Shipping packages overseas is not much different from local deliveries except that the process is longer. You need to take care of a lot of preliminaries when you are shipping your package overseas from United States. If you are a first timer, the thought of the process involved may make you apprehensive, but follow the step given below and you will be a pro in no time at all.
- Get A Postage Scale – You may take your packages to the post office for weighing but even so, get a postage scale, especially if you have set up a shipping business. Getting a postage scale will help you calculate international shipping costs accurately.
You can either get an inexpensive and basic weighing machine or the elaborate machine that you can connect to your computer. Of course, the latter will be more expensive but it will give you detailed rates of shipping to various parts of the world; and you can give your international customers an instant estimate about international ocean freight charges.
- Calculate Shipping Costs – Now that you have weighed the shipment, you must calculate the shipping costs. For calculating shipping costs, you need to know the destination of the shipment too. So, just visit USPS.com to calculate postage fee. When you open the website, you will need to select ‘international shipping’, the country to which the shipment is destined and the weight. You will get the cost of shipping.
- Prepare The Shipment – You have the destination, weight and the costs and the next step is to pack the item. Using First Class International is the cheapest as the package reaches the destination in as less as 5-7 days, which is the time taken by Priority mail. But this kind of shipping is best only for packages that weight less than 4lbs and for those that are not fragile or require box packing.
- Fill up USPS Customs Forms – Different kinds of shipments require different kinds of paperwork to be attached to them, as given below –
a) Package weight less than 4lbs – If the weight of your package is less than 4lbs, then you need to fill up Form 2976.
b) Package weight more than 4lbs – If the weight of the package is more than 4lbs, then you must fill up form 2976A.
- Print Postage – Now use online services like Endicia.com, Stamps.com or USPS.com to print the postage. This step will save you more money as compared to taking the package to the post office and then getting it printed.
- Hand Over The Package – After printing the package, take it to the post office and deliver it personally to the postal carrier.
For more details, you can visit USPS.com and get step-by-step instructions on international shipping of packages. You will also be guided through the entire process, told how to calculate the postal fee and how to pack. The site also gives you tips on packing and shipping restrictions placed on certain items.
When you are shipping a package internationally, you must be aware of all these. You can also click here for more details about overseas shipping of packages.