Tips on Delivering Pallets to Belgium

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Given how close Belgium is to the UK, you might be forgiven for thinking that getting a pallet to somewhere like Brussels, Liège, Bruges or Antwerp would be relatively easy. However, as many British firms that are unused to exporting to EU countries find out to their dismay, sending a pallet to Belgium isn’t as straightforward as they might have imagined. That said, with a little bit of knowledge and some expert assistance, ensuring that your palletised goods get to your Belgian customers in good condition and on time certainly is achievable in the post-Brexit world. What do you need to know?

Use Express Courier Services

Firstly, you might think that air freight is the simplest and fastest way to get a pallet to Belgium nowadays since it will mean avoiding potential pinch points like the Port of Dover. However, as one British freight forwarding firm, Barrington Freight, points out, air freight is often a false economy. As soon as a shipment is heavy enough to need a pallet to convey it, the cost of air freight to Belgium usually isn’t worth it. For longer haul journeys this won’t always be the case, of course, but Belgium can be reached rapidly from the UK with a van – or even a lorry in the case of multi-pallet deliveries – so the time-saving usually doesn’t amount to much either.

Focus on Customs Declarations

With the delivery organised from your warehouse to Belgium, you will need to make sure that UK customs officials are aware of the shipment. All commercial consignments entering the EU from the UK must be declared online or they’ll be held up at the border. Use a customs clearance agent that specialises in this work if you are unfamiliar with it. Ideally, choose one with a freight forwarding license so that EU customs checks can also be managed from the UK in advance of the goods arriving.

Keep Your Clients Informed

It is as true of commercial clients in Charleroi or Kortrijk as it is in Stuttgart or Milan – failing to provide progress updates can lead to frustration with British suppliers. When you’re sending a pallet to Belgium – or anywhere in Europe – it constitutes part of someone’s supply chain. Therefore, your driver should be able to provide you with frequent progress reports – if not, live tracking – of the pallet so you can ensure your customer is always well-informed about the expected schedule.

Consider Combining Deliveries to Belgium

If you have one pallet for Ghent and another one for Namur, for example, then it is often better value for money to send them together in the same van. Not only does this cut down on manpower costs but also fuel consumption. If you can arrange for pallets to Belgium to be combined in this way given the number of your orders you have, so much the better. If not, consider a freight forwarding company that manages multiple pallet deliveries to Europe every day. They may be able to combine your service with others in the area, ideally affording you a rate reduction if this can be achieved.

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