If you’re wanting to send a load or parcel to France from the UK is a fairly easy process and is frequently performed. France holds the second largest economy in Europe, with its value of import/export up to as much as 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
France’s location offers multimodal forms of transport, whether it be air, road or sea. With almost half of the country’s boarder facing seas, this puts France at a prime location for importing loads overseas. Boarding the western edge of Europe, it faces onto the Bay of Biscay (North Atlantic Ocean), the English Channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, which offers a buzzing import and export hub for freight and trade.
France is the UK’s closest neighbour within the European continent, which makes importing/exporting from the UK to France fairly quick in turnaround time. Rail, road and air freight are all utilised in France.
Goods and Customs
Goods being posted from the UK to France do not require customs documentation. This is because the UK and France are both in the European Union, however, it is advised to check this information before sending goods around the Brexit deadline day (October 31st).
When sending your parcel via courier to France, it usually follows a similar protocol as sending packages to places such as Germany and Italy. Make sure you’re aware of the shipping perspectives set in place.
Postal services – mainly suitable for mails, letters, envelopes, parcels of a smaller kind and lower weight.
If a postal service is best for the package you are sending, you are generally asked to drop off your packaged to the post office – much like internally sending a package in the UK, a door-to-door service is rarely offered.
Courier services – Courier companies are usually private and specialise in bigger or heavier parcels. Usually, courier services are able to deliver your parcel in a much shorter, “express” time (around 5-7 days). A door-to-door service may be offered when you choose to send your parcel with a courier company, however this may be dependent on the company, so please check in good time before sending your parcel.
Pallet and container shipping – Pallet shipping tends to be a bigger and heavier load, where goods (usually bulk amounts) are packed onto pallets and forklifted into/onto a vehicle. Like at all times, if you are sending a parcel via pallet, you must provide your own secure pallet and wrapping, which should be stable enough for the tilt and manoeuvre of goods. Containerised shipping is even bigger again, and in the case of distribution, pallets of goods are packed into a container for delivery. Prices of container loads vary depending on what type of load you are sending and how much of the container is filled (refer to FCL and LCL in our glossary here).
When sending a parcel, it is important to make sure your goods are allowed – you can check this on the Royal Mail website. Restricted or prohibited items consist of:
Synthetic pyjamas that are not fire-retardant;
Coins and precious metals;
Toys or games containing copper sulphate.
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