How to Ship Internationally and Calculate International Shipping Costs

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Choose among a variety of ways to ship your package overseas.
Choose among a variety of ways to ship your package overseas. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Technology evolves and makes the world seem ever smaller. It’s almost as easy to do business with someone halfway around the world as it is to work with someone just down the street. If you need to ship a package overseas, you have several options. Online calculators can make figuring your international shipping costs simple. You can arrange for pickup right from your door, too, saving time and gas for a trip to the shipping center.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Scales

Post Office

Choose the service you want to use. The U.S. Postal Service offers several classes of international shipping, depending on the size and weight of your package and how soon you need it to arrive at its destination. Choices include Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Express Mail International Flat Rate, Priority Mail International and Priority Mail International Flat Rate, as of publication. The post office website explains each of these services, as well as starting shipping costs and estimated delivery times.

Select the Calculate Price button for the shipping service of your choice, on the USPS website. Choose the type of time you want to mail – letter, flat or parcel.

Measure the length, height and width of your package. Add these measurements together. This is your dimensional weight. Weigh the package. Enter the package weight and the dimensional weight in the online calculator. If you’ve chosen to ship using a flat rate service, you can skip this step. You can ship any package via flat rate, regardless of the weight, as long as the item fits in the flat rate box the post office provides.

Enter your origin zip code and address information for your destination. Choose calculate. The calculator will figure your shipping for a variety of services, including the one you selected. You can choose a different service at this point, if you decide you want to you a less expensive or a faster service.

Choose "Ship Online Now." Fill in the information about your destination , along with your U.S. address information. You’ll need to provide a credit card for the shipping charges. Print the bar-coded mailing label and attach it to your package.

Indicate that you’d like someone to pick up your package. The website will give you an approximate day and time for package pickup. You can also take your package to the nearest post office.

Federal Express

Go to Federal Express' website and choose "International Shipping." Fill in your zip code and the city and country you want to ship to, along with the weight of your package. This will give you a quick quote.

Choose "More Detailed Rates." Fill in information about your package weight and destination, as well as whether you’re using your own packaging material or a FedEx box. The results will give you a range of services offering various prices and delivery times. Choose the option that best suits your needs.

Choose "Ship" and fill in information about your FedEx account number or provide a credit card for the shipping charges. Print the shipping label and attach it to your package.

Schedule a pickup of your package. A Federal Express driver will pick up the package at your home or business, or you can drop the package at a FedEx office.

UPS

Log on to the UPS website. Choose "Calculate Time and Cost."

Enter the information about your destination address. This will produce a chart with various shipping options. Choose "Enter Detail to Show Costs" and enter your package size and weight, and any special services you need.

Choose the shipping method you prefer and select "Ship Now." Enter all your shipping information and provide a credit card to pay. Print the UPS shipping label and attach it to your package.

Schedule a pickup for your package, or deliver it to your nearest UPS shipping office.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to use another international shipping company, go to the company website and explore your options. Most sites feature similar calculators to help you estimate shipping, print labels and arrange for pick-up.

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