International Shipping Guide

Shipping internationally from Boston or Lowell MA can be very confusing with the many forms, foreign addresses and different courier services available. In addition to the confusion, worrying about lost, stolen or damaged packages might make you think twice about sending an expensive item overseas. However, you can do several things to ensure your package arrives safely to its destination. Leaving this complex task to the expect can be your first step, Neighborhood Parcel with its decades of service in the international shipping and packaging industry can make your next shipment simple and affordable.

Boston Packaging

During the international shipping process, packages are handled, loaded and unloaded many times. This is why you should carefully consider how you will protect your shipment. Use sturdy, undamaged cardboard box as your container. Holes or tears in boxes can become bigger as they are handled multiple times. Use approved shipping tape, which is typically made of strong, clear plastic and adhesive. Do not use masking tape, which tears easily and is meant to be used while painting, not for shipping packages. Some couriers, such as UPS, will not accept packages wrapped in masking tape.

For the interior, consider using bubble wrap, which is reusable and recyclable. Wrap the items well to protect them — and not just from damage. Despite measures by governments to protect packages, theft can happen. Some nations require that all packages be opened to verify their contents, and dishonest workers occasionally take advantage. By wrapping the item well in bubble wrap and tape, you have a better chance at thwarting thieves who must work quickly to take what they want. For professional packaging service, you can rely on Neighborhood Parcel to do all your packaging and shipping services.

Addresses and International Customs

The forms you use for international shipping are extremely important. Ensure that the destination address is correct. If you are sending to a country where English is not widely spoken, such as China, include the foreign language address alongside the English address to assist the foreign courier service that will be handling your package once it arrives to port. Many international customs officials are wary of packages without return addresses, so don’t forget yours. Our Neighborhood Parcel consultants will help our clients complete all export documents correctly and at no additional charge.

In addition to the destination address, customs forms such as Certificate Of Origin and Commercial invoice are typically required. These forms will ask for addresses, the names of the shipper and recipient, an item list and an estimated cost of the items you are shipping. Depending on the total cost, additional customs fees may be required. Without customs forms, the recipient nation reserves the right to hold your package indefinitely.

Boston Shipping Couriers

Many companies ship internationally; however we prefer to use FedEx, TNT, DHL and the U.S. Postal Service. Not every courier will be able to deliver to your destination address, so it is important that you check with us to see if they ship to your desired area. FedEx and DHL run their shipping service similar to how it is run in the U.S. You ship with the same company that delivers the package. But DHL and the U.S. Postal Service, especially the latter, often work with the foreign postal service to deliver the package. For shipments to rural locations, using the area’s local postal service is usually better than using a foreign shipping company like FedEx or DHL.


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