Ask any marketer, and they’ll tell you the key to growing your business is meeting your audience where they are. In the case of growing an internationally beloved brand, you’ll probably have to start shipping internationally.
To get your global brand off the ground, you’ll want to partner with the international shipping companies that will offer you the best shipping rates and most reliable service to keep your customers delighted and satisfied.
There are many, many companies that ship internationally, and you can choose which courier — or couriers! — suits your business’s needs best. The beauty of shipping is that you can pick and choose which couriers you work with and for what.
This following article gives you an overview of the top 10 couriers that ship packages overseas and how you can leverage Easyship's shipping tools to compare them. Let's get started!
How to Choose the Best International Shipping Company for Your Business
Here are some factors that you should consider when deciding on the companies to entrust your global eCommerce shipments.
- Delivery Speed: For faster deliveries, working with an international carrier that can handle mission-critical deliveries through overnight shipping or expedited air freight can be a lifesaver when handling critical situations. For slow deliveries, working with international shipping companies that provide excellent ocean or LTL shipping will do the trick. Whatever the case, keep in mind that working with the fastest international shipping company comes with additional shipping rates, while the cheapest international shipping courier may have favorable rates, but slower speeds.
- Shipping Restrictions: Shipping restrictions take several forms. You’ll want to consider hazardous material handling, as not all companies will work with products containing materials considered dangerous. Additionally, there are weight limits and size restrictions. You need to be familiar with the size and weight limits for the shipping companies you are considering to work with.
- Weekend Delivery: Sometimes, your buyers' delivery dates coincide with weekends, and if an international carrier doesn't deliver on weekends, they will have to wait two additional days until Monday — the next week. It helps to know whether the carriers whose services you are considering deliver on Saturdays.
- Insurance: What will happen if your package gets lost or damaged in transit? International shipping is rife with risk, much more than domestic shipping, making insurance coverage a necessity. Many shipping companies offer insurance coveage, but, if not, it’s wise to take out your own policy. Easyship offers you insurance of up to $5,000 to secure your cargo in transit.
- Tracking: International shipping takes longer than domestic deliveries, and the long wait can turn out into a nightmare of frustrations to your buyers when they can't see what is happening to their precious items in transit. This makes package tracking capabilities a critical factor to consider when deciding on the best international shipping services.
- Shipping Rates: Finding a cheap option to send packages overseas can be a game-changer for your bottom line.You need to know and compare the types of rates and discounts offered by various international shipping couriers. Make sure to strike a balance between shipping rates and other factors, as the cheapest options may not have the same speed or customer services as the pricier ones.
- Remote area delivery: International shipping means that you are sending packages to buyers in different countries, and they may not be located near big cities. You need to know whether your carrier delivers to remote, rural areas to the various destinations where you want to ship. If they partner with a third party carrier to handle last-mile deliveries in rural areas, you need to know how that affects the quality of service and package tracking capabilities so that you don't end up with dissatisfied customers.
- Customer Service: Customer support cannot be left out of the equation when choosing a company to handle your worldwide deliveries. If your courier is unresponsive or is otherwise unhelpful it can not only be frustrating for you but also for your customer and could even leave them with a negative impression of your business post-purchase.
10 Best International Shipping Companies
Here is a rundown of the best international shipping companies to consider depending on the needs and location of your customers.
DHL is a top international shipping company that strikes a delicate balance between fast and cheap international shipping services. It is regarded as one of the best international shipping companies with an extensive logistical network to get your shipments to hundreds of different countries across the world overnight.
DHL is best for...
- They handle small parcel express delivery worldwide
- When your shipments fall under dangerous goods that require special handling and documentation, DHL is a strong contender
- Options like road & rail freight, as well as air & ocean international standard shipping
- Expedited air shipping options
- Remote area deliveries
However, DHL doesn't deliver domestically within the US, and they don't ship live animals.
FedEx is among the largest and most competitive international shipping companies. This may be your go-to carrier when you need to ship between the US and another country
FedEx is best for:
- Delicate and fragile international shipments
- Climate-controlled shipping services for temperature-sensitive and perishable products
- Faster shipping times, such as overnight and two-day international delivery services at affordable prices
- Priority and economy freight shipping options for LTL shipping
- Pallet-level tracking that maintains visibility for each pallet in your shipment
- Unlimited total shipment weight, except for skids above 2,200 lbs which require special approval.
