International Shipping Terms You Should Know

If you’re working with international shipments, there are many terms you will need to understand as you work to maintain proper practices and clear communications. From professional services to international taxes, you can start learning more about international delivery today with our quick list. Let’s dive into three of the most critical international shipping terms you should know. Once you catch up with these terms, you can start expanding your industry knowledge even further.


One aspect of international shipping that is essential to understand is the customs process. You may be familiar with this term if you have traveled internationally for vacation or family visits. The term customs refers to the organization overseeing the incoming foreign goods across a country’s borders. When you ship internationally, you will have to adhere to customs, including imposed tariffs. These fees aren’t fun, but they are a part of the shipping process, so be sure you know what to expect when sending items overseas.


Speaking of fees to expect when shipping internationally, let’s define duties. Luckily, this is a simple definition—duties are taxes paid when shipping items across another country’s borders. More specifically, this is an indirect tax.

It’s important to take the time to learn what differentiates taxes, duties, and tariffs because they are frequently confused with one another. These terms are very closely related, but they have three unique definitions you need to know when shipping goods. If you’re working with international shipments regularly, then don’t worry—these terms will become commonplace.

Freight Forwarder

The final international shipping term you should know is freight forwarder. A freight forwarder is a specialist who partners with any company that needs to transport shipments. Once the shipper hands the shipment over to a freight forwarder, the forwarder partners with the transportation specialists necessary to deliver items in accordance with the client’s needs. From air to sea and beyond, there are many avenues a freight forwarder can take to ship items efficiently.

After arranging secure, efficient transportation, the freight forwarder ensures your business takes all the right steps before the package reaches its final stop. Keep building your knowledge of the industry today so that you can always organize reliable shipments.

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Written by Logan Voss

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