Attending an international trade show or corporate event is a great way to help spread the word about your business and raise your brand’s visibility, but there’s a lot to know when it comes to packing up everything to ship overseas. To ensure your packages arrive safely and on time, it’s important to understand the best practices for shipping your equipment across international waters.
Here are five tips for shipping items abroad when preparing for an international trade show or event.
1) Decide on a Method of Transportation
When it comes to shipping abroad, there are primarily two choices from which to choose:
Of course, using a plane will be much faster. Your items are likely to arrive at their destination in just a few days.
If a boat is used to transport the items, it can take up to eight weeks for your items to arrive. If you need to ship your items on a boat, give yourself ample time to prepare your shipment. That’s why performing research to determine which method of transportation is going to work best for you is highly recommended.
2) Know Your Shipping Deadline
It can take a lot longer to ship something oversees than it does to ship it locally (months as opposed to weeks or even days), which means you should plan ahead and make sure your equipment is ready to be shipped well in advance of your event. To ensure your packages arrive on time, contact the event venue early in the planning stages to find out the date by which they need the equipment, and contact your local delivery services to learn precisely how long it will take them to ship your packages.
3) Create Appropriate Address Labels
It may be necessary to place two different address labels on your packages when shipping internationally. In such cases, the first label should be in English, and the second label should be in the official language of the country it’s being delivered to. Once you determine that multiple labels are required, make sure you place both labels next to each other so there’s no confusion about where the items should be delivered.
4) Pack with Caution
Items shipped overseas have quite the journey ahead of them before reaching their final destination, so it is extremely important to pack them carefully. After all, you want to make sure they arrive in the same condition in which they were sent. Take into consideration any of the elements your items may be exposed to during the shipping process—including dust, moisture, weather, and sudden movement—and safeguard them appropriately.
You should also consider the shipping regulations of the country to which you’re sending your items. Avoid packing them with any materials the receiving country may deem potentially hazardous, which could cause them to dispose of your parcel!
5) Fill Out the Necessary Paperwork
Be prepared to fill out paperwork that requires you to enter detailed information about the trade show and/or event items you’re shipping abroad. This may end up being quite time-consuming, since everything in your shipment must be noted—even the serial numbers of electronics may be required on the paperwork. As with the packaging materials noted above, it’s also important to know if any of your items are prohibited in the country to which you’re sending them. You don’t want your entire package—and schedule—to get derailed because of a single item you may have been able to live without.