Things to Know When Expanding Into International Shipping

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When it comes to business growth, there is only so much that can be accomplished domestically before you have to set your sights on international expansion. If this sounds like you and you're considering an expansion to offer your products internationally, you should take some time to think about the process so that you can be sure that your company is adequately prepared to offer international shipping. Here's a look at some of the things you need to think about before you try to ship that first product overseas.

Choose Your Countries Carefully

If you feel like it's time to expand into an international market, it's important for your company's financial stability that you approach this expansion carefully. Start by choosing one country to offer your product in, then gradually expand by adding one or two countries at a time once commerce is established in the last one.

When you're choosing the countries to offer your product in, you must do some comprehensive research first. Look into the regulations for each potential country to ensure that your product can legally be imported there first. Then, make sure you understand what paperwork will be required. Most international shipping services can help you with the paperwork side of things if necessary because they work in the field every day and routinely handle these types of shipments.

Prepare Your Packaging Accordingly

One of the things that many business owners overlook when they expand to international shipping is the importance of packaging products accordingly for those overseas shipments. In many cases, the packaging you use domestically may not be enough to protect an item that's being transported to another country.

Evaluate the durability of your packaging as well as the protection it offers against damage to your product. Consider adding additional padding and protection inside the box for your product, then investing in stronger, more durable boxes that can handle the time and handling required for international shipping distances.

Set Realistic Delivery Time Expectations

Any time you're dealing with international shipments, the delivery times are going to be far longer than you'll face domestically. Remember that, not only does the product have to travel a significant distance, but it will also have to be processed through customs and evaluated for safety before it can be released to be delivered to its intended recipient.

As a result, you can significantly reduce the instances of impatient customers by setting realistic expectations of your delivery times. Ask your international shipping carrier about their average delivery times to the country in question and then add a few days or so of a buffer to that for your anticipated delivery times. This ensures that customers have a more realistic expectation for their package arrival.