Guest Post by Colleen Hazelrigs
So, my earlier posts may have persuaded you to consider the merits of growing your business through international sales by using a package forwarder, but you still have reservations. Let me show you some additional features and benefits, for you and your customer, of adding this service to your on-line repertoire.
Consolidate Domestic and International Shipments and Save on Shipping Costs
A logical extension to partnering with a package forwarder would be to ship all your international orders to one domestic US address in bulk. Instead of paying shipping per item, you can simply put all your international shipments in one container, send them to the forwarding company, and let the forwarding company send each item to its individual destination. Shipping in bulk is much cheaper than sending many individual packages, especially with international shipments.
But to take this strategy one step further, consider having your package forwarder handle your domestic shipping as well. Depending on your volume and the size and weight of your packages you might be able to save on shipping by utilizing the lower shipping rates the forwarder has negotiated. Be sure to have a conversation with your forwarder to see how this would work for you.
Your Customer Can Consolidate Packages
Savvy global shoppers know how dimensional weight can lower the cost of shipping internationally and take full advantage by consolidating packages from many merchants before having them shipped overseas.
If you have ever shipped a product you probably understand dimensional weight. But for the purpose of this article let me refresh your memory. Shippers charge on the greater of the actual or dimensional weight. The standard for international dimensional weight is fixed (domestic calculations of dimensional weight differ from shipper to shipper). To get international dimensional weight you multiply the three dimensions of a package in inch increments and divide that by 139 and round to the next pound.
So if a package is big and light there will be a difference of some pounds between what they are paying for, dimensional weight, and the actual weight. This is your customer’s opportunity to combine packages from other merchants and still only pay the dimensional weight charges.
Do your global customers a favor by connecting them with a freight forwarder that offers package consolidation, helping them to get free shipping by using free excess dimensional weight.
Save your Customer Sales-tax
One last way to provide a benefit to your customer is to use a package forwarder in a sales-tax free state. As you know in your own business, reducing your expenses in any way possible adds up in the big picture. And sales tax in some states is no small thing. It is anywhere from 4% to 11.5%. If your customer is a serious global consumer they will appreciate your partnering with a forwarder that is located in a state with no sales tax, saving them even more than the savings they get by shopping in the US.
The Synergies of Using a Package Forwarder
Partnering with a package forwarder helps your business grow and succeed. Giving your customers a great deal in your choice of package forwarders can help make them your loyal customer, helping you help them, truly a great synergistic strategy.
Colleen Hazelrigs is Director of Research and Development at World Address, llc, dba OPAS. She
researches new lines of business and coordinates promotional efforts. OPAS was the first package forwarder in the US, opening their doors in 1990. Colleen is also Principal at Hazelrigs Architecture & Colleen Hazelrigs Design, pllc in Seattle, WA, a green corporate interior architecture firm.
Photo used under Creative Commons SA/ND license from T Whalen on Flickr