demand products can be sent using express, and the rest can go with standard shipping.

Suppose you already have a regular shipping schedule with specific dates on when your products need to move. In that case, you can also utilize standard shipping services for your items but advertise them as express delivery goods. This way, you can trim your shipping costs and maintain a stellar reputation at the same time.

Factor #3: Shipping Reliability

While most shipping companies have great fleets of trucks, planes, and ships that provide high-quality services, there is still a risk that shipment items may be damaged or lost during the transit process. 

Shipping reliability has several variables to consider: (1) travel duration, (2) weather, and (3) types of goods delivered. Even before the pandemic began, there have already been numerous reports of lost, stolen, or damaged goods, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this trend will continue in the future. The last thing you can do is to strategize how you can try to avoid these unfortunate events from ever occurring. 

An optimal safety measure to prevent damages during shipping is to invest in sturdy, lightweight packages. You can try and pack your items using a combination of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper for them to remain in perfect condition when they reach your customers.

Conclusion: Express international shipping is worth the cost, but you have to be extra smart.

Express international shipping services in 2021 continue to guarantee rapid delivery of your products to customers, albeit the extra costs and the risks that come with the process. As such, entrepreneurs have to be extra vigilant and smart about utilizing the express shipping option. Consider the time, cost, and overall reliability of your shipping company, and you'll be good to go!

If you're interested in hiring a shipping professionals team, we at Stallion Express can provide reliable international shipping services for a fair price. Book an appointment today!

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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