The ability to ship goods internationally opens the doors to a wide audience you can appeal to effectively. However, as with domestic shipping, an international shipment is a process with lots of moving parts, so carefully assessing your strategy is invaluable. You can assess your strategy properly after reading our list of things to know before shipping goods internationally.
1. Seeking Third-Party Transportation
Before attempting to ship anything yourself, explore the 3PL options available. A 3PL is a third-party logistics specialist that helps businesses ship their goods domestically and internationally. Moreover, a 3PL will have the strategies and vehicles necessary for finding the most efficient way to transport your shipment.
Working with a 3PL is invaluable because shipping is a complex process, so having trained professionals take over that portion of the business can help the process run smoothly. For instance, one of the facts you need to know about freight transportation services is that they can transport goods via air and sea. Let’s explore another critical part of the international shipping process—the delivery date.
2. Communicating the Timeline
Communicating your timeline is a critical detail to know before shipping goods internationally because deadlines are always unique to the company and the product. Will the shipping service be able to deliver your shipment on time? As mentioned above, a 3PL should have a wide array of vehicles at its disposal, so discuss the need for efficiency on any given project so that it can adjust its strategy accordingly.
Shipping delays are common, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to minimize such situations. The key takeaway here is that communication with your 3PL is critical, especially when it comes to getting goods to your customers on time. The 3PL will have the tools and techniques to strategize the best approach, but your input regarding timeline and other preferences will influence how the team finds the most optimal approach.
3. Maintaining Quality Assurance Standards
When working with a third-party logistics provider, don’t forget to ensure they’re getting the job done to the best of their abilities. Listening to customer feedback is a large part of this quality assurance. For instance, if your customers are reporting a high uptick in damaged goods after you begin a 3PL partnership, it’s time to find out where in the goods’ journey they experience damage. So how do you keep track of where things are going awry in the shipping process?
Assessing quality after the shipment actually starts before it leaves your company’s facility. When you have a QA team inspect the goods before shipping them, you can keep a close eye on the quality of those goods as they move through your company. That way, if something goes wrong, you can more easily track where the error occurred, whether it’s in-house or not.
A quality 3PL won’t constantly ship broken goods, but that doesn’t mean mistakes can’t happen, so always keep quality control at the forefront of your shipments. Ship your goods using these tips to ensure an efficient and easy experience for you and the customer receiving the goods.
Paying attention to the quality of your goods is important, but so is security. After all, you want your goods to reach their destination safely and without issue.
4. Ensuring Security During Shipping
Theft is a serious concern when shipping domestically and internationally. As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your shipments are properly secured. One way to do this is by investing in tamper-evident packaging. This type of packaging will alert you if anyone tries to open the shipment while it’s in transit.
In addition to proper packaging, you should also make sure that your shipments are properly insured. This will protect you financially in the event that something goes wrong during shipping. When looking for an insurance policy, be sure to find one that covers international shipping.
You should also take steps to ensure the safety of your shipments by tracking them. This way, you can always know where your goods are and when they will arrive at their destination. There are many tracking services available, so be sure to choose one that meets your needs.
Shipping internationally can be a complex process, but working with a 3PL can make it much easier. Keep these tips in mind when working with a 3PL to ensure a smooth shipping experience for you and your customers.