Palletising commercial goods for shipment is a convenient and cost-effective method that both small companies and big international conglomerates use. Not only can pallets be handled by almost all goods-in departments around Europe but they help to protect consignments while they are in transit, too. This is important whenever a sea vessel will be part of the mix because ferries and so on can list from side to side as well as pitch back and forth.
To begin with, therefore, your goods should be wrapped sufficiently well so that they don't come loose from the pallet while they're being transported from the mainland UK to places like Guernsey. Other than preparing the shipment itself, what else do you need to know about sending a pallet to Guernsey nowadays?
Customs Declarations Are Required
Although Guernsey is outside of the European Union, it is not a constituent part of the UK either. Therefore, HMRC will expect all commercial shipments to the Bailiwick – which also includes Herm and Sark – to have been declared before they reach Poole or Portsmouth, the two main ports that provide ferry services to the island. According to the operations team at Barrington Freight, a company that provides logistical assistance to British exporters, this fact can catch out some UK businesses.
For example, exporters might send a pallet to Guernsey only for it to be impounded by British customs officials or to be delayed by officers on the island itself. Don't make this mistake and hire a customs clearance broker to complete the necessary paperwork on your behalf if you don't have any prior experience in export documentation.
Groupage Rates Offer the Best Value for Money
It is possible to send a pallet to Guernsey with very little outlay these days. The best way is to find a freight forwarding firm that offers groupage rates to Guernsey from the mainland. This will mean your goods are set aside with other pallets that are bound for the Channel Islands.
When enough are assembled to make it worthwhile, a truck will be loaded with all of the pallets and sent together. The driver then has to make deliveries for each of the consignments. Yes, it takes a little longer but this service is ideal for non-urgent customer orders.
Door-to-Door Road Freight Services Can Often Out-Perform Air Freight
Typically, a ferry will be booked in advance to save time once the truck driver conveying your pallet arrives on the South Coast. A crossing from Portsmouth to Guernsey would usually take just seven hours before the driver can disembark at St Peter Port and crossings from Poole can be even quicker.
Once the goods have been cleared, delivery to any location on the island – such as La Planque, Pleinmont or La Villiaze – will often occur within an hour or so. Given how long it can take ground handling crews to unload commercial goods from aeroplanes – not to mention the increased costs involved with air freight – this is a very good option for British businesses on the mainland.