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Sending packages overseas: 4 tips for American expats

Being an expat comes with a fair share of challenges, and homesickness is one of the toughest ones. Being apart from your friends and family is heart-breaking for everyone, and it leads to looking for various ways to connect.

Sending care packages is one of the options. But since international shipping raises many questions, some fear using it as a way to connect. Here you’ll find 4 tips on how to send packages overseas easier, safer, and what you should be aware of when.

1. Choose shipping company wisely

It can be tough for expats to decide on a shipping service reliability, especially when the US market is crowded with different shipping carriers. However, there are some simple ways to decide whether the shipper is trustworthy or a scammer.

The easiest way to do it is by reading online reviews. The feedback of other clients best describes how the business operates and gives you a picture of a company. Google my BusinessorFacebookare the perfect places to look for reviews. And if there are no reviews or only negative ones, better go with another shipping company.

Another way to check out a carrier is by asking about its shipping license. Each reputable shipping company must have one. If the carrier struggles to answer once asked about it, then probably you’ve just met a scammer. Dealing with such a shipping carrier puts you at the risk of losing both your package and your money.

2. Do not overpay

Paying too much for shipping services is the thing you need to avoid the most. However, not everyone knows how much international shipping should cost in the first place.

To get an understanding of the costs, simply use shipping price comparison sites. They will give you the estimated costs from major shipping carriers. Once you do that, check out less popular shipping companies and request price quotes for your shipment. This way you’ll have the full picture of shipping prices in the market.

PRO TIP: when you ship overseas, it’s always better to go with a shipper operating on specific destinations than the ones shipping to every part of the world. For example, if you’re shipping to Poland from Chicago, choose the shipping company specialising in this exact route. This way you might get more quality services at better rates and have your parcels delivered quicker.

3. Take care of package insurance

Shipping internationally is a complex procedure and unexpected things sometimes happen even for the best shippers. Packages can get stolen, lost, or damaged. Having your parcels insured is the most effective way to keep you calm in case something goes wrong.

However, not everyone wants to pay extra money for package insurance. If that’s the case, there is still a way out. Many international carriers based in the USA offer free parcel protection as a benefit for their clients. Usually, it covers up to $100 worth of goods and is just enough for smaller parcels.

4. Label package correctly

When you send a package from one country to another, incorrect labeling is a straight way to delivery failure. Make sure the package you send has all the required information on it. As long as you know what to write on the box, you can get it where it needs to go.

Put complete and correct names and addresses of both you and the receiver. It should be written clearly in capital letters. Also, be sure there’s no incorrect or misleading information on the parcel. You may also want to mark the package “Fragile” if the goods inside are breakable.

The bottom line

The last thing to (not) worry about when sending packages from the USA overseas is customs clearance. Each country has its own rules and regulations on receiving cross-border parcels. And this is the information your chosen shipping company should provide you with. Have all this in mind and you’ll be successfully sending packages from the States to your homeland.

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