When you develop your business, it is possible that at some point you will want to do business internationally.
Expanding your business into the global market can be a great opportunity, but there are many things to learn – such as product sourcing, international payments, and freight. If you want an expert to help you in the field of international freight – you should consult this article.


There are 5 steps for all international bills of lading: pick up from the sender, take the goods to the sender’s warehouse and prepare procedures with the authorities to send goods (Origin), goods To be loaded onto the vehicle to be sent (Main Leg), the cargo is sent to a destination of the destination’s customs depot (Destination), and delivered (Delivery).

Pickup: Trucks come to pick up goods at the factory warehouse.
Origin: The shipment is taken to a dedicated warehouse, where it is “consolidated” with other shipments, in the same container (for sea shipping) or in roller frames for later transport. to the airport (for air transport). It is then carried out to do export procedures with customs forces. Countries heavily dependent on exports often focus their attention and have more complicated procedures for some special goods, and tend to simplify customs processes to facilitate individuals and businesses need to export goods.
Main Leg: From here, the shipment will be transported to the port or airport and from there it will be carried out by the port authorities (or airport terminal) to be ready to transport to the address. received abroad. Usually the cost of loading and unloading goods at the port (or airport terminal) is usually combined with the costs of Origin and Destination in the quotation and invoice.
Destination: This step is the same as in Origin, except for now, it is more related to customs procedures. Most shipments will normally be processed smoothly. But trouble may appear if your data has slight differences and may lead to customs inspection procedures. You are directly responsible for paying any fees and penalties before the shipment is delivered.
Delivery: Delivering a shipment in an international address is much more complicated than domestic shipping. There are many costs and time involved in receiving goods at ports as well as shipping goods to warehouses. Some order fulfillment centers such as Amazon have strict and strict appointment and delivery requirements. You also need more time for the preparation and testing process as well as for the prevention of unexpected incidents that may occur at any time. For example, a shipment may be temporarily held in transit, or a truck may have technical problems.
However, all of these problems can be handled easily. There are many more complicated problems when it comes to international shipping, not just a shipment. In fact, you will have more new knowledge at two stages: researching product limitations and negotiating with suppliers.

Product restrictions

Make sure your exported products are not one of the following three types of restrictions:

Import restrictions. Even everyday items like sunglasses, leather lining and some packaging items can attract the attention of the customs force. Anti-dumping taxes can be applied to certain products, as recently happened with crayons imported from China.

Restrictions of shipping service providers. Some everyday products, such as children’s toy batteries, are on the list of dangerous products when shipped by both sea and air.

Restrictions on intellectual property rights. You may violate copyright and trademark laws if your product, even the words on the packaging, are similar to other products.

Find out if these restrictions affect your products:

Conduct a search on the internet for each type of restriction. Use legal advisory services if you see any signs of potential infringement of intellectual property rights.
Find deeper by using online tools to look up import restrictions, tax estimates and how to classify dangerous materials. Ask the forwarder to help if you have questions regarding one of those sensitive areas.
Negotiating with suppliers

When negotiating with them, keep in mind the following three things: Incoterms, packaging products and building trust.


Incoterms are standardized transport conditions according to international standards and must appear in all economic contracts. They specify when the liability for the shipment is transferred from the buyer to the seller. That doesn’t seem to be your main priority when negotiating prices with suppliers, but let’s consider this:

The wrong choice can lead to serious consequences. If you cannot take the time to delve into Incoterms, you should only choose one of the two shipping conditions: Factory Delivery Price (Ex-Works-EXW) or Product Delivery Price (Free On Board-FOB).
If you do not pay attention to the cost of shipping goods, you are unlikely to have a good price if you merely rely on product prices. For example, a higher price for the same product (but an FOB price, which means you pay less shipping costs) may be better for you than a lower price (but is based on EXW price, which means you have to pay more shipping costs).
Packaging products

Avoid additional packaging. The packaging of products is often constituted in the selling price of products, but it is also the cause of unnecessary costs, especially when shipping by air. Also, check to see if your supplier is using the minimum and standard box sizes to optimize how the product is arranged in a pallet.

Use a double box to pack fragile products. This double canning method adds a cushion to the first box. Then wrapped with bubble wrapping paper (air bubble sheet to wrap the product). However, many warehouses refuse to accept shipments packed in this form due to their fragile nature.

Label labels carefully. Smaller shipments are often confused, so clearly mark on the carton and on the carton numbering box, net weight, gross weight, place of origin and track labels (similar as labels of FBA shipments).

Improve product packaging. If the package takes up more space than the product itself is packed, your shipping costs will increase rapidly. If your supplier agrees and can receive comments, contact a local packaging company to get cheaper and more attractive packaging ideas but the quality of packaging is still up to standard.

Build trust

You may take a certain amount of time to build trust with the new provider. Therefore, protect your interests by performing some of the following tasks:

Stack pallets according to Amazon requirements. Basically, palletising is also not recommended on airplanes because they increase galloping transport rates.
Prepare for Amazon packaging requirements.
Quality. Please arrange an independent quality control unit at the factory, at least for the first shipment.
Select a forwarder

It sounds cheaper, but don’t try to export without a specialized freight forwarder. Forwarders are intermediaries responsible for arranging shipment. A lot of problems can, and have occurred for shipments shipped internationally – especially with beginners. A good forwarder will take care of almost all aspects of organization and resolution to help you with all the stressful and complex parts. For example, they will arrange to place Main Leg stitches with an airline or a shipping company as well (depending on your incoterms) to arrange for pick up from the sender. They will handle all the problems of filing and customs clearance, including advice on tariffs (if you export to the United States). And they can have more management experience than a local transport company at delivery (Delivery).

Basically, it is not easy to find a good and suitable forwarder for you. However, now you can search for them based on the ranking of forwarders in some reputable international freight markets.

Cooperation with some smaller forwarders may be a good choice. They often have more time to focus on customers as well as small shipments. If the shipment is shipped to Amazon, you are not bound to use one of their shipping service partners, but your forwarder must have experience in making deliveries to Amazon, and must also be familiar with their packaging requirements.

Request shipping quote

Preparing before requesting a quote is also a must. Besides contact details at Pickup and Destination stages, collect:

Total weight and volume. Calculate from the details above Packing List (request this document from your supplier).

Product Description. Please refer to the commercial invoice (again, ask your supplier for this invoice).

Shipping method. Determine whether you want to receive a shipping quote by air or sea. Air freight is faster and also cheaper for small shipments. This transportation cost calculation tool will provide an accurate freight estimate for each shipping method.

Contact details at the preparation process. Whether it is your forwarder, the center completing the order or a third party partner.

Insurrance. You will be asked if you want insurance. Make sure you designate yourself to “comprehensive cargo insurance”.

Importer ID. All customs authorities will require some form of identification. In the United States, it’s your company’s tax code.

As soon as you choose a quote, take the time to agree on your communication method with the new forwarder, and find out what specific requirements they have for you, which will unfortunately relate to the Paperwork. Checking documents is a very important part you need to do from this point. This is very important, because even a slight difference between the papers can cause very expensive delays.

All of the above mentioned is an overview of the international transport sector

During product research, check import restrictions, shipping service providers and importer IDs.
Discuss incoterms, product packaging, pallets with suppliers.
Prepare before looking for a forwarder and before requesting a quote.
Although your forwarder takes on most of the tasks, you should focus on thoroughly examining the entire document.