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How to Get the Best Price for International Shipping

Pramod Bhat
  •  
  •  
October 11, 2020

As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you know that shipping is a crucial factor for your business. A smart seller understands that any arriving product on a customer's doorstep affects his/her reviews. 2018 statistics from Statista show that around 63% of online shoppers in the United States abandoned their carts due to additional shipping costs. As a seller, it's probably best to add the extra cost for shipping in the product's price and offer "free shipping" to the customers. Aside from shipping costs, arrival dates also contribute to whether customers will pursue the purchase as the maximum number of days people are willing to wait for the parcel to arrive decreased from 5 days in 2012 to 4 days in 2018. 

Therefore, it's essential to choose the freight forwarding company, which is cost-effective, cautious, and fast. It may seem impossible, but it isn't. This article will help you find the best price for International shipping-- avoid the excruciating fees that come with international shipping while taking your parcel's characteristics into account! 

How to fill out international shipping address labels

Labels are crucial. If you're new and want to find the best price for international shipping, here are the steps to guide you and ensure that the product gets shipped in the right hands:

Print/Write the receiver's address in capital letters, including the following information: addressee's name, house/flat number, street name/ PO box number, postal code, and country name.

According to the Forbes Business Council,  it's better to use a sticker paper for printed labels. In the same way, make use of high-quality permanent markers if you decide to write them by hand, so they're not easily erased when piled with other shipments. Most importantly, write in all caps and avoid using punctuation to guarantee that the label is readable.

Mark fragile or perishable products accordingly.

Marking fragile or perishable products ensures that they receive appropriate/extra care when being shipped and protects your package from potential damage.

Optional: Include the Addressee's phone number

Although optional, including the addressee's phone number can help the delivery man contact the recipient anytime in case of any complications, whether no one is home to receive the package or the address cannot be located. 

Can Amazon Ship Internationally?

If you're an Amazon seller, this is something you should know. Yes, Amazon ships products through its AmazonGlobal service. At present, Amazon ships products to over 100 countries around the world in regions like the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. 

However, you must check Amazon's limitations on express international shipping, most notably on countries it cannot reach. Countries beyond AmazonGlobal's scope may be subject to customs and import fees, which may be shouldered by the recipient. Amazon provides the platform, but the Amazon seller must be the one to conduct robust research on the import fees, as well as the rules and regulations of the country of destination.

Let's get down to business: The Strategies to Get The Best Price for International Shipping

All entrepreneurs try their best to cut costs on production and delivery while maintaining quality service. Below are some useful methods to reduce shipping costs and save money in the long-term:

Ship Products by Ocean

Air freights only take 1-2 days to arrive while ocean shipments can take weeks to do so. Shipping by the ocean can reduce prices up to 70% compared to parcels delivered by air. Therefore, if expedited international shipping isn't required, shipping products by the sea is a go-to strategy to get the best price for international shipping.

Another factor to consider for the difference between costs is how the two methods bill parcels. Unlike air shipments that are billed by chargeable weight, ocean shipments are billed by the container. A full standard container measuring 20' x 40' is charged a flat rate, but other variables such as origin, destination, volume, and time of the year must also be taken into account. Nonetheless, keeping the size within the standard will help you stay in budget.

In terms of reliability, it's true that airlines are quick-paced and can adjust schedules efficiently, especially in harsh weather conditions. However, this doesn't imply that air freight is more reliable than ocean freight because established ongoing alliances between companies built an integrated system that helps deliver parcels on time— even time-sensitive ones like perishable goods or automobile parts.

Rethink and Reduce Your Product's Packaging

Shipping cost can be significantly reduced if the parcel's lighter, and what most people don't realize is that the product's packaging plays a significant role in the parcel's weight. Optimize your packaging to save money, time, effort, and (possibly) the environment. While the weight of the materials is something to ponder on, you shouldn't use a more expensive material for a lighter weight because you wouldn't be saving money— you would only be spending on a different aspect. 

Among the most efficient packaging materials include the following:

  • Paper: Lightweight material and biodegradable, among other things. Most sellers opt to use recycled paper for an added sustainable touch.
  • Aluminum: A popular choice by beverage manufacturers for being able to shield the product from contaminants while being lightweight.
  • Mono-material packaging: like paper, it's lightweight and biodegradable as it only uses a single material. Aside from paper, many manufacturers are shifting to this type of packaging due to easier recyclability.

While these are all great substitutes, the best practice is still using fewer materials or utilizing free packaging. This way, you can promote sustainability and hassle-free transport. Reducing the number of materials helps reduce the weight and the process of transporting the goods, therefore making delivery faster and more efficient.

Apply the Multi-Carrier Shipping Strategy

If you're first starting, it's only natural to try as many carriers as possible, but this isn't always sustainable for some. Other entrepreneurs opt to have a maximum of 2 carriers to have leverage and bargaining power. Trying out numerous carriers lowers their shipping volume and gives them less advantage in negotiations. Loyalty to carriers may deem advantageous to your business as they can provide you flexible discounts or priority. 

On the contrary, some find having a multi-carrier shipping strategy to be more beneficial and cost-effective, especially when the delivery volume is high. Having multiple carriers gives you the upper hand to compare different companies' approaches in varying prices, sizes or dimensions, situations, handling, and limitations. More options likewise mean that you can catch sight of each of your potential benefits, and help you provide the most suitable customer service since all carriers have different strengths and weaknesses.

Analyze whether you should prioritize discounts or increasing demand from customers, so you can ascertain if the multi-carrier strategy indeed works for your business. While sellers have the freedom to go with a single carrier service when they start their business, it may not be beneficial in the long-run.    

Sign-Up For Shipping Insurance

Imagine spending valuable time, effort, and money to create the best product for your customers, only to realize that it was damaged during shipping. Your customers are disappointed, you gain bad reviews, and destroy your customer base— in the end, you lose money. This scenario is indeed a risk that all merchants will have to encounter at some point, but not all of them decide to protect themselves. 

To avoid these problems occurring in the future, we recommend signing up for third-party shipping insurance. These insurance policies reimburse lost, damaged, and stolen products that may arise during the shipping process. Most sellers enjoy shipping insurance benefits when they have expensive items delivered, so signing up for a policy is a long-term investment that would cut shipping costs in the future.     

Conclusion: Analyzing the Best Price for International Shipping Requires Analysis

Businesses sometimes do not realize how much shipping can turn into a hefty cost, so it is better to be smart and take a systematic approach. Making sure that shipping costs are at a minimum should be at the top of your priority as a seller, and we hope this article will help you have an idea of how you can formulate your strategy. Consider shipping products using sea freights, be smart about your packaging, and try out a multi-carrier approach to ensure that your shipping can be maximized while paying less.
If you're looking for a reputable shipping company that can help get you the best price for international shipping, Stallion Express has a team of esteemed shipping professionals who can handle your shipping integration process. We can also provide assistance for international shipping from Canada, all for a fair price. Book an appointment today!

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

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Pramod Bhat
Written by Pramod Bhat

Pramod is the CEO of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping provider in Canada. His vision, leadership, and innovative strategies have catapulted Stallion into one of the industry's most trusted brands. He is on a mission to help online sellers in Canada scale and succeed. He is also the reigning office ping pong champion.

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