Shopping online for imported products from your favourite eCommerce websites? Have you noticed the origin of the product? Is it national or international? The shipping practices all over the globe have changed drastically. We as consumers no longer worry about the geographical location of the product we need. We just add the product to our cart, check-out and done. But have you ever wondered how international logistics work? How products that you order from the other end of the world are delivered to your doorstep without any inconvenience to you?
In ancient times, the goods were shipped from one place to another sailing on the ocean. This used to take several days at a time. But this is no Greek, Roman, or Egyptian era. We are living in a digital world. The shipping process has evolved a lot. There are courier services such as FedEx, DHL, and UPS, etc. that help eCommerce companies ship internationally. The presence of such courier companies all over the world means easy access to the customer.
Imagine you are ordering products from your favourite global eCommerce websites located in the USA, sitting at home in Dubai. How do you think the package arrives at its destination? It’s freight shipping. The movement of goods and products between two different geographical locations. Before shipping from the USA to Dubai, the things considered by the logistics for eCommerce are:
- The overall cost of shipping
- Weight of the products
- Size of the products
- Mode of shipping
There are four different types of shipping services that an eCommerce company can choose from.
Types of International Shipping Services
- Ocean Freight Service – A solid 90 per cent of the entire world’s trade is done via ocean freight. eCommerce is a major contributor to world trade. When transporting bulky products such as air conditioners, refrigerators, etc., ocean freight proves to be an economical choice of shipping service. Although it takes longer than air freight, the products are delivered safely.
Advantages of ocean freight as a mode of shipping
- The most environment-friendly shipping service among all;
- Various geographical locations covered all across the globe;
- Ability to carry an extensive volume of goods and cargo.
- Air Freight Service – Due to its shorter delivery time, air freight is one of the most extensively used services by global online shopping brands like A Top Trust and many others. To ship products to other countries, eCommerce companies use this service. The air freights are well-positioned to help the international shipping of products to end customers.
Advantages of air freight service
- Fast delivery due to less transit time;
- Lesser documentation needed;
- Increased security of the products onboard.
- Railroad Freight Service – This is another quite economical service for shipping products internationally. The products are shipped from one location to another via the railroads and trains. There are some additional costs incurred as the products delivery needs to be completed via road.
Advantages of rail freight as a shipping service
- Zero traffic;
- Effectively reliable service due to lesser transit time;
- A cost-effective delivery solution for long distances.
- Roadways Freight Service –
One of the most commonly used shipping services, whether national or international. Though large products cannot be carried via roadways over long distances, small and medium-sized items can be shipped seamlessly.
Advantages of road freight service
- Door to door delivery of products
- Flexible mode of service
You might have been aware of a few of the international shipping modes discussed above. But do you know how many people are involved in the export and import of eCommerce packages? There are several key players required to maintain the chain of international delivery. With every internationally shipped package, there are several people involved. They ensure that the package reaches safely to its destination.
- Freight forwarding agents
- CHA (Customs House Agent)
- Shipping company
- Custom authorities
- Transport providers
Steps Involved In Shipping via International eCommerce Websites
Before the product is received by you, it goes through proper channels. These processes ensure that the customer receives the ordered product in an efficient and timely manner.
- Export Haulage – The initial step to every shipping is export haulage. The product is picked up by the service company and taken to a warehouse for further steps and clearances.
- Origin Handling – Receiving the products at the warehouse, and then loading it to the ship or aeroplane is all covered under origin handling. It is the responsibility of the freight forwarder to keep everyone in the loop. This ensures that the products are loaded smoothly.
- Export Custom Clearance – A list of custom clearances and processes must be fulfilled for cross-border shipping of products. This is usually done by a customs house broker and sometimes the freight forwarder.
- Ocean/Air Freight – As per the selected service, the product is loaded on the ship or the plane for its journey towards the customer.
- Import Customs Clearance – After the product reaches the destination country, mandatory declarations need to be made to the authorities for custom clearances. Import custom rules and regulations are different in different countries.
- Destination Handling – The package is unloaded and stored at the destination warehouse. The handler also prepares the cargo for collection by the delivery executive.
- Import Haulage – The last and the final step in international shipping is import haulage. The package is picked up and delivered efficiently to the customer.
Now you know how much hard work goes into delivering your package from international brands. The eCommerce companies make international shipping look simple. But all is not so easy under the calm surface. The global products you order online are required to jump through several hoops.
With international brands now available at the click of a button, the world has gotten smaller. The distances have decreased and the world is now a melting pot of cultures. Customers order international products, sitting in the comfort of their homes.
The international online shopping websites have tough competition in front of them. We all know that eCommerce is the future. Therefore, many retailers are also joining the digital sector. But with simplified shipping services and various delivery options available, the world is the oyster. The eCommerce websites are broadening their horizons and expanding to new territories with international shipping.
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