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Even the smallest of shipping/freight mistakes can REALLY cause major issues for you in your Ecommerce business.

Yep, of all the things… shipping/freight?!?!

And trust me you DON’T want shipping headaches.

So, I wanted to go over the finer points of international freight and shipping with you today and how it applies to GDW.

Speaking of International Freight, did you know that we can help you with the shipping/International Freight process. Again, this part of importing can really seem complicated and the smallest of errors can hold up your products, etc. You don’t want that… We don’t want that for you. If you need assistance, please email us at sales@gdwinc.com and we’d be glad to help you with your freight/shipping needs.

If you’re new to shipping internationally, you may not be familiar with certain terms or processes needed to have a smooth international shipment.

Freight is broken up into multiple areas and normally handled by several companies (unless door to door option is chosen).

1. International FreightThe actual charges for the freight carriers part
2. Inland Freightdelivery of goods to/from the port and to/from warehouse locations (i.e. from your Manufacturer in China to the port, warehouse or airport where it will be loaded for shipping)
3. Customs Clearancefiling of government paperwork
4. Dutytaxes based upon purchase value of goods
5. Warehouse – a place that goods get sent until picked up for inland freight
6. Othervarious charges for warfage, paperwork fees, etc.

So, as you can see, lots of moving pieces and parts… Could be a headache if ANY one of multiples of those pieces gets screwed up.

Now, let’s look at some pros and cons of each type of freight.

DHL, FedEx, UPS Door to door shipping: This is the fastest and most expensive form of shipping available.

++ Ships in days
++ Customs and other portions of freight is handled by carrier and billed to you
++ Door to Door shipping


Air Freight: Major airlines and many freight carriers…

Pro: Ships in days

– Customs clearance needs to be handled by third party most of the time
– Requires drop off and pickup to and from warehouse at the airports (not door to door)

LTC/LTL Ocean Freight (Less Than Container Load/Less Than Truck Load):

Pro: Pallets of cartons of product shipped for less cost than either of the above options

– Customs clearance needs to be handled by third party customs broker
– Requires drop off and pickup to and from warehouse at the airports (not door to door)
– Takes longer to ship items

Container Freight:

Pro: least cost shipping method.


– Customs clearance needs to be handled by third party custom broker
– Requires drop off and pickup to and from warehouse at the airports (not door to door)
– Takes longer to ship items

We receive hundreds of shipments a week and most of the time everything goes very very well, but when it does not, it is because someone did not follow or allow for all the pieces.


But, if you’re going to take the responsibility of shipping your own goods you should insure you do at least a couple of things…

Insure you have all of your documents done and ready ahead of time, send GDW copies of all of the goods (if you’re shipping them to GDW)

Properly address your packages (see our guide at http://gdwinc.com/freight-forwarding-importing-exporting-services/customs-duty-fees-customs-brokers-ein/)

Do not RELY on your Chinese or other foreign suppliers to do any of this for you as they only care about it leaving their country and don’t really care about getting it into the US.

Most of the time customs clearance in the US is not included. Hire a professional shipping company to handle both sides of the shipment so that you lessen the possibilities of a problem.

In closing…

As you can see there are A LOT of moving parts and options when it comes to shipping.

Ultimately, it is your business and you need to decide which shipping option(s) are best for you. But either way, you don’t have to do it alone and GDW is here to help you out if you have any questions.

We’d love to hear from you and what questions you might have about shipping. Please post them in the GDW Ecommerce Facebook here, as it helps the community. If you have the question, I’m sure others do as well.

Also, we go into GREATER detail about shipping on our Super Sourcing Experiences and our Mastery Training Programs. Would love to have you join us in/on those!

Alan Basinger

Alan Basinger

Alan Basinger is CEO of GDW Inc and a 15 year eCommerce veteran. As well as a serial entrepreneur, sought after mentor, coach, and speaker. Alan also is a serial giver and regularly gives his time to others to help them in his quest to help 1000 people get free by running their own profitable eCommerce businesses. You can contact him at support@gdwinc.com.
Alan Basinger

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