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1. The importance of international shipping for ecommerce

11 best international shipping companies for global business

When it comes to growing your ecommerce business worldwide, reliable international shipping isn't just a luxury—it's a necessity. As your business expands beyond borders, your ability to deliver your products on time and intact to all corners of the globe becomes crucial.

Let's sift through the various options available and select the best international shipping partner, one that aids your global expansion and ensures outstanding customer satisfaction.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • International shipping is crucial for expanding ecommerce businesses worldwide, ensuring products are delivered timely and intact globally.

  • It acts as the backbone of cross-border commerce, enhancing brand visibility and customer base expansion, making it necessary for global market dominance.

  • The guide highlights the best international shipping services, including FedEx, DHL, UPS, Blue Dart, PostNL, DB Schenker, R + L Carriers, DTDC, TNT, YRC Freight, and Royal Mail, each offering unique services and extensive global coverage.

  • When choosing a shipping partner, consider coverage, reliability, service types, international shipping costs, and customer support to ensure efficient and cost-effective international shipping solutions.

  • Gelato offers a game-changing solution for designing, producing, and delivering custom merchandise globally, reducing shipping times and costs.

The importance of international shipping for ecommerce

World map and delivery van

Today's digital marketplace is incredibly vast, transcending boundaries and uniting sellers with buyers from all corners of the globe. In such a rapidly evolving ecosystem, international shipping has become pivotal for the success of any ecommerce entity.

Choosing the best international shipping company based on your needs facilitates the swift and efficient movement of goods from one country to another. This not only expands the potential customer base but also enhances the brand's global visibility.

11 best international shipping services in 2024

Fleet of cargo ships

As businesses navigate the worldwide market, picking the best shipping company is important for success. Let's check out the top international shipping services in 2024. They'll help steer your online business in the right direction for growing globally in a smooth and efficient way.

1. FedEx

Chances are, you've heard of FedEx. As one of the leading names in the freight and shipping industry, FedEx is synonymous with reliability and comprehensive service. Armed with an impressive portfolio of services that range from overnight to ground shipping, freight services, and even custom critical services, FedEx has virtually every shipping need covered.

To top it off, FedEx offers impressive international coverage spanning 220 countries and territories. No matter where you – or your packages – are in the world, you can count on FedEx for shipping overseas.

Do you have a sensitive or high-priority shipment that requires special handling? FedEx International Priority service ensures your package arrives safely and on time. When push comes to shove, FedEx's commitment to reliable, efficient shipping sets them apart from the pack.

2. DHL

Founded in the United States but now headquartered in Germany, DHL has grown to become a global powerhouse in the shipping industry. Offering air and ocean freight, warehousing solutions, and, of course, parcel delivery, DHL’s services meet varying demands from businesses all over the world.

Known for its express delivery services, DHL boasts an extensive global network that reaches over 220 countries. They have a reputation for quick, reliable deliveries, making it an excellent choice for ecommerce businesses that need to guarantee timely delivery for their customers.

Additionally, DHL’s online tracking system offers reassurance for both businesses and customers, providing real-time delivery updates.

3. UPS

United Parcel Service, best known as UPS, is an American multinational shipping and receiving company offering a myriad of services. With its wide network and years of experience, UPS ensures timely delivery of shipments, catering to businesses of various sizes.

Their services range from express shipments, package, and freight delivery to supply chain solutions. Additionally, UPS also offers visibility and tracking tools for businesses to manage their shipping processes effectively. UPS makes reliability a priority, with a robust system that guarantees your cargo reaches its destination in the stipulated time.

The comprehensive coverage provided by UPS is commendable, stretching across over 220 countries and territories globally. Considering its comprehensive services, vast global coverage, and consistent delivery performance, UPS has proven itself as an essential partner for businesses aiming to leave a global footprint.

4. Blue Dart

With operations extending across seven South Asian countries, Blue Dart has undoubtedly emerged as a leading player in the realm of international shipping. Known for its extensive range of services, Blue Dart accommodates everything from critical express delivery to heavy-weight international shipping, catering to a diverse business clientele.

Notably, their commitment to technology-driven logistics has made real-time tracking and updates a standard feature of all their services. 

Whether you're dealing with peak season volume, customized delivery demands, or difficult timelines, Blue Dart consistently delivers as promised, fostering trust with clients. In addition, their wide-reaching network assures expansive delivery coverage, making them an appealing choice for ecommerce businesses with global customer bases.

5. PostNL

PostNL is a Netherlands-based company gaining the limelight in the international shipping realm. PostNL offers comprehensive shipping services that reach more than 220 countries globally. Operating for over two centuries, their facilities are equipped to deal with various parcel sizes, ensuring your product, no matter the shape or size, gets to its destination securely and promptly.

The reliability of PostNL is impressive, boasting high ratings for their on-time shipment delivery. An added element of reliability is their track and trace functionality, allowing you and your customers to know exactly where the package is and when it's due to arrive. This level of transparency is instrumental in securing customer trust.

PostNL has developed a strong network of local and international partners to tackle particular logistic challenges in different regions. This makes them an attractive partner for ecommerce businesses with a global vision.

6. DB Schenker

DB Schenker has been a predominant player in the international shipping scene with its reliable and versatile logistics solutions. 

DB Schenker's array of services transcends borders, providing a variety of options that cater to all kinds of shipping needs. Whether it's ocean or air freight, land transport, contract logistics, or supply chain management, DB Schenker has it all covered. They're known to handle both standard and specialized freight with utmost care and efficiency. 

DB Schenker truly offers a world of solutions, underlined by a global network that encompasses about 2,000 locations across all major economic regions.

Its value proposition lies in the high reliability it offers, adhering to strict delivery schedules, and committing to impressive track-and-trace capabilities. The unrivaled coverage that this shipping giant provides reaffirms its position as a top choice for businesses looking to scale internationally.

