Sourcing Locally and Shipping Globally for your E-commerce Business

Sourcing Locally and Shipping Globally for your E-commerce Business

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One of the most challenging parts of running an E-commerce business is the complexity of logistics. There are numerous things to take into consideration when beginning your journey, from choosing the right product-sourcing channels to determining freight forwarders and couriers.

Whether you’re an e-commerce business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, sourcing locally and shipping globally is complicated. You need to make all the right decisions at all the right times to avoid delays in your shipping and handling and potential loss of profits in your business.

In this comprehensive guide, we look at what product sourcing actually is, types of product sourcing strategies, the difference between sourcing locally and globally, and finally, how to evaluate and ship your products once you’ve sourced and supplied them.

What is Product Sourcing?

Product sourcing is the process of finding new products to sell through your online store. It is a very important part of any business, especially an e-commerce business. In order to have a successful online store, you need to be able to source products either from local suppliers or overseas suppliers.

For example, if you want to start selling electronic gadgets, then you need to find suppliers who can provide these items at competitive prices and with a high level of quality. The goal is to find unique and difficult products for other competitors to source on their own.

To do this effectively, you need to understand how the process works and what it takes for a company like yours to succeed in this market niche.

Sourcing Locally and Shipping Globally for your E-commerce Business

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What is Local Sourcing?

Local sourcing is a strategy e-commerce businesses use to source inventory from local suppliers, which can reduce shipping costs and improve customer service.

Local sourcing means sourcing products from your geographic region. If you are located in Singapore, then you would try to find suppliers and manufacturers in Singapore. If you are located in the Philippines, then you would look for suppliers and manufacturers in the Philippines.

The idea behind this strategy is that it is easier to establish good relationships with people who speak your language, have shared cultural values, and understand the nuances of business in your country. They can also provide better customer service and respond quickly to any problems that may arise.

What is Global Sourcing?

Global sourcing is a strategy for finding products at the best price and quality in the world, without regard for geographic location. It can be used by companies of all sizes and in any industry. It’s a way for companies to get access to products that are difficult or impossible to source locally or that may be cheaper overseas.

Global sourcing allows you to extend your market reach by tapping into new sources of supply while saving money on logistics costs and increasing revenue by offering customers a wider variety of products.

The concept behind global sourcing is simple: when you source products from other countries, you can take advantage of lower labor costs and access more affordable raw materials to manufacture your goods.

Difference Between Local Sourcing and Global Sourcing

When it comes to sourcing products, there are two popular options: global sourcing and local sourcing. The difference between the two can be confusing, especially if you’re new to e-commerce.

So what’s the difference between global sourcing and local sourcing? Here are six examples that will help you understand how each option works for your business:

Cost of Goods

Global sourcing is typically cheaper because it allows you to purchase goods from overseas suppliers at a lower cost than if they were manufactured in your home country. While this might sound like a good thing, there are several risks associated with global sourcing, including shipping delays, fraud, and the risk of product damage during transit. 

Local sourcing is more expensive because it requires manufacturers to produce goods locally. This can be beneficial since it reduces shipping times, but it also limits your options for finding suppliers who make products that meet your needs and specifications.

Price and Supply Constraints

When choosing a supplier, your first consideration should be price. In some cases, local suppliers can offer lower prices than their international counterparts because they don’t have to cover shipping costs or other expenses associated with importing goods from overseas. 

However, this isn’t always the case — sometimes international suppliers offer better deals than local ones. This is why it’s important to do your research before deciding whether to purchase from a domestic or international supplier.

Opportunity Cost

When it comes to price per unit or cost per unit, say you get both global and local suppliers with similar prices for their items. However, when you factor in opportunity cost, this is when things get interesting! 

Local sourcing has less of an opportunity cost because it allows you to visit the manufacturing facility in person. You can also communicate with your manufacturer directly by phone or email, reducing the time it takes to make changes.

Global sourcing has a much higher opportunity cost because it doesn’t allow face-to-face communication with your manufacturer. There will be delays in communication, which means you won’t be able to make changes quickly.

If you want to try both options before settling on one, we recommend starting with local sourcing first. This will give you more control over your product development process and help you figure out what works best for your business.

