Ocean Freight Transportation to Belgium

The Kingdom of Belgium is ranked among the top 20 trading nations in the world. Belgium has a strongly globalized economy, with high per-capita exports and a high GNP. Its major exports include oil, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and diamonds. It’s worth your while to learn more about ocean freight transportation from the US to Belgium if you’re an exporter.

The country, which has a diverse commercial and industrial base and a well-developed transportation network, is heavily reliant on imports, as it requires substantial raw materials. Antwerp is the country’s economic heart, as well as Belgium’s most populous city. The chemical industry and the diamond trade are both central to the city’s, and the country’s, economy. Antwerp is also an important cultural and tourism center.

Belgium’s biggest trading partners are the US and the EU, and foreign trade accounts for almost 70 percent of the country’s economy. All these factors make knowledge of ocean freight transportation from the US to Belgium vital to any exporter.

Full Container (FCL) or Groupage (LCL)

Either a full container load (FCL) or a shared container-groupage (a less-than-container load, or LCL)-are your choices when shipping a container to Belgium.

A 20-foot shipping container can fit up to 10 standard pallets, while a 40-foot container can carry 22 standard pallets. Your shipping volume can help determine your most suitable container choice: you will need to choose a full container load if the volume of your shipment is equal to six or more standard pallets.

A full container is also your best option if you wish to avoid any risk of damage to your goods that may be posed by contact with other exporters’ goods.

Exporters must know that there are two types of pallets: Standard (1.2m/47 ¼” X 1m/39 38”) and Euro (1.2m/47 ¼” X .8m/31 ½”.)

It is important to know which pallets you are using and if your cargo is stackable in order to calculate your shipping charge.

Groupage-a shared container (LCL)-is a good choice if isolating your goods from those of others is not a concern. This allows you to pay only for the space you require. Please consult iContainers for rates and other important information.

Ocean Freight Routes to Belgium

Antwerp is Belgium’s main port, and one of the most important ports in both Europe and the world.

  • Port of Antwerp
    The Port of Antwerp is the second-largest port in Europe and seventh in the world. The Antwerp Port Authority is responsible for the port’s management, and is able to grant concessions to private businesses operating there.
    The port is home to the largest chemical cluster in Europe, and handles high volumes of general cargo. It is accessible to capsize ships, with facilities that feature 48 docks and 97 miles of quay and cover over 32 acres.
    The port is located at the upper end of the river Scheldt. The estuary is navigable almost 50 miles inland by ships of more than 100,000 gross tons.

Air Freight Transportation to Belgium

If you are working with an urgent shipment or against a short deadline, air freight may be more appropriate for your needs than ocean freight. Some limitations on volume and weight are imposed with air freight; iContainers provides a calculator to help you determine whether this is the right option for you.

However, exporters need to know the limitations in size for air shipments: Air Freight limitations

  • Maximum height: 1,580mm / 5’2”
  • Maximum width: 2,000mm / 6’6”
  • Maximum length: 2,000mm / 6’6”