Ocean Freight Transportation to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is the world’s fifth-largest economy based on market exchange rates, and Europe’s second-largest. It is a member of the WTO and the EU. The kingdom is the fifth-largest importer in the world, and the ninth-largest exporter. All those interested in exporting should learn more about ocean freight transportation from the US to the United Kingdom.

London, the kingdom’s capital, is the world’s largest financial center, along with New York. The service sector contributes roughly 78 percent of the kingdom’s GDP. In 2013, the United Kingdom led Europe in inward foreign direct investment, at $26.51 billion USD.

The US is one of the principal trading partners of the United Kingdom, whose primary imports are petroleum products, computers, cars, and pharmaceuticals. The kingdom’s vast market should be of great interest to all entrepreneurs. It’s good business to learn more about ocean freight transportation from the US to the United Kingdom.

Full Container (FCL) or Groupage (LCL)

Either a full container load (FCL) or a shared container load (LCL) are your options when you ship a container to the United Kingdom; which you choose will depend on your circumstances.

A full container load (FCL) is for you if the volume of your shipment is equal to at least six standard pallets; 20-foot containers accommodate 10 standard pallets, while 40-foot containers can carry 22 standard pallets.

If you need to avoid any risk of damage to your goods that could be caused by contact with other exporters’ merchandise, then FCL is also what you need.

Otherwise, you may want to opt for a shared container (LCL), also known as groupage. This arrangement allows you to pay only for the space you need. Please consult iContainers for rates and other information.

Ocean Freight Routes to the United Kingdom

  • London
    The Port of London Authority, a public trust, governs the Port of London. The port handles all manner of cargo, RORO ferries, and cruise ships. London was the second-largest port in the United Kingdom in 2012 in terms of tonnage handled, at 48 million tons. The port covers several locations, stretching along the tidal Thames and including central London; it features various wharfs, docks, terminals and facilities.
  • Manchester
    Manchester and Liverpool are linked via the seaway known as the Peel Ports Manchester Ship Canal, which is 36 miles long and features 12 terminals. Both Manchester and Liverpool run under a single management team. The canal handles roughly nine million tons of cargo a year. Here, container vessels are brought right into the best-connected port in the United Kingdom via deep-water berthing.
  • Port of Belfast
    Belfast Harbour handles approximately 70 percent of Northern Ireland’s maritime trade every year, and is its principal maritime gateway and logistics hub. In 2014, more than 25 million tons of goods passed through the port. Turnover was $78 million USD in 2013.

Air Freight Transportation to the United Kingdom

Air freight may be better-suited to your needs than ocean freight under some circumstances. If your shipment is urgent or you’re working with a tight schedule, you’ll want to choose air freight. It does impose some limitations related to volume and weight; consult the iContainers calculator to help you determine your best option.