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6 Common Border Shipping Issues And How To Avoid Them


Sumana Sarmah

Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

June 28, 2022

4 min read

Common types of cross-border shipping issues

“The beginning is the most important part of the work”. – Plato 

While most Indian businesses desire to take their business to global shores and make soaring sales, it’s more than just a leap of faith standing in the way. It is still a struggle for Indian exporters to sell their products overseas due to shipping obstacles. 

Here are some of the most common types of international shipping issues businesses face in exporting their products overseas:- 

Common International Shipping Issues:

1. Container Shortages and Congested Ports

Congestion in Shipping Ports occurs mostly due to loops in port management – such as lack of technical knowledge, poor maintenance of port interiors, outdated navigation systems and most importantly, container shortages as opposed to high cargo volumes. 

2. Cumbersome Documentation 

Export comes with a lot of documentation baggage for each step of the shipping process, be it during pre-booking, booking, post-booking or shipment discharge. The initial set of documents required are almost always the same for all shipments – bill of lading, commercial invoice and shipping bill, although there are additional documents required for sensitive categories such as pharmaceuticals and personal care, which require submission of health and safety certifications. 

3. Regulatory Barriers

Shipping across foreign borders isn’t as friendly as it might seem to be due to a potential cliffhanger in the shipping process – regulatory compliances. Compliances such as safety and quality standards, authentic certifications, secured packaging, detailed labelling and testing adds to both the exporter’s cost as well as time. 

4. Risk Of Uncertainties

The risk of exporting goods internationally comes with a lot of risks – both political as well as commercial. For example, your goods might not cross destination borders due to political disputes such as government instability, civil disturbances and war breakouts. Similarly, there are various disturbances on the commercial end – dispute on quality of product, retracted orders from buyer’s end before delivery, and damage to product during transit

5. Competition In Global Marketing 

Export of products internationally is highly competitive than domestic shipping. This is owing to competition on shipping prices from various courier services, quality of products, costs incurred for integration on ecommerce websites, and lower brand visibility in the congestive market. 

6. Faceless Presence Globally

Indian goods are often sold in global markets under foreign brand names due to low consumer exposure and unavailability of a branded experience while shipping to countries across borders. 

How To Meet International Shipping Challenges 

Most often due to the former mentioned shipping challenges, brands let go of the idea to expand their business to broader geographies. But luckily for them, there are shipping aggregators in place that help meet these challenges and offer features that help for a seamless shipping experience. Let’s see how – 

1. Minimal Documentation

While lengthy and heavy documentation takes up all of the efforts involved in shipping, shipping partners ensure a minimum documentation for export with the need for just an Import Export Code (IEC code) and Authorised Dealer Code (AD code) before shipping. 

2. Insured Shipments

In spite of risks involved in shipping overseas and a constant fear of the goods getting stolen, lost or damaged, shipping cannot wait or cease. But the offering of insurance for every cargo shipped helps secure packages and prevent complete loss. 

3. Branded Experiences For Broader Visibility

Unlike usual shipping partners, leading shipping companies such as Shiprocket X provide a branded tracking page with brand logo, brand name, support details & flash offers running from the website for full brand visibility even during tracking a parcel. This keeps the buyer engaged and intrigued for further purchases. 

Conclusion: Reliable Courier Partner For Seamless Cross-Border Shipping

From frequent rate adjustments to tariff escalations, there’s always some issue that keeps a business from maintaining a consistent shipping experience. This is where a reliable, low-cost shipping solution comes into play. Affordable shipping partners such as Shiprocket X require only an IEC code and AD code to take your cargo beyond borders, with every package insured and multiple-courier tracking option from one place. Moreover, such courier partners also help provide a branded tracking page as well as enable ecommerce website integration for small and medium sized businesses to stay atop their consumer’s mind. 


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    IEC: A unique 10-digit alpha numeric code required to start import or export from IndiaAD code: A 14-digit numerical code mandatory for exports customs clearanceGST: GSTIN number can be obtained from the official GST portal https://www.gst.gov.in/