“In this economy, we’re happy about every order.” Ralph is a Boston area entrepreneur, who manufacturers specialized parts for manufacturing equipment. “And large orders are especially encouraging. But when I saw we’d be sending the product to South America, I had a lot of questions.”
“Normally, we handle shipping ourselves. But this was a new experience for us, and quite frankly, it’s important for our business that everything goes perfectly. If this client likes our work, it has the potential to develop into a really important relationship for us. I don’t need any shipping mistakes.”
Why is international shipping so complicated? There are 220 countries and territories in this world, and each and every one of them has their own rules, regulations, and requirements about shipping products in. It’s not always easy to find out what the rules are, and if you don’t follow them properly, your shipment could be refused, delayed, or subject to additional fees and penalties.
For many small business owners, this is a daunting prospect. “Then you have to factor in the actual question of packing your products appropriately,” Ralph said. “Some of our parts are quite large and require custom crating.” For these reasons Ralph chose to work with a local international shipping company.
“They’re the ones who specialize in shipping packages from America to international addresses. They’ve done this job before and I haven’t,” Ralph said. “At this time, international shipping represents a small portion of our business. If that volume grows, we can consider taking the job in house and training someone to do it. But at this time, that’s not the best use of our resources. It’s faster, cheaper, and easier to just have the packing and shipping store do the job.”