There are plenty of different ways to ship a pallet to Germany if you are an exporter of commercial goods. As you probably already know, since the UK exited from the European Union and, in particular, its customs union, it has been necessary for all palletised goods to be accompanied by the required paperwork. Therefore, whichever shipping method you use to get a pallet or two of goods to your German customer(s), you will need to have declared the consignment with both HMRC and EU customs officers.
Many British firms find that outsourcing such work to a specialist customs clearance agent is the most cost-effective way of getting this right the first time. If not, inexperienced administrative staff could end up causing a delay in the shipment while paperwork errors are sorted out. That said, there are four main ways to send a pallet to Germany door-to-door nowadays.
- Air Freight
With no direct ferry services from the UK to Germany, air freight is the only way to send a pallet directly from Britain to anywhere in the country. However, this option is more expensive than any of the others. It is only really a viable choice if you have high-value items that need to get to your German client without any delay whatsoever. Remember that you will still need to arrange for onward transit locally even once the ground handling crew at whichever airport in Germany is chosen has unloaded your shipment. Consequently, it can take longer overall than you might have expected.
- Express Courier Via the English Channel
One of the quickest and most reliable ways to get a pallet to Germany is to have it collected from you by a two-man team of drivers. They can then share the load of driving the goods to Folkestone or Dover and cross the short stretch of water to northern France together. According to Barrington Freight, a freight forwarding company that arranges uninterrupted pallet deliveries all over Germany, it takes just over ten hours to reach Berlin from Calais with this sort of service. Depending on traffic, Frankfurt is under seven hours away while Düsseldorf is only four-and-a-half hours from the French port.
- Humber to Rotterdam
Another good option is the roll-on, roll-off ferry service from the Humber estuary to the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. This is a good option for sending a pallet to Germany from a distribution hub in the Midlands. Lorries and semi-trailers laden with pallets can reach Rotterdam from Immingham overnight with six departures on offer each week.
- Newcastle to Amsterdam
There are currently seven sailings from North Shields to Amsterdam each week. This service covers 275 miles of the journey from the UK to Germany by sea. It only takes about another two hours by road to get over the border and into Germany from the Netherlands with this route. Consider this option if you are based in Scotland or the north of England or ask your freight forwarder for their advice about the alternatives.