A Guide to Dodging Shipping Slip-ups in Export, Import, and Logistics


Global trade is the backbone to modern life. It’s the industry that moves and transports the goods we all use and depend on daily. It provides food, technology, and shelter, clothing, and pretty much anything in-between. 

Without the global trade industry, contemporary societies all over the world would have a much tougher time communicating and surviving. That’s why steering clear of common shipping blunders is essential to avoid delays, financial setbacks, and reputational harm. 

With this in mind, let’s look at a couple of the prevalent shipping mistakes companies sometimes make and the practical insights that will help industry professionals avoid them.

Getting the Documents Right

A common stumbling block in international shipping is messing up the paperwork. If you’re shipping goods internationally, always remember to triple check items such as: bills of lading, packing lists, and certificates of origin. 

Such documents are basically the golden tickets for customs clearance and adherence to regulations.

If mistakes are made within the documents process, shipment holds, fines, and even getting turned away from entry ports may occur. 

To sidestep these errors, ensure that every “I” is dotted, and every “t” is crossed on your documents. Cross-check for any discrepancies and ensure the paperwork complies with the rules of both the sending and receiving countries, and have a couple trusted colleagues cross-reference everything, as well.

Utilizing Shipping Containers

To ship goods by land or by sea requires strong, durable, and reliable equipment. That’s why shipping containers made of steel are always the best bet for international trading and movement of goods. The most practical containers come in either 20 or 40 ft sizes and have loading capacities of up to at least 63,000 lbs. 

The right container can fit goods of all shapes, sizes, and weights, and you’ll know they’ll be kept safe and sound because of the durable and super strong steel exterior and interior.

They’re built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including water and wind, so the goods inside will last the long distance of travelling from place to place, no matter how long the journey.

Packaging and Labelling 

Unfortunately, packaging blunders and labelling hiccups usually spell disaster for international shipping operations. Poorly packed items may not survive the shipping journey intact, and unclear labels can often lead to confusion at customs.

It doesn’t matter when you’re shipping—whether it’s toothbrushes or sturdy industrial parts, your goods must be packaged with meticulous care to withstand the trip. 

Delicate items require extra padding, and robust ones need proper reinforcement. It’s also crucial to provide clear labels: clearly mark what’s inside, where it’s headed, how heavy it is, and how to handle it. 

Don’t Forget the Insurance

Accidents do sometimes happen, whether through acts of nature or theft, and they can wreak havoc on your shipments and bottom line. 

If you don’t have the right kind of insurance coverage, you’re basically sailing into a storm without a life jacket.

Evaluate the worth of your cargo and the potential risks involved. Conduct some research and pick the insurance that matches your needs. 

International shipping is an interesting and essential industry. Make sure it continues to flow smoothly by avoiding these common shipping slip-ups!



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