Imagine being a shipping clerk for company that ships goods internationally. Every day you are faced with having to turn away customers because their freight is problematic. You are just doing your job, but you become the bad guy when you cannot accept a customer package. But the alternative is having your company throw a fit because you accepted something you shouldn’t have.
There are some types of freight that give shippers fits. Either they will not ship a particular type at all, or they require that it be shipped according to the strictest requirements. Either way, they have to be very diligent about what they accept across their counters. Otherwise, international shippers could find themselves in hot water.
Preferred Shipping is an authorized DHL reseller (https://preferredship.com/) that, among other things, works with ecommerce operators to get their products shipped globally. They have been in the business for more than three decades. Here are five types of freight they say cause big problems for international shippers:
1. Weapons and Ammunition
The fact that weapons and ammunition are problematic for shippers should be no surprise. They are so problematic that DHL will not ship them. Other carriers may, but handling ammunition and weapons requires adherence to strict rules. Those rules include restrictions on where and to whom such things can be shipped.
Just to illustrate, the federal government maintains several lists of prohibited persons, countries, and organizations. Any entity on that list cannot receive weapons and ammunition exported from this country. Breaking the rules can lead to costly fines and even prison time.
2. Agricultural Products
Agricultural products give shippers fits because they are subject to rules and regulations relating to pests, disease, and tariffs. In fact, agricultural products are among the most difficult to ship internationally. You really have to know what you are doing to keep things above board. And even when you manage to do so, your shipments are subject to a plethora of inspections on their way to your customers.
3. Live Animals
Like agricultural products, live animals can bring disease with them. As such, shipping live animals comes with a long list of rules that have to be followed. That is just the start. Shippers also must be cognizant of how the process effects the animals themselves. They have to make a concerted effort to ensure that the shipping process is as minimally stressful as possible.
There is added pressure on the carrier to make sure that live animals are not harmed during shipping. Carriers have to make special accommodations to that end. A carrier not prepared for live animal shipments may not have the resources to do it correctly.
4. Bullion and Negotiable Instruments
Shippers do not like dealing in bullion or any type of negotiable instruments for risk of being caught up in a fraudulent transaction. They don’t want any part of a transaction that might not be on the up-and-up. Where bullion is concerned, many countries prohibit imports and exports. They don’t want bullion traveling across borders because it can facilitate all sorts of illegal activity.
5. Counterfeit Products
Last on the list are counterfeit products. These could be counterfeit iPhones, knockoff handbags, or just about any product designed to mimic a mainstream brand for the purposes of fooling consumers. Countries do not have a very positive view of counterfeiters or tertiary companies that help them carry out their crimes.
It’s imperative that companies involved in international shipping have a good working knowledge of the types of freight they can and cannot ship. Certain types of fright give shippers fits. That’s just the way it is.