The Right International Shipping Services for You

International shipping services are utilized more and more as the world becomes increasingly integrated. Everyone needs to understand these services to find the most appropriate company at the lowest possible price.

International parcel
For those small personal shipments and single orders, international parcel is usually the best way to go. The well known names to include the United Parcel Services, FedEx, DHL and the US Postal Service can handle these packages, although it is always a good idea to check online comparison websites to see if something cheaper is available in your area.

Apart from the speed of delivery and distance, shipping costs are calculated by volumentric weight (sometimes referred to as dimensional weight). This means that both size and weight are used to determine the cost. To get an idea of costs, the following costs’ calculator can help:

To ensure there are not any problems with the shipment, make sure that there are no legal issues with what is being shipped (in the country it is going to). What is legal in one locality may not be in another. It is also important to fill in any documentation (customs forms will be required) carefully since the shipment may be taxable if it is over a certain value.

To avoid damage to the goods, be very careful with packaging. It is often advisable to bubble-wrap items and pack them in a box inside a box, surrounded by packing peanuts. For added security, label each box. If water damage could be an issue, use a water-resistant box or wrap the items in plastic.

Virtually every international shipping service now offers tracking numbers on all parcels. Do not forget to consider insurance if needed and remember that international shipments usually must be prepaid.

International cargo services
When shipments are too large to be sent by express, post or similar services, international cargo services will fill the need. For those shipping more than just a package internationally, there are plenty of services to choose from, and the most appropriate for the area it is being sent from can best be found by a web search. These services can help with anything from cars to entire households. As with packages, it is necessary to make sure packing and customs declarations are carefully carried out.

When the shipment is large enough, one option to consider is a flat-rate container. You can ship as many items as they would like in the container for a flat fee. The one stipulation is that the items being shipped in the container do not exceed a certain weight. This option is therefore the most optimal when many smaller and lighter items are being shipped.

Remember the special requirements for larger shipments. When the value of the shipment is higher, a formal entry will be necessary and extra documentation to include a bill of lading and a commercial invoice will likely be required.

Freight forwarders
Most commercial shipments are sent using freight forwarders. Basically, a freight forwarder will handle all the logistics of moving a shipment from one location to another. Some of their duties include:

  • The coordination all shipments, both domestic and international, from their origin to the final destination, including shipments to and from ports as well as air, sea and ground transportation.
  • Insuring and managing shipments to include risk management to prevent losses.
  • Container management and loading: This includes FCL (full cargo load) shipments as well as LCL (less than container load) shipments.
  • If they work as consolidators, they will combine break-bulk cargo from different senders into a single shipment for the best possible rates.
  • Documentation support: To ensure the goods d not get held up for lack of documentation, freight forwarders will make sure those involved in the shipment provide all documentation that will be necessary to clear the goods through the ports (home and destination) and customs. This includes the bill of lading, waybill, commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin and any other documentation that may be required depending on the type of shipment.
  • Customs clearance: When requested, freight forwarders can arrange customs brokers to formally clear the goods through customs. They will also coordinate with customs in putting goods in bonded warehouses when there are unpaid duties.
  • Storage: Freight forwarders can also arrange other storage as needed.

Advantages of using freight forwarders

  • While it is possible to arrange the shipment of large orders of goods without a freight forwarder, they offer enough advantages to make their fees, generally included in the cost of the shipment, worth it in most cases.
  • Apart from saving time and the need to have to arrange complex logistics, freight forwarders can also help companies save money. Being specialized in the shipping industry, they are well informed on its regulations and requirements (in many countries if it is a larger company) to move things efficiently. In addition, with their contacts with carriers and other business partners, they can often get the best rates for their clients.
  • In some situations such as when trans-shipment is necessary, they can route goods through ports with the most favorable tax rates and regulations.

See freight forwarders for a better understanding of the services they offer. Freight forwarders range in size from the large to small domestic firms, but all will provide freight quotations. One criterion to consider when choosing a company is whether or not it is registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

How to Use Doba for Drop Shipping Profits

Drop shipping is a popular method of making money online that has a number of advantages over other types of strategies. When a marketer can sell their own product instead of promoting a product as an affiliate, it allows them to earn more profit from each sale. It can be both expensive and risky to buy products at wholesale prices to resell, but the drop ship strategy allows for low start-up costs and higher profit potential.

