Logistics Know How

How to export freight from Europe

Do you want to export freight out of Europe? Do you miss the basic information to get you started? Then, check our simple guide and get ready to export freight out of Europe.

Anna-Sophia Metzel, 17 December 2021

When it comes to shipping freight from Europe worldwide, procedures, documentation and other logistics requirements can vary to a great extent. At Twill, we offer different logistics solutions with global coverage and local logistics knowledge. We speak multiple languages and ship freight from Europe to a range of destinations such as Asia or Africa worldwide. To get you started, we have prepared an easy guide based on the most asked questions when it comes to shipping freight from Europe.

From where in Europe can I export freight?

Europe consists of 44 countries – a lot of different opportunities to ship cargo from Europe worldwide. If you want to ship freight from Europe with Twill, we’ve got you covered. With our global coverage, you can ship to more than 150 countries and over 300 ports worldwide. Here are some of the European countries we ship from:

You can find more information about shipping from Europe in our dedicated container shipping information section.

Which commodities are mainly exported from Europe?

In Europe, there are many different factories and producers of a variety of goods. When it comes to exports, commodities, therefore, vary as well. However, there are some key commodities in European markets such as:

  • From Germany, the main commodities exported are cars, wood/timber, paper, chemicals, machinery, beverages, food, dairy products, electronics, plastics, metal, rubber.

  • From Spain, the main commodities being shipped internationally are food products, beverages, tobacco, and consumer goods.

  • From Greece, you can export goods such as aluminium, medicament, fruits and nuts, fresh or dried, vegetables, and fish.

  • From Italy, common export goods are machinery, metals and metal products, clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals as well as many food products.

  • From Poland, the main export commodities from Poland are machinery and equipment, metals and metal products, minerals and fuels, chemicals, agricultural products and textiles.

  • From Denmark, the most exported commodities are wind turbines, pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, furniture and design.

  • From Sweden, common export goods are forestry, automotive, mining, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products.

  • From Norway, common export goods are forestry, chemicals and mineral products.

  • From Russia, the most exported commodities are hydrocarbons, solid fuels, wheat and meslin, iron and steel, precious metals, precious stones.

For further information on commodities and shipping out of the different countries above, check our dedicated shipping information section.

Your step-by-step guide for exports from Europe

Now, that you went through all the important tips and tricks to export freight from Europe, you might need a handy guide. Export procedures can vary depending on the country you are shipping freight from and to. In general, you can expect to follow a similar procedure:

Read our step-by-step guide to export containers from Europe.
  1. Know your Incoterms: They are the world’s essential terms of trade for the sale of goods. Incoterms are used to clearly define the obligation of cost, risk and responsibility of the transportation of goods between a buyer and seller.

  2. Gather your HS Codes: They are commonly used throughout the export process for goods to classify traded products.

  3. Choose the right logistics service: With Twill, you can ship your cargo worldwide with local expertise and an intuitive platform that shows prices and schedules within seconds. You can also add Inland Transportation and Customs Services in order to transport your cargo door to door. Try it for yourself and sign up for free.

  4. Get your shipping documentation ready: Provide any required documentation for your exports and prepare export declarations and Customs documentation. For example, in Germany, you can find further information here.

  5. Prepare & load your freight: Once cleared for export, the cargo is loaded for transport in the container.

  6. Ship your goods: Your goods can now start their journey and reach their destination safely.

Which documents are required when exporting out of Europe?

Depending on the type of products or freight you wish to ship, and the destination, different forms, documents, and licenses may be required. Here, is a list of shipping documentation required for export customs clearance from Europe:

  • Commercial Invoice: This document shows the goods you are buying, full details of the seller and the associated value of the goods.

  • Packing List: Gives a more detailed breakdown of the items inside your container, including the product, number of items and the packed dimensions and weights

  • Bill of Lading: This is a detailed document which you will receive from us. It is the transportation contract and important details on the shipment are included in it. It is a relevant part of the ocean freight and proof that the carrier has received the goods from the shipper in good condition.

  • Certificate of origin: Proves the source and therefore your eligibility for the duty reduction. It is not necessary for all countries - only if the destination country or consignee are asking specifically for this document.

  • EUR1 certificate: A form that is used in international commodity traffic. The certificate is used to certify the origin of a product. Furthermore, it enables importers in certain countries to import goods at a lower import duty under agreements between the EU and beneficiary countries.

  • Phytosanitary certificates: Depending on the cargo, you might also present such certificates.

You can find more about key shipping documents on our documents page.

What do shippers need to consider when shipping freight out of Europe?

If you want to export freight out of Europe, you need to be aware of a few factors such as agreements and alliances between European countries and other countries worldwide. Those factors include:

  • Export controls

  • International sanctions and embargoed countries

  • Restricted parties

  • Restricted countries (e.g. North Korea, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Venezuela)

How to ship freight from Europe after Brexit?

Like many other businesses, you might be worried about what regulatory changes after Brexit mean for freight shipping. You might ask yourself, how you can continue (or start) to access the UK market, and what to expect in terms of increased exporting costs.

From registering your business with different entities, to making your way through export documentation, it may all seem daunting. That’s why we have compiled a couple of tips and tricks to deal with shipments after Brexit.

Let’s get started to ship your freight from Europe

With this guide, you are all set to explore our multiple shipping services such as ocean freight and inland transportation. You can also directly sign up to our platform to get instant rates and schedules now. It’s free and only takes a few steps!

If you have more questions about the world of shipping, head over to our Help Center. Our customer care team is here to help along the way, so you can start shipping freight from Europe.

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