Incorporating Industry Best Practices
International Customs and Duties
Another significant aspect of international shipping is customs and duties. There are many challenges, just around the picking, packing, and fulfilling the shipment.
One of them is related to boxes and grouping of items. You must be able to logically and intelligently group everything. So, depending on your business model, you may incorporate the shipping charges into the cost of the products. Or you may choose to show the shipping details, as well as the customs and duties charges.
The end-user, this way, will be aware of all the details during the checkout process. It will not only avoid confusion, but your business will not have to bear the variable cost of shipping, custom, and duties.
Leveraging a third-party API can incorporate customs and duties forms for all the different regions and locations covered by your eCommerce business. It will help you understand and keep you updated continuously regarding product restrictions, different rules depending on the various locales, and how different regions handle their customs and duties. You can also know if a package will be considered an LTL-type of shipment or will go through customs and duties.
Since there are many regionally based carriers and a lot of different customs and duties to be accounted for, starting out with an off-the-shelf, third party API can make things a lot easier. It costs relatively less. Moreover, you can also integrate it with your international eCommerce platform for updated shipping quotes by different carriers. They take care of the customs and duties, forms, and documentation for each transaction.
If you want a seamless process, we encourage finding a partner who is familiar with this process and has experience. Their platform should have all these capabilities because shipping carriers and customs and duties call for a bit of setup and configuration. We would suggest starting out small and from there; build it up into a robust system.