5 Ways to Cut International Shipping Costs

5 Ways to Cut International Shipping CostsInternational shipping can be quite expensive, especially if you want your shipment to be delivered fast. Luckily, there are ways to save money on international shipping and prevent a dent in your budget. Here are a few tips on cutting international shipping costs.

Keep in Mind that the Size and Weight of Your Shipment Matter

The cost of international shipping generally depends on the size and weight of a package; the larger or heavier it is, the more money you’ll have to pay to get it delivered overseas. Most carriers charge small but heavy packages by gross weight (i. e. the actual weight of the package: contents, packaging, and all), whereas large but lightweight packages are charged by dimensional weight, which is calculated according to a special formula based on the height, width and length of the package.

The key to saving money on international shipping is to make sure that the box is just the right size for the items you want to ship. If the box is too big, it will be more expensive to ship. Besides, you will spend more money on filler materials. Small and durable items can be shipped in padded envelopes instead of boxes, which also lowers the shipping cost. Finally, you should compare rates using a shipping calculator and consider flat rate shipping, which might turn out cheaper.

Compare Rates from Different Carriers

Some people get so used to working with one shipping carrier that they forget that alternatives exist. But if you really need to save money, you should consider all your options and choose the best one. Again, a shipping calculator will come to the rescue. Use it to compare shipping rates from different carriers and make an informed decision.


When it comes to international shipping, fast is almost never synonymous with cheap. Ground delivery is almost always cheaper than air delivery, and overnight delivery is more expensive than regular delivery. In addition, many carriers apply surcharges for weekend delivery. If you want to save money on shipping, you need to decide what’s more important to you, the cost of delivery or its speed. There is no need to pay more for express delivery when the recipient can wait.

Cut Down on Additional Services

Additional services, such as tracking and insurance, contribute to shipping rates. These services are important because they allow to track the location of an international shipment and ensure that the relevant party is compensated in case the shipment gets damaged or lost in transit, so most people prefer to pay a little more in exchange for a sense of security.

However, if you’re willing to sacrifice this sense of security in order to ship your package a little cheaper, go for it, although we won’t recommend shipping expensive items without insuring them. Purchasing a third-party insurance might be a good compromise in this case; it may turn out cheaper than the insurance offered by the shipping carrier.

Get Your Holiday Shipping Figured Out in Advance

Many carriers increase their rates during the winter holiday season, when a lot of people shop online and mail presents to their friends and relatives. Some carriers apply holiday surcharges only to extra large packages, while others temporarily increase all their shipping rates. This increase is understandable, because the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest time of the year for carriers, but this doesn’t mean that their customers are happy with it.

If you’re on a tight budget and want to cut shipping costs, don’t postpone holiday shopping and mailing presents until the last minute. It is better to mail presents in advance and ask the recipients not to open them until Christmas; this way, you can reduce shipping costs and make sure that the presents don’t arrive late. In addition, some mail carriers don’t increase their rates during the holiday season, so you may want to look into that.