How to Differentiate Between International and Domestic Shipping?

If your company is planning to ship internationally, then there is a chance that your business is already shipping to domestic locations. It’s always good to expand the business, once your company is established nationally. However, before planning to ship internationally, it is important to understand the difference between domestic shipping and international shipping.

We all understand that international shipping is a comparatively longer process and international freight shipping rates are higher than domestic shipping charges. Let us dig in and understand the differences in a better way.

Any shipping process that transports material or documents from Point A to Point B within the national border is known as domestic shipping. Most of the freight forwarding companies provide two to three days of delivery offers within the country. In some instances, and to specific locations, same-day delivery is also possible. However, no such facility can be availed in case of international shipping. Mostly domestic shipping can be done without any delays while international shipping can get delayed due to customs inspection, weather conditions and other reasons.

When shipping domestically, only shipping label is required. When shipping internationally, a bunch of documents is needed like commercial invoice packing, list for shipment, certificate of origin, shipper’s letter of instruction, bills of lading and more. Document requirement may also vary based on the location and goods as well.

International shipping is not as simple as domestic shipping. In domestic shipping, the package moves only from the source location to the destination. In international shipping, the package moves from source to the customs office of the country and then to the customs office of the destination country and, then finally to the destination. These custom departments are responsible for the collection of taxes and duties on import and export. The packages must comply with the customs rules and regulations of both the countries (importing and exporting). This makes international shipping tedious task as the rules are different for each country and can be confusing for regular people.

When shipping internationally, one must make sure that the package doesn’t contain anything restricted. Different countries have a list of items that are banned from being exported or imported. In certain cases, items can be shipped under particular conditions only. Rules for things like lithium-ion batteries and other flammable items are stringent.

When shipping within the country, then transportation options are many including truck, car, metro, train, flight, and etcetera. When shipping internationally, there are generally two modes of transportation plane or ship. Depending on the package, the time required and international freight charges, you may select one of these options.

When shipping internationally, the reputation of the freight forwarder matters a lot. It is easier to track your package domestically. However, in the case of international shipping, it’s essential to find a reliable and experienced freight forwarder. Best freight forwarders have a licensed customs broker in the company or they have an association or partnership with a custom brokerage agency. This ensures the smooth transportation of packages across countries.

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