International Dropshipping Considerations

Jan 04, 2021 Cloe Matheson Cloe Matheson

When you’ve mastered the basics of dropshipping, you’ll be ready to expand your business internationally. However, running an international dropshipping company is not as simple as declaring you’re going to start shipping to other companies. There are certain actions you’ll need to take so that your expansion will be successful. After all, you don’t want international customer complaints about not receiving your products to ruin your domestic business. These considerations will help ensure that you’re able to incorporate international shipping into your existing business without any difficulties.

Choose Your Shipping Carrier Carefully

The shipping carrier you use is the most important consideration you have when you decide to dropship internationally. You want to partner with a wholesaler that uses an international shipping carrier that has low rates, offers a variety of shipping options, provides adequate global coverage, can deliver within a reasonable timeframe, and, most critically, is able to track every shipment from origin to destination.

Technology has advanced to the point where transportation companies can track packages at every point of their journey. Customers expect this transparency these days, and if you want to provide the best user experience possible, it should be a service you provide as a matter of course. Radio-frequency identification tags (RFID) are even better, as they not only allow you to track your products, but also allow you to monitor additional data like temperature, light levels, and other conditions during transit.

Carriers that offer RFID tags will probably have higher shipping rates, but the ability to know everything there is to know about your product as it travels overseas is worth the extra cost. You can’t afford to lose packages or have them arrive at their destination in a damaged condition. Research your carrier options and choose the one that offers you the most services at the lowest cost. 

Consider Alternative Delivery Technologies

If you really want to stand out as an international dropshipper, consider being at the forefront of alternative delivery technologies, like drone delivery, last-mile partnerships, and autonomous delivery vehicles. While most of these delivery and transportation technologies are in their infancy right now, they’re bound to take off sooner rather than later. Research these technologies to find carriers that are able to offer these services and volunteer to test them out for international shipping.

Some countries may not allow these technologies yet, but others are still open to the possibilities. For example, many countries are putting restrictions on drones and where they can fly, but companies like Amazon are working with them to expand delivery zones. If you’re ready when they are, you’ll be able to offer these state-of-the-art delivery services as soon as they become available.

Insure All Packages

While domestic shipping carriers are mostly reliable, even they lose or damage packages. It’s an inherent risk when you put your product in the hands of a third-party. With international shipping, this risk increases significantly, partly because of the distance your package has to travel and partly because some international shipping companies aren’t as reliable as others. For this reason, you must insure everything that leaves the warehouse under your name. 

Shipping rates depend on a variety of factors including the package’s weight, size, value, and destination. Be sure to carefully research insurance rates so that you charge enough in shipping costs to cover the cost of insurance. This will ensure you don’t end up losing money on shipping.


As a dropshipper, your reputation is important, so if you decide to add international services to your business, you must pay strict attention to the shipping process. Otherwise, you could end up destroying your domestic reputation that you’ve worked so hard to build. 

Cloe Matheson is a New Zealand-based freelance writer, who's written articles for different sites and businesses including Harrows. Read more of Cloe's work on her blog.