Customs, Duties, and Taxes

With global suppliers, you risk paying more customs fees than you expect. That’s because when you order from a foreign country, your business must pay customs duties on the product before it arrives in your warehouse. These duties are typically based on the value of the imported item, but they can also be based on other factors such as weight or volume. You don’t want to find out after a shipment has arrived that you owe thousands of dollars in taxes! 

With local suppliers, however, this isn’t an issue because they usually don’t charge extra fees for shipping into your country.

Quality Control

Quality control is one of the biggest differences between global and local sourcing. Global sourcing allows you to find suppliers that can provide products at a lower cost, but it also means you don’t have as much control over quality.

Local sourcing means you can work with suppliers who are more likely to meet your standards for quality, but it will cost more money.

Lead Times

Global sourcing can take a lot of time. If you want to source from another country, you must communicate in their language and understand their culture. And if you’re not fluent in their language, you’ll have to pay someone else to do it for you — which usually costs more than it would take to source locally in-house. 

Local sourcing is easy because most suppliers offer a native version of their website or catalogs, so communication is much simpler. Plus, with local suppliers, there are fewer shipping delays because they’re closer by and don’t have to cross oceans before reaching your warehouse.

If you’re new to e-commerce, it can be daunting to determine which sourcing option best fits your needs, but each has its own set of pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Local Sourcing in 2023

The trend of local sourcing is on the rise. In the last few years, companies have shifted their focus from global to local sourcing. There are many advantages of local sourcing, but it also comes with some disadvantages that need to be considered before making any decisions.

Advantages of Local Sourcing

Local sourcing might be the answer if you’re looking for a way to cut costs while still offering your customers quality. Here are some of the advantages of this approach:

More Flexibility

Since local sourcing requires fewer shipping and transportation costs, it gives you more flexibility in where your product is produced. This can give you an edge over competitors who ship overseas or outside their own country.

When you work with a factory close by, you don’t have to worry about delays or problems with shipping — your products will get where they need to go quickly and efficiently. That means less downtime for your business and more time for you to focus on other aspects of running your company.

Greater Control Over Production Processes

With local sourcing, you’ll be able to monitor production processes closely and ensure that materials are used efficiently and effectively at every step. You can ensure that everything meets your quality and customer satisfaction standards without relying on third parties or other intermediaries.  

Any problems with production or quality control will be identified immediately so they can be resolved quickly before they impact other areas of the business.

Reduced Supply Chain Costs

When you source locally, you can cut out the middleman and buy directly from the producer. This means reduced shipping costs and fewer delays, which can help keep your inventory levels in check. 

In addition, if something goes wrong with your order, you can speak directly with the supplier without having to work through layers of management.

Also, since there’s no need to ship materials from overseas or across state lines, there’s no need for expensive insurance policies or security measures against theft or damage.

More Revenue

Reducing the distance between your business and its suppliers can eliminate shipping costs and transportation time. This will help you increase revenue by lowering expenses and passing those savings on to consumers.

Good For The Community

When you buy locally, you support your community and the people there. You’re helping to create jobs and keep money in the community. 

When you buy something made or grown in another country, it often means that the money goes out of the country rather than staying there. 

If a company employs local workers, it can spend its wages on other goods and services offered by other local businesses. This helps keep the economy going strong.

This means that if your company grows, it will positively impact your area — not just you as an individual business owner.

Helps The Environment

Not only will local sourcing help save money on transportation costs, but it will also reduce the environmental impact of shipping products from faraway countries or states. This is especially important when considering any products requiring large amounts of fuel to transport them from their point of origin to their final destination.

Buying locally is a great way to start if you’re interested in sustainable business practices.

Ability To Launch Products Faster

You can’t beat the speed of local sourcing. If you have a new product idea and you want to get it on shelves quickly, local sourcing gives you an advantage over competitors who use overseas suppliers. The reason is simple: You’ll have a less lead time between your idea and its arrival in stores.

The sooner you get products on shelves, the better chance they’ll sell before they go out of season or are replaced by newer offerings from other companies.

Disadvantages of Local Sourcing

There are many benefits to local sourcing, but there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of before deciding on sourcing locally or internationally.

