If you want to scale your online business overseas, you need to find a reliable international shipping company in order to smoothly fulfill the order operation. Without it, your customers will perceive your service as poor quality and unworthy. The cheap but quality international shipping is an important part of your marketing strategy that will help you gain new customers and retain existing ones.
The logistics world is a big one, and there are many suppliers to choose from to meet your transportation needs. But before embarking on a study of different international shipping lines and their services, it is important to first understand your priorities and what you consider important, and what is optional.
There are some cheap international shipping methods, but it's impossible to tell exactly how long international shipping takes. Most of the time, the extra payments mean better service with faster shipping and more precise delivery times, though the cost may be too high for some online sellers.
To find the cheapest international shipping rates, we compared shipping rates with those of leading courier companies, including ePacket, FedEx, USPS, and DHL.
Transportation and delivery issues are of great importance and sometimes even cause deep concern to dropshippers. Newcomers and established shopkeepers alike are looking for the simplest and cheapest means of international shipping, which is why they are carefully researching and evaluating available options.
Clearly, dropshippers want to source the AliExpress products with free shipping options or a relatively lower delivery cost. ePacket is a shipping option provided by third-party merchants in China and Hong Kong. It is one of the fastest and most affordable delivery options for international shipping.
ePacket packages can also be tracked through China Post. Most orders using ePacket are delivered within 15–30 days (Brazil and Mexico take slightly longer). However, shipping times may vary depending on the delivery destination, customs, holidays, and possible customs delays.
Any merchant in China and Hong Kong can provide ePacket shipping if the package fits the size requirements (maximum size: 60cm x 90cm, weight: 2 kg), which makes it a perfect solution for regular shipping of customer products.
Get Started Now to Grow Your Online Business with the Best AliExpress Dropshipping Tool - DSers!
For those who use AliExpress, DSers, and Shopify for dropshipping, ePacket is a useful solution that allows stores to get products to customers faster. This gives the stores a competitive advantage by keeping up with their customers' needs.
Using ePacket, sellers in China and Hong Kong can ship their products to residents in 38 countries and territories around the world. It doesn't cost much, and, best of all, it comes with proper tracking. At any point in the package's transit, you can use the tracking code provided to learn more about the fate of the order.
Read more about ePeacket dropshipping:
FedEx is one of the most famous transportation companies in the United States. The carrier is known for its fast and time-limited delivery service and has an impeccable tracking system.
FedEx provides a wide range of services for domestic and international shipping in more than 220 countries and territories. As such reliable couriers, e-commerce merchants would like to find the cheapest FedEx rates for domestic and international shipments.
▪ FedEx International First: Packages can be delivered within 1-3 business days to selected zip codes in more than 20 major markets worldwide.
▪ FedEx International Priority: Packages can be delivered in 1-3 business days to more than 220 countries and territories.
▪ FedEx One Rate International: This service is available through FedEx 10kg Box and FedEx 25kg Box. This is a simple and economical way to ship goods internationally if you use FedEx 10kg Boxes for up to 22 pounds and FedEx 25kg Boxes for up to 56 pounds. Packages delivered via this service will take 1-3 business days.
▪ FedEx International Economy: Packages can be delivered to more than 215 countries and regions within 2-5 business days.
▪ FedEx International Ground: This is the cheapest way to ship internationally with FedEx. It usually takes 2-7 business days to deliver the packages.
▪ FedEx International Mail Service: This is one of the best and cheapest FedEx rates for low-value, low-weight items such as books, catalogs, CDs, brochures, and clothing. Premium delivery takes 4 to 7 days, while standard delivery takes 7 to 11 days.
However, there are rates changes from FedEx: shipping rates will increase on January 3, 2022. For details of all changes to rates, surcharges, and fees, please visit the FedEx website.
United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a balanced range of services for your international transportation needs. In fact, USPS is by far one of the best carriers of small, lightweight packages internationally. If you are sending letters or packages of less than 4 pounds to other countries, you should always ship them using USPS.
There are different international services that USPS provides. First, letters and cards start at $1.15 to get a global forever stamp. Other international shipping services provided by USPS are suitable for larger envelopes and packages as follows:
▪ Global Express Guarantee: This is the fastest option for international shipping via USPS. The service provides date-specific delivery in 1-3 business days to over 180 countries (overnight delivery to many destinations in Canada) with prices starting at $67.80. This is the only international delivery date guarantee offered by USPS.
▪ Priority Mail Express International: This service is also available in more than 180 countries, with flat rate envelope options and weight-based pricing options if you choose to use your packaging with prices from $45.95. The maximum package weight is 4 pounds, and the delivery time is generally between 3 and 5 business days.
▪ Priority Mail International: If your package weighs more than 4 pounds, this is the cheapest option for USPS International shipping at least $28.50. Delivery time varies from 6 to 10 working days depending on the destination country/region.
▪ First Class Package International: If your package weighs less than 4 pounds, this is the cheapest USPS option for international shipping, which will cost you at least $14.25. Delivery time varies from 1 to 3 weeks depending on the destination.
DHL is a mature international carrier and a popular choice for many e-commerce companies to ship packages internationally. Compared with domestic freight, DHL international freight is more expensive. DHL specializes in international transportation services and can be used on DHL eCommerce International and DHL Express. This means that you can get DHL international delivery time faster than domestic in the following two services.
