Package forwarding is an international shipping service offered by shipping companies to international online shoppers who want to do cross-border online shopping. Package forwarding is becoming more and more popular among international shoppers nowadays because of the high growth rate of e-commerce websites and shipping limitations of most such websites. Package forwarding service is provided by package forwarders to make cross-border shopping convenient and easy, getting rid of the problems in payment and shipping. A package forwarding service is different from mail forwarding. Mail forwarding refers to the mails in traditional meaning, or magazines or papers that are normally called mails, while package forwarding refers to the online purchases or orders that are shipped within a package.
There are several reasons that caused package forwarding service into existence:
- Fast development of online e-commerce shopping.
- The convenient of international checkout with PayPal and others.
- The needs of shoppers in one country that desire to buy from online retailers from another country.
- Transit safety and insurance features provided by some providers.
- The price differences between US stores and international stores.
There are several obstacles towards a successful cross-border online shopping, and these include shipping and paying for orders. For instance, US online stores are popular worldwide, but some of them only ship to US addresses or they ask for high shipping international rate. So the package forwarding service helps international shoppers in shipping their purchases from the US to their home addressed or helps them place a direct order with the US retailers if they do not have a US billing address.
A package forwarding service works normally with five steps:
- The shopper first gets a native shipping address from a package forwarder.
- The customer places an online order and asks the seller to ship the purchases to the package forwarder's warehouse.
- Package forwarders handle the packages, such as repacking, consolidation or storage.
- Shoppers pay the package forwarder for package handling and international shipping fee.
- The package forwarder ships out and online shoppers receive the package at home.
Some terms are related with package forwarding, but with different meanings, such terms include:
- Reilly, Claire (7 November 2014). "Package forwarding from the US to Australia: A complete guide". CNET. Retrieved 13 January 2015.