Cross Border Shipping Guide: Mistakes and Pitfalls to Avoid

Learn about the most common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid when shipping goods across borders. Tips for a smooth, successful cross-border shipment.

Cross Border Shipping Guide: Mistakes and Pitfalls to Avoid

While cross-border shipping undoubtedly benefits, it can also be fraught with danger if not done correctly. In this guide, we'll walk you through the most common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid when shipping goods across borders. Following our advice, you can rest assured that your shipments will arrive safely and on time. So without further ado, let's get started!

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What Is Cross Border Shipping, And Why Would You Use It?

Cross-border shipping is the process of sending goods from one country to another. It can be used for personal and commercial purposes and is often necessary when goods are not available in the country of destination.

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There are many reasons why you might need to use cross-border shipping, but some of the most common include:

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Ship Goods To Other Countries

You can use cross-border shipping to send goods to other countries for personal or commercial purposes.

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Access Goods That Are Not Available In Your Country

You can also use cross border shipping to access goods unavailable in your country of residence. This is often the case with specialty items or rare collectibles.

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Save On Shipping Costs

Cross-border shipping can sometimes be cheaper than domestic shipping, depending on the country of origin and destination.

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Saves Time

Cross-border shipping can also be faster than domestic shipping, depending on the country of origin and destination.

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International Clients or Suppliers

If you have international clients or suppliers, cross-border shipping will likely be necessary to send or receive payments.

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The Different Types Of Cross-Border ShippingΒ 

There are four main types of cross-border shipping:

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Cargo Shipping

Cargo shipping is sending large quantities of goods by ship, plane, or train. It is often used for commercial purposes and can be cheaper than other methods of cross-border shipping.

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Passenger Shipping

Passenger shipping is sending smaller quantities of goods by car, bus, or plane. It is often used for personal purposes and can be faster than other methods of cross-border shipping.

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Air Shipping

Air shipping is the process of sending goods by plane. It is often the fastest and most expensive method of cross-border shipping.

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Sea Shipping

Sea shipping is the process of sending goods by ship. It is often the slowest and cheapest method of cross border shipping.

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Related: Land, Air, or Sea: Picking the best freight option

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How To Prepare Your Package For Shipping

Now that you know the different types of cross border shipping, it's time to learn how to prepare your package for shipment. Depending on the type of shipment, there may be different requirements, but some general tips apply to all shipments.

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Choose The Right Packaging

The first step is to choose suitable packaging for your goods. If you're not sure what type of packaging to use, you can always ask your shipping company for advice.

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Factors to consider in choosing the proper packaging:

- Type of goods being shipped

- Cross border shipping method

- Weight and dimensions of the package

- Value of the goods being shipped

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Related: Why Custom Packaging Is Vital for Your Ecommerce Brand

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Pack The Goods Securely

Once you've chosen suitable packaging, it's time to pack the goods securely. This means ensuring they are well-protected from any damage that could occur during transit.

Once you've chosen suitable packaging, it's time to pack the goods securely. This is important to prevent damage during transit.

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Here are some tips for packing your goods securely:

- Use padding or bubble wrap to protect fragile items

- Use strong tape to seal boxes and packages

- Label all boxes and packages clearly

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Label The Package Clearly

It's also important to label the package clearly. This will help ensure it arrives at its destination safely and on time.

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Make A Shipping List

It's also a good idea to make a shipping list before you send your package. This will help you keep track of what's in each box or container and will also be helpful if you need to file a claim.

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To make a shipping list, create a document that lists the following information for each item being shipped:

- Description of the item

- Quantity

- Value

- Insurance amount (if applicable)

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Documents You Will Need When Crossing The Border With Your Package

When crossing the border with your package, you will need to have the following documents:

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A Bill of Lading

This is a document that lists the contents of your shipment.

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An Invoice

This is a document that provides details about the value of your shipment.

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A Certificate of Origin

This document proves that you made your goods in the country of origin.

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What Can Go Wrong During A Cross Border Shipment And How To Avoid It

A few things can go wrong during a cross border shipment, but there are also ways to avoid these problems.

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Customs Delays

One of the most common problems is customs delays. This can happen for various reasons, including incorrect or missing documentation. The best way to avoid this problem is to ensure that you have all the required documents and that they are filled out correctly.

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Lost Shipments

Another common problem is lost shipments. This can happen if the shipping company fails your package or if it is damaged during transit. The best way to avoid this problem is to choose a reputable shipping company and insure your shipment.

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Time Consuming

Cross border shipping can be time-consuming, especially if you are new to the process. The best way to avoid this problem is to plan and allow plenty of time for your shipment to arrive.

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Failing to Declare Goods

One of the most common mistakes is failing to declare goods. This can happen for various reasons, but it usually happens because people are either unaware of the requirement or forget to do it.

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You may be subject to fines or other penalties if you fail to declare your goods. In some cases, your goods may even be seized by customs.

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To avoid this problem, make sure you declare all of the items in your shipment on your customs forms.

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Incorrectly Declaring Goods

Another common mistake is incorrectly declaring goods. This can happen if you're not familiar with the classification system or make a mistake on the forms. You may be subject to fines or other penalties if you incorrectly declare your goods. In some cases, your goods may even be seized by customs.

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To avoid this problem, ensure that you accurately declare all of the items in your shipment on your customs forms.

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Forgetting to Pay Duties and Taxes

Another common mistake is forgetting to pay duties and taxes. This can happen if you're not familiar with the process or if you fail to do it. You may be subject to fines or penalties if you forget to pay duties and taxes. In some cases, your goods may even be seized by customs.

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To avoid this problem, ensure you pay all of the duties and taxes owed on your shipment.

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Failing to Comply With Documentation Requirements

Another common mistake is failing to comply with documentation requirements. This can happen if you're unfamiliar with the requirements or forget to do it. If you fail to comply with documentation requirements, you may be subject to fines or other penalties. In some cases, your goods may even be seized by customs.

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To avoid this problem, ensure you comply with all of the documentation requirements for your shipment.

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Tips For A Smooth, Successful Cross Border Shipment

Now that you know what can go wrong during a cross border shipment, here are some tips for a smooth, successful shipment:

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Choose A Reputable Shipping Company

The first step is to choose a reputable shipping company. This will help ensure that your shipment arrives on time without problems.

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Plan Ahead

It's also essential to plan. This means allowing plenty of time for your shipment to arrive and ensuring you have all the required documents.

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Be Prepared For Customs

Finally, be prepared for customs. This means having all required documents and being familiar with the customs process. Cross border shipping can be complicated, but by following these tips, you can ensure a smooth, successful shipment.

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Insure Your Shipment

It's also important to insure your shipment. This will protect you in case of any damage or loss during transit.

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Be Secured

A cross border shipping must have safety and security for both cargoes and drivers. This tip will help avoid problems with customs.

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Check The Regulations

Be sure to check the regulations of both countries before shipping. This will help avoid any penalties or fines that you may incur.

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Know The Mode of Transportation

There are different ways how goods are being transported. You must know the mode of transportation to avoid delays in the shipment.

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Consider Transloading Services

A transloading service can be beneficial in cross border shipping. This service will help you to ship your goods without any delays. Cross border shipping doesn't have to be complicated. By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth, successful shipment.

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Conclusion

Cross border shipping can be a great way to get your products in front of new customers and increase sales, but it's essential to do it correctly. Avoid these common mistakes and pitfalls, and you can rest assured that your shipments will arrive safely and on time. If you need help with fulfillment, don't hesitate to contact our team. We'd be happy to help you get started with cross border shipping today.

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Recommended: Shipping from Germany to USA-Step by Step Guide

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