Cheaper suppliers are found overseas

One of the biggest reasons international sourcing is so popular is that it’s possible to find cheaper suppliers than those in your own country. This is because of the value of their currency, labor costs, and shipping costs.

However, if you’re on a budget, it’s worth considering whether it’s worth paying more for goods sourced locally.

Fewer economic scale

One disadvantage of local sourcing is that it can be difficult to find suppliers that are able to produce enough products in large enough quantities. This can lead to higher costs because you may order more parts than needed or pay more for shipping than necessary.

Pros and Cons of Global Sourcing in 2023

You may be surprised to learn that many of the most popular brands in the world source their products globally. Nike, for example, sources its shoes from factories in China and Vietnam rather than the United States. The company does this because it saves them money and allows them to sell its products at higher prices in the United States. 

However, if you are a small business owner, you might not have the same options as Nike.  

While it is possible for a small business to source products locally, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find enough suppliers who can meet your needs at a reasonable price. And that again makes global sourcing an option for e-commerce owners.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of global sourcing:

Advantages of Global Sourcing

The advantages of global sourcing vary depending on the product industry, but the following are some of the most common advantages that e-commerce companies can gain from global sourcing:

Offers Tons of Opportunities for Growth and Expansion

The first advantage is that it offers many growth and expansion opportunities. If you are an e-commerce business owner or manager, you know that scaling up your business can be quite challenging. This is especially true if you have a limited budget or your business is located in a small market. 

However, when you source from overseas suppliers, there are tons of opportunities for growth and expansion because you can access products at lower costs. This means that you will be able to sell these products at lower prices than your competitors who do not have access to this kind of supply chain management system.

Gives You Access to More Resources

Global sourcing gives you access to a wider range of products than what is available locally. This means that your company can stock a greater variety of products at lower prices, which will increase your sales.

In addition, you will be able to provide your customers with more options when it comes to choosing what they want. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which ultimately leads to increased revenues for your business.

More Flexibility During Economic Downturns

Many businesses have found that they can save money by using global sourcing. Because you are purchasing from other countries, your business will be protected from economic downturns in your home country. 

For example, if there is a recession in Singapore, your business will still be able to purchase inventory from the Philippines without worrying about paying higher prices.

Your Goods Will Reach Customers Quicker

If your business sells products internationally, you may want to consider global sourcing as a way to save time — especially if shipping times are important to customers. You might also be able to offer more options for shipping speeds at different prices, which could give you an advantage over competitors who don’t have this option available.

Lower Shipping Cost

Shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses for any online seller. But if you’re selling internationally, those costs can add up quickly — especially if you have items in stock in several countries. 

By using global sourcing services that offer cheap international shipping rates and free pickup services for your shipments, you’ll be able to save money on shipping costs while still getting products into the hands of your customers quickly and efficiently.

Disadvantages of Global Sourcing

Global sourcing is a strategy for reducing costs and improving responsiveness by taking full advantage of the international supply base. But there are disadvantages as well. 

Here are some issues to keep in mind as you evaluate the option:

Lower quality control

The lack of oversight over suppliers can lead to quality issues and customer complaints. However, this can be mitigated with careful selection and monitoring of vendors and by conducting regular audits of suppliers’ facilities and processes.

Customs regulations

One of the most time-consuming aspects of international sourcing is dealing with customs regulations in each country where you have suppliers — and customs officials may require extra paperwork, which means more time spent on logistics

Communication challenges

Communication barriers can also cause misunderstandings between buyers and sellers that lead to delays or mistakes in orders or shipments and additional work for your team when resolving problems arising from these miscommunications.

Risk of financial loss due to currency fluctuations or other factors outside your control

When you buy from overseas suppliers, there’s always some risk that currency fluctuations or other economic factors could affect how much money you spend on inventory compared to what you budgeted (and, therefore, how much profit you make). 

One way around this is to negotiate fixed prices upfront, so you know exactly how much each item will cost before ordering it.

Types of Product Sourcing

There are many different ways to source products, and each method has its own set of pros and cons. The best sourcing strategy for your business depends on your business type, where your customers are located, how much control you want over the sourcing process, and other factors.

