4 Mistakes To Avoid When Shipping Products To The USA

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Whether you’re an individual sending a one-off parcel or you’re a small business hoping to broaden your reach by extending your deliveries to customers based in the USA, there’s inevitably a lot to consider when doing so. With that comes a plethora of common mistakes that tend to be made when shipping goods to the USA, which only make the entire process a headache, when in reality, it doesn’t have to be. To help shed a light on the process, we’re detailing some of the most common mistakes made when shipping parcels to the USA, and how you can do your very best to avoid them. When you consider everything carefully, these mistakes are easy to spot, and are even easier to prevent from happening in the future. 

1. Not Researching Customs Regulations 

One of the most important things to do when shipping goods to the United States is ensuring that a customs invoice accompanies the shipment. The only exception to this is if you are transporting documents. All other goods must be cleared by customs before being forwarded on for delivery. A shipment without an accompanied customs invoice can face a plethora of issues, including severe delays, so you’ll want to ensure you follow the requirements. 

As well as this, you may want to take some time to research specific customs regulations when it comes to importing goods to the USA. Customs regulations vary between each and every country, and the USA is certainly no exception to this. Some countries have specific restrictions set in place for the importing of certain goods, others have specific regulations regarding the importing of commercial goods. The last thing you want to do is go into the process without knowledge, only to be left out of pocket with substantial customs charges. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that customs tax and duty is applied at the point of entry into the USA, so any charges cannot be included in any quotes you obtain from couriers. 

2. Not Carefully Considering Transit Times 

On the subject of customs clearance, this is something that can also have an effect on the delivery estimate of your shipment. This is particularly important if you are a small business shipping goods to customers in the USA for the very first time. The best way to manage your customers’ expectations is to add an extra working day for delivery, just in case there are any delays during clearance - something that is at the discretion of the customs authority. 

3. Not Packaging Items Securely 

It’s important to consider the different stages of transit that your shipment will go through before it reaches its destination in the USA. One mistake that many tend to make when shipping goods to the USA is improperly packaging their shipments, without considering the long-haul journey the item has to endure. With many standard courier services, items are transported through an automated network, alongside dozens of heavy and large items, sorted by machines, before being placed on a van or truck for its final delivery. Of course, if you book with a reputable courier company, damage to contents during transit is a rare occurrence. 

However, if you fail to take the extra step to protect your goods, the likelihood of damage increases tenfold. When items are improperly packaged, they pose not only a risk to themselves, but to other items within the network. Easily avoid this mistake by taking the time to package your item safely and securely. Use a double-walled cardboard box, as this will add extra protection during transit, and don’t forget to use cushioning materials such as newspaper or bubble wrap to give your item that added internal protection. 

4. Choosing The Wrong Shipping Company For Your Destination 

It really goes without saying, but no singular international courier service is the best provider for every destination. Particularly, different shipping companies have established better relationships with customs authorities in specific destinations, including the USA, and so selecting a courier service specifically for your delivery fulfillment in the USA may be the best way to speed up delivery to your customers and, overall, improve customer satisfaction. 

About The Author: Written by Katy Mairs, blog editor at NIParcels.com.


I hope you enjoyed this article about the major mistakes to avoid when shipping products in America for retail or ecommerce.

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