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What is International Shipping? How Does it Work?

International shipping is importing and exporting goods between different countries via ocean, air, or road. International shipping is a complex process of moving freight over borders, accompanied by many rules and regulations. To successfully import or export freight, businesses must know and follow specific policies of international shipping and collect paperwork so your freight passes customs clearance. 

What is the international shipping definition?

International transportation is more intricate than domestic shipments since every country has specific regulations and laws. Some countries have stricter policies than others and completely forbid importing certain products.

In addition to laws and regulations, time zones, language barriers, and currency exchanges all make international shipping more complex than domestic shipping.

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What are the freight forwarder processes?

There are many international transportation methods, including air freight shipping process, sea shipping process, express process and so on. It is very important to choose a suitable transportation method according to the type and destination of the goods. The following will introduce the 5 international shipping processes.

Air Freight Forwarding Process

1) Request quotes and orders your product.

2) Pack your cargo and book your freight.

3) Freight forwarder arranges shipment.

4) Goods are processed through export customs clearance and placed in transit.

5) Goods are transported from the airport to the buyer.

Ocean Freight Forwarding Process

1) Export haulage: The first step involves the movement of the products’ cargo from shippers to forwarders’ premises. Products usually get transported by road or railways or a combination of both.

2) Export customs clearance: It is a type of official regulatory formality involving the submission of valid and required documents to the concerned authorities.

3) Origin handling: This step covers all physical handling, inspection, and loading of the cargo; at the supplier End’s warehouse. This is coordinated by the freight forwarder.

4) Ocean freight: To meet the required timeline for shipments, the freight forwarder schedules a shipping line for transportation. This step not only covers costs involved in shipping from port-to-port but also the levied surcharges like currency adjustment factor, exchange rates, etc.

5) Import customs clearance: This process can begin even before the arrival of cargo in the US. This clearance is performed by a customs house broker appointed by the consignee.

6) Destination handling: This involves transportation and unloading of cargo from port to destination warehouse.

7) Import haulage: The final step of the actual delivery of the product to the consignee and ultimately to the consumer.

Courier Process

1) The seller delivers orders to a local depot.

2) Courier picks up orders at a local depot.

3) Courier drives to the designated area of distribution.

4) Courier delivers packages to customers at home/work/offices.

5) Courier returns to a local depot for more packages or shift end.

Process of Rail Freight Transport

1) Acceptance of Consignment: The shipper submits an application for cargo transportation to the station, fills in the cargo waybill and a copy of the waybill, and after the station receives the cargo waybill, it should review whether the application for the entire vehicle has an approved monthly, ten-day cargo transportation plan and daily truck plan, and check the cargo waybill.

2) Carry Out Container Cargo Distribution Plan: According to the arrival destination and quantity of all the accepted waybills, the number of empty containers and to-be-delivered containers at this station, the direction and quantity of to-be-loaded, to-be-packed.

And remaining containers, as well as the number of containers outside the station Containers and other materials, and make a distribution plan.

After the collection and distribution plan is completed, the shipper and the freight forwarder should be notified in time, so that the shipper can arrange the vehicle to organize the purchase and the freight forwarder to prepare for the transportation.

3) Cargo Packing: The packing of the FCL can be done inside the station or outside the station. If packing in the station, the shipper will deliver the goods to the station according to the delivery date specified by the station, and the field freight forwarder will assign empty boxes, and the shipper will organize the packing by himself, and seal it after packing.

4) Carrier: The shipper will deliver the container cargo to the designated place at the station on the specified date. When receiving the container cargo, the dispatcher must check the container cargo loaded by the shipper one by one, and only those that meet the transportation requirements can be accepted for carriage.

After accepting the container cargo, the station stamps the station name and the date of carriage on the cargo waybill, which is the carriage. The railway collects the freight from the shipper.

5) Loading and Transportation: In addition to the general station affairs, the frontier station also handles the handover of international railway intermodal freight, vehicles, and neighboring countries’ railways, the reloading of goods or the replacement of wheel sets, the translation of bills and documents, and the calculation and review of freight transportation costs.

6) Arrival Delivery: At the time of delivery, after receiving the transferred unloading card and relevant documents, the freighter who delivered the box carefully checked the vehicle number, seal number, and label, and notified the stevedore team to deliver the goods after checking.

Freight forwarding process flow chart

The freight forwarding process flow chart shows the freight process more clearly, as the picture shows:

diagram showing the international shipping process

Why choose the ASL freight forwarding service?

Airsupply is the best freight forwarding company in China. We have a professional team who are not only familiar with the customs clearance process but also can transport sensitive items such as electronic cigarettes, and have detailed customs clearance information.

Our shipping prices are the best and will not be charged indiscriminately. According to the type of your goods, we can provide the most cost-effective transportation method and guarantee the integrity of the goods during the transportation process.

Our company has charter flights to Europe and the United States to minimize your costs and guarantee the transportation of goods during peak periods. International shipping,feel free to send us an email If you want to shipping goods from China, hit the button below.

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