Four Strategies to Help You Streamline International Shipping for Your Small Business

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If you have started doing international shipping for your business, there are a range of strategies you can use to streamline the process. Whether you are ordering inventory from abroad, shipping goods to other counties, or doing a combination of importing and exporting, you should check out the following ideas. They can help you avoid unforeseen delays or other shipping issues:

1. Invest in a dedicated shipping program or app.

If you ship a large volume of goods, you need quality software that can help. There are many different programs, many of which can be accessed through a mobile phone or a laptop, that handle a range of shipping tasks. Depending on your needs, you can find programs that allow you to create shipping labels and packing lists, update inventory records, place orders with international vendors, generate invoices, and much more. In many cases, these programs can also help with filling out customs forms, calculating duties, or other import/export-related tasks.

2. Consult with a customs expert on your paperwork.

Whether you opt to create invoices or purchase orders with a program or by yourself, you should take steps to ensure they are in line with what custom officials expect. If you are importing goods, custom officials may look at your purchase order to double check the items, quantities, value and other details. Similarly, when you are exporting items, they may look at the invoice or other paperwork as well as the goods you are sending.

Ideally, you may want to consult with a customs broker about these documents. These professionals are often willing to provide guidance on the right documents to use and how to fill them out correctly. That can help to speed up the process and prevent delays.

3. Use a customs broker.

Instead of just consulting with a customs broker, you may want to use one on a regular basis. These professionals can help with every aspect of moving your products in or out of the country. Whether you have items that need to be quarantined, inspected or anything else, they can oversee the process and help you ensure that you are compliant with changes to the law.

4. Go digital.

Generating and signing paper customs documents can be time consuming. To eliminate wasted time, you should utilise as many digital documents as possible. Ideally, you should choose a customs broker who can help you by sending you everything you need over the internet. That way, you don't have to travel to their offices in person.