Parcel forwarders otherwise known as package forwarders are service providers who will provide you with an address in which you can send shopping to that you buy in a foreign country, once they have received your parcel they will forward it on to you in the country you live in. They will send it to you using a courier you choose and they often offer other services such as repackaging and consolidation in order to help you to cut some of the costs of receiving your shopping.
There are parcel forwarders in many countries who will help you to ship your items from one country to another. Most commonly shoppers will use one based in the USA to take advantage of the variety and selection of products that are on ale there. Forwarders in the UK and Europe are also popular. Some of the most popular companies include:
There are many other and some will specialise in shipping from smaller countries, such as Japan or Singapore to other countries.
All of them will have a range of different shipping services from the major couriers so you can choose if you want an express service or a slow and cheaper service. Couriers that many of the forwarders use include:
and many others, some will co-ordinate with local couriers in the receiving country in order to get your package to your door.
What are the costs involved with shipping your items over the world?
The first and primary cost is the shipping cost. Because the forwarders ship volume, they have special rates with the couriers and will be able to offer you better rates than if you went with them direct.
Some forwarders offer a premium account fee, this may give you further reductions for the price of a monthly or annual fee. These are only really worth paying if you plan to use the service regularly. If it is for occasional use you may not want to pay an account fee.
Other costs that can save you money are, consolidation, this is if you buy multiple packages, the forwarders will consolidate all the packages into one in order to save you money and risk of losing one. Repackaging is a similar service where they will repackage a parcel into a smaller or more protected parcel before forwarding it on to you.
It maybe necessary to pay for insurance or for the forwarder to take photos of your package for you, so you can view your item before they deliver it to you.
Many of these costs are optional but you may find them necessary.
Which is the Cheapest?
In order to find the cheapest you will need to compare the shipping costs and include the service costs that you will require. The shipping costs vary greatly depending upon the item’s weight and speed of shipping, the other costs are largely fixed and so will cost the same according to service.
You will need to check which service you are looking for and how quickly you want the package.
One tool that you can use to compare the cheapest and best parcel forwarders side-by-side is the website Forwarders Compare. This is a simple price comparison tool which compare prices costs and services across 5 of the most common parcel forwarders to help you choose which one is the best from the USA to your shipping destination.
The idea of the best is largely subjective and you can get an idea by looking at user reviews, but comparing costs is objective and can be easily done by using a website comparison checker such as this.