International Shipping: woman holding tablet in clothing store preparing to ship items internationally

If you’re new to selling and shipping overseas, you may have a lot of questions about the process, from who the cheapest couriers are, to rates and restrictions, and more. 

You’re not alone: In light of the past two years, even the most seasoned Australian small businesses and ecommerce sellers need the latest advice on international shipping in 2022.

Top 5 Tips for Cheaper Overseas Shipping from Australia

Let’s look at the best ways to save time and money on international shipping, while keeping your customers happy and buying more from you – and ultimately, growing your business.

1. Use Free Shipping Strategically to Boost Revenue, AOV

Review the international shipping options and rates you offer: Is it a one-size-fits all model, or do you provide a few tiered options? Have you tested this lately?

Example: You could offer free international shipping on orders over $150, and/or free express international shipping on orders over $200.  

This is one way to not only incentivise overseas orders, but to also increase your sales, revenue and average order values (AOV) at the same time.

2. Use Delivery Times to Offer More Options (and Protect Your Margins)

We all want to save money (and time). And in a tight economy, we want to save even more. While today’s buyers want everything delivered ASAP, waiting a bit longer to save a lot on shipping is a trade-off more online shoppers may be willing to make right now.

How can you use this to your advantage? 

Clarify the pricing difference between standard international shipping service delivery times, and enhanced options like express overseas delivery, or additional insurance. 

The buyers who are happy to wait a few extra days will still feel like they’re winning when they get the lowest shipping rates. 

Plus, you’ll get a health check on the price-sensitivity of your customer base, while you protect your margins.

3. Prepare Your Packaging for International Travel

Item returns and damage are never ideal, but it’s the last thing you need with overseas shipments, so put some extra effort upfront into packaging. 

Securely packaging your products will help reduce the potential for returns; however, going too far overboard on the safety front will add to the weight and size of your parcels – and in turn, increase the overseas shipping costs. How to strike the right balance?

For international orders, make sure your box sizes fit your product snugly, and with a minimum of wasted space. Choose lightweight packaging materials such as air bags for extra transit padding at a lower weight and cost.

Also, if you often use the same overseas shipping providers, see if they offer packaging materials in standard sizes that will fit your recurring needs. This helps reduce the need for more expensive custom box size quotes – and is especially useful with subscription sales, repeat orders and other shipping needs that always use the same dimensions.

overseas shipping: woman packing products

4. Know the Relevant Restrictions & Prohibitions for Your Business

Most countries have a list of import restrictions and prohibitions, but you don’t want to get caught out. Aside from not shipping dangerous goods, it’s critical to know the differences:

  • Goods that are prohibited for import can’t be shipped to the country in question under any circumstances.
  • Goods that are restricted may still be permitted, typically with written permission from the appropriate authority in the destination country.

Import prohibition examples from Australia to popular overseas destinations

Beyond obvious prohibited items like weapons, explosives, narcotics, animals and food, you may be surprised by some items you find on import prohibitions lists. For example, China prohibits the import of bicycles, cameras, records and watches, while New Zealand bans items made from plastic and untreated timber. You’ll also run into trouble if you try to send electronic items containing batteries exceeding 100Wh to the UK, and the USA will reject products made from wool.

Import restriction examples from Australia to popular overseas destinations

Countries apply import restrictions to several products. New Zealand has several regulations around wool and products containing wool, and you’ll need special permission to send precious metals such as gold and silver to China. There are also rules around sending products containing radio transmitters to the UK, and Singapore puts restrictions on the import of books, magazines, newspapers and telecommunications equipment.

International Shipping Restrictions Tool

For a full list of import restrictions and prohibitions by country, visit Australia Post’s International Post Guide. Then pop back to Transdirect for Australia’s best international shipping rates and courier services.

5. Get the Best International Courier or Freight Service for Your Business

There are heaps of international delivery couriers for Australian businesses these days. 

But there’s a massive difference between what small businesses and microbusinesses need from an overseas shipping service, compared to big businesses.

Your business is unique, so start with what matters most to your overseas customers: Is it price? How much international shipping from Australia costs? 

Or is speed the top priority, and how long standard or express global delivery will take? Perhaps tracking, insurance and other logistics are a key factor with your customers?

While “all of the above” is a tempting answer, by adjusting your international shipping and delivery options, you can save a lot of money. 

These top options – Price, Speed, Pickup Time – are built into the Transdirect International Shipping Quote results. This makes it fast and easy to sort quotes based on your priorities.

Better yet, as a Transdirect Member, you can access additional tools like Quick Booking, Address Books, repeat orders and more, that expedite the process and your preferences. 

Once again, a big money and time saver for repeat orders, recurring shipments, and lots of other small business use cases, domestically as well as internationally.  

Ready to Grow Your Business Globally? Let’s Go!

If you’ve been content with simply offering customers flat-rate international shipping, by now you have a few options that will surely work better for you and your buyers. 

The best place to start applying these tips – and growing your business – is right here with Transdirect. You can access the best international couriers and freight services, at the best rates, with awesome Australia-based customer support, full tracking, and all the options you need in one place. 

Plus, Transdirect membership is free and saves you even more, with the aforementioned benefits and even lower rates (the more you ship, the more you save). 

Let’s get going: Check out international shipping rates with an instant quote today!