What e-tailors need to know about shipping parcels to the USA

30 September, 2021


Shipping parcels to the USA cost-effectively and reliably is important to UK e-tailers looking to expand to this huge market. But what do you need to know about shipping to the USA?

Find out more about Asendia's parcel services to the USA


Expanding your ecommerce business into new markets is always an exciting time, but you’ll need to carry out plenty of research to make sure you’re able to ship to your new customers efficiently with the same professionalism your current customers already value.

The USA may well be a distant target, but it’s a fantastic market to expand into, let’s take a look at some of the facts:

  • Revenue from e-commerce in the United States amounted to 431.6 billion U.S dollars in 2020. Source: com
  • Top products purchased by US online consumers include home furniture and bedding, clothing, and computers, and tablets, Source: co.uk
  • United Kingdom Exports to United States was US$57.72 Billion during 2020, this includes items from all sectors. Source: com

So, now you’re looking to expand into this market, what do e-tailors need to know about shipping parcels to the USA?


Shipping from your own UK premises

The big concern for many in shipping to somewhere as far away as the USA, is how to get your items to customers quickly but also as cost-effective as possible.

As you will know from shipping in the UK, or other parts of the world, giving your consumers choice in shipping options, so they choose the cost and time puts welcome power in their hands. But you still need to make sure your options are competitive.

You must also take into consideration any restrictions for goods entering your destination country and customs charges and taxes.

Your courier or logistics company should have the experience and knowledge needed to overcome paperwork and red tape, in fact experts like Asendia operate globally and can support your shipping wherever items are collected to wherever they’re delivered.

Previously, it will have been easy to send items from your own place of business to UK customers. But as you grow and enter new markets, you’ll need to think about the best way to ship to these new customers. Time and cost of to the USA will be a big factor in people choosing to shop with you.


UK fulfilment centre

A UK fulfilment centre may not seem necessary if you already ship from your own premisses. But consider having all your goods safe and secure off-site, ready to go at a moment’s notice to your target destination.

What’s more, the team at the centre are well practiced in all the paperwork and customs charges for borders across the world, meaning you can simply focus on maximising your customer base and growing your business.

These can be shipped with other goods from other companies, reducing costs and also using transport that is owned and operated by your mail logistics company and its partners.

Asendia, for example, has two UK based fulfilment centres that are connected to a global network that helps keep prices low and delivery times short.


US based fulfilment centre

A solution that may suit you well, is to have all your best selling products in the USA prepared and ready for your new customers. Having a local fulfilment centre will help with this and offers the following benefits:

  • Less frequent shipping from the UK to the USA. Send over products in bulk needing one customs form, and tax payment to be safely stored in a US fulfilment centre
  • Products are already in the USA ready to be shipped at a moment’s notice to new customers at a local domestic shipping rate with shorter waits for delivery



Dropshipping, is another option for some merchants, and ideal for you if your product can be manufactured in the USA. The customer makes an order via your site and a US manufacturer/wholesaler local to them makes their order up and sends it to them direct from their depot.

This does mean you avoid customs costs and red tape, and possible border delays, but margins are typically very tight. You will also need to take manufacturing time into consideration which may push your shipping time up.


Optimising your store for shoppers in the USA

Don’t forget to basics of how you can increase your store’s conversion rate with US shoppers:

  • Localise payment options: Make sure customer can pay in US Dollars (USD) using a payment method preferred by US consumers
  • Localised delivery options: Whichever way you choose to get your items into the USA be sure to use a logistics provider who has access to local couriers who know the area and local customs

We’ve written detailed guidance on best practice tips for increasing your ecommerce conversion rate which you can read at our insights portal.

International mail logistics company Asendia delivers to 200 countries and is well rehearsed in all aspects of international shipping. They employ 1,500 staff at 35 global locations, and have fulfilment centres in Italy, Singapore, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

If you simply need to ask a few questions about how to get started, or you’re ready to start shipping to the USA and grow your business in this exciting market, get in touch and see how Asendia can help make your eCommerce business global.


Asendia's parcel services to the USA for online stores large and small

We handle the fulfilment and shipping of international orders for some of the biggest e-tail brands in the world and hundreds of smaller online stores too. 

Find out more about our international order fulfilment services

See details about our parcel services to USA

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