Everything You Need to Know about International Warehousing

Everything You Need to Know about International Warehousing

December 3, 2023

Digital marketers are used to doing everything online. This leads to a lot of unknowns and questions around the logistics of offline marketing and how it works internationally.

Should I store or ship my item internationally? What's better for my budget? What in the world is DDP?

As Postal’s International Logistics and Warehousing Manager, I want to answer these questions and tell you more about the behinds the scenes of international warehousing.

What is an international warehouse?

An international warehouse is a pivotal hub in the global supply chain, facilitating the storage and distribution of goods across borders. These specialized facilities play a crucial role in optimizing logistics, ensuring efficient inventory management, and enabling businesses to reach a worldwide audience. From strategic locations to advanced technology integration, understanding the essentials of international warehouses is key to developing a successful global business strategy.

Why is international warehousing important?

First, it’s crucial to understand how your items and experiences reach your target accounts around the world to develop and maintain business-critical relationships.

If you're sending items around the world, it's more time efficient and budget friendly to store them as close to your recipients as possible.

A rule of thumb I tell our customers is that if less than 10% of your recipients are located outside of the U.S, keep your inventory in the U.S. If more than 10% of your recipients are international, it’s more effective to look into international warehousing options.

If that’s you, the next step is knowing the difference between Delivered Duties Unpaid (DDU) and Delivered Duties Paid (DDP).

What is delivered duties unpaid (DDU)?

When it comes to shipping items globally, delivered duties unpaid, or DDU, simply means that it’s the recipients’ responsibility to cover any of the charges related to customs, duties, or taxes in the destination country.

For instance, let’s say you want to send a snack care package to your customer in India. As the sender, you would be responsible for ensuring the item reaches the destination safely. The recipient would be responsible for paying any import duties, or additional customs charges—certainly not the best experience for a customer or prospect you’re trying to leave a good impression on.

What is delivered duties paid (DDP)?

Alternatively, delivered duties paid, or DDP, means that you as the sender are responsible for covering all of the import duties, customs charges, as well as the customs clearance process upfront. DDP will obviously be more expensive than DDU, yet will create a better experience for the recipient as they won’t be surprised with a surcharge when a gift reaches them.

Ultimately, ensuring your provider offers DDP is one of the first steps you can take to create memorable experiences with customers and prospects around the world.

The takeaway: if possible use warehouses that support DDP

If you aim to create the most seamless experience for your recipients, it would be wise to store your corporate gifts and swag in warehouses that support DDP. Doing so will remove the possibility of your recipient having to pay import fees on their own dime, and give you peace of mind that your offline engagement will come off as authentic.

Storing custom gifts and branded swag internationally with Postal

Aside from gaining access to our expansive international gifting marketplace, one of the advantages of an Offline Marketing Engagement platform such as Postal is that we also have an expansive warehousing network that supports DDP.

Our warehouses collectively offer nearly 92% global coverage to send items from our marketplace with delivery duties paid, with the U.S. and U.K. warehouses alone offering nearly 80% coverage.

If you want a curated assortment of items or swag available to ship globally, Postal’s Paper Plane Agency can help you bulk order and have your items stored in Postal’s warehouses. Items can then be sent to recipients from the Postal Marketplace all over the world and our warehousing partners will handle all the custom’s paperwork and duty requirements on your behalf. Looking for inspiration this holiday season? Discover our article on bulk employee appreciation gifts.

How our partnership with ShipBob works

Postal is proud to partner with ShipBob, a global fulfillment solution trusted by 7,000+ brands to ship orders everywhere around the world where their customers shop.

Global fulfillment is a vital component to the corporate gifting market. Our system is built directly into their API so when a product with ShipBob as the vendor is ordered on our platform, the order is immediately sent to ShipBob to be fulfilled. We create a warehouse receiving order (WRO) in the ShipBob platform for all of the items for a particular client—the level of automation makes the process a seamless experience.

Learn more about our partnership with ShipBob in our case study.

Warehouses and shipping destination countries

Postal’s partnership with ShipBob ensures that we have warehousing coverage throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa, as well as Asia Pacific and Australia.

Important note: every warehouse location outside the U.S. has country-specific prerequisites to send and store items. Be sure to inquire with our team about the country you’d like to store your inventory so you aren’t surprised by rules and regulations in the fine print.

Build relationships around the globe with Postal

When it comes to growing your brand presence on a global scale, understanding the international warehousing ecosystem will guide your budget and make your offline strategy more efficient.

If you’d like to learn more about the global vendors on the Postal Marketplace or our international capabilities, request a demo with one of our offline engagement specialists.

Alex YC Park
Alex YC Park

Alex, known as YC, has 9 plus years of experience in freight forwarding, warehousing, and e-commerce operations. With his logistic expertise in different fields and areas, Alex is excited to share and implement his skill sets as the International Logistics and Warehousing Manager at Postal.

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