▪ DHL eCommerce International is an economical transportation option for merchants who want to transport packages across the border at a low price.
▪ DHL Express provides express delivery of international packages at an additional cost. Some options provide guaranteed delivery.
Please note that DHL will round dimensions and weights. If the box is slightly more than 10 inches but not reaching 11 inches, it will be rounded to 11 inches. Alternatively, if the container is bent due to the contents, DHL will calculate the extent of the bending when measuring the dimensions. Keep this in mind when you measure the trace weight of your cargo. Here are the details of DHL's international prices and products for shipping worldwide.
To make sure you're operating on the right track, there are some of the most common mistakes online retailers make when shipping across borders. Keep reading and you will be guided on how to avoid them.
1. Ignore Shipping Regulations of Destination Country
All destinations have specific customs requirements. Some countries have higher requirements than others, depending on the type of goods you ship. Pay attention to customs regulations at specific destinations and ensure compliance with them. Failure to comply with transportation regulations, even by mistake, can lead to confiscation, delays, hefty fines, and even legal problems.
Tips to avoid such mistakes:
- Make sure your package meets the requirements for crossing the border of the destination country.
- Prepare all documents and fill them out correctly.
- Contact a trade attorney to further familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations of your country.
- Keep abreast of the destination country's trade laws and customs requirements.
2. Mistiming Import and Export
It may hurt customer satisfaction and supply chain management if you mistime imports and exports. It is critical for companies to carefully consider the length of shipments and deadlines associated with entry and exit. Allow for some delays and plan for unexpected problems. Avoid over-promising customers and underestimating delivery times.
How to avoid:
- Get your shipping quote at least 15-30 days before the shipping date.
- Make sure the shipment you set up matches your freight quote.
- Conduct research to obtain an approximation of the time required to export and import from one country to another.
- Keep in touch with your freight forwarder.
3. Using the Wrong Labels
Many online businesses incur unexpected costs and losses by not using the correct address on the label. This often delays the delivery of packages for international shipment and, in some cases, may result in packages being returned. When this happens, the company may bear higher freight charges and may damage the goods in transit.
Here are ways to prevent such shipping errors:
- Use reputable companies.
- Always cross-check your labels.
- Be aware of labeling requirements for different destinations.
4. Choosing Low Prices over Value
Obviously, you should look for the most cost-effective way to ship your products internationally. But it's important that you take extra steps to think beyond cost when choosing a company to handle your shipping. It is not wrong to find affordable shipping rates when shipping abroad.
However, you should be aware of the types of "affordable" rates you are looking at. Some freight forwarders will charge incredibly low prices, but their international shipping service leaves a lot to be desired, and they won't worry about making sure your package gets to its destination piece by piece.
Here are some ways to avoid shipping errors:
- Check the shipping company's reputation and identify any red flags.
- Find out how responsive your company's customer service is.
- Read authentic reviews from past customers.
- Look for solid advice.
You can track the route of a package as it is delivered and transferred abroad, but once the order crosses the border, you won't be able to find out exactly where it is. The local national postal service assigns its tracking to the package, and you don't know its whereabouts or expected delivery time until you receive a local postal notice in your mailbox. For dropshippers who can't provide high-quality customer service to their buyers, this is very inconvenient.
Auto Sync Tracking Numbers
But there are some dropshipping tools like DSers can provide you with the features like Auto Sync Tracking Numbers and Auto Update Order Status. The benefit of automatic tracking number synchronization is that once you have paid for your order on AliExpress, you don't have to do anything, which means you can pay attention to other orders.
Get Started Now to Grow Your Online Business with the Best AliExpress Dropshipping Tool - DSers!
Depending on the e-commerce platform you choose, your customers will be automatically notified if you activate dedicated features in DSers. An email containing the AliExpress tracking number for your order will be sent to your customers so that they can track the package until it is received.
Choosing and setting up the most suitable, cheapest, and most trustworthy shipment for every coming order can be cumbersome and time-consuming. With this in mind, DSers allows you to choose the preferred mode of transportation in advance by country and region, price, or delivery time.
It helps users automatically match the best shipping method based on the rules (shipping cost, shipping time, and so on). This is to ensure that when you receive orders in your online store and when multiple shipping options meet your conditions, you can choose less cost or fewer delivery days per your setting. Then you can focus on other important things as well as developing your dropshipping store.
There are many valuable features on DSers that can help you ease the order fulfillment process and grow your dropshipping business.
Selecting a reliable and cheap international shipping company involves a lot of research, and you must perform it conscientiously. Don't buy the cheapest international shipping rates from a random shipping company you are not familiar with based on what you see on their website.
Mistakes happen in every industry. Focus on the processes you can control and avoid common mistakes. For dropshippers who choose AliExpress, Shopify (Wix or WooCommerce), and DSers, ePacket seems to be the right one to pick. On the other hand, USPS is the second cheapest and most trustworthy option among DHL and FedEx.
Consider the above factors & mistakes and find the best way to ship packages internationally. In the long run, it will not only help your online business but also be the way you provide the best customer experience that fits your needs and budget.