Sending consignments of commercial goods on pallets is one of the most cost-effective methods of shipping today. This is partly because it is easy to load and unload items that have been stacked on pallets in just about any location.
However, it is also down to the fact that pallets help to protect goods. Once they've been wrapped and fixed firmly to a pallet, it is harder for them to be knocked into from the side or topple over.
This means that palletised goods tend to arrive in the same condition they left in, something that is important for longer journeys, such as from the UK to Portugal. If your company has an order it needs to fulfil in Portugal, then what are the key considerations to make when shipping a pallet or two there?
Road Versus Air Freight
To begin with, there are no direct ferry services from the UK to Portugal for palletised goods to be driven onto. That said, it would be a mistake to think that air freight to Portugal would be the only other option. Pallets can be held up at airports when they could be making better progress by road and, in truth, air freight is much more expensive for most types of commercial goods since weight plays a big part in the costs involved.
Instead, UK exporters should consider sending pallet-laden vans or trucks to Portugal via Santander in Spain or northern France. Both can be reached from Portsmouth. Alternatively, crossing the English Channel via the Eurotunnel would mean an onward journey of 1,250 miles to reach the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Groupage Shipments to Portugal
Due to the long distances involved in sending vans – or lorries, for greater numbers of pallets – to Portugal, a significant part of the costs involved are down to fuel consumption. According to Barrington Freight, a company that organises freight forwarding for many British exportation firms throughout Europe, groupage shipments help to bear down on such costs significantly.
By grouping pallet deliveries to Portugal together, the labour and fuel-related costs of the shipments can be shared. Even two shipments of pallets to a similar location in Portugal, such as Porto, can make a big difference in the cost per consignment.
Door-to-Door Portuguese Pallet Deliveries
When you ship pallets to Portugal with a road freight service, you will be able to ensure your goods remain secure for the full period they are in transit. Rather than passing them on to ground handlers or local logistical firms, door-to-door delivery services mean you remain in control. Seek a service provider that monitors the road network in western Europe to re-route deliveries if there are hold-ups detected.
Typically, pinch points occur on the A63 close to the French-Spanish border or on the E80 by Valladolid. As such, it will be good to be forewarned and have the ability to update the driver about which route will be best to take. Doing so will also mean being able to keep your Portuguese customer(s) updated on the progress of their pallet.