What is the cheapest way to ship goods internationally?

What is the cheapest way to ship goods internationally?

You need to ship items overseas but also to stay on the budget? It can be very costly, and it is not time to make any mistakes. Research the cheapest way to ship goods internationally and keep in mind that the price is not always the most important thing. If the service of the company is terrible, then your products are not safe. In that case, the price is irrelevant.

The cheapest way to ship goods internationally

The shipping costs depend on many different factors. It is not just one you should take into consideration. Money is a significant factor, especially if you own a business and you want to save money but also to have satisfied customers. These factors are:

  • Type of shipping
  • Freight forwarder
  • Taxes and duties
  • Insurance
  • Terminal charges
  • E-commerce packaging
  • Delivery to the customer’s address
  • CFS charges

Air shipping

The air freight is the fastest way to ship goods internationally, but the price is affordable only for smaller packages. It can be costly for large and heavy goods. Also, you need to figure out how to get goods to the airport. If you are searching for the cheapest way to ship goods internationally, then you should probably avoid this option, unless time is crucial. If cargo is delivered expediently via air or sea, you should keep in mind that it is going to cost you more. Quickly means expensive in “shipping world.”

Sea shipping

The most common type for international shipping is sea freight, and also it is the cheapest way to ship goods internationally. It takes time (usually a couple of weeks) to arrive, but you can send large and heavy items. Goods will be loaded into shipping containers, and you can choose the type of containers if needed. It is going to costs you, of course, but much less than air freight.


The easiest way is to go directly to a courier company. But it is only possible for smaller goods such as gifts and personal items. It is not a perfect solution for businesses and shipping more items. It is a door to door service, but as you can see, it has disadvantages because of the number of goods and often it takes more time to arrive.

Tips for shipping goods overseas at an affordable price

It is not vital to choose the type of shipping. But also you need to take other steps to make it even more affordable (for you and your customers too). These tips will also help you avoid risks and ship the items safe and without delays. To deliver your goods to another country cheap, get all the right info and needed help.

  • If you are less familiar with the process, work with a customs broker who will help you. He/she have experience and knowledge of shipping goods; you don’t. Also, a customs broker will help you stay in budget and avoid unnecessary charges.
  • Know the numbers and other information such as duties, regulations and restrictions, VAT, shipping costs, etc. Also, shipping costs are related to speed od delivery, and often speed is not customers priority. Waiting a few days will save your money and customer’s money too.
  • Import and export restrictions are common, and it depends on where you will ship your goods. When choosing the cheapest way to ship goods internationally, also search which goods are forbidden and save your money and time.
  • Don’t offer flat-rate shipping to your customers because you will pay the difference, and it is not providing your customer with the best deal. Customer should choose between slow delivery and low cost and fast delivery which will be more expensive.
  • Stick to the plan and the budget you set before. Many costs are involved in the shipping. You also must know how much to charge your customers for the shipping.
  • Choose the best boxes and the right size to reduce wastage of space. More weight and bigger size mean more money.


To have a clear picture of shipping cost, get everything on paper. The key is to pick the best shipping option, but that depends on the type and amount of goods you are shipping.

  • Courier is perfect for small and personal items (or gifts). Not ideal for shipping goods internationally, especially not more prominent goods.
  • Airfreight is perfect for goods under 100kg and if the customer wants the fast delivery. It is not the cheapest way to ship goods internationally, but it is the fastest.
  • Sea freight is perfect for large and heavy items, and also it is the most affordable option. This way, you can ship the entire shipping container at lower costs. The only disadvantage is the delivery time.

If you ship items internationally often, then you should have a collaborative relationship with your forwarder and 4PL. It is not the cheapest way to ship goods internationally but will help you to get better deals and prices for shipping. And also, another way to cut shipping costs is to get fulfillment warehouses in the destination country. For bigger businesses, it is recommended to adopt an international outlook and establish bases from the place you are shipping goods.

Written by Betty White

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