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.

Customer feedback

quotation-mark

Receive an Easy Haulage Quote in 20 Minutes

Because you need to know your costs, we offer a quick and easy haulage quote and guarantee you will be happy with the results.

Tell us what you need using the basic form below and we’ll call or email you back within 15 – 20 minutes.

Thank You.

Request a quote