6 Tips for International Freight Shipping

Freight forwarding. Break-bulk shipping. Certificates of origin. There are some big words when you start venturing into the world of international shipping. While it may seem daunting, don’t let the logistics of international shipping scare you away—Unishippers is here to help!

Follow these simple tips to ensure your international shipping goes smoothly:

1) Understand your shipping options
The first step is to make sure you are using the best shipping method for your goods. There are a wide range of international freight shipping services available depending on your needs. Talk with your carrier or Unishippers shipping consultant to determine the best shipping service for your timeframe and budget.

2) Get an accurate shipping quote
When requesting a quote, be sure to provide as-accurate-as-possible information. This will help you anticipate the correct shipping costs from the start. Make sure to know the weight and size of the goods being shipped, including packing materials, and delivery requirements for the shipment.

3) Document everything
The same information and documentation needed to get an accurate quote is also crucial when your goods are in transit. Customs can be strict about any discrepancies between the actual measurements and contents of your goods and what is listed on the BOL. By providing a complete, accurate bill of lading and commercial invoice, you can avoid costly delays in customs.

4) Be aware of hidden costs
There are certain fees when shipping international cargo that you may not experience when shipping domestically. Avoid these pesky billing surprises by understanding your international shipping costs up front. Be sure to talk to your Unishippers’ team or carrier about what duties you should expect to pay for your goods. Keep in mind other common fees for international shipping like documentation and customs examination fees.

5) Pack your shipments carefully
Your freight is often handled multiple times during transport, so it’s important to make sure your cargo is properly packed to avoid damage. Whether you use pallets, crates or boxes, be sure to correctly package your shipment. Check out these tips on the best way to prepare your freight shipment.

You should also consider the most efficient way to package your shipment. Depending on the type of service, there may be a better way to prepare your cargo. For example: when shipping air freight, remember to consider dimensional weight (the space the box takes up), which may determine the most cost-effective way to package your shipment.

6) Consider shipment insurance
While insurance may be more expensive for international shipments, the risk of your cargo being damaged in international transit can also be higher. Cargo insurance can cover any losses due to damage or theft in transit and may be worth the extra costs. Be sure to talk with your carrier or Unishippers account team about shipment insurance when requesting a quote.

With Unishippers, you can ship to virtually anywhere in the world with confidence. We offer a wide selection of international freight services, including:
International air freight
Cross-border freight
Ocean freight

Plus, our team of shipping experts is standing by to provide the personal attention your business deserves. We can assist you from document preparation all the way to delivery, all while saving time, trouble and money on your shipping.