Things you should know about international shipping in 2021

E-commerce has to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the past couple of years. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, there will be more than 2 billion e-commerce shoppers. Considering last year, when COVID-19 hit the world with its full power, everyone was staying home and online shopping grew exponentially. If you are a business owner, you can grow to a certain point in your own country. After that, if you want to grow and expand your business, you have to go internationally. This way, you are going to maximize your company’s potential within the e-commerce industry and you have significantly more chances of selling your product. We are going to cover some of the most important things you need to know about international shipping in 2021.

Let’s say a couple of words about cargo before shipping

You probably wanted or needed to ship something to another country. The most important thing you need to do is do a ton of research. The first thing we have to talk about before shipping is containers that are loaded with cargo. Full container load(FCL) provides a precise shipping schedule as well as customized services that connect leading transport and shipping companies in the world. After that, we have to talk about Less than container load(LCL). This means that packing companies are loading multiple smaller containers and transporting them all over the world. When it comes to cargo export, this is by far the most convenient view of transportation. You will keep your customers satisfied with shipping time. The last one is bulk cargo transportation.

cargo on the dock
There are several types of containers you could choose from.

Types of containers we offer

The shipping containers have gone under standardization process but there are several types of containers to choose from, based on your needs. Here, we’ve mentioned some of the most popular and most convenient ones

  • Tanks
  • Flat rack containers
  • Dry storage containers
  • Refrigerated containers
  • Open side containers
  • Open top containers

Validation of international shipping address

Make sure you precisely know the location you are shipping items to before buying the label. It would be a waste of money to ship something just for it to come back. Since it got returned, you will have to pay double on international postage and that can be very painful. For example, many e-commerce stores and platforms use services that automatically verify international addresses. This is common practice in order to lower return rates and unnecessary additional costs. This comes in handy, especially when doing international freight forwarding.

ship from the bird's eye view
Make sure to know the location you are sending items to!

Shipping restrictions

Every country in the world has its own restrictions on which items can or can not enter the country. For example, no matter how strange it sounds but some countries banned baby walkers, flip flops, blue jeans, and gums. Yet, if you knowingly decide to ship the restricted item, it will get held by the customs. Even worse, you could potentially face fines or other legal penalties. It’s best to check whether you can ship items to certain countries, just so you can avoid the situation we’ve talked about.

Custom fees and time of transportation

This is another important thing we need to mention. Whenever you ship something internationally, the fee will be charged by the customs department. Fees vary, depending on the country that it’s been sent to as well as the value of the item. That being said, you would have to pay bigger fees if your item is more valuable. Always remember to check the custom fees when shipping something internationally. On the other hand, whenever you need to ship something, you have to think about your clients. You need to estimate the arrival time as precisely as possible. Not only that, but you have to make sure that the item that’s being shipped arrives in mint condition.

We have to mention that sometimes delays can happen, especially because customs clearance can take up to several days, so keep that in mind. If you can’t decide which company to choose, we highly recommend picking Kokusai Express Japan. Not only that they are reliable but their customer satisfaction rates are high.

Shipping plants and animals

There are several things to keep in mind when shipping animals or plants. You will have to fill in additional forms prior to shipping. They often have to be placed in certain containers since they are living creatures and can’t be treated as usual cargo. Do research, read comments, and see what company people find the most reliable when it comes to shipping animals or plants. This is one of the top questions about international shipping in 2021.

Ship getting loaded with cargo
Pay attention to shady companies!

How to avoid scams?

You should always be aware that there is a chance of being scammed, especially on the internet. Because of that, you should take a few precaution steps in order to avoid the worst-case scenario. Some, so-called “companies” are actually clumsy organizations that struggle to ship your product to the destination within the agreed timeframe. If you are ordering something online, make sure to check the URL. Scammers tend to mimic them and take advantage of people that didn’t pay attention to them. On the other side, don’t forget to read comments on their website and see what other people had to say about it. If the comments are repetitive or people that posted seem suspicious, it’s highly likely a scam.

International insurance

One thing we need to mention when talking about international shipping in 2021 has to be international insurance. Shipping overseas comes with a greater risk. Products are traveling longer distances, passing several checkpoints and making more stops. Adding insurance will grant you that peace of mind even if the worst-case scenario occurs. Of course, the amount of insurance should vary depending on how valuable the item you are shipping is. If it’s something pricier, we definitely recommend it. The fun fact is that you could save up more money by paying for insurance instead of replacing shipments that come up damaged, lost, stolen, or rejected.


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