Common European Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common European Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


6 minute read | By Springhill Team

Last updated: January 16, 2024 | Published: October 18, 2022


Avoiding common shipping mistakes is crucial when it comes to making European Union exports and imports by country. Running into mistakes can cause delays, a loss of time and money, as well as unsatisfied customers. This is why it is so important to plan ahead and work with a freight forwarder, such as ourselves, to ensure efficient supply chain management.

1. Confusion over regulations

Regulations and getting them right is essential for European exports and imports by country. In recent times, the regulations have changed, due to events such as Brexit, and it is critical you have  the required knowledge and information regarding regulations, before you proceed.

The upcoming changes to customs declarations, with CHIEF being replaced by CDS is a key example of this. The changes, due to be implemented on October 1st 2022, mean that the processes for the declaration of goods departing and arriving into the UK will be altered. Research into these regulations and speaking to a freight forwarder or your personal account manager, can help you to manage this much better, to avoid last minute stress.

We have an agile and experienced team of Customs professionals, who can help you with all your customs related needs.

2. Not considering alternative transport methods

To get the best outcome for not only yourselves, but your customers, fully researching into different transport options is vital. We can help advise you on this.

An example of this is Groupage. Some companies may choose to wait until they can fill a FTL or FCL, before making shipments. However, this may not be the best solution, depending on your needs. For those who require smaller, more frequent shipments, or perhaps require JIT goods, for products such as food or limited edition goods, groupage is certainly a good choice. Our groupage services mean that you only pay for the space you fill, which can certainly be a more cost effective option for frequent shipments.

Our EU Groupage services are a great option for when you cannot fill a full truck or container, but still want to make European Union exports and imports by country. We offer daily departures and daily collections, from Italy, Spain and Portugal to the UK with competitive rates, so you can import and export with ease.

Find out more about Groupage here:

3. Choosing the cheapest freight method

Much like not considering alternative freight options, opting for the cheapest option is not always the best decision to make, when making European Union exports and imports by country. The method you choose, although cost is important, needs to be the most effective for what you’re shipping and your deadlines. For example, if you need something ASAP, then although sea freight may be more cost effective, considering other options such as air freight or dedicated truck or van options will allow your cargo to arrive at its destination in a more timely manner.

Likewise, you should look for freight forwarders with a good reputation, with accreditations, so you can be assured that your goods are in safe hands. Choosing an unreliable partner may incur shipping problems, despite the cheap freight rates offered. Further problems down the line may also mean that you end up with costly problems, creating a much more expensive shipment than you anticipated.

4. Leaving things till the last minute

Preparation is key when organising shipments. Events such as Christmas, Black Friday and more recently the many examples of ongoing industrial action with in the logistics industry, can impact space availability and without early bookings, you may find it difficult to meet your deadlines. Therefore, it is vital that you keep up to date with industry updates, to ensure that you avoid delays in your supply chain, as best as possible.

5. Not preparing documentation

Alongside not leaving bookings till the last minute and keeping up to date with industry news, preparing documentation in advance is a MUST. All relevant documentation, particularly for upcoming changes, such as CDS, should be completed before any deadlines. This will avoid your shipments from being caught up at ports. If shipments are not cleared at the port, then not only will your shipments be delayed, but you may have to pay fines. This could become very costly, as a result.

In addition, it is very important that all details on the documentation are filled out accurately, as errors could create problems later down the line.

We aim to warn our customers with all the knowledge they need for these upcoming changes, by sending out mail shots, as well as releasing things on our social media and our website as blogs. We also produce checklists, such as our CDS checklist, which offers step by step information about how to proceed with the changes you need to make. You can register for further updates by following this link

Further changes to Import Controls are due to come into place in late 2023, which will affect the documentation required when making imports. If you do not prepare this documentation accordingly, then you will not be able to import goods into the UK. This is something to watch out for, certainly as we enter 2023.

The more you prepare in advance, the less likely you are to run into hurdles when shipping your goods.

6. To conclude…

One of the most important things to ensure you do is to choose a partner you can trust to handle your shipments for you. Avoid choosing unreliable and inexperienced freight forwarders, as this will likely lead to shipment issues, despite initial cheap freight rates.

At Good Logistics, we have decades of experience handling shipments for a variety of different businesses and a range of cargo types. Our teams of trained professionals and are here to listen and understand your needs, to make sure your supply chain needs are met. Not only are our employees highly skilled, but we hold an array of accreditations, so you can be assured that your goods are safe in our hands.

For further information on our EU services, please visit out dedicated EU page and discover the array of supply chain solutions we can offer you:

Or if you are a current customer, reach out to your account manager to discuss options for your shipments.

  • Filter by category

  • Reset