While most freight shipping companies start out servicing their immediate locale due to the lower costs associated with shipping locally, expanding your customer base by adding international hauling can provide increased revenue and demand for your goods.
International shipping refers to the process of exporting and importing goods between countries whether transporting via air, ocean, rail or road. It is important to be aware of all the rules and regulations involved before undertaking cross-border shipping.
The intricacies of moving cargo over international boundaries can be a complicated process. It is why businesses often engage trucking companies to ensure compliance and avoid issues which may delay or prevent your freight from making it through customs.
- Where to ship? Often businesses will ease into international shipping between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico due to their close proximity and the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that simplifies moving goods between the 3 countries
- What is being shipping? Clearly identify what is it you are shipping, as well as the number of units, total value and manufacturing details (e.g. where the product is manufactured, which may differ from where the shipment is originating)
- Who is receiving your goods? It is important to include complete contact information of the recipient in the event Customs requires further details about the shipment
- When should your shipment arrive? Generally a faster delivery requirement will result in higher costs so it is important to incorporate enough of a lead time if you want to avoid these extra costs
- Choose an experienced carrier. International freight shipping companies have the knowledge and expertise to move your freight internationally so it’s best to employ their services to avoid any unnecessary headaches
Before Shipping Internationally
- It is crucial to provide all relevant product and shipping information to your chosen carrier. Any errors in documentation may result in failure to get your goods to where they need to go.
- You will require the services of a customs broker who can assist with the relevant paperwork and documentation necessary to execute the process of clearing customs. Your carrier may be able to recommend a broker.