Here are some common types of product sourcing:

DIY products or services

DIY products or services are becoming increasingly popular in e-commerce. The idea is simple: You provide customers with the means to create their own products or services at home. The global do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement retailing market was valued at $848.20 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $1,278.00 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.37% from 2022 to 2030.

DIY products are an easy way to get started with e-commerce. You don’t have to worry about sourcing the right products or creating a brand. Instead, you can focus on marketing and selling your product.

If you’re looking for a low-risk way to get started with e-commerce, DIY products are a great fit.

DIY products or services include things like:

  • Home improvement products such as furniture, appliances, and tools
  • Beauty products such as makeup and skincare products
  • Food preparation tools such as blenders, mixers, food processors, etc.

Advantages of selling DIY products or services for e-commerce business owners:

  • Wide selection of products
  • High potential for profit
  • Easy to set up and run
  • Low investment cost
  • Perfect for e-commerce business owners

Disadvantages of selling DIY products or services for e-commerce business owners:

  • High risk of failure
  • You don’t have control over the quality of your product
  • You have to do all the work and market yourself
  • It is difficult to scale your business
  • There is no brand loyalty

Manufacturers or wholesalers

Finding a manufacturer or wholesaler is the best way to source products for your e-commerce business.

You usually get lower prices and better-quality items when you work with a manufacturer or wholesaler. This is because the manufacturing process is already set up and running. You don’t have to spend time looking for suppliers and negotiating terms with them.

If you’re an experienced e-commerce seller, you may be able to find a manufacturer on your own and contact them directly. If not, several companies can help connect you with manufacturers in China and Southeast Asian countries. The best way to get started is to Google “China suppliers” or “importing from China.”

Advantages of working with manufacturers and wholesalers:

  • No need to stock up on inventory
  • You can earn higher margins
  • The manufacturer will take care of all the logistics
  • You can start selling immediately
  • There’s no big risk involved
  • Variety of products & flexibility in terms of quantity and delivery time 

Disadvantages of working with manufacturers and wholesalers:

  • It can be difficult to find the right supplier.
  • You rely on their inventory and shipping times.
  • Your products will be less unique compared to handmade or designed items. 
  • High minimum orders
  • Increased upfront costs
  • More difficult to start with a new brand


Dropshipping is a popular method of eCommerce sourcing that allows you to sell products without having to buy them first. You can simply list the item on your website, and when a customer purchases it, you’ll be notified by the supplier, and they will ship the item directly to your customer.

The main benefit of dropshipping is that it can save you money because you don’t have to purchase inventory upfront or pay for shipping. 

However, there are also risks involved with this sourcing model, and it’s important to understand them before making any decisions about whether or not it’s right for your business.

Advantages of dropshipping e-commerce sourcing:

  • Increase product offerings
  • Eliminate inventory stock-outs
  • Reduce capital expenditure
  • Decrease overhead costs
  • Expand into new markets

Disadvantages of dropshipping e-commerce sourcing:

  • You’re dependent on your supplier for quality and service
  • The shipping is slow
  • Bad communication leads to lost sales
  • Lack of control over shipping and packaging
  • Margins are small

Trade shows

Trade shows are one of the most popular ways businesses find new products. These events are held in large venues with thousands of vendors and attendees from across the world. If you’re looking for unique products or brands that aren’t available in your area, trade shows can be a great way to find them. 

However, they can also be expensive — especially if you want to attend an international show — and there may not be enough time between events to get orders placed before they run out of inventory.

Advantages of Product Sourcing from Trade shows:

  • Find new products and trends firsthand
  • Shorten your sourcing period
  • Trade shows are great for meeting face-to-face with suppliers and negotiating better deals or terms 
  • Enables you to compare different suppliers in person

Disadvantages of Product Sourcing from Trade shows:

  • Trade shows are expensive
  • Finding the right trade show for your needs may be difficult
  • Exhibitors don’t always have to negotiate power
  • Gathering documents together can take time

How to source the right products for your e-commerce?

It’s a jungle out there — and it’s only getting more crowded. If you’re looking to source products for your e-commerce business, you have a lot of work.

While it can be intimidating to find the right suppliers, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips on sourcing the right products for your e-commerce business.

