A Step-By-Step Breakdown of the U.S. International Shipping Process

Every day, hundreds of millions of items are handled by couriers and postal services in the United States. If you want to start shipping your goods internationally, you need to understand the shipping process.

Learning how to ship internationally is an important part of growing your business. If you want to ship your business’ products, then we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’re going to break down the shipping process and show you how it works.

Want to learn more about international shipping? Want to start shipping your products around the world? Then read on!

Who Is Involved in International Shipping

Our shipping process involves four key players:

  • Shipper
  • Consignee
  • Package forwarder/re-shipper
  • Shipping line

In this section, we’ll define what each of these does.

What Is a Shipper?

The shipper is the person who gives the package to the forwarder. If you sell your products directly, this will be you. If you resell your products, it will be the seller you buy from.

What Is a Consignee?

A consignee is a person or organization that receives your package. In short, they are your parcel’s ultimate destination.

What is a Package Forwarder?

OPAS would be classed as a package forwarder, sending packages on planes anywhere in the world.

Forwarding works like this. If you would like to buy a package from a company that only ships to U.S. addresses, you could buy it, have it sent to us, and we’ll send it on to you. Package forwarders are the lifeblood of online shopping beyond borders.

What Is a Shipping Line?

The shipping line is the company that carries your package internationally. In our case, this is on an aircraft. You will not have to deal with them directly, instead, you will talk to us, your package re-shipper.

The Shipping Process: Dealing With the Buyer

Shipping internationally as a company is a little more complicated than sending a parcel through the mail.

Checking the Consignee

The first step that you will need to do is check you can export your goods to the consignee. They will need to be screened against denied and restricted party lists, which are published by the U.S. government.

Making a Proforma Invoice

Depending upon certain circumstances, you will need to give your consignee a proforma invoice. This is essentially a draft invoice, but complete with finalized costs.

If your consignee buys from you, you can’t change the costs. They will be as they were on the proforma invoice.

Once the sale has cleared, it’s time to give your package to your package forwarder.

International Package Shipping: How It Works

We’ve seen what resellers need to do. Let’s take a look at what happens when you buy goods from an American company and need them forwarded.

After Purchase

When you have purchased your items, you will need to have them delivered to the address that we have given you.

From there, we will handle the parcel and get it ready for its next step, its journey on to you! When it is ready, we will forward the package on to the next step in the chain.

At the Exit Port

Once your package has got to the airport, it will need to be clear export customs. If all of its documents have been filed correctly, this should be a smooth process.

Normally, clearing customs will be the shipper’s responsibility. But in some circumstances, this will instead be the consignee’s responsibility.

Customs will then unload and inspect your parcel. If all is well, it will go on to the next stage.

Moving Internationally

Once your package has cleared customs will release it to the shipping line. The package forwarder pays the shipping line and will include these costs in your total bill.

Your package may make the journey in one leg or it may take multiple legs. For example, if shipping from the United States to Australia, it may first go to Hong Kong, then on to Australia.

At the Entry Port

When your package arrives at its destinations, customs will likely inspect it again. Your forwarder will handle this step for you. It begins before the package has arrived in the country, so this should be a quick part of the shipping process.

In some countries, there will be an import duty. However, unless you are shipping DDP (delivered duty paid), the consignee will be responsible for any charges.

Getting to the Consignee

Your package forwarder or an agent of the forwarder will handle this final step. They will pick up your package from the entry port and take it to a warehouse. From here, they will either deliver it to the consignee or they can come and collect it.

Where We Come In

In our role as a courier, we ensure that every single step of the shipping process goes smoothly. We offer the best possible package forwarding service and do not charge sales tax on our services.

We are also happy to work with businesses to tailor a specific shipping service that works for them and their needs. We ship to over 220 countries worldwide and aim to be not just cheap, but fast and careful with our shipments. Our dedicated business services are second-to-none, and we have helped numerous resellers with their packages.

Are you interested in buying goods from U.S. companies that need an American address? Do you buy American goods and resell them, and need a company that can help you? Then we’ll be happy to help you with your parcels.

If you need a package forwarding company that you can trust, then we’re here to help.

Do you have any questions? Would you like a quote for your business? Then get in touch with us, and we’ll do our best to help you.

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