International Ecommerce Logistics: Preparing For Success (2023)


It’s no secret that the eCommerce landscape is constantly shifting. As more and more businesses begin to sell online, the competition for customers grows more fierce every day. If you’re looking to remain competitive in today’s market, you need to be prepared to do business across borders. Here are a few quick tips to help get your business ready for cross-border eCommerce. 


1) Make sure your website is optimised for international shoppers. This includes translating your site into multiple languages, using global payment methods, and offering shipping options that meet the needs of international buyers.


2) Research the best markets for your products and target those countries first. Don’t try to conquer the entire world at once; start small and expand as needed.


3) Familiarise yourself with local laws and regulations related to eCommerce. Each country has its own set of rules governing online sales, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before diving in headfirst.


4) Invest in a good logistics solution that can handle shipping across borders efficiently and cost-effectively. This will be essential if you want to be able to offer competitive shipping rates to international buyers.


5) Hire a team of experts who can help you navigate the complexities of cross-border eCommerce. Selling internationally is not easy, but with the right tools and advice, it can be done successfully.


Apart from these tips, you should also consider the following aspects if you want to ship your products internationally. Let’s understand in detail:

  1. Does your business contain dangerous goods?

If you’re looking to sell your products internationally, it’s important to know whether or not they contain dangerous goods. Dangerous goods are any materials that could pose a risk to the safety of those handling them during shipping. This includes items like chemicals, explosives, flammable liquids, and poisonous substances.


If your product does contain dangerous goods, you’ll need to take special care when shipping it cross-border depending on the type and quantity.


Most dangerous goods defined by the International Air Transport Association are prohibited from cross-border shipping. If your product is flammable, corrosive, explosive, poisonous, or otherwise dangerous, you need to check if it’s allowed on international flights.


In modern days, lithium-ion batteries are the most common dangerous goods that are sent internationally, and specific labelling procedures are required to ensure safe transport.


The United Nations recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods provide detailed guidance on how to label shipments of dangerous goods, including lithium-ion batteries.


For example, when shipping lithium-ion batteries, the following information must be included on the label:

  • The proper shipping name of the battery
  • The UN Number
  • The class
  • The packing group
  • The hazard warnings


In addition, the lithium-ion battery must be properly packaged and secured to prevent damage during transit.


Failure to follow the proper labelling procedures for shipping lithium-ion batteries can result in delays, fines, or even confiscation of the shipment.


It is important to consult with a shipping company or other expert before attempting to ship lithium-ion batteries internationally. 


  1. Import Taxes and Duties

You’ll need to be aware of import taxes and duties if you’re selling products online. These can vary depending on the country you’re shipping to, and the value of the goods. Here are some tips to help you navigate import taxes and duties for eCommerce.


When shipping goods internationally, you’ll need to be aware of any import taxes or duties applied to the goods by the destination country. These can vary depending on the country you’re shipping to, the value of the goods, and the type of goods being shipped.


The best way to avoid any surprises is to research the import taxes and duties for the country you’re shipping to in advance. You can use online resources such as the website of the destination country’s customs authority, or consult with a customs broker.


Once you’re aware of the applicable import taxes and duties, you’ll need to factor them into the cost of your goods. You can either absorb the cost yourself or pass it on to your customers by including it in the price of the goods.


If you’re shipping high-value items, you may also need to obtain an import licence from the destination country. This is typically required for items such as jewellery, art, and electronics.


Import taxes and duties can be a complex topic, but doing your research in advance will help you avoid any surprises down the road. By being prepared and including the cost of import taxes and duties in your prices, you can ensure a smooth shipping experience for both you and your customers.


  1. Do you need shipping insurance?

When shipping internationally, it’s important to consider shipping insurance. This is because several potential risks can occur during transit, such as damage to your shipment or even loss of the entire shipment.


Shipping insurance can protect you from these risks, ensuring that you either receive a refund or a replacement for your shipment if something goes wrong. This peace of mind can be invaluable, especially if you’re shipping high-value items.


So, do you need shipping insurance for international shipping? The answer may depend on your particular situation and the value of your shipment. However, in many cases, shipping insurance is a wise investment that can save you a lot of hassle and worry down the road.


Most carriers provide insurance coverage for domestic and international shipments as part of their shipping services. However, the level of coverage they provide can vary. For example, carrier insurance may not cover the full value of your shipment, or it may only cover certain types of damage.


It’s always a good idea to check with your shipping carrier to see what insurance options are available and what they cover. In some cases, you may find that it’s worth supplementing carrier insurance with additional shipping insurance from a third-party provider.


Third-party shipping insurance can provide more comprehensive coverage than carrier insurance, including features like declared value protection and coverage for loss or theft. This can give you greater peace of mind when shipping internationally, knowing that your shipment is fully protected against a wide range of risks.


  1. Create an International Shipping Policy

If you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s important to have a clear and concise shipping policy for your customers. This will help to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about what they can expect when they place an order with you.


Your shipping policy should include the following information:

  • Where do you ship?
  • What does the shipping cost?
  • When will the order be shipped?
  • How will the order be shipped (e.g. via USPS, UPS, FedEx)?
  • How long will it take for the order to arrive?
  • Do you offer the tracking information?
  • What is your return policy?
  • Do you accept responsibility for lost or damaged items?


Making sure that your shipping policy is clear and easy to find on your website will help to build trust with your customers and make them more likely to do business with you.


  1. Offering multiple carrier solutions is key

In today’s global marketplace, it’s more important than ever for businesses to offer multiple carrier solutions for their international eCommerce customers. 


