Ship internationally is one of the most common ways to make a business grow nowadays. The key to success is for the products to arrive at their destination safely. Below you will find all you need to know to ship worldwide safely and effectively.
Main reasons for shipping internationally
A company may start shipping internationally for many different reasons:
- A saturated internal market where there is not more demand for the product.
- The emergence of new international competitors that threaten its position on the internal market.
- Searching less competitive markets abroad.
- Government export incentives.
- Searching broader markets where to take advantage of economies of scale.
- Market diversification to address the risks of operating in a single location.
- Globalization, which implies less trade barriers worldwide.
How to ship internationally: steps to follow
Before you start shipping overseas, you need to know the alternatives and potential of this new change.
When deciding on whether to ship internationally, there are certain steps that you should follow:
1. Perform an internal analysis:
Determine whether, for example, it will be possible to meet the new demand that will appear as a result of shipping internationally.
2. Analyze the target market.
To do this, you will need to research:
- The characteristics of the market: size, growth potential…
- The competitive landscape: who the competitors will be, what financial conditions will have to be borne (if there is price fixing, for example)
- Cultural, political or legal factors may affect the company: whether there is political stability…
3. Find a sales channel
You will need to determine whether a physical presence will be required at the target market in order to sell. Decide on whether to work in collaboration with a local partner or to establish a company there directly.
You may also opt to use an external dealer, which would allow for broader, more orderly shipments.
4. Select the means of transport for distribution
Transportation is one of the main costs for companies wishing to ship overseas. International shipping rates vary depending on the shipping method (road, sea or air), the load that will be shipped and the distance to the new market, among others.
Choosing the right means of transportation when shipping worldwide is essential to guarantee efficient and effective operations
Worldwide shipping operations
All decision made in relation to international distribution have a direct impact on brand image and the positioning of the company in the target market.
International shipping companies will have different international shipping rates depending on the characteristics of the goods and the route to be followed.
There are four options when shipping internationally:
1. Overseas shipping by road
Overseas shipping by road offers businesses flexibility, and provides for door-to-door shipping, among other things.
Among the international shipping companies that offer shipping services by road we can find:
- Couriers: fast, safe shipping of small products
- Transport companies that pick up the products at your facilities and deliver them at the destination.
- Freight forwarders: intermediaries that have a deep knowledge of applicable regulations.
2. International shipments by railroad
This means of transportation is increasingly growing as distances become longer. Among the advantages of this method we can find that it can be used to transport large loads.
3. Sea freight
Sea freight is the cheapest method of transportation, the one that uses the least fuel and that allows for larger international shipments. It is the best method to transport large loads, such as bulk loads. Its drawback is the time it takes for the goods to arrive at the destination.
4. Air freight
This is the least used method when transporting goods. The most evident advantage of air freight is its speed, but it is also the most expensive form of transportation. Furthermore, it has limitations in regard to the volume and shape of the freight, and is also the most contaminating.
Overseas shipping good practices
Overseas shipping implies a major investment and the beginning of complex processes in a company’s activities.
During transportation and handling, the load and products may be subject to hazards that endanger their integrity. Which is why it is important to know the good practices of international shipping
There are different international shipping standards to follow depending on the type of transportation that is selected:
- The good practices for safe load securing in road transportation established by the IRU (International Road Transport Union).
- The European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.
- EUMOS (European Safe Logistics Association) has established the EUMOS 40509:2012 standard, which was included in Directive 2014/47/EU to ensure the stability of the load during road transportation.
Download the free e-book that we have developed at Safe Load Testing Technologies explaining how to comply with this standard step by step
- The ASTM association defines standards for the safe transportation of goods.
- The ISTA is the organization that develops the most testing protocols and standards. It defines package tests to simulate the hazards to which a load may be subject.
International shipping standards: why you should test your packages
In order to guarantee the success of international shipments, any decision must be based on empirical data and tests. Here is where packaging tests come in.
Transportation simulation technologies have become essential tools when deciding the optimal package for a product.
Choosing the right packaging prevents unnecessary costs and losses when shipping overseas.
Logistics companies face losses of 50 billion euros a year worldwide due to the damages suffered by their goods during transportation and national and international shipping
For this reason, knowing the latest trends in package research is essential for every company that engages in overseas shipping.
At Safe Load Testing Technologies we have a track record of two decades in the packaging industry.
Throughout the years we have helped many companies to optimize their packaging based on their needs through our transportation simulation equipment and our consultancy and training services.
Get in touch with us and let’s start working so you can ship overseas safely and with no unnecessary costs.