If you are shipping cargo from Japan to Europe, or if you are in Europe and are expecting a shipment using the services of an international sea freight forwarding company, one of the things you are probably most concerned about is the shipping time.
There are regular consolidation services by ship available from Japan to major ports in Europe which include Southampton/Felixstowe (UK), Le Havre (France), Hamburg (Germany), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Milan* (Italy) and Kopel (Slovenia).
*Destination terminal to Italy is Milan via port of Genova.
To these destinations in Europe, some consolidators in Japan offer weekly services i.e. there is normally one consolidation every week.
The port-to-port shipping time from Japan to major ports in Europe:
|Le Havre||France||32 days|
They also offer multi-modal transportation services via such hub ports to various parts of Europe. Such destinations countries include: Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Ireland and Russia.
Unless you are shipping a large amount of goods, you will be using the consolidation services and shipping your cargo as LCL (Less than Container Load). Even if you are shipping a full container (FCL= Full Container Load), the transit time to Europe will be about the same.
If the port of origin is other than Tokyo/Yokohama such as Nagoya, Kobe or Osaka, the transit time can be one or two days shorter or longer.
Container ships carrying consolidation containers may sail directly from Japan to European ports, however, the containers may make it on to a connecting vessel at some hub port in Asia such as Singapore. Also for some European destination where Japanese consolidators do not have enough cargo to make consolidations, LCL shipments may be transported to Singapore first and then they are consolidated with other cargo to the same destination.
Container ships make port calls at ports in South East and central Asia, Middle East and other ports in Europe before arriving at the destination ports in Europe.
When considering the total transit time required for shipping from Japan to European destinations, it is important to consider the time it takes for customs clearance and loading shipments onto container etc. as well as the actual port-to-port shipping time.
The points below should also be considered.