There are a few key reasons for this:


First, it allows customers to choose the shipping option that best suits their needs. Some may prefer a faster but more expensive option, while others may be willing to wait a bit longer for a cheaper shipping rate.


Second, having multiple carrier solutions gives businesses more flexibility when it comes to managing their inventory. They can ship from multiple locations and carriers depending on where stock is available, which helps to avoid any delays or disruptions in the shipping process.


Finally, offering multiple carrier solutions provides customers with peace of mind knowing that they have options if one carrier happens to experience any delays or issues with their shipment.


Overall, offering multiple carrier solutions is key to successful international eCommerce. It provides customers with choice and flexibility, and businesses with the ability to manage their inventory more effectively.


  1. Partnering with an overseas fulfilment company

As an eCommerce business, it’s important to be able to ship your products internationally to reach the widest possible customer base. However, fulfilment can be a challenge when you’re trying to do it all yourself. That’s where partnering with an overseas fulfilment company can be a game-changer.


An overseas fulfilment company can take care of all the details involved in shipping your products internationally, from customs clearance and documentation to warehousing and delivery. This can save you a lot of time and hassle, and allow you to focus on other aspects of your business.


In addition, an overseas fulfilment company can often provide competitive rates and discounts on shipping, which can help you save money on your fulfilment costs. And because they’re experts in international shipping, you can be confident that your products will arrive safely and on time.


Partnering with a fulfilment company like NimbusPost is a great way to simplify and streamline your international shipping, and can help you save time and money in the process. If you’re looking to take your eCommerce business global, it’s definitely worth considering.

  1. Customs and Duties You Must Consider

When running an international eCommerce business, there are many customs and duties that you need to be aware of.


Customs and duties are tariffs or taxes that are levied on goods when they are imported or exported. These charges can vary widely depending on the country of origin and destination, as well as the type and value of the goods involved.


As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that all applicable customs and duty fees are paid. Failure to do so can result in delays, confiscation of goods, or even legal penalties.


Here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of customs and duties:


  1. Research the customs and duty rates for your specific destination country. These rates can change frequently, so it’s important to stay up-to-date.


  1. When shipping goods internationally, be sure to include all required documentation. This may include a commercial invoice, packing list, and bill of lading.


  1. Be aware of any export restrictions that may apply to your goods. Certain items such as weapons or endangered species cannot be shipped internationally.


  1. Familiarize yourself with the terms “import” and “export.” These terms have specific legal meanings and can impact the duties and taxes that are applied to your shipment.


  1. Use a reputed shipping company that has experience with international shipments. They can help you navigate the customs process and avoid any potential problems.


By following these tips, you can ensure that your international eCommerce business runs smoothly and avoid any costly delays or penalties.


  1. Managing cross-border logistical challenges

Cross-border logistics can be a challenge for eCommerce businesses. There are a few key areas that can be challenging:


Send shipments DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)

Delivering goods cross-border can be a challenge for even the most experienced eCommerce retailer. In addition to the complexities of international shipping, there are often import duties and taxes that need to be paid on goods delivered from one country to another.


When shipping goods DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid), the responsibility for paying any duties and taxes lies with the recipient of the goods. This can often lead to delays in receiving shipments, as well as additional costs that the recipient was not expecting.


For eCommerce retailers, it is important to be aware of the potential challenges of shipping DDU and to have a plan in place for how to deal with them. Below, we will take a look at some of the key issues to consider when shipping goods in the DDU category.



When shipping cross-border, it is important to be aware of customs regulations in both the sending and receiving countries. Depending on the value and type of goods being shipped, there may be a need to obtain special import or export licences.


It is also worth noting that some countries have restrictions on what can be imported or exported. For example, many countries have restrictions on the import of food products.

Before shipping goods through DDU, be sure to check with the relevant authorities in both the sending and receiving countries to ensure that you are compliant with all customs regulations.

Duties and taxes

As we mentioned above, one of the key challenges of shipping DDU is that the recipient is responsible for paying any duties and taxes that may be due on the shipment.


In some cases, duties and taxes can be significant, especially if the value of the goods being shipped is high. This can often lead to delays in receiving shipments, as recipients may need to arrange for payment before they can take delivery of the goods.


It is important to be aware of the potential for duties and taxes when shipping DDU and to factor this into your pricing. You may also want to include information on duties and taxes in your shipping terms and conditions so that customers are aware of the potential costs before they make a purchase.


Processing International Returns

Processing international returns can be a cross-border logistics challenge. Depending on the country of origin, different rules and regulations may apply.


In addition, cultural differences can make processing international returns a challenge. For example, some countries may be more likely to return items due to dissatisfaction with the product, while others may be more accepting of damaged goods.


Furthermore, language barriers can complicate matters further. For instance, return instructions may not be clear or concise enough for customers in another country to understand.


As a result, it is important to have a clear and concise return policy for customers who purchase items from your company. In addition, you should partner with a reliable cross-border logistics provider who can help you process returns quickly and efficiently.


Final Words

Preparing your business for cross-border eCommerce can seem daunting, but it’s important to understand the basics so that you can avoid any costly surprises down the road. By knowing what products contain dangerous goods and what taxes and duties may apply to your shipments, you can create a shipping policy that works best for your business. It’s also crucial to offer multiple carrier solutions, as this will give customers more options when choosing a delivery method. And finally, partnering with an overseas fulfilment company can help take some of the stress out of shipping products internationally. So, if you’re ready to expand into new markets, follow the above-listed tips and get started today!

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