How International Shipping Works

Are you in the process of expanding your business internationally? Do you intend to ship products? Going global can significantly increase your business revenue by giving you access to thousands of new customers. It would help if you understood how international shipment works. This post highlights the significant steps in a typical international shipping process. 

What Is International Shipping?

International shipping involves the importation and exportation of goods across country borders. Essentially, international shipping uses air, ocean, or road transportation methods. Due to the complexity of the process, multiple rules and regulations govern freight movement across borders. Therefore, most shippers prefer to engage a freight forwarding company to help them navigate the shipping process. 

Steps in International Shipping

The following are the seven significant steps in the international shipping process:

Step 1: Export Haulage

The first step involves the shipper sending the cargo to the forwarder. Typically, the process involves transporting the merchandise from the shipper's premises to the forwarder's warehouse using either road, rail, or both. Notably, the shipper can assume responsibility for transportation or rely on a freight forwarder who can offer export haulage solutions. 

Step 2: Export Custom Clearance

All goods leaving a country for export must go through the customs department. Typically, this step involves fulfilling custom formalities and regulatory requirements. Thus, the freight forwarder supports you to get customs clearance by developing declarations and submitting required documents. Ultimately, the customs department issues a clearance certificate upon the verification process. Notably, anyone undertaking customs clearance must have a valid customs license. Thus, the freight forwarder without a custom license has to outsource the service to a customs house broker.

Step 3: Origin Handling 

Origin handling involves a physical inspection and management of the cargo. Essentially, this process involves tallying the shipment, loading and consolidating it with other cargo, and stuffing it into containers. Then the cargo gets moved to the port and loaded onto a ship. The freight forwarder assumes this role or appoints an origin handling agent.

Step 4: Ocean Freight 

The next step involves shipping the cargo to the destination through a shipping line. Ideally, freight forwarders have existing contracts with shipping lines to carry their containers. Thus, the freight forwarder decides the shipping line based on the destination, costs, and the shipment timeline.

Step 5: Import Custom Clearance

The shipped cargo must then undergo custom clearance at the port of importation. In this case, the load gets verified based on exportation documents and declarations. More so, the step involves paying the applicable customs duty and goods and services tax. Finally, the goods get clearance to enter the domestic market.

Step 6: Destination Handling

Destination handling is necessary before the goods get released to the consignee. Specifically, the consignment is transferred to the shore and then to the forwarder's importation warehouse. More so, the cargo gets sorted and prepared for consignee collection. 

Step 7: Import Haulage 

The last step in international shipping is import haulage. During this step, the product gets transported to the final consignee. Typically, the freight forwarder may transport the cargo or make arrangements with a local transportation company. Since the shipper arranges for import haulage, it makes sense to use a freight forwarder who can handle cargo transportation to the consignee address. 

International shipping is an intricate process compared to domestic shipments. Thus, understand the shipping process and engage a freight forwarder to help you execute the shipment plan.