Today’s economy has become global and for many businesses, that involves receiving goods from international destinations. However, along with international shipping comes potential complexities that can occasionally cause shipping delays. Those delays can negatively impact your ability to deliver to your clients and meet other business deadlines.
The shipping process includes multiple steps, each of which could be a potential cause of delay. The shipper will send your goods to the origin warehouse, which is often found at the origin port. Once at the port, it is loaded into the shipping container and then the freighter. At the destination port, the goods are then put in the destination warehouse before being delivered to you.
A freight forwarder can assist you in managing this shipping process, but there are also things you can do to minimize delays. Still, if a delay happens, here are 5 steps to take with your global shipments to address them.
Is All the Paperwork Completed?
Often, delays in international shipping can come from incomplete or inaccurate paperwork. Therefore, if there is a delay, it is important to check your paperwork and determine if anything is missing or incomplete. Working with a freight forwarder who handles international shipments can help you through the process of completing paperwork.
Remember, countries like paperwork and each one has their own requirements. An international freight forwarder can be helpful in making sure you have met all those requirements from the originating country and the destination company, such as the Certificate of Origin.
Did You Complete the Description?
One of the frequent causes of international shipping delays is the incomplete description of the goods. Here are a few questions to think about when completing your descriptions:
- What is it?
- What is it used for?
- What is it made of?
- Where was it made?
- How much do you have (the quantity)?
- What are the goods worth?
Also, it is important to include Harmonized Tariff codes for the goods that you are shipping. Make sure that your description and tariff codes are accurate. Using an experienced freight forwarder, you can be sure that the proper code classifications for your company’s products are on the paperwork.
Did You Meet the Requirements of Your Destination Country?
While you might have less requirements from your origin country, the destination country is likely to have more requirements, including lists of prohibited items. Depending on what you are shipping, you may also have to provide special documentation or fees to partnering government agencies.
With the various tariffs being implemented in the United States, for instance, you might find that your goods are impacted and costs have increased.
What About Holidays?
If you are facing delays in your shipments, you might want to look at the holiday schedule for the countries involved. You might find that ports are impacted by these holidays and that can end up causing shipping delays. If your container needs to be inspected but the inspectors are off for a holiday, then you are likely to be impacted by a shipping delay.
For the best results, choose a shipping partner with local knowledge and years of experience dealing with the country where you are shipping your goods. After all, those holidays can impact whether the port is open or if containers will be loaded.
Are All the Fees and Taxes Paid?
The other issue that can often cause delays is not having paid the right fees and taxes, or not paying enough to cover those items. With all the different payments that might be due, it is important to find a freight forwarder who is familiar with all the fees and taxes to make sure the right ones are paid for your shipments.
Custom brokers and international freight forwarders are also helpful in working through the fees and taxes structure to make sure that you have made all the proper payments.
If the delays have already occurred, then you want to start working through your freight forwarder to determine the cause of the delay and then work to resolve the issue if possible. Our experienced team has the knowledge and skills to help you deal with any shipment delays. Contact us today to assist you in meeting your international shipping needs.
Atlanta Customs Brokers is one of the oldest and most trusted customs brokerage and shipping firms in Atlanta. Established in 1985, our company has been a fixture in and around the Atlanta airport and Savannah port for more than 31 years. We enjoy working with our international partners and enjoy what we do. If you are a first-time importer or exporter or a large corporation, we can handle your needs.