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International Fulfillment – Choosing a 3PL Provider

If your business is looking to expand internationally and you are not sure how to accomplish this, seek assistance from a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider. International fulfillment options with 3PL companies, and their sophisticated technology, brings the world to your fingertips.

Perhaps you are in a small town in the United States and not many people know where the business is located. Your company is still able to send products anywhere on the other side of the globe. 

It may be daunting thinking about how to ship internationally, but with a third-party logistics company, this can be super simple! Learn more about choosing a 3PL provider.

Why Should You Consider a Global Fulfillment Partner?

Using a fulfillment partner for global shipping is just smart business. Unless you are an expert in logistics, your company will most likely spend unnecessary resources trying to accomplish fulfillment. Here is why you should consider working with a 3PL for your global needs. 

Lower Costs

3PL companies tend to have business deals with the main carriers. They usually have a bulk discount that is offered on international shipping, which in turn leads to lower costs. You can piggyback on this relationship that they already have established and take advantage of that discounted rate. 

Another reason costs will be reduced is if a 3PL company has an international distribution center near where you are selling. A big driver of costs is the distance between where the order has taken place, and the distance to which it is being shipped from. If this distance can be lowered, then the cost will be reduced.

Increase Efficiency

On top of all of the shipping cost savings, your operations will be much more efficient. Most customers expect speedy delivery on their orders. If they aren’t guaranteed a fast turnaround time, they may look elsewhere. By using a 3PL company, international orders get fulfilled much faster since inventory and shipping locations are much closer. 

In addition to the speed at which customers receive orders, you are almost guaranteed limited to no errors in shipping. 3PL companies are experts in fulfilling orders, even on the international stage. Customers will end up with fewer returns or mistakes with their orders and ultimately will be much happier.

Inventory Storage

If you attempt to manage inventory within your own organization, you may run into issues down the line. Perhaps your company is scaling up at a tremendous rate, you could run out of storage space for your products. It is much easier to allow a 3PL company to store your inventory at a much larger scale. The storage space could potentially be limitless.

Grow Faster 

Growing your business should be your main focus, as opposed to worrying about logistical operations. With the help of a 3PL, you can focus purely on growing your own operation. There is no need to waste unnecessary resources that go into the fulfillment process. This could ultimately limit your growth potential, whereas you want to be looking to expand your business globally. 

International Fulfillment Cost Factors

You may have a small business in the heart of the midwest of the United States. Or perhaps you are located abroad and looking to burst into the US market. Either way, several variable costs are associated with global fulfillment. 

Package Dimensions

The way shipping rates are calculated is by multiplying the length, height, and width of a package, then dividing by a dimensional factor (called a DIM divisor). This provides you with the Dimensional weight (DIM weight), which is used for pricing on both domestic and international shipments. The amount of space is limited when you are transporting internationally, thus the DIM weight uses the package density to determine the shipping rate. 

Commercial Invoice

Commercial invoice forms are for any shipments containing non-documents. They document valuation, importation control, and determination of duties, serving as the primary identifications for products. The form requires descriptions of the item, the reason for export, contact information for all parties, country of origin, etc. 


Customs is an agency or authority in a country that is responsible for controlling the imports, exports, as well as collecting tariffs. They authorize the flow of goods of animals, personal items, hazardous materials, etc. into a country. When shipments arrive in a country, customs inspects them and reviews the invoice. The shipment can be delivered to its final destination only after customs clearance and the duties have been paid.


A tariff is a tax that is levied on an imported good. This special kind of tax on goods applies to goods based on the geographical location from where they come. It is a percentage of the product’s total cost. The total cost of the product thus includes freight, insurance, and this tax. A business can either pass costs onto its customers or prepay the international duties and tariffs themselves.  


A duty refers to a form of tax on goods and services. Often times, corporations are required to have customs duties on imports and exports, in addition to other taxes. The rate of the duty is determined by the total value of the goods paid for in another country. Sometimes these costs can be unexpected. If they are levied, it may deter potential customers from paying more money to get their shipment.

International Shipping Options

When you talk about shipping internationally, you must consider cost, speed, reliability, and service. What are some of the most common shipping options available to me though? We are all probably aware of the top few shipping carriers, but how do they stack up when it comes to international delivery? Let’s see how USPS, FedEx, and UPS compare in this regard.


When is USPS the best option for your business? This is probably the most suitable option for small to medium businesses. USPS is probably one of the most competitively priced carriers with packages weighing less than 2 pounds. They offer Priority and Express Mail packaging, many different delivery options, as well as free pick up. 


When is FedEx the best option for your business? FedEx is most suitable for a larger business seeking volume-based discounts. FedEx ships any day of the week as an added bonus. They do offer competitive pricing for small and lightweight packages for their international shipping as well.   


When is UPS the best option for your business? If you value speed above all else, then this is the correct option. UPS offers next day services. For International customers, the shipping can be extremely quick, albeit at a higher cost.   

What’s Next: International Fulfillment with Print Bind Ship

With Print Bind Ship, we have the ability to get your packages to any destination in the world. You could have a small business and are looking to grow. You could have a larger business and are looking to outsource your logistical headaches. For either scenario, we handle your fulfillment domestically as well as internationally. We allow your business to grow quicker with efficient, low cost, timely fulfillment methods. 

Start reaching you customers today, contact us!