3 Ways of Consolidating Packages for International Shipping

Package Consolidation Saves International Shipping Costs

One of the greatest benefits of package forwarding is the ability to consolidate packages from multiple USA stores into a single shipment to reduce the international shipping costs. Package forwarding members save a lot of money by shopping online in the US, but if you’re not taking advantage of package consolidation options, the international shipping costs might begin to eat into your savings.

Packages can come to your US address in different ways. Even if you buy multiple items from the same US store, they might arrive separately depending on their size and shape. But since most shoppers buy from more than one USA store anyway, waiting for all your orders to arrive and then consolidating packages is really the most efficient way to ship internationally.

Here are three different ways consolidating packages for international shipping will save you money:

Basic Package Consolidation

This is the most common option that most package forwarding members use each time they ship. Let’s say you order a new sweater from Ralph Lauren, an iPad from the Apple Store, and a few more items from other US stores. Each of these items is going to come in its own box, and there will probably even be extra space in each box.

You can consolidate packages by asking us to take the smaller items out of their boxes and putting them all together in the largest box. (If they won’t fit in the largest box, we’ll use an even larger box from our warehouse and put all your items in that one.) Presto! Your four or five packages just became one international shipment!

Consolidating Packages with Original Shipping Boxes

Sometimes, you might want to keep the original shipping boxes. Maybe you ordered from a specialty store with especially nice boxes that you’d like to reuse. Maybe you ordered something for a friend and want an extra box to give it in. Maybe you ordered for several people and need an easy way to identify which package goes to whom.

In these cases, you can ask us to consolidate packages with the original shipping boxes. Depending on the size and shape of the boxes, we can use an extra-large box from our warehouse and arrange the original boxes within it. Keep in mind that although this does reduce multiple packages to a single international shipment, it also results in a slightly larger shipment, and the international shipping cost may be slightly more than that of basic package consolidation. It’s still less than shipping the packages individually, though!

Consolidate Packages To Avoid Customs & Import Duties

Sometimes, you might want to repackage your items to avoid excessive import duties. For example, designer goods like handbags, shoes, and clothing often come in boxes inside the shipping boxes. If these boxes are branded with well-known designer logos, they may be a give-away that your package contains valuable items and you may be assessed a high import duty. You can request that we discard these boxes and repackage your items in plain cardboard shipping boxes. This way, even if your package is inspected during customs clearance, your declared invoice will be the only indication of the packages’ value.

The More You Shop, The More Package Consolidation Saves!

The best thing about package consolidation is that the savings increase the more you use the service. The more you shop, the more you save!

Package consolidation is one of the subjects we get asked about the most often. Do you have any questions that weren’t addressed in this blog post? Ask us in the comments section!

package consolidation guide

4 thoughts on “3 Ways of Consolidating Packages for International Shipping”

  1. From the package forwarding company’s point of view, how does consolidating reduce their cost to provide lower prices for customers to enjoy? What about their handling costs, considering the extra work to put packages into one box?

    • That’s a very interesting question, actually. Technically speaking, package forwarders lose money by consolidating, both in labor and in volume. We’d be better off by shipping each package independently (many forwarders do this), but this is MUCH worse for our members. Their total shipping costs would be much higher, so they’d be much less inclined to use our service or even pursue international shopping and shipping. Our goal is to make purchasing in the US and Japan as easy and affordable as possible for our international members, and consolidation service is pivotal to reduce the costs for our members. We find that this level of service attracts more members to use OPAS, so we earn greater profits and enjoy growth as a company that way, justifying the expense of manpower and time to consolidate packages.

      P.S.: when OPAS consolidates multiple items into the same shipment, we don’t just put the original boxes they came to us in a bigger box and send that bigger box out the door. That’s wasteful, as in international shipper greater size = greater cost. We take each item out of the original shipping box (we keep manufacturer’s packaging) and fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle, with no wasted space and maximum safety. That’s the best way to make sure your shipping bill is as low as possible!

      If you have further questions, feel free to reply here or email us at service@opas.com!

  2. I order goods from different vendors and need to have one consolidated shipment.
    What about if the items are temperature sensitive?
    Can you still handle them?

    • It depends on exactly how temperature sensitive you mean — if the items require refrigeration to avoid spoilage and are perishable, I’m afraid we would not be able to do this. If it’s simply that they can’t be left in an especially hot or cold environment, we can facilitate that. If you’d like to discuss further and provide a bit more detail on the products, please email service@opas.com.


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