Translogistics Blog

TLI University: International Transportation 101

July 31, 2018

Written By: Translogistics

TLI University Logo horiz CMYKiStock-930762046

Welcome to TLI University!

With more than 20 years in the industry we thought it was time to pass along some of the knowledge that helped us get to where we are today. This is a weekly publication aimed to educate anyone who is curious about transportation and shipping.

This week, we combine all we have learned so far and move on to the international level of shipping.


What is International Transportation?

  • International Transportation is shipping from one country to another – International shipments are defined as either exports or imports depending on the direction
  • As a shipper in the United States, an export is a shipment that is leaving the United States and is destined for another country
  • As a consignee in the United States, an import is a shipment that is shipping from another country and is destined for the United States
  • International shipments are not limited to overseas countries – they also include shipments moving between the United States and Canada, Mexico or Puerto Rico and other U.S. territory islands
  • International shipments can be transported by ground, air or ocean transportation

How are International Shipments Priced?

  • International shipments can be moved as LTL, Volume LTL, Truckload, Air, and Ocean and are priced the same as discussed above under the related transportation methods

What information is needed when booking an International shipment?

  • Origin (Shipper) City, State and Zip Code
  • Destination (Consignee) City, State and Zip Code
  • Shipping Date and Time – When is the specific time or “window” that the shipment is to be picked up by the carrier?
    • Note – The need for specific times or “windows” will be determined by the actual mode of transportation as discussed above
  • Delivery Date and Time – When is the specific time or “window” that the shipment is to be delivered by the carrier?
    • Note – The need for specific times of “windows” will be determined by the actual mode of transportation – in many cases, as discussed above, air or ocean shipments to international destinations will only go to a foreign port or airport, after which the foreign customer will arrange for the domestic transportation after their product clears customs
  • Number and Types of Pieces Shipping – How many pallets, bundles, cartons or pieces are shipping?
  • Product Stackable? Due to the nature of some product, the shipper may not want the pallets to be stacked one on top of the other
  • Weight of the Shipment – How much does the total shipment weigh?
  • Commodity of Shipment – What product(s) does the shipment consist of? This is very important in the international market as the Customs Clearings agent of each country needs to know exactly what is entering the country
    • A Customs Clearing Agent is a party authorized by international customs authorities to certify and manage consignments between countries. They are also known as Customs and Forwarding Agent, or a Customs Broker
  • Name of Customs Agent for customer – Every shipment that enters a country from another country needs to be “cleared” by customs – the party receiving the goods (importer) is responsible for selecting a Customs Broker to clear the goods – we need to secure this information from our customer and need to relay that information to our International Transportation Provider
    • Note – International Transportation requires very specific documentation that is required by the importing country – each country in the world has different requirements for import documentation – the shipper (exporter) is responsible for completing this paperwork
  • Purchase Order and / or Other Reference Number – what is the customer’s Purchase Order Number? What paperwork do they need it listed on? Is there any other reference number that the customer would like included on their paperwork?
  • Value of Shipment – The actual value of an International shipment is highly important – as with the specific commodity, the Customs Broker needs the exact value of the shipment in order to clear it into the destination country – the country’s customs offices uses this information to determine taxes, duties and customs fees



Stay tuned for more information on transportation modes! 


Share This Blog

Categories: TLIUniversity

About Our Blog

For the latest insights, tips and commentary surrounding the logistics industry, look no further.  Shippers will find thoughts from the award-winning team at Translogistics covering everything related to your transportation processes and plans.  If you have a question we are readily available at