For business owners, organising international consignments can be a hassle – requiring time that you just don’t have! Once they reach the other side of the water, it’s anyone’s guess where they are and whether they will arrive on time or not. If you find yourself dreading sending international consignments, or you’re thinking about branching out your business overseas, understanding the international delivery process is crucial for avoiding any mishaps. We’ll explain how an international courier service works, how this differs from the postal service, and help you decide which shipping option is right for you.
How Does International Delivery Work?
Similarly to national delivery, international delivery involves preparing and arranging your consignments for pick up with an international delivery provider. This can either be done with the postal service or via a private courier company. Once you’ve booked your shipment, you must give details of your consignments’ weight and dimensions along with the delivery address. When sending consignments internationally, you are required to fill out shipping documents along with any required customs forms. You must ensure the goods you are sending are compliant with the customs regulations of the destination country or risk them being unable to be delivered.
International consignments can be sent via air freight, sea freight, or land transportation. It is at this point that your package will most likely be handed over to a third party courier or the destination country’s national postal service, who will deliver it to the desired address.
Key Features of the Postal Service
Sending a package internationally via your national postal service works mostly in the same way as using an international courier service, with some slight differences:
Part of a wide global network
The postal service is part of a vast global network of postal services known as the Universal Postal Union (UNU), which ensures international cooperation.
Offers a range of service levels
With the postal service, you can choose from standard shipping or more urgent delivery options, dependent on the destination and consignment size.
Postal services typically offer tracking on their consignments so you are able to monitor your package but live tracking is rarely an option.
The postal service is a long-standing institution which makes them reliable and trustworthy. However, because it is a nationalised service, it is subject to industrial action and other unforeseen circumstances that can delay delivery times.
Standard non-urgent international consignments will typically be priced lower than a comparative courier company service This makes the service more accessible for small businesses.
Key Features of International Couriers
Couriers are another option for international shipments and are often favoured by businesses because they tend to offer additional features within their service:
Extensive global networks
Private courier companies offer the same global coverage as the postal service with a more focussed approach on speed and efficiency.
Specialise in efficiency
A courier company’s primary focus is fast and accurate delivery times. It is what their reputation is built on. They also have the resources to offer express shipping options.
Fulfill delivery commitments
A good private courier will work hard to make sure their consignments are delivered on time and in good condition. They will also provide responsive customer support for any unforeseen delays.
Wide range of service options
Private courier companies offer a range of services that can be tailored to a business’ unique needs, including catering to their specific consignment requirements.
Although international courier services are more expensive than the postal service, their prices are reflective of their reliability and speed of service, helping you avoid the additional cost of late deliveries or missing consignments.
Benefits of Using an International Courier
While there are certainly benefits to the postal service, there are also limitations to the service, which means the service struggles to match that provided by a courier. Couriers were born out of a need for a more bespoke delivery service that could easily be tailored to individual business’ needs. When it comes to an international courier service, there are a whole host of benefits, including:
- Speed of delivery
- Accurate delivery dates & times
- Live consignment tracking
- Specialised service
- Operate on a larger scale
Determining the Right International Delivery Service For Your Needs
Now you know everything that the postal service and international courier service offers, you can determine which is the right provider for your business. If you are sending small, inexpensive items that don’t require urgent delivery, then the postal service may be a better option for you. However, typically businesses deal with large consignments with thousands of pounds worth of goods inside, which require much more accuracy and care. If this is the case for your business, then choosing a reliable international courier service is a much better option for you.
Choose an International Courier You Can Count On!
If you’re looking for a courier service to send something internationally, Grabbit & Run offers a range of worldwide door-to-door delivery options. We cover everything from same-day UK to Europe and next day (express) international delivery. Whatever your international shipping needs, we’ve got you covered. We work with major international courier companies across the globe, including DHL and FedEx, to get your consignment where it needs to go. Get in touch with one of our Grabbiteers today to arrange your international delivery for your business!