Tip #1: Do market research 

The first step in deciding whether a product is right for your business is understanding what your customers want. It’s important to know your customer’s preferences, so you can provide them with products they will buy and enjoy using.

Take the time to do market research and find out what people are looking for. This could include reading reviews and comments on social media sites or talking to friends or family about what kind of products they want to see on the market.

You can also use tools such as Google Trends or Keyword Planner to get an idea of whether there’s enough demand for a product before you invest time and money into it.

Tip #2: Get samples 

This is another important step in the process of finding great products to sell online. 

Before buying large quantities of any product, it’s a good idea to get samples first so you can test them out and ensure they are right for your store. This also allows you to check out the quality of their service and their shipping times before making a larger purchase.

Tip #3: Analyze the competition

In order to find the right products for your e-commerce, you need to know what’s already out there. The best way to do this is to analyze your competitors.

Find out how many sellers are selling similar products and how much they are charging for them. This will help you decide whether there is room for more sellers or not. 

If there is already a lot of competition in the market, then it might be hard to get any of those customers because they are already buying from other sellers. 

But suppose there aren’t many sellers offering similar products. In that case, it’s an opportunity for you to make money by selling unique items at a higher price than your competitors’ offerings.

Tip #4: Source locally when possible

When you do business online, you have access to a global market. But it’s not always necessary to source products from other countries. Starting with local suppliers before branching out internationally makes sense if you’re starting out.

The benefits of sourcing locally include:

  • You can visit your supplier in person and make sure they’re running their business ethically and legally.
  • You can easily communicate with your suppliers via phone or email — this is especially important if you don’t speak the same language as them!
  • You’ll likely be dealing with fewer trade restrictions when sourcing from a domestic manufacturer than an international one (e.g., tariffs).

Tip #5: Work with multiple suppliers

If you’re a small, growing business, buying all your stock from one supplier can be tempting. However, there are several good reasons to work with more than one source.

It can be difficult for a supplier to fulfill all your orders in a timely manner — and if they don’t deliver on time, you could lose out on sales and customers. Also, if they go out of business or stop trading, you might not have any other options left, so you get left with an empty warehouse.

Working with multiple suppliers gives you options and flexibility in case something goes wrong.

What is Global Shipping?

Global shipping is the process of selling your products to international customers. 

Global shipping is a term used to describe the shipment of goods from one country to another. It’s also known as international shipping. The most common example is when an e-commerce store sells its goods online and ships them out directly to customers in different countries, who can order items from just one location.

The process involves mailing or freighting your products and materials across borders, which can be expensive. However, it’s a cost that many businesses are willing to pay for increased sales and profits.

However, each country has different regulations and taxes that may affect your business model.

How does global shipping work?

If you’ve ever bought something online, you’ve probably wondered how it gets from where it was made to your door. The answer is: through a complex network of shipping companies, warehouses, and logistics specialists.

The manufacturing process is the first step in getting an item from its origin to your doorstep. Each product has a different production cycle, but generally speaking, each item will be made at a factory or manufacturing facility around the world.

Once an item has been manufactured and shipped off to local vendors for sale, there’s still a long way to go before it reaches its final destination. In fact, there are often multiple steps between the factory floor and your house!

For example: let’s say you’ve ordered a pair of shoes from an online retailer like When they arrive at their warehouse in Utah, they’ll be placed in one of their massive storage facilities (there are over 20!). From there, they’ll likely be sent out again—first on trucks that deliver them directly to customers’ homes (Zappos says they can do this within 24 hours), then via plane or ship if necessary as part of a larger shipment containing other products.

Global shipping methods

Global shipping methods are a crucial part of any e-commerce business because they allow you to reach customers around the world. There are four main types of global shipping methods – air, sea, rail, and road.

Air Freight

Air freight is the transportation of goods via aircraft. It is usually the quickest and most economical shipping method when time is not an issue. Air freight is also used for urgent shipments that need to arrive in a timely manner.

In some cases, air freight can be more expensive than sea freight because of the cost of fuel. However, air freight can also be less costly because it does not require customs checks or other paperwork and inspections.