- Customer service
- Saturday deliveries
3. DB Schenker
DB Schenker is one of the largest international companies with its headquarters in Germany and over 2000 locations worldwide. This international courier offers land, air ocean freight and parcel delivery services, and is an excellent option for all your shipping needs within Europe or freight shipping internationally.
DB Schenker is best for:
- Parcel services throughout Europe
- Less than load (LTL) shipping services across 720 branches throughout Europe
- Fastest international ground freight shipping with fixed delivery time options
- Worldwide shipping through ocean freight and air freight shipping
- Cheapest international shipping through economy air freight shipping
- Seamless international package tracking and fixed transit times
- Shipping solutions for perishable food beverage products
While DB Shenker is a great option when shipping air or ocean freight, it is not a great option for LTL and parcel services outside of Europe, and you may need to find another international courier for these services if your target market is not in Europe.
5. R+ \L Carriers
This company is excellent for both full truckload (FTL) and LTL shipping, operating a fleet of about 13,00 tractor-trailers. R + L also provides air and ocean international shipping.
R+L Carriers is best for:
- High-value or high-risk shipments
- Shipments that need temperature control
- LTL shipments between the US and Mexico
- Fast international freight shipments through expedited shipping options such as R+L Business Critical Guaranteed AM, R+L Business Critical Weekend Express and R+L Business Critical Guaranteed Hourly Window.
Although R+L Carriers is excellent for sensitive international freight shipments, they don’t offer small parcel shipping services.
UPS shouldn't fly under your radar. Apart from being a household name within the US for its fantastic domestic services, this international courier has a vast logistic network in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, and is versatile enough to handle almost all types of shipping needs.
UPS is best for:
- Shipping live, domesticated animals
- Carrying hazardous goods
- Delivering all parcel packages within five days of receiving them
- Overnight and two-day delivery options for rush services at an additional cost
- Ocean and air freight shipments worldwide
- Expedited ground freight services for shipments from the US to Mexico
- Website tools to help you fill customs paperwork and schedule shipments
- Advanced tracking capabilities
6. YRC Freight
If you want to send large shipments internationally or domestically within North America, YRC Freight is a top competitive option to consider.YRC Freight if excellent for LTL shipping, but their freight services are limited to within North America.
YRC Freight is best for:
- Two-day and overnight deliveries
- Temperature-controlled shipments
- Best international rates for freight shipments to Canada or Mexico from the US
- Expedited air freight options for on-time critical shipments
- No size or weight restrictions, making it good for large shipments
Based in Mumbai, DTDC has an extensive network and extends its shipping services to over 240 countries worldwide. If you are looking for the best international courier to cater to your customers in India, you won't go wrong with DTDC.
DTDC is best for:
- Prompt mail and package delivery services across India
8. Blue Dart
Based in Chennai, this international courier company extends its services to over 220 countries across the world and has channels across 33,739 areas. It is famous for both domestic and international shipping services across Asia.
Blue Dart is best for:
- Transporting electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, gems and jewelry, auto parts and apparel
- Shipping in Asia
Based in Europe, PostNLoffers its international courier services in countries like the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and the UK. If you want to offer your customers in the Eurozone a streamlined shipping experience, PostNL may be one of the go-to shipping couriers.
PostNL is best for:
- Small packages, envelope-sized mail, and eCommerce
- Shipping between European countries
10. Royal Mail
Royal Mail is an international shipping company owned by the UK government. Founded in 1516, Royal Mail is regarded as one of the safest and most trusted international carriers as it offers excellent, transparent international courier services.
Royal Mail is best for:
- Shipping in the UK
- Daily deliveries, aside from Sundays and Bank Holidays
Compare Your International Shipping Services with Easyship
As you can see, there is quite a lot to consider when choosing the right international courier to handle your worldwide package deliveries. It can be quite a challenge to look through all the factors and make an informed decision — or series of decisions if you mix and match services.
Easyship provides shipping tools to help you search for international shipping companies, making your decision hassle-free.
- Courier comparison tool: With our courier comparison tool you can compare different services offered by top-rated international shipping companies. Compare and contrast features like weekend deliveries, tracking, weight limit, delivery time frames, surcharges, insurance, among other services all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
- Shipping rate calculator: Our shipping calculator helps you estimate shipping rates and times from different couriers. With our rates at checkout feature, you can upload your product catalogs and set up “shipping rules” so our shipping software remembers your courier preferences by destination.
Sign up for a free Easyship account today to connect with our global network of over 250 shipping solutions
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