Simplify Drop Shipping With Doba

One of the biggest downsides to running a drop shipping business is finding the best product distributors, suppliers, or manufacturers. Fortunately, a company called Doba is available that connects drop shippers with suppliers of a wide variety of goods. They also have quite a few other services that give marketers an easy way to find new products, connect their websites to Doba, and even directly publish sales through Doba to various online retailers.

When someone joins Doba, they get immediate access to a huge database of product listings. This database can be searched to find new products or brands to promote. Once products are selected, they can be directly sold to customers. The payment is collected directly from the customer, then an order is placed with the supplier through Doba to have it automatically delivered. A supplier only gets paid after a customer has already paid the drop shipper.

One of the best benefits to selling products with drop shipping is the freedom to set product selling prices. Doba’s suppliers offer each product at a specific wholesale price, so drop shippers get to choose their profit levels. Some people prefer to sell at low profit margins to increase sales volume, while others may prefer to sell for high profits even if it means fewer sales overall. The good news is that Doba allows the drop shipping marketers to choose how they want to operate their business.

The bad news about Doba is that they do have a monthly fee required to be a drop shipper, but they do offer a free trial program. The monthly fee can be well worth it considering the income that can be made with this site. By taking advantage of this free trial, many marketers are actually able to make money with Doba before the first payment is due. Since sales go directly to the marketers and not the suppliers, their trial lets people put money in their pockets fast without an initial investment.

14 Day Free Trial from Doba

How to Sell Drop Shipping Products
There are a lot of different ways to sell products as a drop shipper. The obvious method is to create a website to sell the products. Doba allows for easy product integration with a wide variety of website shopping carts, so they have made this strategy a cinch to use. There are also other methods that don’t require the drop shipper to have their own website.

Products can be quickly published as new eBay auctions. Doba is actually one of a handful of companies that are members of the eBay Certified Service Provider Program, which boosts confidence for both marketers and customers in their trustworthy business. Marketers can attract a lot of free, targeted traffic by selling their products through eBay.

Other options of auto-publishing include Amazon. The main thing to keep in mind with using Doba and Amazon is that it is possible that a supplier could require a payment for an order before Amazon actually pays the drop shipper. Amazon does make these payments faster and more frequently than their affiliate payments, but there can sometimes be a delay of up to two weeks to actually receive the funds.

Succeeding with Doba Drop Shipping
The main keys to succeeding with Doba’s drop ship program are to diversify sales outlets to increase exposure, build name loyalty and recognition, and to competitively price products while maintaining a profit. Proper attention to each of these areas is extremely important for any drop shipper, but they especially apply to beginners.

One of the recommended ways to diversify sales outlets from the beginning is to start with a home base for the business. A website with a dedicated domain name works best for this purpose. This allows the business to brand itself and bring in sales from other traffic sources. It also gives loyal customers a place to go to place future orders without the marketer having to pay fees to sell through other websites.

Establishing Customer Loyalty and Trust
After building a website to use as the base of operations for a business, this website can then be promoted through sales made on other websites. By simply referencing a company brand name, a website, and a customer support email address to a new customer when they order, that customer will often make additional purchases from the website in the future. This repeat business helps to build customer trust and loyalty, which makes it much easier to complete more sales with less effort.

An online presence can also be established in the business niche to build customer loyalty and trust. This can be done by offering free articles on the business website, running a free newsletter with helpful information related to the niche, or even branching out into other websites to reach new customers. Almost any kind of social media website can be used for this purpose. By simply talking about the niche or the products being sold, traffic can be drawn from these sites to the business site to increase sales.

Competitive Product Pricing
Although there is a huge selection of products available through Doba, it is very important that drop shippers do not blindly select products to promote. Once the wholesale price of an item is determined, the marketer will need to search the internet to find out how much the competitors are selling it for. When sales are being made through a dedicated website for the business, prices may actually be able to be more flexible, but competitor pricing will have a big impact on sales through eBay and Amazon.

