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Good To Know About International Shipping to Europe

Jul 25, 2008
Trade routes through Europe have been the object of conflict for centuries and have changed drastically and often because of the constantly shifting borders and governments on the continent. It is only recently, since the formation of the European Union and the earlier fall of the Soviet Union, that international shipping routes have been established to go to all nations in Europe. Free trade and a single currency, the Euro, have assisted greatly with this process.

International shipping to Europe from the United States is done either by sea or by air. The majority of manufactured items that are imported into Europe arrive by boat at its many seaports. The North, Mediterranean and Baltic Seas are all major international shipping routes that service dozens of countries. France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Greece are all importers of American products and have harbors and entire cities dedicated to the seafaring trade.

To reach other countries that are away from the coast, trucks and railroads are utilized in the international shipping process. Ships dock at one of the major harbors and are offloaded onto the dock for customs inspection. Duties and tariffs are paid and then the containers are loaded onto a railcar or truck trailer for the next phase in the journey. This is the part of the process that has always been difficult in Europe and has now become much easier. A ship that lands in Marseilles or Belfast may be carrying a shipment that is scheduled to be delivered to Hungary, Romania or the Ukraine. This journey will require the crossing of up to six international borders before the truck or train will arrive at its final destination.

In the past, the destination countries listed were part of Eastern Europe and inside the Soviet Block, or Iron Curtain as it was popularly known as. International shipping to these destinations, if not forbidden completely, was discouraged and often harassed by Soviet officials. Exorbitant fees which were basically extortion money were paid and there was never a guarantee that your shipment would arrive intact if at all.

Today, Europe has a Union, is mostly made up of republics and has a uniform currency, the Euro. International shipping is thriving and seaports are now available in the Black Sea and Baltic Sea to service formerly inaccessible nations. Taxes and entry requirements are standard for most of Europe and you can actually get accurate quotes before your international shipping company leaves its port of origin.

Great Britain, although not officially part of the European Union, is the largest importer in Europe of American goods and services. The shipping port of Belfast in Northern Ireland is the busiest seaport in the world and the gateway to the West for most of Europe. If you are planning on doing some international shipping to Europe from North America you will most likely go through Belfast on your way. Once your ship docks and has been offloaded, hire a European International shipping company to move your cargo across the continent. Their knowledge and experience will save you headaches and money.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of
Shipping services, and
Omega Shipping Local as well as International Moving.
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