The process can be overwhelming if you’re new to cross-border shipping. With so many regulations and requirements for each country, it can be difficult to know where to start. To avoid making costly mistakes, here are the considerations and precautions with regards to making your first cross-border shipment across international borders:
Not Knowing the Regulations and Requirements in Each Country
The following is a non-exhaustive list of regulations and requirements that are specific to international shipping:
- Import requirements. Each country has its own regulations regarding what can be imported into the country, which will vary by product category and commodity type. For example, in the U.S., you may need an export license for certain materials or products (e.g., agricultural products). In some cases, if your shipment isn’t eligible for import or doesn’t meet all of these requirements, it may be refused entry at customs when arriving at its destination.
- Import restrictions. There are also certain restrictions on what items can enter each country and how they’re transported once they arrive (e.g., whether there’s enough space for them inside a vehicle or whether they need to remain outside during transportation). For example, some countries require wood shipping materials because those are more easily sanitized than plastic ones; however, other countries don’t allow wood due to concerns about pests like termites carrying diseases from one area to another.
Underestimating the Transit Time
The next mistake is underestimating the transit time.
For example, if you’re shipping from Los Angeles to Vancouver, you might assume it takes only a few minutes to get through customs and arrive in Canada. However, this can take longer because some ports are really busy and some trucks and their cargo can be subject to random inspections by border services. Shipping as an LTL can also drastically change transit times as the truck will likely be making multiple picks and drops along the way.
Not Getting Professional Help
It’s tempting to try and do everything yourself, but when it comes to cross-border shipping, it’s the wrong approach. Ensure you work with a reputable customs broker who can advise and handle all clearances of your goods crossing the border. Shipping costs will increase if your carrier has to sit at the border and wait for your shipment to get cleared.
Not Knowing Your Shipping Options
It can be difficult to know all the details of the different shipping options available, especially if you’re an international shipper. Before you commit, you need to be aware of your options, costs, and time frame. You should also understand what requirements are placed on your cargo by customs authorities in both countries and the potential risks and benefits associated with each option.
This is especially important regarding cross-border shipping because many carriers have different rules for accepting shipments depending on weight or dimensions. For example, some carriers will accept a single stacked load while others require at least two or three per shipment—and there is no guarantee they will accept stacked loads!
Cross-Border Shipping Experts
Get in touch with the expert team at Lot Logistics today. We are well-versed in cross-border shipping as well as freight shipping within the same country, and LTL. Contact our team today at 1-800-790-3387.