Domestic and international shipping: which one works for your business?

If your company intends to ship worldwide, there's a good probability it's currently sending to domestic destinations. Once your organisation has a national presence, it is always a smart idea to extend it. However, before shipping abroad, it's critical to grasp the distinction between domestic and international shipping.

What is the difference between domestic and international shipping?
Domestic shipping refers to any shipping method that moves goods or documents from point A to point B within a country's borders. Within the country, most freight forwarding businesses offer two to three-day delivery options. Same-day delivery is feasible in some cases and to specific regions. 

In the event of international shipping, however, such a service is not available. Domestic shipping is usually unaffected by delays, however, international delivery can be affected by customs inspection, weather conditions, and other factors.

Documentation requirements also differ between domestic and international shipping. For instance, when delivering domestically a shipping label is required. On the other hand, commercial invoice packaging, list for shipment, certificate of origin, shipper's letter of instruction, bills of lading, and other documents are required when exporting overseas. In addition to this, documentation requirements may also differ depending on the region and the items as well. 

It is clear that the process of shipping internationally is a complex one. In domestic shipping, the cargo merely travels from its origin to its final destination. In international shipping, the package travels from the origin to the country's customs office, then to the destination country's customs office, and finally to the final destination. 

International shipment first arrives at customs departments as they are in charge of collecting import and export taxes and charges. The packages must also adhere to both nations' customs rules and procedures (importing and exporting). This makes international shipping a difficult task because the requirements vary by country and might be incomprehensible to ordinary people.

Which delivery method is best for my company?
The answer is mostly determined by the type of business you've started. If you run an online clothes business, for example, using international shipping means you'll be able to serve consumers from all over the world. On the other hand, If you've just started a small family-run catering business, you might not want to think about international shipment just yet. 

To get you started, we will highlight some of the main advantages and disadvantages of domestic and international shipping so that you can begin to think about which delivery method you would like to implement for your business:

Domestic Shipping

  • Better security
Your items are less likely to be lost if you ship from your own country. If this is the case, recovering it will be far less of a problem than losing your belongings overseas. 

  • Fast shipping
As mentioned previously, if shipping occurs within the country your business operates, you are able to offer your customers same-day shipping, a feature that is greatly appreciated by a majority of online customers. Additionally, fewer delays could also boost customer relationships as they will perceive your business to be more professional. 


  • No other source of revenue 
If you exclusively ship domestically, you will be missing out on a larger audience outside of the United States, leaving you with no other revenue stream.

  • Delays due to changes in working conditions
Even though domestic shopping delays aren't as severe as those caused by overseas shipments, they can nonetheless happen. Staff shortages or other national crises, such as the Coronavirus pandemic, are only a few of the circumstances that could lead to this.

International Shipping

  • Reach a wider audience 
International shipping means that your business will be able to navigate through a much larger community. Boosting your visibility to other demographics could potentially translate to more profits. 

  • Quick shipping software to process foreign purchases
Shipping software solutions take practically all of the hassle out of the process. You can print customs forms that are entirely and precisely filled out, as well as any supplementary paperwork and harmonised codes for each shipment. You can even fill in the sort of item being sold automatically as well. 

  • Trying to figure out shipping prices and delivery schedules for international customers can be difficult and time-consuming 
every country will operate differently and it will be an arduous task to familiarise yourself with how customs and shipping work in the countries you wish to deliver to. 

  • Strict regulations in different countries 
It's important to remember that each country has a list of products that are prohibited from being exported or imported. In some cases, products can only be sent under specific circumstances. Lithium-ion batteries and other combustible goods are subject to strict regulations.

Persona Finance can offer expert advice and provide your business with essential remote accounting services. For more information on our services, please contact Persona Finance at [].