Cheapest Way to Ship Internationally in 2023 (Top Ways)

by Erin Schollaert


Shipping internationally is a critical part of running a business in 2023.

Thankfully, the cheapest way to ship internationally is something everyone has access to.

Whether you’re shipping a gift or selling a product across borders, this is everything you need to know about the cheapest international shipping out there!

Should a company offer international shipping?

International shipping is infamously expensive, with many companies refusing to offer it.

Still, it’s tempting.

Not only are companies that provide international shipping 10% less likely to go out of business, but they also have more reach for advertising and a better understanding of how international markets are behaving.

This provides insight into potential trends in the American market, whether selling clothes online or starting to sell internationally on eBay.


If you want to avoid expensive international shipping, you must shop around for a good company, avoid any large and bulky items that weigh more than 20 pounds, and that you pay attention to what the current customs laws say.

Most companies have no problems moving towards offering international shipping and see a huge boost in sales.

Tactic for Success

The most important thing you can do is get price quotes on how much to ship internationally from many different companies every few months. This will help you keep on top of shipping price changes.

What international shipping details should you know as a business?


There are a few things you should keep in mind as a company that’s offering international shipping.

The weight and speed of your shipment are vital because it affects most of the cost. Get to know these items before anything else.

From here, you’ll need to figure out what your medium of transportation should be (air or ship) and look into what turnaround your customers expect for their items to arrive.

You’ll also need multiple documents for every shipment, from the commercial invoice to the certificate of origin, electronic export information, shipper’s export declaration, and NAFTA certificate of origin.

Although this can feel like a lot to take on: once you’ve shipped a few packages out, it feels very streamlined and simple to do; it’s vital that you get these right on every shipment.

If there are any restricted or perishable goods, it’s important that you identify these and make them known.

Of course, you don’t want to break any laws: so check your products against the best shipping practices for perishable items for any shipping company you work with.

Trend on the Rise

International shipping in 2020 is 25% to 50% higher than it was in 2020, thanks to inflation and companies taking advantage of the customers having few options. Try to create a long-term business relationship with one of these companies that can pay off in the end because unless you’re earning money from digital products, you’ll have to deal with these costs.

What does it cost to ship internationally?

When planning international shipments, it’s a good idea to know that there’s no one set price you’ll see across the board.

The cost for international shipping can change based on the country you’re shipping to, the company you’re working with, the size of your packages: and even the content of your packages.

Trend on the Rise

Offering international shipping can instantly increase your store’s revenue by 15%. This can be a massive amount of revenue depending on your company and should be considered if your product weighs less than 50%: so it’s worth the cost.

The cost will usually range from $15 to $200 per package, depending on the destination and the weight.


If you’re shipping mass amounts, it’s far cheaper to pay for a full flat rate palette or shipping container if they’re all going within the same country to the same location.

This is good to take advantage of if you’re opening a shop overseas.

What Will Make International Shipping More Expensive:

  • Package Weight – For obvious reasons, the heavier your item is, the more expensive shipping will be.
  • Size of Packaging – The bulkier your package is, even if it’s light, the more it will cost to ship it. Learn how to package clothes to sell to keep packages small and prices low.
  • Value of Contents – Although this doesn’t always affect the price: if you’re shipping an expensive item, you’ll have to at least pay more for shipping insurance.
  • Shipping Distance – Just like when shipping within the USA, the further a package travels, the more expensive it will be.
  • Current Economic Conditions – If global economies are good, shipping will be cheaper: but if there are economic problems, you’ll see price increases.

Tactic for Success

If you want to save money on shipping, one of the best things you can do is consider if the item can be compressed or have the air vacuumed out of it. This can make the packaging for everything from clothes to stuffed animals far cheaper.

What’s the most economical way to ship internationally?


Planning your international shipping means having to take on a large chunk of research: but we’ve saved you the time.

These are the best companies to ship with internationally, and what they offer their customers. You can also check these places out for domestic shipping, and compare them to the least expensive places to buy stamps.


This brand is instantly recognizable to all consumers and ensures that you can ship quickly anywhere in the world.

Although they don’t offer domestic shipping within the USA, they do handle small parcel express deliveries and are incredibly affordable.


FedEx is extremely competitive and works hard to show that it’s able to handle fragile and climate-controlled shipping for all products that need it.

With overnight and two-day international shipping services, you won’t be able to get a package anywhere faster than with FedEx.

DB Schenker

This German company is quickly moving into the USA, although it’s best known in Europe.

Offering seamless tracking, worldwide shipping through the ocean and air freight, and fixed delivery times, it’s clear why so many companies are taking this company on for European international shipping.


Extremely familiar to American companies, UPS is awesome for quick shipping, taking care of shipping live animals, and handling fast overnight turnarounds.

Although UPS sees more price fluctuations than any other company, it does occasionally give you the chance to save money through them.

YRC Freight

From two-day deliveries to a lack of size or weight restrictions, this is an awesome company for anyone who’s shipping large items quickly.

Offering temperature-controlled shipments and expedited options, this is an expensive yet worthy company to consider.

R+L Carriers

With a fleet of 13,000 tractor-trailers, R+L focuses on shipments specifically between the US and Mexico.

You won’t find more affordable service for these shipments, and the fast delivery times ensure all employees are pleased with the results.

What’s the best way to ensure my packages arrive safely?

The way you package your shipments will do more to protect them than anything else. It’s vital that your shipment is carefully planned from the inside out.

To do this, take the time to consider what parts of your products are the most fragile, which can handle the most jostling, and which need extra support during shipment.


For instance, if you sell dried roses inside of glass jars on display, you’ll want to carefully wrap and package the rose inside of the glass jar, filling it so that it’s tight enough to hold it in place but not so tight that it can break the jar, and then also packaged the jar as safely and thoroughly as possible.

These are some other safe shipping tips.

Safe Package Handling Tips:

  • Secure Any Loose Pieces – If there are any loose pieces within your item, or attached to them, secure them down in ways that won’t damage the item.
  • Pad Things Thoroughly – Use paper, bubble wrap, and other filler to ensure the items are fully padded.
  • Go Up a Size if Box is Tight – Shipping something in too-tight of a box can lead to breaking or damage: avoid this by going up a size.
  • Label Contents Clearly – When filling out a customs form, be honest and clear about what’s in it.
  • Check Your Shipping Company’s Rules – Although most companies have similar rules, some require specific packaging for international shipping. It’s a good idea to check this.

Some companies do offer packing and packaging help to ensure your items arrive safely.

Although it’s expensive to pay for this in the long term if you’re not sure how to package your products, it’s a good idea to watch how they do and then use their ideas to package your products in the future.

Wrapping Up

Regardless of what or why you’re shipping: it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to get a package to another country.

Consider some of the above options to make it as cost-effective as possible.

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Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.

About the Author

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Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.