Common Mistakes to Avoid While Shipping Your Products Internationally

Have you been wondering why your shipping costs are so high? It could be because you are paying delivery costs for products that are not deliverable due to several factors. As a company participating in international shipping, you are likely to end up with little to no profit if you are negligent of the complications that come with the shipping process. With the new-found flexibility that small businesses are experiencing due to the advent of e-commerce, international supply and sales have almost been effortless. 

It is straightforward for the online markets to come across problems resulting from shipping mistakes. Not only does it add up to unnecessary expenses, but it can also influence its growth in terms of finances, clients, and time in the long run. Therefore, it is crucial to gain knowledge of the typical shipping mistakes that may affect the business. As they say, forewarned is forearmed.

This article will acquaint you with the seven most common mistakes that small businesses make while shipping their products internationally.

1 – Not Understanding Regulations

When you are shipping your products outside your home country, it is essential to keep in mind that their regulations shall be different from yours. Each state has its own set of custom requirements, and a lack of knowledge can result in your products getting stuck in customs. Before you make your products accessible to a region outside your homeland, conduct thorough research on whether your products meet their regulations and requirements. Before setting delivery expectations for your clientele, ensure that the items you sell are according to the respective state’s certificates and laws. It will save the freight forwarders costs from going to waste and reduce the overall expense by cutting the risk of paying for the product’s return. Most countries keep their trade laws up-to-date, which is another reason to stay informed on the current business laws. You can overcome this issue by hiring a consultant attorney familiar with international or regional trade laws.

2 – Inappropriate Packaging

International shipment can prove to be quite strenuous for your products. Therefore, there is a specific set of instructions for the packaging of the products for international shipping. It is crucial to ensure that the items arrive intact to their destination. It is advised for businesses to determine the number of stops the container will make and its transportation mode. So if the product is glassware or something fragile, its packaging must be shock-absorbent and highly dense to protect it during transit.

Furthermore, it is essential to be mindful of the packaging regulations in your destination country. For instance, businesses using wood pallets might get their shipments stuck because countries regulate proper wood packaging to control pests. In the U.S, the agricultural department keeps a database of countries regulating wood packaging. Thus by consulting a lawyer, you can avoid packaging mistakes that might result in extra shipment costs.

3 – Not Checking the Labels

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make while making international shipments is not verifying the labels. Incorrect addresses are the leading cause of returned packages and increased shipment costs. One efficient way to avoid this mistake is by turning to the address verification system to cut down on errors.

The packages have the customer’s details, including their contacts and shipping addresses, besides other specific markings such as country of origin. Thus, companies need to check up on the labels and the labeling requirements of the destination country or the shipping company. You can hire a consultant lawyer or turn to your shipment provider for advice on avoiding labeling errors.

4 – Choosing the Wrong Shipment Company

No two shipping companies would excel in providing excellent services in two different regions. There is always one shipment provider that rules international shipping in a country, thanks to its relationship with customs in that particular country. Choosing multiple companies for delivering your goods to different regions will speed up the shipment processes. Furthermore, it cuts down on the risk of mishaps resulting from misunderstanding the regulations in a state. You can reach out to the providers to know the rules and regulations for international shipment and ensure that your goods fulfill all requirements without jinxing the information. You can determine a shipment provider’s excellence in a region by checking the references or looking at their years in service.

5 – Keep a Check on Your Shipment Provider

When you sign a contract with a shipment company, your duty towards your products does not end. Many businesses assume that once they choose a shipping service to deliver the products to another country, the shipping company will handle it entirely. However, the shipment providers turn the products over to third-party organizations in the destination regions. These management companies try to maximize the profit, thus often look for the cheapest route to transport products, which is usually the slowest. Therefore, doing your research before choosing a shipment company and keeping a check on them after signing the contract will save you from bad reviews and damaged products.

6 – Relying Entirely on Your Vendors

Expanding the business beyond your home country can bring many complications, especially when shipping your products internationally. A primary reason behind these commonly occurring shipment mistakes is that the entrepreneurs often rely on vendors for updates in import and export laws. Hiring a professional attorney who excels in trade laws can keep you up-to-date on business law changes to help you avoid any potential mishaps.


The international shipment has become a crucial part for many companies, thanks to the modern-day e-commerce markets. As simple as it may sound, you can lose authority over your products or get charged with extra money for reasons as small as not checking the labels. Before the customer can reject your product over improper packaging or damaged state, the destination country’s customs department will hold back the shipment from proceeding. By keeping in mind to check for even the smallest details, you can avoid the most common shipment mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes can positively impact your business by reducing shipment costs, saving time, and earning your customers’ loyalty.

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