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Step-by-step guide to international shipping from Thailand

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The global e-commerce landscape has undergone a remarkable transformation, primarily fueled by technological advancements and the convenience of digital platforms. This seamless integration of technology with shopping has simplified the buying process and expanded the horizons of international trade, particularly in thriving markets like Thailand. 

In fact, Thailand's e-commerce market notably contributed to global growth, marking an 8.7% increase in 2023, as eCommerceDB reports. Statista further predicts a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.48% for this sector, aiming for a market volume of US$21.8 billion by 2028.

This remarkable growth underscores the critical role of international shipping services in today's interconnected world, making it an indispensable component of global business success.

To assist in this venture, we’ve compiled an international shipping guide that offers expert insights and practical tips. This guide will help you navigate the intricacies of cross-border logistics, ensuring your products reach their global destinations efficiently and reliably. 

1. Research the destination country’s regulations

Navigating international shipping guidelines is essential when preparing to send an international parcel. This process involves a detailed understanding of customs duties and tax regulations specific to the destination country. Identifying any restricted or prohibited items is crucial, as each country has its own set of rules. Additionally, researching packaging requirements and labelling standards is vital. 

Proper research and adherence to these guidelines ensure compliance and prevent delays and legal complications. This thorough approach is fundamental for a smooth and successful international shipping experience.

2. Determine international shipping costs

When calculating international shipping costs, several factors come into play. The weight and dimensions of your package are primary determinants, as larger or heavier items typically lead to higher international courier charges. 

The destination's distance and accessibility also significantly impact the cost, with remote or far-off locations generally incurring more expenses. Speed of delivery is another crucial aspect; opting for faster shipping methods will increase the overall cost. 

Additionally, it's essential to account for potential extra expenses like shipping insurance, which safeguards against loss or damage, and tracking services for real-time parcel monitoring. Together, these elements shape the total international shipping cost, necessitating a thorough evaluation for an accurate financial estimate.

3. Prepare comprehensive documentation for shipping 

Complete and accurate shipping documentation is essential in international trade. This preparation ensures smooth customs clearance, thus preventing delays and extra charges. Inadequate or incorrect documentation can lead to significant disruptions, affecting the entire supply chain. Essential international shipping documents include:

  • Commercial invoice: Details the transaction and is used for customs valuation.
  • Packing list: Specifies contents, dimensions, and weight of cargo.
  • Purchase order: Confirms the order details between buyer and seller.
  • Certificate of origin (COO): States the product's country of origin, which is necessary for tariffs.
  • Import/export licence: Obtained by registering with the Thai customs office, permitting businesses in Thailand to legally trade certain regulated goods globally.
  • Customs declaration form: Declares the nature of goods for customs assessment.
  • Air waybill: Contract of carriage for air transport, vital for tracking.

Each document is integral to successful worldwide shipping from Thailand, ensuring that every aspect of international trade, from customs clearance to cargo tracking, is efficiently managed.

4. Handling customs duties and taxes

For businesses shipping from Thailand, effectively managing customs duties and taxes is critical.

Duties are fees charged on goods entering a country based on their value, type, and other factors. On the other hand, tariffs are specific types of taxes imposed by a government on imported goods, often used to protect local industries. Both duties and tariffs add to the cost of a business’s international shipment. 

Furthermore, the Harmonised System (HS) codes emerge as a pivotal tool. These codes provide a standardised numerical method for classifying goods, which is instrumental in accurately assessing duties and tariffs. By utilising the HS codes, businesses in Thailand can streamline their customs and shipping processes, thereby enhancing efficiency and transparency in their global trade endeavours.

Proactively managing these financial obligations, including timely payment of the correct amounts, is vital for smooth international shipping operations.

5. Proper packaging and labelling

Ensuring the safety and integrity of goods is paramount in international delivery services. For instance, pharmaceuticals require temperature-controlled storage to maintain their efficacy. Similarly, perishable goods, like frozen foods, need cold-chain logistics and airtight or vacuum-sealed packaging to prevent spoilage. 

Equally important is precise and informative labelling. This approach includes hazard symbols for potentially dangerous goods and specific handling instructions to guide handlers, including 'Fragile' or 'This Side Up' labels. 

Following the proper international package shipping practices ensures the maintenance of quality and safety of goods throughout their journey.

6. Choose the right international shipping courier in Thailand

Choosing the right international shipping courier is vital in ensuring efficient worldwide shipping from Thailand, from initial dispatch to last-mile delivery. When assessing international carriers, consider their specific services and how they align with your shipping requirements. 

For instance, DHL Express Thailand’s logistic solutions stand out as a leading option, offering advanced shipping services, including On-Demand Delivery (ODD), MyDHL+, and Track and Trace. 

ODD provides flexible delivery options, such as selecting a delivery date that works best, enhancing customer satisfaction. On the other hand, MyDHL+ streamlines the international shipping process, enabling users to effortlessly create and manage shipments across more than 200 countries and territories. Lastly, our Track and Trace system provides real-time updates, ensuring that both sender and receiver stay informed about their international parcel delivery status. 

Utilise our comprehensive shipping services to unlock your business’s global potential. Open a DHL Express Thailand business account today to elevate your global logistics game.