Shipping From Thailand to the UK

The transportation channel of shipping from Thailand to the UK is one of the busiest and well developed in the world. Thailand’s well developed agriculture and electronics sector sends millions of dollars of goods to England on an annual basis. If you are looking to establish a regular or one time delivery of goods between Thailand and the UK, here are a few tips and pointers to consider:

Methods of shipment:

  • Sea freight in a FCL or full container load. This is the preferred and most economical method for shipping commercial goods in large volume. Using either a 20 foot or 40 foot container, the shipper purchases all of the room in the container and your goods move between the countries by themselves. The advantage of an FCL shipment is it is the cheapest way to get large volumes from one location to another.  
  • Sea freight using the less than a container load or LCL. In this scenario, your goods ride in an ocean going container along with other goods and pallets of stuff from other paying customers. This is a better option if you don’t have a large enough shipment to use the FCL option. While it will be cheaper than the FCL option, it is important to recognize that it will take a bit longer as your goods have to be bundled, or consolidated with other shipments going to the same destination. Upon arrival, the goods are then deconsolidated at the port of call, again, taking some additional time.  
  • For perishables and items of lower volume or lighter weight, air freight is sometimes the best option. While more expensive than ocean going delivery, the cost can be significantly higher, especially if your cargo is heavy. When evaluating which mode of transport to use, it is best to consult with your freight forwarder so that you can consider all of the variables involved.  
  • In emergencies or for cargo that is extremely time constrained, express shipments can be used, including courier services and next day air shipping. As you might expect, the cost for these options is quite high.

When is the best time to ship? 

Obviously, the defining issue when deciding when to ship your cargo is when it is ready to be shipped and when it has to be at the destination. If there is flexibility on either end of the channel, then there are a few things to consider.

A major consideration is the time of the year, as rates tend to increase ahead of the Christmas holiday shopping season. In general, ocean freight pricing tends to go down a little after the middle of each month as shipping companies start offering reduced rates to make their sales goals for a particular month. 

In summary, the best way to save the most money when shipping from Thailand to the UK is to work closely with an experienced and dependable freight forwarder like Eagles Air & Sea Ltd. You can contact us by phone at+66 (02) 790 4599 or via email at

Frequent Asked Questions 

What are incoterms and do they affect freight prices from Thailand to the UK?

Basically, incoterms reflect the amount of services you are buying from your freight provider. 

While this can get a little complicated for those not familiar with incoterms, a simple example is EXW vs FOB. While FOB is cheaper it doesn’t mean your total price will be less when you finally get it delivered. Eagles will be glad to explain te different costs before you ship.

What customs duties and taxes will I owe when shipping from Thailand to the UK?

You can expect to pay customs duties and VAT when importing from Thailand to the UK. This will typically from anywhere from 0 to 12%, depending on the types of goods you are importing into the UK.

Do I need insurance to ship from Thailand to the UK?

The short answer is no, but you might be well advised to consider the relatively low cost of shipping insurance when shipping either via air or ocean freight.

Ask us about shipping from Thailand to the UK