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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping to Finland

Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 28 Nov 20219 min read

Finland is the 43rd-largest importer in the world, having imported goods worth $65.4 billion (USD) in 2017. The nordic country sources its imports mainly from Germany, Russia, Sweden, China, and the Netherlands.

If you are preparing to engage in an evaluation of ocean and air shipping to Finland, then you likely have some questions about the available shipping options, costs, transit times, and customs clearance procedures.

To help you ship ocean and air freight to Finland successfully, we have compiled the most important information right here on this page.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Finland?

Flag of Finland to show Shipa Freight capacity to ship to Finalnd

If transporting your freight via land through neighboring European countries (or Russia) is not an option, your commercial goods can only enter Finland via sea or air. Both alternatives have certain pros and cons, which we will discuss in the following sections.

Ocean Freight to Finland

Less than Container Load (LCL): If you can’t or don’t want to rent a full container for your freight, then LCL shipping might be the right choice for you. Your cargo can simply share a container with the consignments of other shippers. This makes LCL shipping an affordable option for small, light goods.

Full Container Load (FCL): Hiring an entire container is best if you are moving large quantities or very heavy products. As you are paying a flat fee for the full unit, FCL can come out cheaper than LCL shipping.

Air Freight to Finland

Air shipping is by far the fastest mode of transport, even if your goods have to transit at another airport in between. The increased speed comes at a hefty price, though. That’s why most shippers choose air freight only for small, light consignments.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Finland?

The final rates for shipping your cargo to Finland depend on several different factors. Quotes for ocean and air freight shipping are usually based on the following criteria:

  • Nature of goods
  • Chosen mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
  • Weight of the cargo
  • Dimension of the cargo
  • Distance between origin and destination
  • Type of service (such as port-to-port, door-to-door)

A factor that influences the final price heavily is the weight of your goods. Here is a handy rule of thumb for you: Ocean freight is usually the least expensive option if you are transporting cargo of 100 kg or more. On the other hand, you won’t find much of a difference in price between air and sea freight if your shipments are lighter than 100 kg.

You should also know that most freight forwarders, such as Shipa Freight, won’t handle goods weighing 35 kg or less. An international courier service will be happy to help you move consignments in this weight bracket.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Finland?

Hourglass and a calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

The time required for your cargo to reach Finland will mostly depend on the airport and seaport of origin. Air freight from major international gateways around the world will be ready to collect from an airport in Finland in three to eight days. Ocean shipping takes much longer, with transit times ranging from 12 to 46 days.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea to Finland?

Here are a few examples of ocean shipping durations from various ports around the world:

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Transit Time LCL Transit Time FCL
Brazil Santos Helsinki 31 Days
China Shanghai Helsinki 38 Days 46 Days
China Shekou Helsinki 43 Days
China Xiamen Helsinki 42 Days 46 Days
China Shenzhen Helsinki 43 Days 43 Days
India Nhava Sheva Helsinki 39 Days 39 Days
India Nhava Sheva Rauma 39 Days 32 Days
India Chennai Helsinki 39 Days 32 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Helsinki 41 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Helsinki 41 Days
UK Felixstowe Helsinki 12 Days
USA Atlanta Helsinki 33 Days

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air to Finland?

Here are some sample transit times for air freight to Finland from major international airports:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Transit Time
Australia Brisbane Helsinki 8 Days
Australia Melbourne Helsinki 3 Days
China Shanghai Helsinki 8 Days
China Shenzhen Helsinki 5 Days
China Xiamen Helsinki 5 Days
India Mumbai Helsinki 5 Days
India Ahmedabad Helsinki 7 Days
India Bangalore Helsinki 7 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Helsinki 5 Days
USA New York Helsinki 6 Days

Import Customs Clearance in Finland

Before your goods can be delivered to the final recipient in Finland, they have to clear customs. This is a mandatory process, and many businesses prefer that an expert gets involved to avoid any delays or hiccups. Freight forwarders are perfectly equipped to help you with this task and can ensure that your cargo fully complies with Finnish customs regulations.

There is certain paperwork that you have to submit before the process can start. Finnish customs officials will request the following documents, as a minimum:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

  4. Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)

  5. Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)

Depending on the nature of your goods, you might also have to present other documents, such as certificates, permits, and licenses. Your freight forwarder can explain the precise requirements to you.