Air Freight Advantages:

  • Fastest mode of transportation available (1-2 days)
  • Can ship any size item – as long as it fits on the plane
  • Extremely secure for high-value items (guaranteed delivery)

Air Freight Disadvantages

  • Expensive as compared to sea freight
  • Strict in terms of packaging
  • Limited flight schedules and space availability
  • Not suitable for shipping bulk cargo

Sea Freight

Sea freight is the most commonly used method for shipping goods internationally because it’s relatively cheap and gets there quickly. However, sea freight has limitations when it comes to large or heavy items that simply can’t be shipped via sea freight due to size or weight restrictions on ships. 

It also takes longer than air freight as it takes much longer for goods to reach their destination by sea than air transport does by air.

Sea Freight Advantages:

  • Safety of goods
  • Cheaper shipping costs
  • Less troublesome documentation
  • Ideal for large shipments
  • Access to remote destinations

Sea Freight Disadvantages:

  • Longer transit times
  • It is weather dependent
  • Space availability is not guaranteed
  • It can be hazardous because of the potential for water damage
  • There can be frequent stops for other cargo

Rail Freight

Rail freight is one of the most efficient methods of shipping goods by rail. This method is commonly used to ship heavy and bulky items that are not easily transported by any other means. 

Rail freight is also used for high-volume shipments that must be delivered on time.

Rail Freight Advantages:

  • More efficient than truck freight
  • Rail freight is economical for shippers
  • Rail freight offers speed and reliability
  • Rail freight is more eco-friendly than other freight options

Rail Freight Disadvantages:

  • Limited to certain areas
  • Less flexible than trucking
  • Less secure
  • Rail freight can be more difficult to track than ocean or truck shipments

Road Freight

Road freight transport is the most common method of transporting goods over long distances. It’s also the most cost-effective way to get your products to their destination and is available in a range of sizes.

Road freight transport is ideal for large or bulky items but can also be used for small parcels and documents. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to ship your goods, then you might want to consider road freight transport.

Road Freight Advantages:

  • Cost-effective
  • It’s faster than sea freight but slower than air freight
  • Suitable for large volumes and small packages
  • Accessible to the entire marketplace
  • Easy to track and trace

Road Freight Disadvantages:

  • Undependable transit times
  • High risk of theft
  • Driver fatigue can lead to accidents

How to choose the right global shipping option?

When selling products online, you must choose the right global shipping option. If you don’t, you could lose potential customers and sales.

But if you don’t know what kind of shipping to use for your business, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some tips for choosing the right global shipping option for your e-commerce business:

Tip #1: Understand your requirements

The first thing you need to do is understand what kind of requirements your business has. There are a number of different factors that need to be taken into account when choosing a shipping service, such as:

  • How fast do you need your goods delivered?   
  • How many items do you need to ship?   
  • What sort of products are they?   
  • How much does each item weigh?   
  • Will the items be shipped internationally or domestically?
  • Do you need expedited delivery times? 
  • Are there any restrictions on what types of items can be shipped internationally?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it will help you identify which one best suits your needs!

Tip #2: Weigh shipping options

It’s important to weigh all of your options when choosing a shipping provider. Luckily, there are a number of different options available for e-commerce businesses. 

For example, if you sell physical products, will your customers be able to track their items online? And if they do track them, will they have an estimated delivery date, so they know when their package will arrive? 

In some cases, customers might prefer not knowing when their packages will arrive because they don’t want to be surprised by delivery at work or home without being there. In other cases, knowing exactly when their packages will arrive might make them feel safer about ordering items from you.

International shipping times can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks, depending on the location, mode of transportation, and product type. You must choose a method that gets your product there on time while still meeting customers’ expectations for delivery speed and accuracy.

Tip #3: Pick the option with transparent pricing

You want to avoid hidden fees and surcharges. If you don’t know exactly how much your shipping costs will be, you could end up losing money.

A good rule of thumb is to pick an option that offers transparent pricing so you can see your shipping costs before placing an order.

Tip #4: Opt for a shipping service that guarantees delivery

In an increasingly globalized economy, you can’t afford to lose sales due to shipping delays. This is why you must choose a shipping provider that provides guaranteed delivery.

There are two ways you can guarantee the timely arrival of your products: 

  1. Choosing a service that’s guaranteed by the carrier or 
  2. By using a service that offers compensation for late delivery. 

