Everything You Need to Know About International Shipping

To help you know about international shipping, we've covered some of the basic types and services. With luck, these should help you wrap your mind around it.

Everything You Need to Know About International Shipping

Most people aren't very familiar with international shipping. Sure, they know that it exists and that a lot of companies couldn't function without it. But, when it comes to actual services and procedures that go into international shipping, they are stumped. And, seeing that most of those people will use international shipping at least once in their life, either for relocation or business, we feel that we should at least inform you about the basic ins and outs. So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about international shipping.

Basic things to know about international shipping

International shipping is the process of transporting goods via ground, sea, or air to different countries. This can include something as simple as a single 2-hour truck drive over the border in order to relocate. Or it can be a much more complex commercially-driven shipping process that involves complex logistics and multimodal shipping.

Different types of shipping

There are many different ways to classify international shipping. This is why companies, depending on what services they offer, choose the classification that suits them best. For now, we are going to stick with the classification that determines the type of shipping based on transport. With that in mind, we have ground, air, and sea international shipping.


Ground shipping can be further classified to the road and rail. Rail shipping is handled exclusively by trains, while road shipping is handled by a number of varying vehicles. Although, the most common option for international shipping is trucks of various sizes.

Ground shipping tends to be the most common option for international shipping as it is much more flexible than air or sea. Both of those can only go from port to port (be it an airport or seaport). Meanwhile, if a company ships by ground, they can directly ship from city to city and avoid a plethora of paperwork and regulations.


Air shipping is almost entirely done by planes. In some extreme situations, people can use helicopters for shipping. But, compared to planes, this is fairly rare and mostly done within the borders of a single country. The biggest advantage of international air shipping is reliability. Planes don't have to deal with traffic jams or other unforeseen circumstances that land vehicles have to face. So, if it is necessary that your package arrives at a precise time without any risk of delays, air shipping is the best option. The only downside is that, while you can find cheap flights if you are crafty,  when it comes to shipping, air shipping is the most expensive option.


One of the things that people often don't know about international shipping, is that sea shipping is far cheaper than air shipping. The reason for this is that ships require far less fuel per pound shipped then airplanes. Therefore, they are able to ship far larger quantities of items at a reduced price without losing the revenue. In some cases, it can even be cheaper than ground shipping, especially if it cuts the travel time by a substantial margin. When it comes to reliability, sea shipping falls between air and ground. While it is not as reliable as air, it is still far more reliable than the ground. And, once you consider the progress of logistics technology, you will soon see why sea shipping comes at a very close second to air.

Shipping services

Now that we've covered various types of transport, we should mention different shipping services that international shipping companies offer. Unfortunately, we cannot cover them all as there is even service for items that need controlled conditions. So, for now, we are going to stick to the ones that you, as a regular person, are most likely to use.

Door-to-door shipping

Door-to-door shipping is what most international shipping companies are all about. In this shipping procedure, you only need to hand your item to a company representative that will come to your door and let them handle the rest. While this is a comfortable way to ship items, it is often quite expensive. A more cost-effective way is to go to one of the designated points (usually a shipping company building) and have them ship it to a drop-off point that is close to your desired destination. This is the usual way in which people handle international shipping.

Car shipping

For one reason or another, people are often unable to simply drive their cars from one country to another. If this happens to you, you'll need to hire a car shipping company to help you out. This, like most things in international shipping, can be handled in many different ways. One way is to put your car in a container and ship it (this is the usual case when you need to ship a car overseas). Or, you can have a person drive your car from a different country.

International relocation

One of the main reasons why people need to know about international shipping is for relocation. International relocation is often much easier and cost-effective if you don't have to carry all of your items with you. And, even if you hire a company like Four Winds Saudi Arabia, moving can turn out to be quite expensive. In that situation, you simply need to hire a shipping company and organize a shipment. This gives you much more flexibility to relocate, which, as you will learn, is one of the more important factors for having a cost-effective relocation.

A final word regarding shipping insurance

The final thing we are going to mention is shipping insurance. If you plan on shipping something internationally, the shipping company will offer insurance. And the one thing you need to know about international shipping insurance contracts is that you need to be attentive before signing them. You can easily sign a contract that won't cover you properly in case of an accident. So, do yourself a favor, and consider hiring a legal representative to help you decipher any dubious part of your contract. Also, keep in mind that you can always hire an outside insurance agency to help you out.

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