7. R + L Carriers

If you're seeking a reliable and effective shipping company in North America, you might want to consider R + L Carriers. Established in 1965 in Wilmington, Ohio, R + L Carriers has cultivated an excellent track record of delivering goods safely and punctually.

Today, they have a comprehensive network stretching across all 50 U.S. states, including offshore territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The company boasts an impressive lineup of services - full truckload, LTL (less than truckload), expedited freight, and logistics services.

Their innovative online tools also ensure timely tracking, secure booking, and stress-free management of shipments. It’s R + L Carriers’ commitment to customer-centric service and their adoption of innovative technology that positions them as one of the leading international shipping companies.


DTDC offers a broad selection of international courier services, including express parcel delivery, freight forwarding, warehousing, and supply chain management. They've built a reputation for reliability, thanks to their consistency in delivery time and cargo safety, particularly in their core markets of India and the Middle East.

Their comprehensive coverage has significantly increased their rank among the top global shipping companies. While DTDC has a direct presence in 21 countries, they've built an impressive business network that spans over 240 countries and territories, delivering parcels to even remote locations. DTDC’s e-booking system streamlines the shipping process—reducing manual errors and greatly improving efficiency.

They also provide a real-time tracking system, reinforcing their commitment to transparency and timely delivery. For ecommerce businesses operating across multiple geographies, DTDC certainly stands as a valuable partner for their international shipping needs.

9. TNT

TNT is known for accommodating almost every type of shipping need - documents, parcels, or freight. The Dutch-originated company merged with FedEx in 2016, further boosting its operational prowess and global coverage. With a presence in over 200 countries, TNT is a trustworthy partner for international businesses of all sizes. 

Their services are quite comprehensive. They offer standard express, economy express, and time-critical delivery options, providing flexibility to both sender and recipient. Their global reach extends across Europe, Asia, America, and Australia-Pacific, making them perfect for businesses that operate in different regions of the world. 

Reliability is a key attribute of TNT. They go the extra mile to ensure deliveries meet specified timelines irrespective of the destination. With TNT, you can also enjoy real-time tracking and an easy-to-use online interface for scheduling and management, all of which augment their service reliability.

10. YRC Freight

Specializing in heavyweight shipments, YRC Freight is a key player in the international shipping arena. With a notable presence, particularly in North America, they offer extensive coverage and comprehensive shipping solutions tailored to meet diverse business requirements.

They're renowned for their commitment to reliable deliveries that adhere to their time-critical delivery schedules, mitigating any concerns surrounding late deliveries. Their proprietary real-time tracking system allows businesses to closely monitor the progress of orders, instilling confidence and trust in the delivery process.

Scaling their services to accommodate both small businesses and large corporations, YRC Freight excels in offering flexible and wide-ranging options. From expedited shipping for urgent orders to specialized services for handling delicate goods, they prioritize customer requirements.

11. Royal Mail

Royal Mail is renowned for its reliable shipping services covering over 230 countries and territories globally. Grounded by over 500 years of service, Royal Mail’s trustworthiness is time-tested, providing assured delivery with minimal delays and mishaps.

One key feature distinguishing Royal Mail is its range of service levels, catering to different business requirements and budgets. From guaranteed next-day parcel delivery to cost-effective standard shipping, you have a variety of solutions to choose from.

Not to mention, its comprehensive tracking system offers up-to-the-minute information on your package’s journey, ensuring accurate delivery updates. For ecommerce businesses, Royal Mail’s services mean improved customer satisfaction due to efficient and reliable shipping.

How to choose an international shipping company

Compass and shipping icons

Choosing the right international shipping company is essential for successful ecommerce. Here are five practical tips to guide your choice. 

1. Coverage and destination 

Firstly, ensure the shipping company has a strong presence in your target markets. The better their coverage, the smoother your shipments should run. Look for companies that ship to various countries and have established domestic shipping networks in those regions. 

2. Reliability and reviews 

Reliability is a key factor. Always check customer reviews and ratings before deciding. Consider both recent and past performance, handling of issues, and customer satisfaction levels. Reviews can provide real-world insight into a shipping company’s reliability and operational effectiveness. 

3. Service types 

Different companies offer different types of services. Do your research to find out which services suit your business the most. From same-day delivery to specialty freight services, the choices are varied. Matching services to your needs can save on costs and improve customer satisfaction. 

4. Costs and charges 

Shipping costs can make or break a customer's decision to buy from you. Pay attention to any possible hidden fees, like fuel surcharges or residential delivery charges. For instance, take USPS international shipping rates as a reference and compare them with different companies for various destinations and package sizes. A cost-effective shipping solution can greatly benefit your bottom line. 

5. Support and assistance 

Finally, assess the level of customer support on offer. You want a shipping partner who can provide help when needed, whether it's finding shipping information or resolving an issue related to international delivery services. Prioritize companies that offer reliable and accessible customer service. This way, when things go sideways, you know you have a solid team backing you up.

Design and sell custom merchandise internationally with Gelato

As we explore the 11 best international shipping services of 2024, Gelato Connect emerges as a comprehensive solution that redefines the future of production and logistics. 

For businesses looking to elevate their international shipping capabilities and embrace the future of efficient, automated production, Gelato Connect offers the perfect solution. 

With its global network of production and logistics partners, Gelato Connect ensures that businesses can deliver their products to customers around the world with unprecedented speed and efficiency. 

Whether you're aiming to cut costs, streamline your operations, or simply connect with a global network of production and logistics experts, Gelato Connect has the tools and expertise you need. 

Check out Gelato Connect today to learn more and take the first step towards revolutionizing your business's production and shipping strategies.


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