If you would like to familiarize yourself a bit more with the different documents, check out our documents list.

Ship Ocean Freight to Finland: FCL or LCL?

Most commercial goods reach Finland’s ports aboard dedicated cargo ships, stuffed inside standard 20ft or 40ft containers. But what if your sea freight doesn’t fit into a standard unit? Your carrier or freight forwarder can recommend alternatives, such as specialized containers or break-bulk shipping.
LCL or FCL are your options for containerized ocean shipping. The information below will help you decide which one best meets your logistics needs.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Finland

LCL is best for cargo that:

  • Is smaller than 14 CBM.
  • Is not required in Finland urgently.
  • Can travel alongside the freight of other shippers in a shared container.
  • Is too big or unsuitable for shipping as air freight.

On the other hand, LCL should be avoided if your freight:

  • Is very fragile, perishable, or of high value.
  • Might be damaged by excessive movement and handling.
  • Needs to reach Finland on a defined delivery date without delays.
  • Is very large and/or heavy.

Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Finland

FCL is the right mode of transport for cargo that:

  • Needs to reach Finland by a specified date.
  • Will occupy at least half the capacity of a standard 20ft container (14CBM).
  • Is delicate or very heavy.
  • Has to remain sealed in a container for the entire journey to Finland.

However, you may wish to avoid FCL if your supplier and/or buyer can’t receive a container at their premises for loading and unloading. Not all businesses have the necessary facilities and equipment for this.

Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Finland

Helsinki Helsingfors

Port Facts:

  • Finland’s leading port for foreign trade.
  • Handles over half of Finland’s imports.
  • Located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea.-
  • Best for cargo bound for the industrial or consumer hubs in and around the Finnish capital.

Owned By: City of Helsinki.

Annual Container Volume: >509,000 TEUs.


Uleaborg (Oulu)

Port Facts:

  • Formed by three separate harbors in the mouth of the Oulujoki River.
  • Handles containers in the Oritikan docks complex.
  • Largest port in the Bothnian Bay.
  • Major logistics center with onward sea, rail, and road connections.

Owned By: City of Oulu.

Annual Container Volume: >51,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Biggest container port on Finland’s west coast.
  • Processed over a quarter of a million containers for the first time in 2017.
  • Facilities include a massive container terminal and storage facilities.
  • A new harbor road connects the port effortlessly to the Finnish highway network.

Owned By: Port of Rauma.

Annual Container Volume: >278,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Important European trade hub in the Baltic Sea.
  • Located on the northern shores of the Gulf of Finland.
  • Home to the biggest container terminal in Finland.
  • Has the capacity to process 1.5 million TEUs per year.

Owned By: HaminaKotka Satama Oy.

Annual Container Volume: >55,000 TEUs.


Air Shipping for Your Freight to Finland

Flying your goods to Finland on passenger or cargo aircraft is significantly faster, more reliable, and more flexible than ocean shipping. However, the hefty price tag allows most shippers to use this mode of transport only for small, light consignments.

Air freight is a practical option for goods that:

  • Have a very short shelf-life.
  • Are very valuable and require high levels of security.
  • Need to reach Finland as soon as possible.
  • Will be dispatched in small shipments.
  • Have a recipient located close to an international airport.

Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.

Airports of Arrival in Finland

Helsinki (IATA Code: HEL)

Airport Facts:

  • Primary international airport in the country.
  • Located north of Helsinki’s city center.
  • Cargo transit facilities are situated in the southeastern area of the airport.
  • Facilities include a state-of-the-art freight terminal called the Cool Nordic Cargo Hub, which specializes in temperature-sensitive goods.

Ocean and Air Shipping to Finland: Why Choose Shipa Freight?

We are an established digital-first logistics service provider at the forefront of freight forwarding. No matter the size of your business – you can benefit from our cutting-edge online platform. Imagine managing your entire shipping process conveniently in one place. We bet this could speed up your supply chain significantly.

You can take advantage of the following benefits when you ship your cargo to Finland with us:

  • Easy-to-understand online quotes, ready in an instant.
  • Fast online booking and payment.
  • All of your imports and exports on one single platform.
  • Helpful customer support, available 24/7 via phone, email, and online chat.
  • Transparent approach to shipping documentation.
  • No dealing with customs complexities – we will take care of them for you.
  • Full compliance with international shipping rules and regulations.

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