How To Troubleshoot International Shipping Issues

How To Troubleshoot International Shipping Issues

As mentioned in How To Setup International Shipping Rates For Dropshipping, from time to time your international customers may have questions about their shipments and this article shares tips and techniques to help you answer questions from your customers to ensure they receive their shipments.  But before we jump into the tips and tricks, getting a bit of background about exactly how Ascendia international shipping works will be immensely helpful in troubleshooting issues.

How International Shipping Works

Most international dropshipping orders will be sent using Asendia International services.  This shipping service will export your orders from the United States and import them into your customer's country.  When the order reaches the customer's country, Asendia provides the shipment to the local postal system of your customer's country to make the final in country delivery.  This approach has quite a few benefits;
  1. It's cost effective vs other international door to door options.
  2. It relies on the local knowledge of the local postal system to find hard to reach addresses.
  3. It's available for almost all countries.
The biggest thing to note about using Asendia International, is that Asendia won't be making the final delivery to your customer, their local postal system will.  Now that we know how Asendia International works, let's tackle some of the most common issues.

The Most Common International Shipping Issue

The most common international shipping issue is not realizing that for each international shipment, more than one tracking information maybe required to track the package to it's final destination.  For example, when the package is initially shipped, a DHL international tracking number is created, but also once the package enters your customer's country, most local postal systems will generate a new tracking to track the package within the country. 

international shipping

This new tracking number is added to your Asendia International Tracking number.  However, the Asendia tracking will not continue to update.  It will end with the update, "Transport to Destination Country."  Your customer should check the progress of the shipment by searching with the new tracking number.

international dropshipping how to check tracking

Other Common International Shipping Issues With Simple Solutions

  1. If you see that additional tracking information has been generated, but the shipment has not been moving towards your customer, it's best to provide your customer with the new tracking number and ask that they reach out to their local postal system.  From time to time, local postal offices may hold a shipment because a customer needs to answer questions, fill out paperwork, or pay a customs duty.  Getting your customer to work directly with the postal system is the most direct solution to the problem.
  2. From time to time an international package may become delayed.  In most cases, this is due to the local postal system.  Like the scenario above, it's best to ask your customer to reach out to their local postal service with their tracking number.  In most cases a simple inquiry will get things back on track and moving.  Also remember, during peak times, many orders will be moving through customs and it could take days or even weeks for packages to make it through customs.

Time Is Of The Essence

One important element to note regarding smooth deliveries for international shipments is that time is a key factor. 
It's important to find and troubleshoot international shipping issues as early as possible.  The longer that a package is in transit, the higher the likelihood it could become lost in transit or returned to the sender.  In many cases your shipments will wait in customs in your customers country until your customer addresses necessary duties and taxes that may be applicable on the shipment.  Typically your customer will only have a certain amount of time to collect the shipment before it's discarded or returned to sender.  Lastly, keep in mind the package tracking offered by USPS only lasts 90 days, after that the tracking will not continue to work and it's impossible to further research any shipping issue that may arise.

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