Everything you need to know about sending goods from the UK to France

France is the world’s fifth biggest economy and Europes second largest consumer market. It’s a large and diversified market within easy reach of the UK and selling and shipping UK products to France is relatively straight forward.

This page covers many aspects of parcels, postage haulage and freight to France and there is a handy ‘Quick links’ menu to the left if you want to skip ahead to a relevant section.

Shipping from the UK to France

The term ‘Shipping to France’ is rather misleading as over 98% of our exports to France went by road in 2015/16, which is unlikely to change in 2017/18 (even during and after Brexit).

It is the same for companies shipping from France to UK as the road infrastructure is good and there are a wealth of reliable suppliers out there of haulage and freight service.

Freight to France

Freight to France will is most likely to be by road as it tends to be cheap, quick and effective from the UK. Palletised good are what most businesses are familiar with although some larger manufacturers may send containerised goods.

If you are sending Pallets to France from the UK you have easy access to a variety of options giving similar services but it can pay to understand the way the haulage industry works, especially if you are regularly exporting to Europe. Here is a handy guide to sourcing the right partner for various types of pallets to France. All of the information contained works regardless of whether you are sending pallets to or from France.

Factors affecting the cost of any freight and haulage tend to be:

Weight of your pallet

Weight it typically the biggest factor effecting price so the heavier your pallets the more you can expect to pay around £1.50 per mile although this will fluctuate and its worth get a couple of quotes early on to give you a good sense of price for your particular job.

Size of your pallet

Size of your pallet

  • A ‘Quarter Pallet’ tends to be no taller than 0.8m high (including the pallet itself).

  • A ‘Half Pallet’ is anything between 0.8 and 1.2m high.

  • A ‘Full Pallet’ is between 1.2m and 2.2m high. Anything over this will be classed as oversized and will be more expensive and difficult to transport.

The three types of pallet carrier:

Pallet Broker

A Pallet Broker typically acts as a middle man and may be able to negotiate discounted rates with Hauliers. A Pallet Broker website will usually be able to give you a price online as well as letting you book collection and delivery online. Finding a Pallet Broker isn’t tricky. Results for a google search term like ‘Pallet Delivery’ will typically all be from Brokers who will often give you a price there and then.

Pallet Network

A Pallet Network typically own and operate a variety of vans, lorry’s and HGV’s as well as have use of warehouse ‘hubs’ where pallets are sorted for onward delivery. To find your local Pallet Network may require a little more investigation. There are a few major networks that comprise of multiple hauliers so it can feel like chasing best place to start isThe Association of Pallet Networks.

Haulier / Carrier

A Haulier (often called Carrier) will typically own and operate a variety of vehicles and will undertake a range of haulage work, not solely dedicated to pallet delivery. To find a Haulier it is worth starting your search on Yell and searching under their Road Haulage Services category for your required locations. The results are most likely for knowledgeable local hauliers who will be happy to help you.

Next day pallet

Next day pallet delivery may require a dedicated vehicle which will come at a premium price. You will need to speak to a local hauler to arrange this as they will have their own vehicles they can use or will have several contacts who are owner drivers/owner operators who undertake this kind of work at competitive rates.

Couriers & Parcels to France

If your parcel weighs less than 30kg the cheapest way to send it to France is with a parcel courier and delivery times will usually be 2-3 days. When sending parcels to France from the UK (or from France to the UK) you have easy access to a variety of courier options however service levels range from excellent to appalling and there are some things you can do to protect yourself from misadventure.

Make sure you include as much contact information as you can for the recipient. A mobile number and email address are ideal as the local depot will use this if they have any difficulties locating the property or recipient. Without it, if the courier has any problems making delivery you will either get a call for the expectant recipient asking where their item is or worse, it will be returned to you and land on your doorstep (if you’re in when they try to return it).

The cost of Pallets and Shipping infographics

Most reliable courier to France

If you are after a reliable service DPD proved the best. You will pay a few pounds more for their service than the cheapest providers out there but DPD regularly wins consumer awards for their services. The only snag is that they do not deal with the general public however you can access them at places like parcelstreet where prices start at around £15 for economy and £60 for the next day.

You can engage a courier for same-day delivery but be prepared to pay several hundred pounds for the speediness of delivery. It’s worth phoning several haulers (start your search onYell ) as some are likely to have a network of available drivers able to take up to one or two pallets from the UK to Europe for a good price (you are still looking at around £300 minimum).

5 Factors Affecting Price
  • Weight of Pallets
  • Number of Pallets
  • Frequency of Pallets
  • Size of Pallets
  • Stackability of Pallets

Address Format

French addresses are fairly straight forward:
  • Name
  • Company Name
  • Building Name (if applicable)
  • Number and Street Name
  • Country
  • Area Code (5 digit area code is similar to the UK Post code)

New to doing business in France?

