How to Ship Internationally [From India to USA]

How to Ship Internationally (India)

The eCommerce domain in the USA is a bit different than India in a considerable manner. Be it the percentage of the population involved in online buying or the market value of the USA based eCommerce retailers or the government norms related to Import/Export or the taxation system involved in eCommerce, etc. speaking only through statistical terms, the eCommerce realm of USA is ahead of that of India. But having quoted this, it is also a noted fact that accounting to Indian eCommerce’s CAGR, it is sure to surpass that of US soon and become the global leader of eCommerce marketplace.

Shipping of products to foreign countries is done majorly to append a value to the goods. Following are the key players involved while considering shipping products internationally, eg. from India to the USA:

  • Shipper: a person/company dealing with shipment at supplier end.
  • Consignee: a person/company dealing with shipment at receiving end.
  • Freight Forwarder: the logistics provider (for road, ship or air transportation).
  • Shipping Line: company carrying product related cargo.


Shipping in the local domain, within the territory of domestic geographical boundaries, is easier. Things get a bit complex in operations when international trade and shipping is involved. Each country has its own norms and protocol to follow for international trade. Same applies to
eCommerce domain. And when it comes to the USA, tough things get tougher.

Different Steps/Stages for Shipping Products Internationally

  1. Export haulage
  2. Origin handling
  3. Export customs clearance
  4. Ocean freight
  5. Import customs clearance
  6. Destination handling
  7. Import haulage


Of these, the Export & Import customs clearance are documentation phases while rest are physical transportation phases of the shipping process.

Step 1. Export haulage:

The first step involves the movement of the products’ cargo from shipper’s to forwarder’s premises. Products usually get transported by road or railways or a combination of both.

Step 2. Export customs clearance:

It is a type of official regulatory formality involving submission of valid and required documents to the concerned authorities.

Step 3.Origin handling:

This step covers all physical handling, inspection, and loading of the cargo; at the supplier End’s warehouse. This is coordinated by the freight forwarder.

Step 4. Ocean freight: 

To meet the required timeline for shipments, freight forwarder schedules shipping line for transportation. This step not only covers costs involved in shipping from port-to-port but also the levied surcharges like currency adjustment factor, exchange rates, etc.

Step 5. Import customs clearance:

This process can begin even before the arrival of cargo at the US. This clearance is performed by customs house broker appointed by the consignee.

Step 6. Destination handling:

This involves transportation and unloading of cargo from port to destination warehouse.

Step 7. Import haulage:

The final step of actual delivery of the product to the consignee and ultimately to the consumer.

eCommerce retailers look forward to foreign investments in other countries like the US to expand their market influence for overseas sales.

Drop-ship vendors, i.e., wholesale suppliers or retailers who stock their own inventory, are another form of tool that may be used to transfer customer orders and shipment details for direct delivery of ordered product(s). Another and last aspect of overseas shipment is the selection of popular, appropriate and business friendly payment gateway for all credit related transactions. After all, eCommerce is a business and like every other business entity, everything funnels to money making out of profits. The USA is a promising marketplace for Indian eCommerce retailers and as long as norms and regulations are complied with, doing business there is unproblematic.



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