When multiple people are selling the same product through the same online retail outlet, there are only two factors that people will use to pick which one to buy. The first is price, which can be direct pricing and also shipping costs. If a drop shipper has the lowest product price but their shipping costs are higher than a competitor, then more sales may go to the competitor based on the total sales price.

The other factor is reputation. A more established seller is generally considered more trustworthy and reviews can often be found for past sales to verify their reliability. For this reason, trusted, established sellers can sometimes sell their products for higher profits. With this knowledge, a new drop shipper can better determine if there is room for them to compete with a particular product.

The main key is to ensure that pricing factors in payment and sometimes commission fees. Receiving a direct payment through PayPal will have a fee removed from the amount received. Sites like eBay and Amazon will also take a fee for each item sold, which is often based on a percentage of the selling price.

How to Control International Shipping Costs

International shipping can be a complicated and financially straining, but there are ways to simplify the procedures and keep expenses down. With an understanding of the process, those shipping goods across national boundaries can find the lowest international shipping costs available.

Commercial international shipping
International shipping, especially for commercial users, is centered on container use. They allow goods to be easily transferred between ship and land transportation and save untold amounts in shipping costs. The two most used container sizes are as follows:

20 foot shipping containers
Once the most popular container size, shipping units are now based on their capacity. The twenty-foot equivalent or TEU, can thought of as offering enough space to ship the contents of a roughly a two bedroom house.

40 foot shipping containers
Better suited for maximum efficiency, 40 foot containers have now become the standard.

Full container load
Whenever shipping internationally, it is always best to ship by full container load (FCL) if possible. Those ordering by FCL will see a significant reduction in the unit costs of shipping. Goods will also ship more quickly since they will not have to sit at a container freight station to be combined with other orders to fill a container (most goods are shipped by container regardless). This reduces the chances of shipping damage since the loading can be more properly monitored, and there is no chance the merchandise will be combined with another type cargo that could be potentially damaging. For more fragile goods, shipping by FCL is sometimes the only economically practical option.International Shipping Costs

Shipping quotes
When ordering goods from a factory, there are several types of quotes provided. While every quote will include the costs of production, the quotes vary in how much of the costs of shipping and insurance they include. These are some common terms used when pricing is given:

  • Ex-factory is simply the cost of the goods without any freight or insurance costs included.
  • FOB (Free on Board) includes the costs of the goods with shipping to a specified location, usually on board a ship, but not the costs of international shipping to the country the goods are destined for.
  • CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) covers all costs to include shipping and insurance to a port at which the merchandise will be unloaded for customs and delivery.

While CIF is a common way to quote prices, those with the right experience and connections can often reduce international shipping costs by having the factory quote the FOB price and arranging shipping through their own channels.

Enter freight forwarders
Most people having merchandise shipped from a factory overseas will use freight forwarders. Freight forwarders should have the connections and expertise to arrange international shipment by land, sea and air. Thus, those using freight forwarders must make sure they have the proper global reach both where the merchandise will originate and where it will be shipped to. They also need to have the ability provide all the documentation that is required on their part to clear goods through customs. Some of the documentation required in international shipping include the following:

  • A bill of lading is the single most important document in internationals surface shipping. It is issued by the carrier of the goods and sets the terms between the owner of the goods and the shipper. It will state all the information about the shipment to include where it came from and where it is going.
  • An airway bill is similar to a bill of lading only it is issued by the air carrier and is used for air shipments. It is basically a contract to deliver the goods.
  • A commercial invoice is provided by the seller to the buyer to prove the purchase. Since the applicable customs agency will use this invoice to determine the value of the goods, it is critical that this document be complete and accurate.
  • A packing list is a more detailed description of what the shipment contains. It will include a numbered list of the content and its condition.

While these are the standard documents required for all shipments, there are various others required for different types of products. For example, export licenses are required to ship certain products to some countries. This is why it is so critical to have a knowledgeable freight forwarder and customs broker if one is not experienced in international shipping.

With residential shipments, requirements are much less stringent. Regardless of the type of shipment, acquiring knowledge of international shipping is the first step in controlling its costs. Use an understanding of how it works to find the lowest shipping costs.