While both methods provide peace of mind, the former is usually more cost-effective.

How to develop an optimal global shipping strategy?

A global shipping strategy is key to successful cross-border e-commerce. It allows you to offer the same level of service to customers in all countries while reducing costs and improving efficiency.

However, developing a global shipping strategy involves more than simply adding a few new countries to your existing system. It requires a deep understanding of local customs, regulations, and customer expectations.

The good news is that there are ways to make international shipping easier. Here’s how to do it:

Learn about the local shipping needs of your customers

The first step in developing an optimal global shipping strategy is learning about the local shipping needs of your customers. You should aim for a high level of personalized service, but this won’t be possible if you don’t know what your customers expect from their shipments. So before you start thinking about how to tailor your offering to each market, make sure you understand your target audience’s local shipping preferences and expectations.

To do this, you must research what delivery options people prefer in different regions. The best way to do this is by speaking directly with potential customers through surveys and interviews.

Choose the right delivery partners

Choosing the right delivery partners is important in developing an optimal global shipping strategy. You will want to choose a partner that can ship small and large packages, offer different delivery options, and has a strong reputation in your industry.

By choosing the right delivery partner, you can reduce costs and increase efficiency by having only one carrier rather than multiple ones for certain routes or products. This will also help you with compliance because fewer carriers mean fewer parties involved in fulfilling orders.

Consider flat-rate shipping

Flat-rate shipping lets buyers know exactly how much shipping will cost them before purchasing something from your store. 

Customers like knowing what they’re paying upfront, especially if they’re buying an expensive item or if they live in another country with different postal systems and customs processes. This eliminates any chance of being surprised with unexpected costs after the purchase is made.

Obtain a packing slip for every package you ship internationally

If you send several packages in one shipment, it can be difficult to identify which items belong to which shipments. To avoid this problem, obtain a packing slip for every package you mail abroad and include it with the item so that postal workers can locate it easily.

Also, if your customer receives a package without a packing slip, you will not be able to claim any warranty or insurance in case there is any damage during transit. 

So, always include a packing slip in your shipments so that customers can claim a warranty in case something goes wrong.

Use a global delivery management platform

A global delivery management platform helps you manage every step of your shipments. It integrates with your existing order management system, automatically sending all orders to the platform’s fulfillment engine. You can also use it to import and export data from other systems, such as accounting applications or customer relationship management platforms.

The platform manages the entire shipping process from start to finish, including:

  • Managing multiple carriers with different levels of service for different regions and countries
  • Calculating shipping costs (based on service, weight, and volume)
  • Tracking shipments with real-time updates
  • Sending automatic notifications when shipments arrive at their destinations

Track and optimize every step of your supply chain

An optimal global shipping strategy is the result of a lot of planning and hard work. But it doesn’t end there. To ensure your product reaches its destination quickly and safely, you need to track and optimize every step of your supply chain. 

The last thing you want is for your customers’ orders to arrive at their doorsteps for weeks or months. That kind of delay will only hurt your brand’s reputation for speed, which could lead to lost sales. To avoid this, you need to know where your products are at all times during the shipping process — from the moment they leave your warehouse until they arrive at their destinations. 

You can accomplish this by using tracking tools like GPS software on your trucks and containers, as well as software that monitors in-transit inventory levels so you can predict when new shipments are needed before customers place orders.

Continuous audit and iterate

While the first four steps are the most important, they are also the most difficult to implement. The final step is to audit and iterate on the previous steps continuously.

This process is continuous because it does not end at any point in time but continues through all stages of your business life cycle. As a result, this is a high-maintenance process that requires constant attention and effort. Without regular maintenance, global logistics operations will become inefficient and less effective.

When it comes to global shipping strategy development, creating an optimal global shipping strategy is not just a one-time event — it takes time and effort to develop an optimal global shipping strategy that will work for your company’s unique needs.


Sourcing your products from the right vendors is very important for a successful e-commerce business.

When done smartly, product sourcing with the right global shipping strategy can help businesses save time and money and gain a competitive advantage. However, it’s important to do your research and implement processes that provide you with the best ROI possible.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below!


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