What is International Shipping and Fulfillment Process ?

International Shipping | the development of e-commerce over the past two decades has contributed to the elimination of long-standing obstacles to international trade. The development of e-commerce heavyweights like Amazon and Alibaba, together with increasingly integrated supply chains, have helped to meet skyrocketing demand as internet access continues to soar globally.

According to Internet Retailer, more than 15% of all retail transactions are now made online. Global e-commerce sales increased 18% year over year in 2018 to $2.86 trillion, greatly exceeding the rise of all retail sales.

With the availability of proper technology and infrastructure, international shipping has become a convenient process and has taken a great leap forward in its overall market size. With a predicted CAGR of 4.68%, the size of the global shipping container market was estimated to reach USD 13,856.42 million in 2021, further rising to USD 14,242.18 million in 2022, and USD 18,241.36 million in 2027.

Given these trends, getting familiar with international shipping and its warehouse fulfilment process becomes important for businesses that are just starting to enter the global shipping market.

International Shipping and Fulfilment Process Flow

Importing and exporting commodities across countries is known as international shipping. This can be accomplished via land, air, or water. Typically, it also includes the immigration and customs processes. Additionally, there may be unique rules that must be observed depending on what is being transported. 

The entire supply chain involved in the processing and transporting of commodities, from beginning to end, is referred to as fulfilment. 

Strategic sourcing is the first phase in the order fulfilment lifecycle, which includes five main steps in total, concluding with shipping. Order fulfilment is a term used by many firms to describe operations such as inventory control, supply chain management, order processing, quality assurance, and customer service. 

Process of International Shipping and Fulfilment Flow

  1. Inventory Control

Inventory management is the initial stage in both local and international shipment and warehouse fulfilment. Your goods need to be properly organised in the warehouse and distributed amongst other warehouses. 

  1. Order Control

The following stage is to monitor and complete the incoming orders. In today’s fierce e-commerce environment, you wouldn’t be selling on a single platform. Your order management system must have the capability of combining orders from all sales channels into a single order.

  1. Picking and packaging

Picking and packing come after order management when managers at your warehouse prepare the products for shipping by picking and packaging them. The packaging standards for overseas shipment and fulfilment are set by the various audits that couriers must pass at customs and export.

  1. Shipping

The next phase of international shipping & fulfilment is shipping. You must collaborate with a carrier partner with a sizable network and a reputation for reliability if you want to guarantee seamless delivery to your customer’s doorsteps.

  1. Order Export

The next stage of international shipping and warehouse fulfilment involves sorting the items by country of destination before shipping them by air, land, or sea. You can choose how much you’re willing to pay and when you want your shipments delivered at this point. To complete the processes smoothly, all of your documentation needs to be organised.

  1. Order Import

The goods and orders arrive at customs in the destination country after the order is exported and imported. Officials from the customs department scan the parcels and determine the applicable tariffs, taxes, etc.

  1. Return policy Management

Last but not least, you must handle any returns that may occur after your product has been delivered to the customer. Building confidence in your company can be aided by having a return policy. 

Why Choose a Reliable International Shipping Provider for Making Global Order Fulfilment Easy?

It can be very challenging to handle international order fulfilment on your own. Therefore, many e-commerce organisations rely on 3PLs (Third-party logistics) providers or shipping aggregators for the best international shipping fulfilment. A 3PL that offers competitive pricing for international shipping can really give you leverage over other opponents in the business. Apart from that, there are several benefits of choosing a shipping provider :

1. Reduce your shipping expenses 

2. Provide competitive delivery services

3. Easily control inventory levels

4. Help in lowering shipping defaults and errors

5. Expand business operations more quickly


For e-commerce companies, global fulfilment can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming but also incredibly profitable. If you feel that order handling from abroad is too difficult for you or that you lack the necessary resources, then NimbusPost can be your life saviour. 

Additionally, given the rising cost of international shipping, leading shipping aggregators like NimbusPost can provide you with high-quality shipping solutions at the most affordable rates. NimbusPost assists large and small e-commerce companies in managing supply chain operations throughout India and other countries with its automated shipping platform, thus facilitating the best international shipping in the business.

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