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Container Shipping to Sweden

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Updated on 29 Aug 20228 min read

Hailed as the 30th largest importer in the world, Sweden is highly active in trading a broad range of goods with other countries. In 2017, it imported a total of USD $141 billion worth of goods, mainly coming from European countries such as Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, and Norway.

With its abundant trading relations, Sweden is a prime destination to expand your business to. If you are considering importing to Sweden, you need to know all about the shipping process, how to ship, and what your options are. Get to know everything in this article.

What are your options for container shipping to Sweden?

Ocean freight is the mode of transport for container shipping to Sweden. You have two options when shipping by sea: less than container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL).

Less than Container Load (LCL) to Sweden

Less than container load is best for small goods or small quantities of goods. In this ocean freight option, your cargo will be consolidated with those belonging to other sellers. They will then be shipped together in one container. Because you will be sharing a container with other sellers, LCL is an economical option. But the tradeoff is that it can take a while for your goods to arrive in Sweden.

Full Container Load (FCL) to Sweden

Full container load is the ideal choice if you will be shipping large, heavy, bulky, or oversized goods. In a full container load, the space in an entire container belongs to you. Hence, you can utilize it as needed. But because there is no consolidation in FCL, the shipping cost may be higher, but at the same time, your goods can arrive faster than they would with LCL shipping.

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

Calculator and pen to represent the cost of Shipa Freight’s quotes

The cost of shipping a container to Sweden would depend on various factors, including:

  • 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.)

If you need a more accurate estimate, you can request a quote from your freight forwarder.

What type of cargo can be sent in a container?

Because you are shipping via ocean freight, the type of goods you can ship is almost limitless. You can ship almost anything from foodstuff to large machinery and vehicles. But it’s important to be aware of any import prohibitions or restrictions in Sweden. Some goods may require specific certifications or permits. Do your due diligence and research on Sweden’s customs rules before making your shipment.

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

The duration of your shipment depends on many factors, such as whether you select LCL or FCL, if your ship is direct or has multiple stops, the distance between your origin and Sweden, etc.

Paper calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

On average, it can take 31 to 73 days for your goods to arrive in Sweden depending on the mode of transport, how direct the route is, and container availability. Here are some estimated transit times by country of origin.

Country of Origin|*LCL Transit Time|FCL Transit Time| ------- | ---------------- | ---------------- |----------: Australia|55 days|73 days China|41 days|39 to 48 days India|37 days|32 days Jordan |35 days|31 days USA|32 days|30 days

What container capacity do I need for my cargo?

Containers for ocean freight come in many different sizes, including:

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

The right size for you would depend on the size and volume of your goods. But if you select LCL, make sure that your goods do not occupy more than half of the standard container. Otherwise, it will be more economical for you to simply select FCL.

If FCL is your chosen mode of shipment, you don’t really need to worry about the size of your cargo as you have the container space all to yourself.

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

When it comes to the right ocean shipping method for you, you need to keep your priorities in mind, not to mention the particulars of your cargo. Here are some pointers to help you decide.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Sweden

Less than container load is best for you if your cargo is:

  • Small in size and quantity
  • Suitable for consolidation
  • Suitable for frequent handling or movement
  • Not perishable, fragile, or delicate
  • Not urgently expected to arrive in Sweden

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Sweden

On the other hand, full container load may be better for your cargo if it is:

  • Large, bulky, oversized, or heavy
  • Not suitable for consolidation
  • Not suitable for frequent handling or movement
  • Perishable, fragile, or delicate
  • Expected to arrive in Sweden within a shorter time frame

Break Bulk

Break bulk shipping is recommended if the cargo cannot fit in a single container. In this mode of shipment, your goods will be packed and shipped separately instead of in one single unit.

Customs Clearance in Sweden

Before shipping to Sweden, you need to be aware of the customs clearance requirements your goods will need to be imported to the country. The requirements involve a lot of paperwork, including:

Customs stamp resting on a customs invoice document stamped with export customs clearance in red ink as Shipa Freight assist you with customs clearance

  • 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

We have a full documents list that you can refer to for examples of each customs clearance document.

Which Incoterms would be the right choice for my shipment?

Knowing and using the right Incoterms helps protect you and your buyer from liabilities in the shipping process. Incoterms lay down your responsibilities from start to finish. Here are the best Incoterms for your shipment.

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 Sweden

When shipping a container to Sweden, we highly recommend that you engage the services of a freight forwarder to make the process easier and more seamless. Because they are professionals in their field, they can ensure that your shipment doesn’t encounter any difficulties and ends up successful.

The first step of the process is selecting your mode of ocean shipping. If you select LCL, your goods will be consolidated with other cargo in a container freight station. This is not a part of the process in FCL shipments.

When the goods are loaded onto the vessel, they will undergo the fumigation process. Fumes will be released into the container to get rid of insects, pests, and other harmful organisms that can damage the shipment.

At the end of the ship’s voyage, the cargo will go through customs clearance. With the right documents and paperwork, this process should be quick and easy. Once cleared by customs, you will be able to pick up your cargo at the port of destination in Sweden. If you select a movement type such as door-to-door or port-to-door, your goods will be delivered to your nominated address.

Main container ports of arrival in Sweden


The Port of Stockholm is a very productive port, handling over 10 metric tons of goods annually. It has a record-breaking container handling time of eight minutes and can accommodate 500 ft. vessels.

Owned By: City of Stockholm Annual Container Volume: >57,400 TEUs UN/LOCODE: SESTO


The Port of Helsingborg is Sweden’s second-biggest container port. Its location in the Oresund Strait gives it access to rail and road connections. This made the Port of Helsingborg an important logistics hub in the country.

Owned By: Helsingborg Hamn AB. Annual Container Volume: >280,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: SEHEL.


The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in Sweden, handling more than 30% of its foreign trade. The port can accommodate cargo vessels of any size, including the largest available. The port is utilized by both Sweden and Norway and offers routes to over 130 countries around the world.

Owned By: City of Gothenburg. Annual Container Volume: >860,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: SEGOT.

Why Ship a Container to Sweden With Shipa Freight?

Shipping to Sweden can be a complex endeavor, but not if you have Shipa Freight as a reliable shipping partner. With our modern digital platform, you can control and manage your entire shipment from the comfort of your phone, including requesting a quote, making a shipment, paying for your shipment, tracking your cargo, and more.

Experience ease in your container shipment to Sweden with Shipa Freight. Request a free quote today.

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