International Air Freight Shipping: 3 Tips For A Smooth Delivery

29 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Freight shipping internationally is a whole different ballgame than shipping domestically. If you're a retailer who needs to make sure that your products arrive safely when you ship them to overseas vendors or customers, you need to be certain that you're taking all possible steps to ensure a smooth and uneventful delivery. Take a look at some tips that can help you guarantee the safe arrival of your overseas shipments.


If you stop to add it up, you'll realize that your air freight shipments are handled far more extensively than your domestic shipments. They have to be put on a truck and taken off a truck, put on a plane and taken off a plane, go through customs, and go in and out of warehouses. A lot of people will be handling your package, and the only way to ensure the items inside are protected is with secure packaging.

One of the best things that you can do to make sure that your standard packaging will hold up to the rigors of international freight shipping is to test it ahead of time. In a laboratory, your package can be subjected to tests that recreate shipping conditions. The results of the tests will help you understand what kind of reinforcement your packages need.

Chain of Custody

It's difficult to find statistics on how often air freight packages are stolen. Air freight is considered secure because of the difficulty of stealing objects that are in flight, but the truth is, thieves simply choose times when air freight shipped items are on the ground – such as when they're being transported to the airport by truck – and steal them then.

In order to prevent theft, the cargo needs to have a chain of custody. And as the person shipping the cargo, it's important that you know what that means for your shipments. Choose freight forwarder and trucking companies with care. Learn trucking routes, tour warehouse facilities, and know which airports your shipments are flying out of. Ask about the procedures that your shipping partners use to prevent theft and keep your cargo safe. If you're not satisfied, find a more secure shipper.

Describe and Document

It's important to be accurate when describing your shipment and filling out your documents. If you're shipping a bunch of machine parts, don't write that down and at the last minute decide to throw in some extra lithium batteries. That's a recipe for having your shipment held up indefinitely at customs.

Your labels and documentations should state exactly what's inside your packages. Your weights and measures should be exact. Your freight forwarder can help you if you have questions about how to accurately fill out your documents.

With a good freight forwarder and accurate knowledge of what to expect during the shipping process, you can make sure that your packages arrive overseas in a timely manner and in the condition you expect. Talk to a freight company, like Alaska Air Forwarding, for more information on freight shipping.