If you are completely new to doing business in France hopefully the information above will be of some use in terms of your physical exportation. Here are additional resources worth checking out – good luck.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • For continental land transit the hauliers liability to you, the owner of the goods, is calculated at around £8 per KG. Additional insurance up to £10k coverage can be purchased for £20, and for higher value goods we will provide you a bespoke quotation.

  • As the roads and ferries can be unpredictable we do not guarantee delivery timescales however we do work hard to ensure rapid transit where required.

  • Yes. To ensure smooth transit it may be necessary to discuss access and timings with our service personnel and we can ensure that a tail lift vehicle is used where required.

  • 'Standard Pallets' are 120x100cm and 'Euro Pallets' are 120x80cm. Anything bigger than this would be classed as oversized or if your goods overhang the pallet (not recommended unless the goods are sturdy) it would also be classed as oversized. If possible it is best to keep the height to a maximum of 220cm as anything taller may not fit through the doors of many standard vehicles. Our oversized pallet quotes are calculated on the exact measurements of your load so you will not pay for more space that you use.

  • Typically 5 working days is a good rule of thumb for most western European countries.

  • For domestic pallets and Exports, we can sometimes collect same day If booked before 10am. On most occasions though collection will be next working day and for Imports it is best to allow 2 days.

  • Yes (depending on the distance). This will require a dedicated vehicle.

  • Yes. Engines or vehicle parts must be fully drained of any oil or fuel prior to transport as spill and leaks can create a slip hazard and a fire risk.

  • Yes, often we can provide an online tracking link. If this is not available our service personnel can keep you updated on transit.

  • If your goods can be moved by hand (small and lightweight) or by forklift then it may not be necessary to put them onto a pallet. Typically though a pallet is essential for transit.

  • Kerbside refers to the position and availability of goods. Collections must be from a place accessible by the vehicle and goods will not be move further once off the vehicle.

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    Freight delivery costs from France to the UK - Import

    DescriptionCollectionDeliveryPrice in £ ex VAT
    120*80*145 @ 80 kg 120*80*105 @ 40 kg60530 FranceBA21 5HR209
    Full Load45380 FranceBN15 8SU1325
    7 x 120x80x100 @ 110kg each91130, FranceBS1 3DN409
    4 @ 120x80x100 @ 110kg each91130 FranceBS1 3DN239
    Full Load06000 Nice FranceBB1 2QS2795
    7 x 120x80x100 @ 110kg each91130, FranceBS1 3DN412
    2m x 2m x 60cm high @ 1150kg86202 FranceBT75 0SR475
    85x46x75cm 82kg93170 Bagnolet FRANCECV1 5PR98
    180x180Xh175CM @ 1190 KGS51520 LA VEUVE FranceCV1 5PR329
    Full Load91130, FranceBS1 3DN1625
    80x120x134 cm @ 233kg62126 FranceAL1 4TB155
    6 @ 120x80x110 @ 110kg each91130, FranceBS1 3DN429
    4 @ 120x80x130 @ 650kg each Non Stack94654 FrancePE8 6XX409
    94 KGS 80 X 60 X52 CMSMery France 73420CR0 4RR119
    2 x 120x80x180h @ 500kg each62300 FranceBN21 3HP319

    Freight delivery costs from the UK to France - Export

    DescriptionCollectionDeliveryCost in £ ex VAT
    160x100x160 @ 250kgST13 5RJ14000 France194
    2 @ 120x100x160. GW 795kgSK16 4UJSK16 4UJ 83140 France299
    80x80x80 @ 80kgPR7 4HD18110 France115
    120x80x200h @ 282kg 84x84x60 @ 40kgRM4 1AA83140 France216
    Full LoadST13 5RJ06160 France1725
    2 @ 120x100x180h @ 1150kg eachSG9 9PG74800 France349
    2 @ 120x80x100 @ 370kg each.PE7 2HD73120 Courchevel France299
    8 @ 120x100x140h @ 60kg eachNN3 6AX53410 France579
    1 @ 183 x 122 x 130 cm high @ 395kgEX19 8DH47-100 France242
    180x160x110cm @ 320kgDY9 7ND06360 France385
    2 @130x100x195h @ 192kg eachRH13 5QL83140 France339
    120x80x100 @ 370kgPE7 2HD73120 France186
    120x80x100 @ 370kgPE7 2HD73120 France186
    80x80x80 @ 80kgPR7 4HD59970 France105
    3 x 110x110x110. Gross weight 900kgOX4 4YN67720 France305
    2 @ 120x100x130h @ 300kg eachTN14 6AB54300 France190
    120x100x100h @ 500kgCW2 6HP24560 france162
    2 x 120x120x150h @ 200kg eachMK1 1LJ77170 France229