international shipping - some thoughts

Right now I'm torn about shipping my pouches internationally. Up until the past two months I have had no trouble with packages arriving at their locations in a reasonable amount of time. But then, out of the blue, there have been a few orders that have not arrived after a month and a half, which is way too long in my opinion - if you have experienced this I'm so sorry! It's usually just things being held up in customs, and those things are so unpredictable.

How I ship now internationally:

+ All bags, 12" pouches, and clothes are shipped via priority mail with insurance. This does not include tracking but it includes insurance so you are covered for loss or damage. Depending on the country this will cost anywhere between $32-45. I have never had a problem with these items arriving at their destination. USPS gives an estimate of a 6-10 day arrival, and I have found that that is generally accurate, but I have seen it take a month before.

+ All pouches (5" & 8") are shipped in a priority flate rate envelope. This does not include insurance or tracking and costs between $14-16. I would add insurance to these but USPS does not allow you to insure flat rate envelopes. USPS gives an estimate of a 6-10 day arrival. I have found sometimes packages arrive in 4 days (wow!) and then sometimes a month and a half. I've never had anything not arrive (still crossing my fingers for a few MIA ones!) but it just takes too long.

I used to ship parcel post for international packages, but that took even longer and seemed less reliable, which is why I switched to priority in the first place. I think priority still works fine for the larger items since they can be insured, but I have no idea what to do about the pouches. My only other option is to ship them in an express flate rate envelope which I can insure - but that costs as much as the pouch, and I know I would never pay as much for shipping as the item I'm buying, and I doubt others would either. It's crossed my mind to only ship the pouches domestically, but I hate to turn away international customers!

As a side note, I have considered switching to UPS (already have an account) as I know they are a more reliable service, but I'm still such a small business that I'm not certain it makes sense for me. Plus, the regular PO is just a few blocks away from me, so with no car it would be a pain to drop off at a UPS location - I know they do pick up, but, again, my shipping schedule is too random for this. (And if anything I assume UPS international shipping costs are more than USPS....)

Anways, if you have any thoughts or suggestions on the matter I would very much appreciate it!