Shipping a commercial pallet to Europe has become that bit harder since the UK left the European Union even when the goods are being sent to a no-EU member, such as Norway or Switzerland. Why? Because the vast majority of palletised goods from the UK to continental Europe pass through France, Belgium or the Netherlands regardless of their final destination. Therefore, EU rules on commercial shipments will apply whenever the goods pass from one trading bloc to the next.
Consequently, it is a good idea to use a freight forwarding firm that also has experience with EU customs clearances. Making the right declarations on time through the right IT systems takes a fair amount of expertise, according to Barrington Freight, an international shipping business based in Essex. Unless you already use a customs clearance agent, combining this sort of service with your freight forwarder makes a great deal of sense since it usually means benefiting from an economy of scale.
Of course, you can always air freight goods directly to their intended destination. However, even goods that land locally at a regional airport still need to be forwarded. As such, this is not only an expensive option for most types of shipment but it isn’t always as quick as you might think. One of the main alternatives that is worth considering nowadays is an express courier service. These can handle UK pallets, Euro pallets and even most other types of pallets so long as you’re not shipping something oversized that will require skids. Usually, a sprinter-style van will be despatched to your business premises to collect your cargo. Up to two fully loaded pallets of goods are possible to send to Europe this way. In many cases, collections can be arranged for the same or the next day.
With a courier service, it is also possible to arrange for two drivers to manage the consignment for you. This way, your pallet to Europe won’t be held up due to mandatory breaks from driving. When one is needed, the second driver can take over. Please bear in mind that this can speed up pallets to eastern and southern Europe considerably when there are longer distances involved. If you opt for this sort of service, make sure the drivers are able to stay in radio contact with their controller. This is so that any road hold-ups can be monitored in advance and avoided, where appropriate.
A more cost-effective way to send a pallet to Europe is to use a groupage service. With a groupage shipment, your pallet will be loaded onto a lorry that will either make landfall in the Netherlands from the Humber Estuary or be sent on cross-channel service to northern France. On arrival, customs will need to be cleared for all the consignments before the onward journey can continue. You still get a direct delivery to your client’s address with a groupage shipment but the costs are shared making them much more affordable. That’s why so many SMEs, for instance, make use of this pallet delivery method today and will probably continue to do so for some time to come.