Shipping International Orders: International Consolidators
Getting your package to an international destination requires some decision-making and some extra work.
The route you select for sending your package will determine the extra work; here are your options:
International Shipping via International Consolidators
Shipping consolidators partner with carriers to aggregate volume for those carriers across the small- and mid-sized business market. The Consolidators offload a significant portion of the parcel acquisition and sorting requirements usually undertaken by the carriers themselves. By doing so, they’re able to access shipping products from the big carriers that are unavailable to all but the largest of clients.
How consolidators handle various aspects of the international shipping process:
- Forms: As a function of your shipping platform, the Consolidator label should integrate the required customs forms based on the specific service type being purchased from the Consolidator.
- Payment of taxes: Some Consolidators offer programs that will allow you to charge the customer up front for duties and/or taxes.
- Such “Delivered Duty Paid” shipping products speed delivery of the package and prevent the buyer from having to pay the carrier to complete delivery.
- When using “Delivered Duty Unpaid,” the buyer will be required to pay any duties and taxes due in order to receive the package.
- This may prevent delivery until the buyer is home to receive the product or is able to pick up the package and pay the duties and taxes at the local post office.
- Cost: Consolidator pricing is based on speed of delivery and destination country.
- Consolidators typically do not charge you to become a customer, but typically have minimum volume requirements
- In fact, they might offer prices lower than you can access from a carrier direct
- Because they consolidate volume and share the carrier’s work, the Consolidator typically negotiates better rates – and passes part of the rate discounts on to the shipper.
- Other Issues: Consolidator tracking can cause problems.
- When using a Consolidator, tracking results are not always available on the primary carrier’s website (USPS®, UPS®, FedEx®) because the Consolidator issues its own proprietary tracking code, directing users to their own proprietary tracking sites.
- The shipper, then, must make sure to provide correct tracking information based on the Consolidator
This article was taken from The eCommerce Seller’s Guide to International Selling & Shipping