If you’ve ever found yourself fascinated by the world of international ecommerce (and who hasn’t, with the ever-growing global market?), then you’re in for a treat. While it is easy to order from Alibaba (and other such great sites) sitting in California, the perfection of getting that shipment delivered every time is a massive logistics system that companies like ShipEngine have built or enhanced over the years. Today, we’re journeying through the maze of cross-border shipping, and we’ve got a trusty guide: ShipEngine.
The World’s Become a Village, Thanks to Ecommerce
First things first, let’s appreciate the world of online shopping. Did you know that more people shop internationally now than ever before? Yep, and the thrill of tapping into global markets has excited businesses. Customers get great deals directly from international sellers, and sellers get to expand their reach. It’s a win-win.
But while selling to international customers might seem like a golden ticket, there’s a small catch: cross-border shipping. The process isn’t always as smooth as we’d like, and many challenges exist.
So, What’s the Big Deal with Cross-Border Shipping?
An excellent comparison for shipping across borders can be making a cake from a recipe in a different language. Imagine if you have to do that.
Likewise, shipping internationally involves customs forms, import taxes, and varying shipping regulations. Not to mention, different countries have unique shipping restrictions, which also keep changing time-to-time. And let’s not even get started on address formats, which can vary wildly from one place to another leading to delays or even failed deliveries. Phew! It’s a lot to handle if you have to do it yourself.
Enter ShipEngine: The Game Changer
But here’s the good news. ShipEngine’s got your back. With years of experience and a deep understanding of the complexities of international shipping, ShipEngine has already streamlined the process for online retailers. Here are the top 6 ways ShipEngine can help make international shipping easy.
- Customs Documentation: ShipEngine helps you auto-generate and submit essential customs forms for all the major companies, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL Express. You don’t have to juggle piles of paperwork or worry about overlooking any crucial details. ShipEngine’s got it covered.
- Real-time Rate Calculations: Different countries have different carriers and different rates. ShipEngine offers real-time international shipping rates so that businesses can make informed decisions on the go. Such information can bring great predictability for your costs.
- Address Validation: Remember those tricky international address formats? ShipEngine’s global address validation tool ensures that your packages always reach the correct destination. You can save money and avoid carrier fees by validating addresses before creating labels. ShipEngine validates addresses for over 160 countries, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Germany, France, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Israel, and Italy.
- Tailored Delivery Options: Some customers might want their order, well, yesterday (if possible!), while others might prioritize cheaper shipping. With ShipEngine, you can offer tailored delivery options suitable for various customer needs and pocket depths.
- Duty and Tax Calculations: No one likes unexpected costs. ShipEngine’s platform helps calculate possible duties and taxes, so there are no unpleasant surprises for you or your customers. Your customers will love you for the transparency.
- Regulations and Restrictions: With ShipEngine, you can navigate the sometimes-confusing waters of international shipping regulations and product restrictions, ensuring your shipments comply with local laws. For example, starting March 1, 2023, HS codes must be included on customs forms for shipments to and through most countries in the EU, along with a detailed description of package contents. This implies that generic descriptions such as “Clothes” will not be accepted. Instead, as per the new EU regulation, a more detailed description, such as “Men’s Cotton Shirt” or “Women’s Leather Shoes,” will be needed. ShipEngine will keep you ready for any such changes.
Why ShipEngine Makes Sense for International Ecommerce?
It’s simple. The world is vast, but with ShipEngine, international ecommerce feels a lot more manageable. You get to focus on selling and scaling while ShipEngine takes on the hefty job of navigating the cross-border shipping intricacies.
So, if you’re an online retailer dreaming big, dreaming global, remember this: with the right tools and partners, the world is indeed your oyster. ShipEngine ensures that international ecommerce isn’t just a possibility but a successful and smooth-sailing reality. Safe shipping!