How Ecommerce Companies Can Reduce International Shipping Costs

Submitted bySkypostal onThu, 05/19/2016 - 01:08
How Ecommerce Companies Can Reduce International Shipping Costs

Online retailers are all looking for ways to reduce their shipping and fulfillment expenses. This is important for obvious reasons, but it’s all the more urgent when most are already struggling to offset the impact of offering free or low cost shipping to entice customers.

As many ecommerce sellers look to grow their business in foreign markets, like Latin America, the challenge of managing these types of costs become all the greater. But, don’t let the cost and complexity of shipping from the U.S. or Europe into other markets be an excuse for not taking full advantage of these types of opportunities.

Here are some ideas to consider as you look for ways to be more cost efficient with your international shipping.

Shop Around

It sounds simple, but online retailers should invest time in researching ALL the available shipping options and their costs. Just because you use a certain carrier for domestic shipments does not mean they are the best choice for international shipping too. And remember, carrier pricing is based on volume so the more you ship, the lower your rates. Plus, it never hurts during a negotiation to let a carrier know you are talking to others as well.

When possible, it often pays to avoid the large parcel carriers – like UPS, FedEx, and DHL. There are often regional and specialized parcel delivery companies that offer comparable delivery times and end to end tracking at much lower rates – like, who operates a private delivery network throughout Latin American.

And, be wary of using the postal service. The costs on paper may appear lower but the local delivery infrastructure of most Latin American countries is very poor and the service reflects that.

Consider all Shipping Fees

Some carriers have more than 75 special charges, for example fuel surcharges or Saturday delivery.  If you are shipping internationally, duties and taxes must be accounted for as well before charging the customer.  If you are not offering free shipping, make sure to include all shipping fees on the bill so they don’t end up cutting into your margins. Having a shipping partner who is an expert with duties and import taxes can provide protection from this happening to you.

Cut Down on Shipping Materials

The biggest factors in determining shipping costs are weight and distance. It’s usually not practical to change the distance between you and your customers in other countries, but you can impact the weight. Using the correct box size and lightweight packing material will help to cut down on shipping costs. With more carriers using dimensional pricing, this is all the more important. And, of course, recycle packing materials when possible.

For ecommerce logistics from the US and Europe to Latin America, Sky Postal is the industry leader. We take care of all the details of international mail and small parcel shipping. To find out how we can help, please visit our website at