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International Shipping Hidden Costs In eCommerce

Puneet Bhalla

Associate Director - Marketing @ Shiprocket

December 1, 2017

4 min read

As eCommerce has moved beyond geographical boundaries, a significant part of it requires shipping to international locations. However, international shipping may come with some hitch. There may be instances when you may need to pay extra due to hidden fees and costs. Therefore, we recommend it is always beneficial to have an idea of these hidden fees and come up with strategies to reduce them.

Like any business, hidden fees hinder the normal revenue growth of an eCommerce business by adding to undue expenditure. As international shipping requires delivery to different nations altogether, hidden fees may originate from a number of factors, such as handling taxes, government taxes, fuel surcharges, courier fees etc. 

Here are some of the hidden charges that can impact your international eCommerce shipping fees:

Couriers play a major role when it comes to international shipping. Express courier services cost a bit more than the normal postal or courier services. In the case of postal couriers, the prices are nominal irrespective of the dimensions of the parcel. However, for express couriers, the price is based on the dimensions of the parcel that you intend to deliver. So, when you are sending a parcel for delivery, it is prudent to choose the right kind of courier service. This is how you can reduce hidden fees and save on undue expenditure and costs.

International shipping also involves significant shipping related charges. The pickup location, the delivery destination and the delivery hours are the major factors that determine shipping charges. In the case of express international shipping, the fuel surcharge is an additional fee that is included in the billing fees. Moreover, the fuel surcharges may also change on a weekly or monthly basis based on the country where you are shipping. These kinds of fees are referred to as remote area surcharge or extended area surcharge.

They are based on the type of items that you are delivering, and its size and dimensions. In most cases, if the dimensions of your parcel do not fit the standard shipping criteria, additional fees will be charged. Moreover, there are some items that may be termed as dangerous. In that case, you would need to pay an extra fee to deliver them. The fees are basically calculated as a percentage of the shipping costs. For example, wooden or metallic items or cylindrical parcels incur more fees.

Government Regulations And Taxes 

These play a significant role in international shipping. Moreover, the rate of taxes depends on the tax structure of the country where you are sending the shipment. In the case of Delivery Duty Unpaid shipments, the recipient pays the taxes and the duties. However, to Deliver Duty Paid, the sender will have to pay the taxes and duties.

Insurance Fees

Additional insurance fees may be charged depending on the location where you are delivering the shipment.

To lessen the burden of all these, you need to come up with a proper business plan and take all these factors into consideration. In that case, you can allocate funds for all these factors beforehand and won’t get any nasty surprises.

Hack To Seamless International eCommerce Shipping – Shiprocket

Shiprocket offers seamless shipping across 220+ countries and union territories in the world. You can deliver your products seamlessly with multiple courier partners like DHL Packet plus, DHL Paket International, etc. 

Furthermore, we do not charge any additional fees for shipping. The prices are displayed for the shipment on our rate calculator and you can plan your shipments accordingly. 

To make shipping convenient for you, we provide constant support via email & call so you can settle all your queries at the earliest. 

Problems like additional shipping charges and hidden costs come into play when you deal individually with one party. But when you collaborate with shipping solutions, these problems are lesser.


Learn more about these hidden charges and be more cautious when carrying out shipments. Opt for shipping solutions like Shiprocket to ensure smooth cross-border trade. 

Calculate Your Shipping Costs Now

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