Guide to Parcel, Pallet and Freight shipping to Germany from the UK

Germany is by far the UK’s biggest EU export destination and in 2016 we sold goods to the value of over £34 billion (our second biggest EU export customer is France at a mere £20 billion!). Whilst nearly one third of this trade is conducted by large corporations (Typically in the Automotive, Aeronautical and Petroleum sector) the weaker pound has bolstered our SME exports and we are seeing many businesses start to sell into the EU for the first time.

This page aims to give the reader an overview of various export methods from small parcels to articulated lorry’s and some guidance from experienced professionals.

Freight shipping to Germany from the UK

OK, so the term ‘Shipping to Germany’ is rather misleading. Over 97% of UK exports to Germany travelled by road last year, which is unlikely to change in 2017/18 (even during and after Brexit) and freight is a general term you will hear that refers to any bulk transport.The next few sections will cover what is generally classified as freight and includes palletised shipping, containerised shipping and ‘full loads’.

When selling goods to EU businesses that are tax registered make sure that you include their tax number on your invoice other wise it will be deemed a consumer sale. You can apply a zero rate of tax and charge only the net value of the goods.

If you are going to begin exporting from the UK to Germany, Palletised transport is likely to be the most accessible and cost effective means due to the robust road network, tariff free access to the EU and several healthy international hauliers with vehicles and hubs in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France and of course Germany.

You will be pleased to hear that for the majority of consumer and commercial goods there only a small amount of paperwork and administration required however having the right paperwork is crucial as missing or incomplete documents increase the risk of delays and extra costs.

You may have come across the term ‘customs clearance’, if you are exporting within the EU and your goods are not on the list below there will not be any customs clearance required.

Licences are needed to export:

  • military and paramilitary goods
  • dual-use and technology – such as machine tools, computers and marine equipment
  • artworks
  • plants
  • animals
  • medicines
  • chemicals

It is good practice to send a copy of the invoice with the goods, if unforseen difficulties arise this documentation will be used to identify both parties involved in the transaction and issues can be resolved.

Typical ‘Standard’ Pallet Size and Weights

Palletised shipping

Address format

German addresses are fairly straight forward:

  • Name
  • Company Name
  • Building Name (if applicable)
  • Number and Street Name
  • Area Code (5 digit area code is similar to the UK Post code)
  • Country

Next day pallet delivery

If you need a next day delivery to Germany this will require a dedicated vehicle which will come at a premium price. To get a good price for a next day service it is worth getting several quotes directly from hauliers, to begin your search i recommend you start on directories like yell.com and search their road haulage services section.

Road Haulage Services Ltd

Unit 96. Rainsborowe Road
Colchester
Essex
CO2 7JS

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