Shipping Luxury Goods Internationally? Here Are the 4 Biggest Challenges You Will Face

Shipping luxury items across the globe comes with an increasing number of challenges that could stop a valuable item in its tracks. Here are 4 common challenges you will likely face when shipping luxury items internationally – as well as steps to avoid them. 

From high-end fashion samples to transformative technology prototypes, global brands rely on the cross-border transport of luxury goods and consignments. But unless you and your team have the necessary experience, you may be better off avoiding the challenge entirely. Setting up a successful shipment is all about planning and outlining the shipment’s entire lifecycle. These steps are crucial to ensuring your shipments are delivered on time, every time.

That’s why today we’re going to provide some foundational knowledge around the most common international shipping challenges. Let’s dig in.

Challenge #1 – Completing proper shipping documentation (for each country)

Every country has different Customs regulations and import laws, which can stop your shipment from arriving at its destination on time – or at all.

When your goods get stuck in Customs, you’ll likely have to provide additional documentation or correct existing declaration information. To keep your shipment from getting stuck in the first place, you need to figure out what documentation and requirements you need completed. Here are some commonly required documents that are applicable for most shipments.

Commercial Invoices 

A commercial invoice is a detailed document used for international shipments to determine the true value of the exported goods. The information provided in the invoice – shipment description, country of origin and value of item – determines how much taxes that Customs will charge the individual or company shipping the item. Incomplete invoices could have an adverse impact on the delivery schedule of a shipment, so it’s vital to include accurate information in these forms from the very beginning.

ATA Carnet Documentation

Your luxury shipping specialist can also help you apply for and produce an ATA Carnet, or a “passport of goods,” which enables a duty and tax reduction for transporting of goods that return to their country of export within one year. ATA stands for Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission and is the name for a treaty between more than 80+ countries allowing for its use. Using this document for applicable shipments can help you save a significant amount of money.

Challenge #2 – Ensuring thorough shipment protection

There’s no way around it: valuable items need more safeguards during international shipping and domestic shipping. The good news is you have more options than ever to keep your luxury goods safe throughout the entire shipping journey. Nowadays, you can take advantage of customized packaging solutions, Pelican cases, RFID labeling, Tamper Evident Seals, GPS tracking, and even armed guards.

GPS Tracking

As disruption continues to rock the air transport and travel industries, even travelers don’t trust airlines with their luggage. Why should you – especially when your goods are priceless? State-of-the-art GPS tracking empowers you to keep an eye on your shipments every step of the way. Tracking services from the right luxury shipping specialist will even provide milestone updates every step of the journey.

Professional Packing

Luxury shipping specialists can also help you navigate complex packing requirements which can impact the speed of service. Correctly packing your goods protects fragile shipments from damage during their lifecycle.

Challenge #3 – Planning shipments far enough in advance 

It’s difficult to take advantage of the security offered by GPS tracking units and other insurance measures if you don’t have the time to plan for and implement them. In fact, the more time you have, the better – especially because the nature of a luxury item itself often dictates how much time you need to ensure successful shipping.

Shipping Permits, Licenses & Supporting Documentation

Exotic materials including animal skins and furs often need a CITES permit before they arrive at their destination. There’s also the Textile and Wool Acts, which further complicates the shipping of those special and exotic materials in the United States. Even shipping footwear could take more time than anticipated.

Countless certificates and permits may stand in the way of your luxury goods and their timely arrival. Some of them even require tests. For example, shipments of nonprescription sunglasses in the United States must receive a “Drop Ball Test” certificate, which confirms the safety and durability of the lens for impact resistance. As a consumer, manufacturer, or seller, it is your responsibility to test a batch of lenses before shipping them.

Challenge #4 – End-To-End Logistics

The shipping journey isn’t over once your shipment arrives in another country, even after all the risk and challenge involved in getting your goods through Customs. It still needs to make it to the recipient. Ultimately, this may not happen without help from the right people.

If you aren’t working with an experienced luxury shipping specialist, local destination challenges can be especially hard to overcome. A high-quality luxury shipping specialist can match you with vetted partners prepared to meet your specific needs. This includes finding an experienced courier who will never leave your luxury goods’ side.

Final Thoughts

Every company needs a time-critical logistics specialist to help navigate through these challenges. Working with logistics experts will remove a significant portion of the risk and take a ton of weight off your shoulders.

Need to transport high-value consignments internationally? The global team at Worldnet can help. Get in touch today and tell us about your shipping needs.