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Container Shipping to Finland

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Updated on 29 Aug 20228 min read

The 43rd largest importer in the world, Finland is a top player in the industry, importing a total of $65.4 billion USD of goods in 2017. Most of its imports come from the countries of China, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden.

If you are looking to tap into the market of Finland, read all about how to ship a container in this article. We cover your options for container shipping, the estimated cost and transit time for your shipment, customs clearance, and more.

What are your options for container shipping to Finland?

Shipping a container to Finland will be done through ocean freight where you have two shipping options: less than container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL).

Less than Container Load (LCL) to Finland

LCL shipping is best for small cargo because it involves the process of consolidation. In this mode of shipment, your goods will be collated and shipped together with cargo belonging to other sellers. This is a more economical ocean freight choice, however, it may take longer for your goods to arrive in Finland.

Full Container Load (FCL) to Finland

FCL shipping is an exclusive mode of ocean freight. In this option, you own the space in a standard container, which means that your goods will be shipped in isolation. With that, FCL is faster as it skips the consolidation process. However, it can be more expensive compared to LCL.

How much does it cost to ship a container to Finland?

The shipping cost of to ship a container to Finland would depend on a variety of factors, which include:

  • Type of goods you are shipping
  • Your choice of shipping service (LCL or FCL)
  • Weight of your cargo
  • Volume of your cargo
  • Distance between your port of origin and destination
  • Movement type (door-to-door, port-to-port, etc.)

Request a quote from your freight forwarder to get a more accurate cost.

What type of cargo can be sent in a container?

Because you are shipping by sea, there are less restrictions when it comes to what type of cargo you can send. Ocean freight is suitable for most types of goods, from small foods and appliances to large vehicles and other bulky or overweight cargo.

It’s recommended, however, that you do your research on the restricted and prohibited goods for import in Finland so you don’t run into problems with customs clearance. Check if the goods that you are looking to ship in a container is not allowed in Finland or requires additional permits or documents.

How long does it take to ship a container to Finland?

The transit time for your cargo to arrive in Finland would depend on a variety of factors, such as the choice of ocean freight you select, the distance between your origin and destination, as well as the route of your ship, whether it is direct or has multiple stops.

On average, the transit time for your shipment can take anywhere from 12 to 46 days. Below is a table with estimated transit times per country of origin.

Country of Origin|LCL Transit Time|FCL Transit Time| ------- | ---------------- | ---------------- |----------:

Brazil||31 days China|38 to 43 days|43 to 46 days India|39 days|32 to 39 days Indonesia||41 days Malaysia||41 days United Kingdom||12 days United States|33 days

What container capacity do I need for my cargo?

Ocean freight containers come in sizes ranging from 20 feet to 45 feet. The following are the available container sizes:

  • 20-foot - 33.2 CBM
  • 40-foot regular - 63.5 CBM
  • 40-foot high cube - 76.4 CBM
  • 45-feet high cube - 86 CBM

Which size you choose would depend on the measurements and volume of your cargo. As a piece of advice, we recommend that if you choose LCL, your cargo does not occupy more than half of a standard container. Otherwise, it would be more economical for you to choose FCL instead.

If FCL is your shipping option of choice, you can ship any size or volume of cargo you need because you own the entire container.

Which mode of ocean shipping should I choose, FCL, LCL, or Break Bulk?

The mode of ocean shipping that you should choose would depend on your priorities as well as the measurements and characteristics of your cargo. Here are some pointers to consider:

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Finland

LCL is a good option for you if your cargo is:

  • Small in size or quantity
  • Not delicate or fragile
  • Suitable for frequently movement or handling
  • Suitable for consolidation with other cargo
  • Not expected in Finland at a specified time.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Finland

  • You should opt for FCL if your cargo is:
  • Large, bulky, heavy, or overweight
  • Fragile, delicate, or perishable
  • Safer in isolation
  • Not suitable for frequent handling and movement
  • Expected in Finland at a specified time.

Break Bulk

Cargo that cannot fit into a standard container will be shipped via break bulk, which is the process of separating your goods and shipping them separately.

Customs Clearance in Finland

Your cargo will need to pass customs clearance before they can be admitted to Finland. You will need to complete and present the following documents for this process:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Letter of credit/ other payment terms
  • Packing list
  • Certificates of origin
  • Import licenses
  • Bill of lading or airway bill, provided by Shipa Freight

Take a look at our full documents list for examples of customs clearance documents.

Which Incoterms would be the right choice for my shipment?

Incoterms govern your responsibilities and liabilities throughout the shipping process. Here are some Incoterms you can use:

Best Incoterms for Exporters

CPT (Carriage Paid To): The seller must bring the goods to the agreed destination and carry out a contract of carriage. The seller is liable until the goods have been handed to the carrier.

CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To): Similar responsibilities as CPT, but with the added requirement on the seller’s part to obtain insurance.

DAP (Delivered At Place): The seller should deliver the goods to the buyer’s selected location and is responsible for the majority of the shipping process.

DDP (Delivery Duty Paid): The seller is responsible from the beginning to the end of the shipping process. This leaves the buyer with minimal responsibilities.

FCA (Free Carrier): The seller must deliver the goods to the carrier and shoulder the costs of customs.

Best Incoterms for Importers

FCA (Free Carrier): The seller must deliver the goods to the carrier and shoulder the costs of customs.

EXW (Ex Works): More responsibility is put on the buyer’s part, from picking up the goods at the seller’s premises or warehouse to arranging transport.

Processes to follow to ship a container to Finland

When shipping a container to Finland, we recommend that you engage a reliable freight forwarder who can make the process easier and stress free for you.

If you select LCL as our mode of shipment, your goods will be consolidated in a container freight station. FCL goods do not go through this process. When all goods are loaded into the containers, they undergo fumigation to eliminate insects, pests, and other harmful organisms.

When the goods arrive in Finland, they will have to go through customs clearance. As long as you provide the right documents, this process can be a breeze. Goods that are cleared for import can be picked up in the port of destination or will be delivered to the nominated location.

Main container ports of arrival in Finland


The port of Helsinki is the leading port in Finland that handles more than half of the country’s foreign imports. It is located on the Gulf of Finland. The port is most used for cargo that is to be shipped to industrial hubs around the capital of Finland.

Owned By: City of Helsinki Annual Container Volume: >509,000 TEUs UN/LOCODE: FIHEL


The port of Uleaborg is the largest port in the Bothnian Bay. It serves as a major logistics center and boasts of rail, sea, and road connections. Its Oritikan docks complex is in charge of handling container shipments.

Owned By: City of Oulu Annual Container Volume: >51,000 TEUs UN/LOCODE: FIOUL


The port of Rauma is west coast Finland’s largest container port with a massive container terminal and storage facilities. In 2017, it processed over ¼ of a million containers. As of late, it is utilizing a new harbor road that connects it to the highway network of Finland.

Owned By: Port of Rauma Annual Container Volume: >278,000 TEUs UN/LOCODE: FIRAU

Why Ship a Container to Finland With Shipa Freight?

If you are looking to ship a container to Finland, engage the services of a digital freight forwarder, Shipa Freight for an easy and stress-free shipment. Our digital platform allows you to manage your entire shipment through your smartphones. You can do the following:

  • Get a quote
  • Place a shipment
  • Pay for your shipment
  • Manage your shipments
  • Track your cargo
  • Access customer support

Get started with Shpa Freight today. Request a quote for your shipment.

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